Top Ten Tuesday: Popular Authors I’ve Never Read

VirginiaWoolfThe 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

  1. 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.)
  2. Fyodor Dostoyevsky. (See above re: pants.)
  3. Marcel Proust. (Ditto.)
  4. D.H. Lawrence. (I was told I wasn’t ready. That was five years ago.)
  5. Ernest Hemingway. (Because those American writers just don’t seem to do it for me.)
  6. Franz Kafka. (Though I can’t think why – giant insects are right at the top of my ‘favourite things’ list.)
  7. 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.)
  8. Thomas Beckett. (I actually have no idea why.)
  9. 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.

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10 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Popular Authors I’ve Never Read

  1. Ha ha .. I haven’t read most of these authors as well. I read Joyce for the first time this year, but it was Dubliners which I think is more manageable than Ulysses. I’ve committed to reading Crime and Punishment and War and Peace this year … both excited and full of dread. Good luck with your reading!

    • Thanks! I’ve been wondering if I should start with something more manageable when it comes to Joyce. I’ve got War and Peace sitting on my shelf, but I don’t think I’ll have time to read it this year. I hope you enjoy both books. :)

  2. Hah yeah…. I haven’t read any of them either, in full anyway. Many were assigned for me to read over the years, but I haven’t actually read an entire book by any of them. Although, now that I am not in school being forced to read on a schedule, I actually plan on reading at least one book from each of these authors eventually!

    Good interpretation on this week’s list!

    Jennifer @ A Librarian’s Library–My TTT!

  3. Don’t be ashamed – there is just SO much out there to read and I’m sure there are loads I haven’t got to yet. I’ve read most on your list but not Proust or Kafka (does seeing one of his plays count??). When I studied literature we had a professor who made us read a novel a week (for years!)

    Good luck with ‘Crime and Punishment’, I preferred ‘The Brothers Karamazov’, although Dostoyevski does go on a bit in that introspective, waffly (Russian) way. :)

    You are in for a treat with ‘The Portrait of a Lady’ by James – it’s a masterpiece (though not a ‘happy’ book). And I didn’t like Woolf at all (yet claim to be a feminist!) and loathed James Joyce!

  4. Don’t be ashamed about it! I too plan to read books and then I end up reading different things each time, that’s why a book challenge at least regulates your readings and encourages you more. Well for me, it is Ulysses and Moby-Dick that I’ve been dreaming about for a really long time. I plan to read Ulysses, finally, this year. I could never find it in my country, except in French, so I am now going to order it and I’m excited!
    If you haven’t started reading Crime and Punishment yet, I would suggest you go for The Double. It’s very short and it would encourage you to read more Russian literature.

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