The lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish clearly share my fascination with lists (seriously, I really like lists. I’m thinking of doing a ‘Why I Like Making Lists List’) because every week they run a feature called Top Ten Tuesday. There’s a new theme every time, and this week the theme is ‘Top Ten Popular Authors I’ve Never Read’. So I’ve decided to look at the ten popular (classics) authors that I have, for one reason or another, never got round to reading. Admittedly, not all of these authors could be classified as ‘popular’, but on the other hand, they’re the sort of thing people never stop talking about and always pretend they’ve read to impress their dates. So, here we go…
Top Ten Popular (Classics) Authors I’ve Never Read
- James Joyce. (Probably for the same reason that a lot of people haven’t read him. The thought of reading Ulysses scares the pants off us.)
- Fyodor Dostoyevsky. (See above re: pants.)
- Marcel Proust. (Ditto.)
- D.H. Lawrence. (I was told I wasn’t ready. That was five years ago.)
- Ernest Hemingway. (Because those American writers just don’t seem to do it for me.)
- Franz Kafka. (Though I can’t think why – giant insects are right at the top of my ‘favourite things’ list.)
- Henry James. (The Portrait of a (Moderately Confused) Lady. My mother reading this book for the better part of two years wasn’t exactly great PR for the Henry James brand. But I’ll get there.)
- Thomas Beckett. (I actually have no idea why.)
- John Steinbeck. (The Grapes of Slight Incomprehension. In other words, I again have no idea why.)
And, finally, the one I am ashamed to admit to everyone, both as a literature student and a feminist.
10. Virginia Woolf. (The shame, the shame.)
Now that I’ve gotten that last one off my chest, I think I’ll go hide – and get started on Crime and Punishment. In the meantime – does anyone share my fear of turn-of-the-century writers and infamously long Russian literature?
P.S.: In the interests of full disclosure, I will probably not start Crime and Punishment.