Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Ten Books I Will Never Read


I know, I know... never say never. But isn't this week's Top Ten Tuesday topic fun? I had to play along, even if it is a day late. Here are ten books you'll never find me curled up with:



Ulysses by James Joyce
Can't imagine tackling this under any circumstances.



Moby Dick by Herman Melville
“Call me Ishmael” is as far as I'll ever get.



The Illiad & The Odyssey by Homer
Epic poetry combined with mythology is totally beyond me, I'm afraid.



Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
Two words: magic realism.



Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
You know why.



Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith, Jane Austen
How could anyone do this to Jane?



Clarissa by Samuel Richardson
Second attempt fail. In my own read-along, no less. Time to cry uncle.



The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Post-apocalyptic? No, thank you.



Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
"Equal parts philosophical quest and screwball comedy" Ugh, no. And it's long. 



Watership Down by Richard Adams
The characters are rabbits. Enough said.

Are there any here I should reconsider?
What books will you never read?

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click here for links to more lists.


58 comments:

  1. I read Ulysses and Moby-Dick in college and still feel a little smug because I got them out of the way (I'm not saying I enjoyed them!) But I also remember being impressed when my cousin celebrated getting her PhD in chemistry by reading Ulysses, because now she could. However, as to everything else on your list, nor shall I. :)

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    1. Audrey - I'd probably choose other ways to celebrate a PhD, but totally understand your cousin's reasoning. I like to say I took every kind of chemistry known to man in college, then binged on fiction after graduation... because I finally could!

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  2. Moby Dick is my husband's favorite book. I could only read a couple of chapters. Zzzzzz

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    1. Les - That's at least two chapters more than me ;-)

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  3. I still have a copy of Watership Down, because I enjoy the complexity of the rabbit world. And I like magical realism myself, but I agree with you on most of the others. My *church* book group members go on and on about 50 Shades, which cracks me up and horrifies me in about equal measure. The Jane Austen hybrids, for lack of a better word, just irritate me.

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    1. Lisa - A CHURCH book group reading Fifty Shades??? Don't even know how to respond to that! ;-)

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  4. Infinite jest, because it's funny would be my advice. you could give Homer a go, but it is something that is best tackled with love. As to Shades of Grey, do what I do when someone thinks they are expressing their sexuality because they've read/displayed this trip - point them in the direction of Anais Nin & Delta of Venus..

    PS. What's wrong with Bugs Bunny?

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    1. Parrish Lantern - If I had to relent on one of these, it might be Infinite Jest.. and you have the perfect response to Fifty Shades! Bugs Bunny is a childhood favorite (still love him, actually) but not sure I could take a whole book populated by rabbits ;-)

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  5. Heh. I'm reading Ulysses now, and it's painful. But it's a point of honor with me--I will read it! Even if I don't understand it! But I do have to say I thought Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was a hoot.

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    1. Amy - You are definitely a stronger woman than I! My daughter thought Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was pretty funny, too.

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  6. You crack me up. I know I'll never change your mind, and I'm right there with you on several of these, but The Iliiad is really quite good. ;-)

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    1. James - The new translations have tempted me to try Homer... to conquer it if nothing else. But with two strikes against it (poetry and mythology), life is just too short! ;-)

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  7. Yep - Infinite Jest should have been on my list too! I'd try to change your mind about The Hunger Games...it doesn't feel post apocalyptic. I actually thought it was really unique, but the 3rd book was a letdown.

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    1. Sarah - My daughter loved The Hunger Games and even went to the movies on opening day...at midnight. She wasn't thrilled with the third book either.

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  8. I've read The Hunger Games - you haven't missed anything with it.

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    1. Kathy - I never even saw the movie...

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  9. I totally agree except for the Iliad and the Odyssey - I started with them in grade 5 with various translations and 50 years later, they still delight!

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    1. GSGreatEscaper - I think my education was sorely lacking in both poetry and mythology. Wish they'd been taught, or at least suggested, way back then. Maybe I wouldn't be so intimidated today...

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  10. Definitely ditto except for Watership Down. When I read WD many years ago, I thought it was one of the most poignant, unique books I had ever read. Still do, and it's not just because I love rabbits. Another book somewhat like WD is "Three Bags Full--a sheep detective story" by Leonie Swann--an International best seller. As you might can tell, the protagonists are sheep. Carl Hiaasen described it as "an original and clever mystery, with a flock of endearingly wooly detectives. I may never eat lamb chops again." And I totally agree with him. :-)

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    1. JudyMac - Well now I have to go look up Three Bags Full... (more below)

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  11. Well, I have read The Hunger Games and liked it pretty well. Less as that trilogy went on. Seems like I read Homer in high school. And that and a few others sealed my 'horror' of most classics. I don't even understand about the rabbits. And isn't Infinite Jest about a million pages long. I seem to remember shelving that one at the library. Nope. For me, there are none here that are must reads. I'd skip them all.

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    1. Kay - I think bad high school experiences ruined classics for many readers, and that's sad. If I read Homer back then, I've totally blotted it out. I don't have a problem with rabbits, just stopped reading books with animal characters sometime after Charlotte's Web and Black Beauty (but I still love both of them)

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  12. I have no desire to read any of these, either! Thanks for sharing...

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I had way too much fun making this list! Thanks for visiting today :)

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  13. I loved Watership Down as a youth, but I haven't read it in years. I did make it through Moby-Dick last year, but mostly on audio and the reader was just wonderful (it did take FOREVER, though).

    And I am a huge Jane Austen snob so I can't believe I'm saying this, but I thought P&P&Z was hilarious -- but it's just a huge joke to me. It doesn't take itself seriously AT ALL so I find it very amusing. However, I can't stand 99% of the prequels and sequels and retellings.

    I must say that I find it hilarious that your church ladies enjoyed 50 Shades. I can't tell you how many little old ladies at the library told me how much they liked it. Ew.

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    1. Karen K. - You are one of the last people I would expect to have read P&P&Z! Even funnier that you thought it was hilarious... I may have to reconsider ;-)

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  14. LOL. "The characters are rabbits." :)

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    1. Corrine - I really don;t have a problem with rabbits... just prefer books with human characters ;-)

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  15. Further to my comment above: Perhaps Watership Down requires a bit of imagination to really enjoy. Picture yourself as one rabbit among others living in the beautiful English countryside, when all of a sudden these huge pieces of monstrous construction machinery rumble in to begin tearing down your world, and you begin talking it over among yourselves. See what I mean? It takes imagination, and maybe a little compassion.

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    1. JudyMac - I can definitely see the appeal of Watership Down and even had a copy when I was in college (my roommate loved it). Almost remember thinking at the time that I'd "outgrown" books with animal characters and, come to think of it, don't think I've read an animal character book since. Maybe the next time I'm feeling brave enough to push myself outside my comfort zone, it should be to give WD a try. We'll see...

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  16. Okay! Well there is still hope for you to join my Atlas Shrugged read along in July!

    I will never ever read 50 Shades. I like to keep the brain cells I have intact.

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    1. Ti - A little light reading for summer, eh?

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  17. I'd highly recommend Watership Down! I think you might love it.

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    1. Melissa - So many fans of Watership Down! Maybe I should give it a chance after all...

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  18. Watership Down is one of my husband's favorite books but I haven't gotten up the courage to read it because the characters are rabbits. I did enjoy the Hunger Games though I really didn't expect to and I read 50 Shades for book club. The meeting was fun but you're not missing much by skipping that one! I'm not signing up to read any Joyce or Melville anytime soon! I had to read Portrait of the Artist by a Young Man by Joyce in high school and I haven't recovered!

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    1. Katherine - Maybe my list should have included Portrait of the Artist, too;-)

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  19. Ulysses and Moby Dick would definitely find a spot on my list too and I wouldn't even consider zombies or 50 Shades. I did like WD many years ago. Love the way Clarissa always finds a way to make herself remembered :-)

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    1. Cat - There's no forgetting Clarissa!!

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  20. I agree with you on most of these choices for sure, but I did really enjoy Watership Down ( I also like fantasy, magical realism and metaphorical reads). I read Hunger Games also as a buddy-read with my eldest when it came out. but Ulysses, Moby Dick and Fifty Shades... I so agree!

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    1. Rita - Watership Down is definitely the one people think I should read. Who knows, I may give it a try after all ;-)

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  21. Oh, my! I've read four on your list....and enjoyed them. lol Ummm....Pride and Prejudice Zombies? Ewww. No, thank you. And I certainly don't want to read about rabbits.

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    1. Kathy - Now you've made me curious as to which four...

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  22. Your top six books are totally on my list too. I don't plan to ever read them. Never heard of Clarissa, loved Hunger Games, and curious about Infinite Jest and Watership Down. So except for Hunger Games, we are pretty much on the same page. :-)

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    1. Athira - My daughter is pretty disappointed that I included Hunger Games, too :)

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    1. Diane - Life is just to short for some books ;-)

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  24. I hope your never say never applied to Midnight's Children and Watership Down. I forgot that MC had magic realism elements to it. It absorbed me so entirely I felt the book and I were one by the end.

    Same with WD - I very quickly forgot I was reading about rabbits. It's one of the few books I actually cry in.

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    1. Brona - I'm glad to hear that the magic realism in Midnight's Children didn't really stand out... perhaps there is hope for me yet!

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  25. Great list!!! It is so funny you mention Watership Down!! I am reading it right now - I read it every spring, and it's my favorite book! Not all books are for everyone though. :)

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    1. Erin - After all this love for Watership Down love, I may need to challenge myself to read it this summer!

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  26. Ha ha. I am with you on all of these and almost for the same exact reasons. Even Midnight's Children, your reason is the same reason I didn't want to read it. But I did and ended up kind of liking it. The only other one that I might actually try is Clarissa. But I think it will be cold day before I make it round to that one.

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    1. Thomas - Wait.. you liked Midnight's Children?? Now I might need to reconsider! Seriously.

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  27. I remember liking Watership Down very much in 1977 at the beach in Calif. But who knows would I still like it now?? Hmm. Someday I will have to return to the rabbits ....

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    1. Thecuecard - I first tried to read Watership Down in 1976 and remember getting sidetracked by Steinbeck. After all the love in the comments above, I'm seriously considering adding it to my summer reading list.

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  28. I do believe Moby Dick, Ulysses, and Fifty Shades have all appeared on every list I've seen! They'd be on mine, too, if I made one.

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    1. Lisa - They've appeared on almost every list I've seen, too Maybe som ebooks are just not meant to be read ;-)

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  29. I'm reading Ulysses now, and it is definitely a struggle. I wouldn't judge anyone for not wanting to read it. I hated Midnight's Children. I struggled through Clarissa. It took months. Some books I will never read are The Lovely Bones, The DaVinci Code, anything by John Grisham.

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    1. Patience-Crabstick - Whew, I'm glad you won't hold not reading Ulysses against me. I've wavered for years between wanting the challenge and thinking it might not be worth it... which is where I am at this moment. But you never know.

      I wish I'd never read The Lovely Bones and The DaVinci Code. I read a lot of John Grisham years ago...his early books sure were page-turners!

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