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Thread: Guilty secrets: books we SAY we've read...but haven't

  1. #16
    Silver Member NedNederlander's Avatar
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    I would never lie about having read a book.

    The thing about classics though is that the reason they're called classics is that they probably were great and inventive when they came out, they told something about that time for example, but compared to a lot of the books we can choose from now, they're not that great. (Obviously some of them really were great and will last.)

    I read the modern classic On the road.. hated it.

  2. #17
    Elite Member calcifer's Avatar
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    alan bennett said it perfectly : "a classic is a book everyone is assumed to have read and often thinks they have".

  3. #18
    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NedNederlander View Post
    I would never lie about having read a book.

    The thing about classics though is that the reason they're called classics is that they probably were great and inventive when they came out, they told something about that time for example, but compared to a lot of the books we can choose from now, they're not that great. (Obviously some of them really were great and will last.)

    I read the modern classic On the road.. hated it.
    I have to admit I hated On the Road too. I felt like I should really love it, but it just felt agonizingly pretentious to me. "He was just so beat", "she was just so beat", "it was all just so beatific and cool and just.. beat". STFU.
    If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.

    - Kahlil Gibran

  4. #19
    Elite Member blissfullyunaware's Avatar
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    That Wuthering Heights one, I have a copy but after the first chapter or so...I give up on it......way too overated in my opinion. EVERYONE I know just loves it.....lol
    My goal is to be happy with my life.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by buttmunch View Post
    I love Russian literature. Try Gogol. He's bloody hilarious.
    I think Dickens is so hard to read because a lot of it was written as serials, eked out episode by episode so every bloody chapter is like a cliff hanger. Oliver Twist was a tough one due to reading it while pregnant with one of the heathens...I could not stand the fact that Oliver just kept getting bad breaks and finally put it down.
    I love Russian lit as well. IMO, no fiction writer in the history of the world had a better grasp of human psychology than Dostoyevsky.

    Quote Originally Posted by blissfullyunaware View Post
    That Wuthering Heights one, I have a copy but after the first chapter or so...I give up on it......way too overated in my opinion. EVERYONE I know just loves it.....lol
    I also love Wuthering Heights. And 1984, and even Madame Bovary. But I freaking hate Ulysses and don't even bother picking up Finnegan's Wake, that shit will drive you insane.

  6. #21
    Silver Member Hummus's Avatar
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    I've never even heard of 1984! I read books according to what I like, not what others think I should read.

    The books I love the best are World History text books that occasionally come home with the resident student.

  7. #22
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    You've never heard of 1984? Get thee to a bookshop!
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

  8. #23
    Elite Member Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hummus View Post
    I've never even heard of 1984! I read books according to what I like, not what others think I should read.
    How do you know what you like, if you don't rely on the opinion of others you respect? That credo hasn't gotten you very far, if you haven't heard of 1984.

    99% of the books I read were recommended by other people. Be it the Booker's or Pulitzer's jury or people I know. You have to rely on some kind of canon, developed by those more experienced and more educated than you. Without this principle, there would be no education. At all.

    I wouldn't be so stern, if you weren't taking pride in this nonsense.
    Hello mother fucker! when you ask a question read also the answer instead of asking another question on an answer who already contain the answer of your next question!
    -Bugdoll-



  9. #24
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    I agree that you should look around and see what's getting good word of mouth..depending on who's doing the talking. My aunt will tell you John Grisham and Jackie Collins are great and nothing will change her mind. Other people, who actually can read, will recommend some great stuff I wouldn't have known about or considered otherwise. I do think that you should try to get through at least a cross-section of the classics and 1984 is one of them. I'm quite shocked anyone could make it to adulthood without having heard of it. I mean, it's referenced in papers, magazines, on telly...we are living and breathing 1984 even as I type this.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

  10. #25
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    I didn't like 1984. I admired the ideas it had for the most part, but it was just so ENGLISH
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  11. #26
    Elite Member qwerty's Avatar
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    It occurred to me recently that the classics I read in high school were (almost) exclusively American. Odd, since my English teacher for most of my high school experience was English born and raised.

    I did some catching up with a few Gothic lit classes in college and then on my own as an adult. I do scratch my head sometimes wondering why certain books are deemed classics. Many are a dull read.

  12. #27
    Elite Member MarieAntoinette's Avatar
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    I don't lie about whether I have read a book or not. I have a couple of classic books sitting on my shelf that I haven't read yet.

    I tried to read Wuthering Heights a couple of years ago, I put it down. I want to try again though, the story sounds like something I'd love.

    I own a copy of Crime and Punishment, but haven't read it yet. I plan to do so though.

    Recently I wrestled myself through Against Nature by Huysmans. I originally picked up this book because of the references in The Picture of Dorian Gray. I have put it down before, because some of the endless descriptions were incredibly exhausting to read. There were some interesting ideas and parts, and overall I'm glad I finished it the second time around try. Some books are really worth a second try.

  13. #28
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    I didn't like 1984. I admired the ideas it had for the most part, but it was just so ENGLISH
    You say this like it's a bad thing.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

  14. #29
    Elite Member kasippu's Avatar
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    Actually I find myself more embarrassed by the books I do read
    I call them my porno. Because yes I read Tolstoy, Flaubert Wilde and even Lord Byron and really fall in love with the language and the words but then I have what I call my porn: the chick-lit, I devour them
    Even more the biographies of really stupid nonsignificant people (posh spice I even threw it in the dustbin after reading so nobody would ever know) or gossipy unauthorized ones like the books of Christopher Andersen. It feels dirty reading them but I loooooove it

  15. #30
    Gold Member memebot's Avatar
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    I lied about reading the bible. It was during an argument, which I lost; but I was too stubborn to admit that I never got past the first four or five "so and so begat whatsisname."

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