The Unread

Corot-woman-reading-03The Wenches have been talking about books lately — no surprise there — and while we were discussing our favorite children's books, we mentioned some famous classics and significant books we've actually never read — even if everyone else was reading it and raving. Even if we should have read it, or it was assigned in school and we squirmed out of it, or we felt for one reason or another that this must-read was a no-thank-you. Some books are collecting dust on our bookshelves, never opened (and some well=known books are not on our bookshelves). And now we're willing to admit — yeah, I never read that. 

19087327.thbSo here you go: The Wenches Admit to The Unread.

Mary Jo Putney has never read: 

I've never read A. A. Milne or Paddington Bear or even Maurice Sendak.  Nor The Secret Garden or the Wizard of Oz, among many others.  A lot of the kid classics simply didn't come my way.  If they had, I'd have read them, because I went through books like locusts through a field! 

For adult books, I've read Jane Eyre and other Charlotte Bronte novels, but forget Wuthering Heights.  Those people sounded like they all need a good therapist!

There are MASSES of Great Twentieth Century White Male Authors I've never read.  F. Scott Fitzgerald.  William Faulkner.  Tried Hemingway, didn't like him.  Was tempted to ship him a cartload of adjectives and adverbs. <G>  I read ETHAN FROME and by the end I wanted to slit my wrists.  I've never touched Edith Wharton again.  I had to read some Henry James, too.  Ditto Thomas Hardy.  I've never touched any of them voluntarily.  There's a reason why my English degree was in 18th Century British literature–guys like Henry Fielding and Oliver Goldsmith and Alexander Pope were FUN!

Joanna Bourne has never read:

Young Woman ReadingI’m another one who has never read A.A. Milne.  <blush>
And I've never read King Lear. I have no idea why I haven't read it.  I've read Titus Andronicus.  I've read Troilus and Cressida.  But somehow I missed King Lear.  It's like this weird empty space in the universe of books.  

Cara Elliott/Andrea Penrose has never read:

Okay, I've never read C. S. Lewis, and I'm not sure how that happened. But there it is. I have never read The Chronicles of Narnia. Can't explain whyβ€”I loved Tolkien, and I know it's a classic, with the sort of complex themes that I like in a book. So what's holding me back? Shrug. Dunno. Now that I'm thinking about it, will try to remember to pick one up on my next trip to the library.

And I've never gotten into the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett. I started the first one, and for some reason put it down and didn't pick it up again. A good friend has been pestering me about it ever since, promising me that I will adore it once I get past the first 100 pages. Will try again soon.

Anne Gracie has never read:

So many people have told me I must, must MUST read Dorothy Dunnet, and yet, for some reason I haven't. I don't know why. Several times I've gone to buy the first in her famous series, and then couldn't remember what the first was. But partly, it's having a legion of people out there telling me I must read her because I will love her. They're probably rightβ€”these are friends, with similar tastes to mineβ€” but there's a level of that kind of encouragement that tips over into discouragement once it reaches a certain pitch. 

That said, writing this had made me bite the bullet, and I've just ordered her Game of Kings.

Patricia Rice has never read:

85605200.thbI had no school library until fourth grade, where I remember starting on one end and working my way around, but I never read A. A. Milne in those days. When I finally ordered books from Scholastic, I started with Pride and Prejudice. So while my childhood reading material might have covered everything from Walter Farley to Dostoevsky (I found a classic literature reading list), I missed out on all the favorites. 

Susan King has never read:

While I read Jane Eyre more than once, I couldn't drag myself through Wuthering Heights – wanted to throttle Heathcliff early on, that was that. I've never read The Secret Garden or Velveteen Rabbit, don't know how I missed those – just never was interested. I've avoided Steinbeck, Sinclair, others for being just so depressing, despite their social worth. And I confess, I've never read Georgette Heyer, or very little of her work … I did try, but it didn't click with me – not in my field of interest when I was steeping myself in Robin Hood and King Arthur and medieval history at the same time that friends were tracking from Austen to Heyer, I think.   

Jo Beverley has never read:

I don't do guilt!

Wuthering Heights — never, because it's a tragedy.

War and Peace – always felt like an "ought to," so  – no.

As I don't do much Victorian, scratch Dickens, Trollope, etc (apart from at school).

 Your turn! What are you willing to admit you've never read? And what would you be willing to try that you've avoided reading until now?

 

 

150 thoughts on “The Unread”

  1. I have a novel set during the French Revolution that just released last month. I light of that, one would expect that I’ve read the classic French Rev novels like Tale of Two Cities and Scarlet Pimpernel. I’ve never read either. I even have them on my kindle, and I still haven’t gotten around to reading them. I’ve promised myself I have to at least read Scarlet Pimpernel before I start writing my next French Rev novel.
    And Wuthering Heights is a definite “never to read” for me, as I know the guy and girl don’t get together in the end, and I HATE that.

    Reply
  2. I have a novel set during the French Revolution that just released last month. I light of that, one would expect that I’ve read the classic French Rev novels like Tale of Two Cities and Scarlet Pimpernel. I’ve never read either. I even have them on my kindle, and I still haven’t gotten around to reading them. I’ve promised myself I have to at least read Scarlet Pimpernel before I start writing my next French Rev novel.
    And Wuthering Heights is a definite “never to read” for me, as I know the guy and girl don’t get together in the end, and I HATE that.

    Reply
  3. I have a novel set during the French Revolution that just released last month. I light of that, one would expect that I’ve read the classic French Rev novels like Tale of Two Cities and Scarlet Pimpernel. I’ve never read either. I even have them on my kindle, and I still haven’t gotten around to reading them. I’ve promised myself I have to at least read Scarlet Pimpernel before I start writing my next French Rev novel.
    And Wuthering Heights is a definite “never to read” for me, as I know the guy and girl don’t get together in the end, and I HATE that.

    Reply
  4. I have a novel set during the French Revolution that just released last month. I light of that, one would expect that I’ve read the classic French Rev novels like Tale of Two Cities and Scarlet Pimpernel. I’ve never read either. I even have them on my kindle, and I still haven’t gotten around to reading them. I’ve promised myself I have to at least read Scarlet Pimpernel before I start writing my next French Rev novel.
    And Wuthering Heights is a definite “never to read” for me, as I know the guy and girl don’t get together in the end, and I HATE that.

    Reply
  5. I have a novel set during the French Revolution that just released last month. I light of that, one would expect that I’ve read the classic French Rev novels like Tale of Two Cities and Scarlet Pimpernel. I’ve never read either. I even have them on my kindle, and I still haven’t gotten around to reading them. I’ve promised myself I have to at least read Scarlet Pimpernel before I start writing my next French Rev novel.
    And Wuthering Heights is a definite “never to read” for me, as I know the guy and girl don’t get together in the end, and I HATE that.

    Reply
  6. Many decades studying and teaching British and American literature has insured that I’ve read most of the classics of British and American literature along with many lesser known works. I have never read all of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake and never expect to do so. I confess that I have a problem with Russian literature. I’ve never finished War and Peace or Fathers and Sons and have read only snatches of Pushkin and Gogol. Some of my romance-reading friends find me blasphemous when I admit I’ve never read more than a few pages of Gabaldon.
    This post reminded me of a book I have read: David Lodge’s academic satire Changing Places, which features a game called Humiliation in which each player names a literary classic that he/she has not read but assumes the others have read, and scores a point for every person in the group who HAS read it. An English professor insists he has never read Hamlet, a real shocker that wins the game. I have read Hamlet and taught a class of slow-reading high school seniors once when we had a party to celebrate Hamlet’s death. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  7. Many decades studying and teaching British and American literature has insured that I’ve read most of the classics of British and American literature along with many lesser known works. I have never read all of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake and never expect to do so. I confess that I have a problem with Russian literature. I’ve never finished War and Peace or Fathers and Sons and have read only snatches of Pushkin and Gogol. Some of my romance-reading friends find me blasphemous when I admit I’ve never read more than a few pages of Gabaldon.
    This post reminded me of a book I have read: David Lodge’s academic satire Changing Places, which features a game called Humiliation in which each player names a literary classic that he/she has not read but assumes the others have read, and scores a point for every person in the group who HAS read it. An English professor insists he has never read Hamlet, a real shocker that wins the game. I have read Hamlet and taught a class of slow-reading high school seniors once when we had a party to celebrate Hamlet’s death. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  8. Many decades studying and teaching British and American literature has insured that I’ve read most of the classics of British and American literature along with many lesser known works. I have never read all of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake and never expect to do so. I confess that I have a problem with Russian literature. I’ve never finished War and Peace or Fathers and Sons and have read only snatches of Pushkin and Gogol. Some of my romance-reading friends find me blasphemous when I admit I’ve never read more than a few pages of Gabaldon.
    This post reminded me of a book I have read: David Lodge’s academic satire Changing Places, which features a game called Humiliation in which each player names a literary classic that he/she has not read but assumes the others have read, and scores a point for every person in the group who HAS read it. An English professor insists he has never read Hamlet, a real shocker that wins the game. I have read Hamlet and taught a class of slow-reading high school seniors once when we had a party to celebrate Hamlet’s death. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  9. Many decades studying and teaching British and American literature has insured that I’ve read most of the classics of British and American literature along with many lesser known works. I have never read all of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake and never expect to do so. I confess that I have a problem with Russian literature. I’ve never finished War and Peace or Fathers and Sons and have read only snatches of Pushkin and Gogol. Some of my romance-reading friends find me blasphemous when I admit I’ve never read more than a few pages of Gabaldon.
    This post reminded me of a book I have read: David Lodge’s academic satire Changing Places, which features a game called Humiliation in which each player names a literary classic that he/she has not read but assumes the others have read, and scores a point for every person in the group who HAS read it. An English professor insists he has never read Hamlet, a real shocker that wins the game. I have read Hamlet and taught a class of slow-reading high school seniors once when we had a party to celebrate Hamlet’s death. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  10. Many decades studying and teaching British and American literature has insured that I’ve read most of the classics of British and American literature along with many lesser known works. I have never read all of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake and never expect to do so. I confess that I have a problem with Russian literature. I’ve never finished War and Peace or Fathers and Sons and have read only snatches of Pushkin and Gogol. Some of my romance-reading friends find me blasphemous when I admit I’ve never read more than a few pages of Gabaldon.
    This post reminded me of a book I have read: David Lodge’s academic satire Changing Places, which features a game called Humiliation in which each player names a literary classic that he/she has not read but assumes the others have read, and scores a point for every person in the group who HAS read it. An English professor insists he has never read Hamlet, a real shocker that wins the game. I have read Hamlet and taught a class of slow-reading high school seniors once when we had a party to celebrate Hamlet’s death. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  11. Janga, I’ll bet you were a hoot as a teacher! The only Russian novel I read was Dosteyevsky’s THE IDIOT, largely because my brother had a copy from his college English course. I must confess that I didn’t see the point, and it ended badly. No doubt my predilection for happy, or at least satisfying, endings was an early sign that I was born to be a romance writer. *G*

    Reply
  12. Janga, I’ll bet you were a hoot as a teacher! The only Russian novel I read was Dosteyevsky’s THE IDIOT, largely because my brother had a copy from his college English course. I must confess that I didn’t see the point, and it ended badly. No doubt my predilection for happy, or at least satisfying, endings was an early sign that I was born to be a romance writer. *G*

    Reply
  13. Janga, I’ll bet you were a hoot as a teacher! The only Russian novel I read was Dosteyevsky’s THE IDIOT, largely because my brother had a copy from his college English course. I must confess that I didn’t see the point, and it ended badly. No doubt my predilection for happy, or at least satisfying, endings was an early sign that I was born to be a romance writer. *G*

    Reply
  14. Janga, I’ll bet you were a hoot as a teacher! The only Russian novel I read was Dosteyevsky’s THE IDIOT, largely because my brother had a copy from his college English course. I must confess that I didn’t see the point, and it ended badly. No doubt my predilection for happy, or at least satisfying, endings was an early sign that I was born to be a romance writer. *G*

    Reply
  15. Janga, I’ll bet you were a hoot as a teacher! The only Russian novel I read was Dosteyevsky’s THE IDIOT, largely because my brother had a copy from his college English course. I must confess that I didn’t see the point, and it ended badly. No doubt my predilection for happy, or at least satisfying, endings was an early sign that I was born to be a romance writer. *G*

    Reply
  16. In my 20s I pretty much read only mid-19th C British literature, but what I didn’t read were mid-20th C American novels. All of those post-war male authors (Mailer, Roth, et al) with their “muscular” prose and women who are often only one-dimension (three-dimensional, fully rounded female characters are thin on the ground in these books), never appealed to me. Last month one of my book groups read Bernard Malamud’s “The Natural” and it reinforced all of my prejudices. It’s not a long book but I couldn’t force myself to read it all so skimmed the last quarter.

    Reply
  17. In my 20s I pretty much read only mid-19th C British literature, but what I didn’t read were mid-20th C American novels. All of those post-war male authors (Mailer, Roth, et al) with their “muscular” prose and women who are often only one-dimension (three-dimensional, fully rounded female characters are thin on the ground in these books), never appealed to me. Last month one of my book groups read Bernard Malamud’s “The Natural” and it reinforced all of my prejudices. It’s not a long book but I couldn’t force myself to read it all so skimmed the last quarter.

    Reply
  18. In my 20s I pretty much read only mid-19th C British literature, but what I didn’t read were mid-20th C American novels. All of those post-war male authors (Mailer, Roth, et al) with their “muscular” prose and women who are often only one-dimension (three-dimensional, fully rounded female characters are thin on the ground in these books), never appealed to me. Last month one of my book groups read Bernard Malamud’s “The Natural” and it reinforced all of my prejudices. It’s not a long book but I couldn’t force myself to read it all so skimmed the last quarter.

    Reply
  19. In my 20s I pretty much read only mid-19th C British literature, but what I didn’t read were mid-20th C American novels. All of those post-war male authors (Mailer, Roth, et al) with their “muscular” prose and women who are often only one-dimension (three-dimensional, fully rounded female characters are thin on the ground in these books), never appealed to me. Last month one of my book groups read Bernard Malamud’s “The Natural” and it reinforced all of my prejudices. It’s not a long book but I couldn’t force myself to read it all so skimmed the last quarter.

    Reply
  20. In my 20s I pretty much read only mid-19th C British literature, but what I didn’t read were mid-20th C American novels. All of those post-war male authors (Mailer, Roth, et al) with their “muscular” prose and women who are often only one-dimension (three-dimensional, fully rounded female characters are thin on the ground in these books), never appealed to me. Last month one of my book groups read Bernard Malamud’s “The Natural” and it reinforced all of my prejudices. It’s not a long book but I couldn’t force myself to read it all so skimmed the last quarter.

    Reply
  21. I’ve read and enjoyed Dosteyevsky, Hardy, Steinbeck & Hemingway but like Susan I dislike & don’t read most of the late 20th century male “literary” authors like Updike, John Irving, Roth etc. The only Mailer book I’ve read is the nonfiction “Armies of the Night” which interested me because I was there. I tried to read The Hobbit in college but it bored me, so I never got past the 1st chapter, or read any of Tolkien’s other books. Out of all the books I’ve never read, the two I really want to read are The Scarlet Pimpernel and Northanger Abbey, which I somehow missed even though I’ve read all of Austen’s other novels, some like P&P & Persuasion multiple times.

    Reply
  22. I’ve read and enjoyed Dosteyevsky, Hardy, Steinbeck & Hemingway but like Susan I dislike & don’t read most of the late 20th century male “literary” authors like Updike, John Irving, Roth etc. The only Mailer book I’ve read is the nonfiction “Armies of the Night” which interested me because I was there. I tried to read The Hobbit in college but it bored me, so I never got past the 1st chapter, or read any of Tolkien’s other books. Out of all the books I’ve never read, the two I really want to read are The Scarlet Pimpernel and Northanger Abbey, which I somehow missed even though I’ve read all of Austen’s other novels, some like P&P & Persuasion multiple times.

    Reply
  23. I’ve read and enjoyed Dosteyevsky, Hardy, Steinbeck & Hemingway but like Susan I dislike & don’t read most of the late 20th century male “literary” authors like Updike, John Irving, Roth etc. The only Mailer book I’ve read is the nonfiction “Armies of the Night” which interested me because I was there. I tried to read The Hobbit in college but it bored me, so I never got past the 1st chapter, or read any of Tolkien’s other books. Out of all the books I’ve never read, the two I really want to read are The Scarlet Pimpernel and Northanger Abbey, which I somehow missed even though I’ve read all of Austen’s other novels, some like P&P & Persuasion multiple times.

    Reply
  24. I’ve read and enjoyed Dosteyevsky, Hardy, Steinbeck & Hemingway but like Susan I dislike & don’t read most of the late 20th century male “literary” authors like Updike, John Irving, Roth etc. The only Mailer book I’ve read is the nonfiction “Armies of the Night” which interested me because I was there. I tried to read The Hobbit in college but it bored me, so I never got past the 1st chapter, or read any of Tolkien’s other books. Out of all the books I’ve never read, the two I really want to read are The Scarlet Pimpernel and Northanger Abbey, which I somehow missed even though I’ve read all of Austen’s other novels, some like P&P & Persuasion multiple times.

    Reply
  25. I’ve read and enjoyed Dosteyevsky, Hardy, Steinbeck & Hemingway but like Susan I dislike & don’t read most of the late 20th century male “literary” authors like Updike, John Irving, Roth etc. The only Mailer book I’ve read is the nonfiction “Armies of the Night” which interested me because I was there. I tried to read The Hobbit in college but it bored me, so I never got past the 1st chapter, or read any of Tolkien’s other books. Out of all the books I’ve never read, the two I really want to read are The Scarlet Pimpernel and Northanger Abbey, which I somehow missed even though I’ve read all of Austen’s other novels, some like P&P & Persuasion multiple times.

    Reply
  26. Janga, I have to check out Changing Places – very interesting!
    Book groups give us the chance to read books we might never have read and end up enjoying after all — OTOH, they can sometimes pressure readers into slogging through or skimming books that just don’t appeal.
    I don’t remember if I read The Idiot … I think I tried that … but I do remember reading Anna Karenina. Took me for-ev-er.
    Susan

    Reply
  27. Janga, I have to check out Changing Places – very interesting!
    Book groups give us the chance to read books we might never have read and end up enjoying after all — OTOH, they can sometimes pressure readers into slogging through or skimming books that just don’t appeal.
    I don’t remember if I read The Idiot … I think I tried that … but I do remember reading Anna Karenina. Took me for-ev-er.
    Susan

    Reply
  28. Janga, I have to check out Changing Places – very interesting!
    Book groups give us the chance to read books we might never have read and end up enjoying after all — OTOH, they can sometimes pressure readers into slogging through or skimming books that just don’t appeal.
    I don’t remember if I read The Idiot … I think I tried that … but I do remember reading Anna Karenina. Took me for-ev-er.
    Susan

    Reply
  29. Janga, I have to check out Changing Places – very interesting!
    Book groups give us the chance to read books we might never have read and end up enjoying after all — OTOH, they can sometimes pressure readers into slogging through or skimming books that just don’t appeal.
    I don’t remember if I read The Idiot … I think I tried that … but I do remember reading Anna Karenina. Took me for-ev-er.
    Susan

    Reply
  30. Janga, I have to check out Changing Places – very interesting!
    Book groups give us the chance to read books we might never have read and end up enjoying after all — OTOH, they can sometimes pressure readers into slogging through or skimming books that just don’t appeal.
    I don’t remember if I read The Idiot … I think I tried that … but I do remember reading Anna Karenina. Took me for-ev-er.
    Susan

    Reply
  31. I have only read two Hemmingways and swore off him after that – depressing, ego maniacal and over-rated. I have read all of Steinbeck and Faulkner.
    Couldn’t get through even one Mailer. Forced to read Upton Sinclair. Wouldn’t do it now at gunpoint.
    Try reading Madame Bovary in the original French and Anna Karenina in the original Russian! I did and by the time I finished I wanted to kill BOTH of them.
    I actually liked Wuthering Heights when I read it, but I think I was in my young brooding phase and it appealed.
    And I apologize to all who consider it great literature, but I do not now nor will I ever get the fuss about Catcher in the Rye. Sorry. I just don’t get it.

    Reply
  32. I have only read two Hemmingways and swore off him after that – depressing, ego maniacal and over-rated. I have read all of Steinbeck and Faulkner.
    Couldn’t get through even one Mailer. Forced to read Upton Sinclair. Wouldn’t do it now at gunpoint.
    Try reading Madame Bovary in the original French and Anna Karenina in the original Russian! I did and by the time I finished I wanted to kill BOTH of them.
    I actually liked Wuthering Heights when I read it, but I think I was in my young brooding phase and it appealed.
    And I apologize to all who consider it great literature, but I do not now nor will I ever get the fuss about Catcher in the Rye. Sorry. I just don’t get it.

    Reply
  33. I have only read two Hemmingways and swore off him after that – depressing, ego maniacal and over-rated. I have read all of Steinbeck and Faulkner.
    Couldn’t get through even one Mailer. Forced to read Upton Sinclair. Wouldn’t do it now at gunpoint.
    Try reading Madame Bovary in the original French and Anna Karenina in the original Russian! I did and by the time I finished I wanted to kill BOTH of them.
    I actually liked Wuthering Heights when I read it, but I think I was in my young brooding phase and it appealed.
    And I apologize to all who consider it great literature, but I do not now nor will I ever get the fuss about Catcher in the Rye. Sorry. I just don’t get it.

    Reply
  34. I have only read two Hemmingways and swore off him after that – depressing, ego maniacal and over-rated. I have read all of Steinbeck and Faulkner.
    Couldn’t get through even one Mailer. Forced to read Upton Sinclair. Wouldn’t do it now at gunpoint.
    Try reading Madame Bovary in the original French and Anna Karenina in the original Russian! I did and by the time I finished I wanted to kill BOTH of them.
    I actually liked Wuthering Heights when I read it, but I think I was in my young brooding phase and it appealed.
    And I apologize to all who consider it great literature, but I do not now nor will I ever get the fuss about Catcher in the Rye. Sorry. I just don’t get it.

    Reply
  35. I have only read two Hemmingways and swore off him after that – depressing, ego maniacal and over-rated. I have read all of Steinbeck and Faulkner.
    Couldn’t get through even one Mailer. Forced to read Upton Sinclair. Wouldn’t do it now at gunpoint.
    Try reading Madame Bovary in the original French and Anna Karenina in the original Russian! I did and by the time I finished I wanted to kill BOTH of them.
    I actually liked Wuthering Heights when I read it, but I think I was in my young brooding phase and it appealed.
    And I apologize to all who consider it great literature, but I do not now nor will I ever get the fuss about Catcher in the Rye. Sorry. I just don’t get it.

    Reply
  36. Dickens. Apart from A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations in high school I have never been able to get through Dickens. I did manage Wuthering Heights and hated it. Maybe I should try again as I was only in ninth grade when I read it the first time. Although I do prefer slightly more cheerful stories!

    Reply
  37. Dickens. Apart from A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations in high school I have never been able to get through Dickens. I did manage Wuthering Heights and hated it. Maybe I should try again as I was only in ninth grade when I read it the first time. Although I do prefer slightly more cheerful stories!

    Reply
  38. Dickens. Apart from A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations in high school I have never been able to get through Dickens. I did manage Wuthering Heights and hated it. Maybe I should try again as I was only in ninth grade when I read it the first time. Although I do prefer slightly more cheerful stories!

    Reply
  39. Dickens. Apart from A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations in high school I have never been able to get through Dickens. I did manage Wuthering Heights and hated it. Maybe I should try again as I was only in ninth grade when I read it the first time. Although I do prefer slightly more cheerful stories!

    Reply
  40. Dickens. Apart from A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations in high school I have never been able to get through Dickens. I did manage Wuthering Heights and hated it. Maybe I should try again as I was only in ninth grade when I read it the first time. Although I do prefer slightly more cheerful stories!

    Reply
  41. Ah, Dickens. I did enjoy some Dickens- Oliver Twist, Xmas Carol, Tale of Two Cities – but much of his work I haven’t read, and wonder if I’ll give it a try in this lifetime. The best intentions, etc.
    One book I loathed was George Eliot’s Silas Marner – read it in high school, found it painfully slow, sentimental and soporific. And it turned me off to Eliot’s other work, though I’ve tried — Middlemarch sits on my shelf and I pick it up every couple of years, but can’t get past the first chapter for the ghost of Silas Marner and 11th grade English.
    Though I do enjoy Victorian novels quite a bit – Dickens, Bronte, Trollope. I quite loved the Barchester Diamonds in college.
    But oh that Silas … thank heavens for the wonderful, brisk treasure of Jane Eyre, or I might never have touched another 19th c. novel after high school.
    Susan

    Reply
  42. Ah, Dickens. I did enjoy some Dickens- Oliver Twist, Xmas Carol, Tale of Two Cities – but much of his work I haven’t read, and wonder if I’ll give it a try in this lifetime. The best intentions, etc.
    One book I loathed was George Eliot’s Silas Marner – read it in high school, found it painfully slow, sentimental and soporific. And it turned me off to Eliot’s other work, though I’ve tried — Middlemarch sits on my shelf and I pick it up every couple of years, but can’t get past the first chapter for the ghost of Silas Marner and 11th grade English.
    Though I do enjoy Victorian novels quite a bit – Dickens, Bronte, Trollope. I quite loved the Barchester Diamonds in college.
    But oh that Silas … thank heavens for the wonderful, brisk treasure of Jane Eyre, or I might never have touched another 19th c. novel after high school.
    Susan

    Reply
  43. Ah, Dickens. I did enjoy some Dickens- Oliver Twist, Xmas Carol, Tale of Two Cities – but much of his work I haven’t read, and wonder if I’ll give it a try in this lifetime. The best intentions, etc.
    One book I loathed was George Eliot’s Silas Marner – read it in high school, found it painfully slow, sentimental and soporific. And it turned me off to Eliot’s other work, though I’ve tried — Middlemarch sits on my shelf and I pick it up every couple of years, but can’t get past the first chapter for the ghost of Silas Marner and 11th grade English.
    Though I do enjoy Victorian novels quite a bit – Dickens, Bronte, Trollope. I quite loved the Barchester Diamonds in college.
    But oh that Silas … thank heavens for the wonderful, brisk treasure of Jane Eyre, or I might never have touched another 19th c. novel after high school.
    Susan

    Reply
  44. Ah, Dickens. I did enjoy some Dickens- Oliver Twist, Xmas Carol, Tale of Two Cities – but much of his work I haven’t read, and wonder if I’ll give it a try in this lifetime. The best intentions, etc.
    One book I loathed was George Eliot’s Silas Marner – read it in high school, found it painfully slow, sentimental and soporific. And it turned me off to Eliot’s other work, though I’ve tried — Middlemarch sits on my shelf and I pick it up every couple of years, but can’t get past the first chapter for the ghost of Silas Marner and 11th grade English.
    Though I do enjoy Victorian novels quite a bit – Dickens, Bronte, Trollope. I quite loved the Barchester Diamonds in college.
    But oh that Silas … thank heavens for the wonderful, brisk treasure of Jane Eyre, or I might never have touched another 19th c. novel after high school.
    Susan

    Reply
  45. Ah, Dickens. I did enjoy some Dickens- Oliver Twist, Xmas Carol, Tale of Two Cities – but much of his work I haven’t read, and wonder if I’ll give it a try in this lifetime. The best intentions, etc.
    One book I loathed was George Eliot’s Silas Marner – read it in high school, found it painfully slow, sentimental and soporific. And it turned me off to Eliot’s other work, though I’ve tried — Middlemarch sits on my shelf and I pick it up every couple of years, but can’t get past the first chapter for the ghost of Silas Marner and 11th grade English.
    Though I do enjoy Victorian novels quite a bit – Dickens, Bronte, Trollope. I quite loved the Barchester Diamonds in college.
    But oh that Silas … thank heavens for the wonderful, brisk treasure of Jane Eyre, or I might never have touched another 19th c. novel after high school.
    Susan

    Reply
  46. I’m having fun reading about how many people share my reading tastes, or distastes. *g* I, too, had no use for Catcher in the Rye–whiny spoiled prep school boy. Get over it, kid.
    Several of you have done a good job of defining why I have no use for all those mid-20th century male literary novels–they were full of self-absorbed men I didn’t like, and the women flat and obnoxious. UGh!
    But Louisa gets credit for reading two boring literary novels in the original French and Russian!

    Reply
  47. I’m having fun reading about how many people share my reading tastes, or distastes. *g* I, too, had no use for Catcher in the Rye–whiny spoiled prep school boy. Get over it, kid.
    Several of you have done a good job of defining why I have no use for all those mid-20th century male literary novels–they were full of self-absorbed men I didn’t like, and the women flat and obnoxious. UGh!
    But Louisa gets credit for reading two boring literary novels in the original French and Russian!

    Reply
  48. I’m having fun reading about how many people share my reading tastes, or distastes. *g* I, too, had no use for Catcher in the Rye–whiny spoiled prep school boy. Get over it, kid.
    Several of you have done a good job of defining why I have no use for all those mid-20th century male literary novels–they were full of self-absorbed men I didn’t like, and the women flat and obnoxious. UGh!
    But Louisa gets credit for reading two boring literary novels in the original French and Russian!

    Reply
  49. I’m having fun reading about how many people share my reading tastes, or distastes. *g* I, too, had no use for Catcher in the Rye–whiny spoiled prep school boy. Get over it, kid.
    Several of you have done a good job of defining why I have no use for all those mid-20th century male literary novels–they were full of self-absorbed men I didn’t like, and the women flat and obnoxious. UGh!
    But Louisa gets credit for reading two boring literary novels in the original French and Russian!

    Reply
  50. I’m having fun reading about how many people share my reading tastes, or distastes. *g* I, too, had no use for Catcher in the Rye–whiny spoiled prep school boy. Get over it, kid.
    Several of you have done a good job of defining why I have no use for all those mid-20th century male literary novels–they were full of self-absorbed men I didn’t like, and the women flat and obnoxious. UGh!
    But Louisa gets credit for reading two boring literary novels in the original French and Russian!

    Reply
  51. I have not read those two classics, Catcher in the Rye and .. what’s the one with the kids on the island?
    I love Hemmingway. I read all of his novels and a lot of his essays. Same with John Steinbeck. Read many of his. Hated Of Mice and Men and The Red Pony, loved Grapes of Wrath and the Cannery Row series. But, I have not read Moby Dick nor much other Mellville.
    When cleaning up my books, I found I had over 5 copies of The Heart of Darkness. What was that about? I have not read any James Joyce novels, only a few short stories.
    I have not read Wind in the Willows! I have an illustrated copy on Kindle, however, so I mean to correct that. I have not read C.S. Lewis.
    I never read Lady Chatterly’s Lover all the way through. It was slow going so I skipped around a lot.
    I read Tess of the D’Urbervilles twice, but not Jude the Obscure or Return of the Native. I plan to listen to the audiobook Return of the Native narrated by Adam Rickman.
    There are many gaps in my classic literature reading. I am slowly filling them througout the years.

    Reply
  52. I have not read those two classics, Catcher in the Rye and .. what’s the one with the kids on the island?
    I love Hemmingway. I read all of his novels and a lot of his essays. Same with John Steinbeck. Read many of his. Hated Of Mice and Men and The Red Pony, loved Grapes of Wrath and the Cannery Row series. But, I have not read Moby Dick nor much other Mellville.
    When cleaning up my books, I found I had over 5 copies of The Heart of Darkness. What was that about? I have not read any James Joyce novels, only a few short stories.
    I have not read Wind in the Willows! I have an illustrated copy on Kindle, however, so I mean to correct that. I have not read C.S. Lewis.
    I never read Lady Chatterly’s Lover all the way through. It was slow going so I skipped around a lot.
    I read Tess of the D’Urbervilles twice, but not Jude the Obscure or Return of the Native. I plan to listen to the audiobook Return of the Native narrated by Adam Rickman.
    There are many gaps in my classic literature reading. I am slowly filling them througout the years.

    Reply
  53. I have not read those two classics, Catcher in the Rye and .. what’s the one with the kids on the island?
    I love Hemmingway. I read all of his novels and a lot of his essays. Same with John Steinbeck. Read many of his. Hated Of Mice and Men and The Red Pony, loved Grapes of Wrath and the Cannery Row series. But, I have not read Moby Dick nor much other Mellville.
    When cleaning up my books, I found I had over 5 copies of The Heart of Darkness. What was that about? I have not read any James Joyce novels, only a few short stories.
    I have not read Wind in the Willows! I have an illustrated copy on Kindle, however, so I mean to correct that. I have not read C.S. Lewis.
    I never read Lady Chatterly’s Lover all the way through. It was slow going so I skipped around a lot.
    I read Tess of the D’Urbervilles twice, but not Jude the Obscure or Return of the Native. I plan to listen to the audiobook Return of the Native narrated by Adam Rickman.
    There are many gaps in my classic literature reading. I am slowly filling them througout the years.

    Reply
  54. I have not read those two classics, Catcher in the Rye and .. what’s the one with the kids on the island?
    I love Hemmingway. I read all of his novels and a lot of his essays. Same with John Steinbeck. Read many of his. Hated Of Mice and Men and The Red Pony, loved Grapes of Wrath and the Cannery Row series. But, I have not read Moby Dick nor much other Mellville.
    When cleaning up my books, I found I had over 5 copies of The Heart of Darkness. What was that about? I have not read any James Joyce novels, only a few short stories.
    I have not read Wind in the Willows! I have an illustrated copy on Kindle, however, so I mean to correct that. I have not read C.S. Lewis.
    I never read Lady Chatterly’s Lover all the way through. It was slow going so I skipped around a lot.
    I read Tess of the D’Urbervilles twice, but not Jude the Obscure or Return of the Native. I plan to listen to the audiobook Return of the Native narrated by Adam Rickman.
    There are many gaps in my classic literature reading. I am slowly filling them througout the years.

    Reply
  55. I have not read those two classics, Catcher in the Rye and .. what’s the one with the kids on the island?
    I love Hemmingway. I read all of his novels and a lot of his essays. Same with John Steinbeck. Read many of his. Hated Of Mice and Men and The Red Pony, loved Grapes of Wrath and the Cannery Row series. But, I have not read Moby Dick nor much other Mellville.
    When cleaning up my books, I found I had over 5 copies of The Heart of Darkness. What was that about? I have not read any James Joyce novels, only a few short stories.
    I have not read Wind in the Willows! I have an illustrated copy on Kindle, however, so I mean to correct that. I have not read C.S. Lewis.
    I never read Lady Chatterly’s Lover all the way through. It was slow going so I skipped around a lot.
    I read Tess of the D’Urbervilles twice, but not Jude the Obscure or Return of the Native. I plan to listen to the audiobook Return of the Native narrated by Adam Rickman.
    There are many gaps in my classic literature reading. I am slowly filling them througout the years.

    Reply
  56. Fascinating comments! It’s so interesting to see what works and doesn’t work for avid readers. (But then, I can talk books ad infinitum.)
    Janga, you sound like a wonderful teacher! Love the hamlet party!
    Have now been reminded of LOTS more Unreads. I feel guilty about Joyce…I feel I really should read Ulysses. But the thought makes my head ache. I did a Russian Lit class in college so ploughed through those classics (actually, I really enjoyed War and Peace.) Loved Dickens too, but hated Hardy and got bored by Middlemarch.
    I’m looking forward to finding Lodge’s Changing Places. Sound fun!

    Reply
  57. Fascinating comments! It’s so interesting to see what works and doesn’t work for avid readers. (But then, I can talk books ad infinitum.)
    Janga, you sound like a wonderful teacher! Love the hamlet party!
    Have now been reminded of LOTS more Unreads. I feel guilty about Joyce…I feel I really should read Ulysses. But the thought makes my head ache. I did a Russian Lit class in college so ploughed through those classics (actually, I really enjoyed War and Peace.) Loved Dickens too, but hated Hardy and got bored by Middlemarch.
    I’m looking forward to finding Lodge’s Changing Places. Sound fun!

    Reply
  58. Fascinating comments! It’s so interesting to see what works and doesn’t work for avid readers. (But then, I can talk books ad infinitum.)
    Janga, you sound like a wonderful teacher! Love the hamlet party!
    Have now been reminded of LOTS more Unreads. I feel guilty about Joyce…I feel I really should read Ulysses. But the thought makes my head ache. I did a Russian Lit class in college so ploughed through those classics (actually, I really enjoyed War and Peace.) Loved Dickens too, but hated Hardy and got bored by Middlemarch.
    I’m looking forward to finding Lodge’s Changing Places. Sound fun!

    Reply
  59. Fascinating comments! It’s so interesting to see what works and doesn’t work for avid readers. (But then, I can talk books ad infinitum.)
    Janga, you sound like a wonderful teacher! Love the hamlet party!
    Have now been reminded of LOTS more Unreads. I feel guilty about Joyce…I feel I really should read Ulysses. But the thought makes my head ache. I did a Russian Lit class in college so ploughed through those classics (actually, I really enjoyed War and Peace.) Loved Dickens too, but hated Hardy and got bored by Middlemarch.
    I’m looking forward to finding Lodge’s Changing Places. Sound fun!

    Reply
  60. Fascinating comments! It’s so interesting to see what works and doesn’t work for avid readers. (But then, I can talk books ad infinitum.)
    Janga, you sound like a wonderful teacher! Love the hamlet party!
    Have now been reminded of LOTS more Unreads. I feel guilty about Joyce…I feel I really should read Ulysses. But the thought makes my head ache. I did a Russian Lit class in college so ploughed through those classics (actually, I really enjoyed War and Peace.) Loved Dickens too, but hated Hardy and got bored by Middlemarch.
    I’m looking forward to finding Lodge’s Changing Places. Sound fun!

    Reply
  61. I am so enjoying this discussion – we so often talk about books we love here, and how great is that for everyone, but this time I’m lovin’ the honesty of what we just loathed, especially among the classics.
    I’m being reminded of soooo many books I couldn’t get through in high school and college and beyond … and also loving the reminders of books I did love. I really enjoyed Catcher in the Rye, for instance. Regardless of whether or not Holden Caulfield was spoiled and emotionally self-indulgent (which he was, bleh), as a character-driven novel and just for the pure freedom in the writing style (author self-indulgence, yes), I got a lot out of it, even reading it as a teenager absorbing how to write before I even knew I wanted to do that.
    I read Tess of the d’Urbervilles twice, too, Andrea, willingly. I studied D.H. Lawrence, Melville, so many others in college courses and I really love their work. I really liked Mme. Bovary and what was that story about the parrot…oui. An entire course in Thoreau made me a Walden devotee. I still read that regularly.
    There are a lot of doorstopper classics that are widely revered, but I just couldn’t get through them. Ulysses, some of the weightier Victorians … and a lot of early 20th c. novels, many of which have been mentioned here already!
    Susan

    Reply
  62. I am so enjoying this discussion – we so often talk about books we love here, and how great is that for everyone, but this time I’m lovin’ the honesty of what we just loathed, especially among the classics.
    I’m being reminded of soooo many books I couldn’t get through in high school and college and beyond … and also loving the reminders of books I did love. I really enjoyed Catcher in the Rye, for instance. Regardless of whether or not Holden Caulfield was spoiled and emotionally self-indulgent (which he was, bleh), as a character-driven novel and just for the pure freedom in the writing style (author self-indulgence, yes), I got a lot out of it, even reading it as a teenager absorbing how to write before I even knew I wanted to do that.
    I read Tess of the d’Urbervilles twice, too, Andrea, willingly. I studied D.H. Lawrence, Melville, so many others in college courses and I really love their work. I really liked Mme. Bovary and what was that story about the parrot…oui. An entire course in Thoreau made me a Walden devotee. I still read that regularly.
    There are a lot of doorstopper classics that are widely revered, but I just couldn’t get through them. Ulysses, some of the weightier Victorians … and a lot of early 20th c. novels, many of which have been mentioned here already!
    Susan

    Reply
  63. I am so enjoying this discussion – we so often talk about books we love here, and how great is that for everyone, but this time I’m lovin’ the honesty of what we just loathed, especially among the classics.
    I’m being reminded of soooo many books I couldn’t get through in high school and college and beyond … and also loving the reminders of books I did love. I really enjoyed Catcher in the Rye, for instance. Regardless of whether or not Holden Caulfield was spoiled and emotionally self-indulgent (which he was, bleh), as a character-driven novel and just for the pure freedom in the writing style (author self-indulgence, yes), I got a lot out of it, even reading it as a teenager absorbing how to write before I even knew I wanted to do that.
    I read Tess of the d’Urbervilles twice, too, Andrea, willingly. I studied D.H. Lawrence, Melville, so many others in college courses and I really love their work. I really liked Mme. Bovary and what was that story about the parrot…oui. An entire course in Thoreau made me a Walden devotee. I still read that regularly.
    There are a lot of doorstopper classics that are widely revered, but I just couldn’t get through them. Ulysses, some of the weightier Victorians … and a lot of early 20th c. novels, many of which have been mentioned here already!
    Susan

    Reply
  64. I am so enjoying this discussion – we so often talk about books we love here, and how great is that for everyone, but this time I’m lovin’ the honesty of what we just loathed, especially among the classics.
    I’m being reminded of soooo many books I couldn’t get through in high school and college and beyond … and also loving the reminders of books I did love. I really enjoyed Catcher in the Rye, for instance. Regardless of whether or not Holden Caulfield was spoiled and emotionally self-indulgent (which he was, bleh), as a character-driven novel and just for the pure freedom in the writing style (author self-indulgence, yes), I got a lot out of it, even reading it as a teenager absorbing how to write before I even knew I wanted to do that.
    I read Tess of the d’Urbervilles twice, too, Andrea, willingly. I studied D.H. Lawrence, Melville, so many others in college courses and I really love their work. I really liked Mme. Bovary and what was that story about the parrot…oui. An entire course in Thoreau made me a Walden devotee. I still read that regularly.
    There are a lot of doorstopper classics that are widely revered, but I just couldn’t get through them. Ulysses, some of the weightier Victorians … and a lot of early 20th c. novels, many of which have been mentioned here already!
    Susan

    Reply
  65. I am so enjoying this discussion – we so often talk about books we love here, and how great is that for everyone, but this time I’m lovin’ the honesty of what we just loathed, especially among the classics.
    I’m being reminded of soooo many books I couldn’t get through in high school and college and beyond … and also loving the reminders of books I did love. I really enjoyed Catcher in the Rye, for instance. Regardless of whether or not Holden Caulfield was spoiled and emotionally self-indulgent (which he was, bleh), as a character-driven novel and just for the pure freedom in the writing style (author self-indulgence, yes), I got a lot out of it, even reading it as a teenager absorbing how to write before I even knew I wanted to do that.
    I read Tess of the d’Urbervilles twice, too, Andrea, willingly. I studied D.H. Lawrence, Melville, so many others in college courses and I really love their work. I really liked Mme. Bovary and what was that story about the parrot…oui. An entire course in Thoreau made me a Walden devotee. I still read that regularly.
    There are a lot of doorstopper classics that are widely revered, but I just couldn’t get through them. Ulysses, some of the weightier Victorians … and a lot of early 20th c. novels, many of which have been mentioned here already!
    Susan

    Reply
  66. On Steinbeck, I’ve never gotten into his fiction for reasons mentioned by several, but Travels with Charley is delightful.
    Slogged doggedly through the Hobbit,convinced it would get better; it didn’t, so I’ve never read any more Tolkien. Enjoyed the movies anyway. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  67. On Steinbeck, I’ve never gotten into his fiction for reasons mentioned by several, but Travels with Charley is delightful.
    Slogged doggedly through the Hobbit,convinced it would get better; it didn’t, so I’ve never read any more Tolkien. Enjoyed the movies anyway. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  68. On Steinbeck, I’ve never gotten into his fiction for reasons mentioned by several, but Travels with Charley is delightful.
    Slogged doggedly through the Hobbit,convinced it would get better; it didn’t, so I’ve never read any more Tolkien. Enjoyed the movies anyway. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  69. On Steinbeck, I’ve never gotten into his fiction for reasons mentioned by several, but Travels with Charley is delightful.
    Slogged doggedly through the Hobbit,convinced it would get better; it didn’t, so I’ve never read any more Tolkien. Enjoyed the movies anyway. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  70. On Steinbeck, I’ve never gotten into his fiction for reasons mentioned by several, but Travels with Charley is delightful.
    Slogged doggedly through the Hobbit,convinced it would get better; it didn’t, so I’ve never read any more Tolkien. Enjoyed the movies anyway. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  71. I don’t think I’ve ever read A.A. Milne. I’ve never read The Chronicles of Narnia. Never read Kipling or Lewis. I read Steinbeck, Sinclair, and Hemingway in school, but not since. I’ve never read Moby Dick or The Great Gatsby. Never read James Joyce or Tolkein. I couldn’t finish War and Peace, even though I made it about 3/4 of the way through the book. I’ve never read Crime and Punishment. I couldn’t stand Catcher in the Rye or Catch-22.
    I’ve read and liked a number of Dickens’ and Hardy’s novels, some of them more than once (Tess of the d’Ubervilles and A Tale of Two Cities, for example), but others I’ve avoided (Bleak House). I’ve read The Scarlet Pimpernel at least half a dozen times.
    I haven’t read Dorothy Dunnett’s books, but I recently bought The Game of Kings, so I’ll be giving her books a try.
    I agree with Jo that the 18th-century British authors are a lot more fun than the 19th-century ones.

    Reply
  72. I don’t think I’ve ever read A.A. Milne. I’ve never read The Chronicles of Narnia. Never read Kipling or Lewis. I read Steinbeck, Sinclair, and Hemingway in school, but not since. I’ve never read Moby Dick or The Great Gatsby. Never read James Joyce or Tolkein. I couldn’t finish War and Peace, even though I made it about 3/4 of the way through the book. I’ve never read Crime and Punishment. I couldn’t stand Catcher in the Rye or Catch-22.
    I’ve read and liked a number of Dickens’ and Hardy’s novels, some of them more than once (Tess of the d’Ubervilles and A Tale of Two Cities, for example), but others I’ve avoided (Bleak House). I’ve read The Scarlet Pimpernel at least half a dozen times.
    I haven’t read Dorothy Dunnett’s books, but I recently bought The Game of Kings, so I’ll be giving her books a try.
    I agree with Jo that the 18th-century British authors are a lot more fun than the 19th-century ones.

    Reply
  73. I don’t think I’ve ever read A.A. Milne. I’ve never read The Chronicles of Narnia. Never read Kipling or Lewis. I read Steinbeck, Sinclair, and Hemingway in school, but not since. I’ve never read Moby Dick or The Great Gatsby. Never read James Joyce or Tolkein. I couldn’t finish War and Peace, even though I made it about 3/4 of the way through the book. I’ve never read Crime and Punishment. I couldn’t stand Catcher in the Rye or Catch-22.
    I’ve read and liked a number of Dickens’ and Hardy’s novels, some of them more than once (Tess of the d’Ubervilles and A Tale of Two Cities, for example), but others I’ve avoided (Bleak House). I’ve read The Scarlet Pimpernel at least half a dozen times.
    I haven’t read Dorothy Dunnett’s books, but I recently bought The Game of Kings, so I’ll be giving her books a try.
    I agree with Jo that the 18th-century British authors are a lot more fun than the 19th-century ones.

    Reply
  74. I don’t think I’ve ever read A.A. Milne. I’ve never read The Chronicles of Narnia. Never read Kipling or Lewis. I read Steinbeck, Sinclair, and Hemingway in school, but not since. I’ve never read Moby Dick or The Great Gatsby. Never read James Joyce or Tolkein. I couldn’t finish War and Peace, even though I made it about 3/4 of the way through the book. I’ve never read Crime and Punishment. I couldn’t stand Catcher in the Rye or Catch-22.
    I’ve read and liked a number of Dickens’ and Hardy’s novels, some of them more than once (Tess of the d’Ubervilles and A Tale of Two Cities, for example), but others I’ve avoided (Bleak House). I’ve read The Scarlet Pimpernel at least half a dozen times.
    I haven’t read Dorothy Dunnett’s books, but I recently bought The Game of Kings, so I’ll be giving her books a try.
    I agree with Jo that the 18th-century British authors are a lot more fun than the 19th-century ones.

    Reply
  75. I don’t think I’ve ever read A.A. Milne. I’ve never read The Chronicles of Narnia. Never read Kipling or Lewis. I read Steinbeck, Sinclair, and Hemingway in school, but not since. I’ve never read Moby Dick or The Great Gatsby. Never read James Joyce or Tolkein. I couldn’t finish War and Peace, even though I made it about 3/4 of the way through the book. I’ve never read Crime and Punishment. I couldn’t stand Catcher in the Rye or Catch-22.
    I’ve read and liked a number of Dickens’ and Hardy’s novels, some of them more than once (Tess of the d’Ubervilles and A Tale of Two Cities, for example), but others I’ve avoided (Bleak House). I’ve read The Scarlet Pimpernel at least half a dozen times.
    I haven’t read Dorothy Dunnett’s books, but I recently bought The Game of Kings, so I’ll be giving her books a try.
    I agree with Jo that the 18th-century British authors are a lot more fun than the 19th-century ones.

    Reply
  76. I’ve never read Jane Eyre. I have no interest in reading War and Peace or any of those endless Russian epics. Haven’t read Melville, Steinbeck, Irving, Sinclair, Waugh, Eliot, Faulkner. Love Tolkien, but haven’t read his contemporary C.S. Lewis.
    I read a few pages of Ulysses and got a headache. Was forced to read The Catcher in the Rye in high school and wanted to throttle Holden by the end. And, like Mary Jo, a high school English teacher made me read Ethan Frome–and yes, I wanted to slit my wrists by the end, too.

    Reply
  77. I’ve never read Jane Eyre. I have no interest in reading War and Peace or any of those endless Russian epics. Haven’t read Melville, Steinbeck, Irving, Sinclair, Waugh, Eliot, Faulkner. Love Tolkien, but haven’t read his contemporary C.S. Lewis.
    I read a few pages of Ulysses and got a headache. Was forced to read The Catcher in the Rye in high school and wanted to throttle Holden by the end. And, like Mary Jo, a high school English teacher made me read Ethan Frome–and yes, I wanted to slit my wrists by the end, too.

    Reply
  78. I’ve never read Jane Eyre. I have no interest in reading War and Peace or any of those endless Russian epics. Haven’t read Melville, Steinbeck, Irving, Sinclair, Waugh, Eliot, Faulkner. Love Tolkien, but haven’t read his contemporary C.S. Lewis.
    I read a few pages of Ulysses and got a headache. Was forced to read The Catcher in the Rye in high school and wanted to throttle Holden by the end. And, like Mary Jo, a high school English teacher made me read Ethan Frome–and yes, I wanted to slit my wrists by the end, too.

    Reply
  79. I’ve never read Jane Eyre. I have no interest in reading War and Peace or any of those endless Russian epics. Haven’t read Melville, Steinbeck, Irving, Sinclair, Waugh, Eliot, Faulkner. Love Tolkien, but haven’t read his contemporary C.S. Lewis.
    I read a few pages of Ulysses and got a headache. Was forced to read The Catcher in the Rye in high school and wanted to throttle Holden by the end. And, like Mary Jo, a high school English teacher made me read Ethan Frome–and yes, I wanted to slit my wrists by the end, too.

    Reply
  80. I’ve never read Jane Eyre. I have no interest in reading War and Peace or any of those endless Russian epics. Haven’t read Melville, Steinbeck, Irving, Sinclair, Waugh, Eliot, Faulkner. Love Tolkien, but haven’t read his contemporary C.S. Lewis.
    I read a few pages of Ulysses and got a headache. Was forced to read The Catcher in the Rye in high school and wanted to throttle Holden by the end. And, like Mary Jo, a high school English teacher made me read Ethan Frome–and yes, I wanted to slit my wrists by the end, too.

    Reply
  81. Well there ya go – we’re all devoted and intelligent and discerning readers and writers … yet we have lots of Unreads (and Reads!) in common. It’s not surprising that so many people get turned off to reading in high school (one of my kids did) …
    My own reading interests were directly impacted by some of the classic but dreadful reads we were given. A teenager doesn’t always grasp the deeper themes and intent of some books that might have real meaning for them later. I think high school reading programs now are doing a much better job of choosing pertinent and interesting books — certainly better than when I was in H.S. slogging through that sometimes lethal required reading list. As I look at my Unreads, that’s where a lot of them first popped up for me.
    Susan

    Reply
  82. Well there ya go – we’re all devoted and intelligent and discerning readers and writers … yet we have lots of Unreads (and Reads!) in common. It’s not surprising that so many people get turned off to reading in high school (one of my kids did) …
    My own reading interests were directly impacted by some of the classic but dreadful reads we were given. A teenager doesn’t always grasp the deeper themes and intent of some books that might have real meaning for them later. I think high school reading programs now are doing a much better job of choosing pertinent and interesting books — certainly better than when I was in H.S. slogging through that sometimes lethal required reading list. As I look at my Unreads, that’s where a lot of them first popped up for me.
    Susan

    Reply
  83. Well there ya go – we’re all devoted and intelligent and discerning readers and writers … yet we have lots of Unreads (and Reads!) in common. It’s not surprising that so many people get turned off to reading in high school (one of my kids did) …
    My own reading interests were directly impacted by some of the classic but dreadful reads we were given. A teenager doesn’t always grasp the deeper themes and intent of some books that might have real meaning for them later. I think high school reading programs now are doing a much better job of choosing pertinent and interesting books — certainly better than when I was in H.S. slogging through that sometimes lethal required reading list. As I look at my Unreads, that’s where a lot of them first popped up for me.
    Susan

    Reply
  84. Well there ya go – we’re all devoted and intelligent and discerning readers and writers … yet we have lots of Unreads (and Reads!) in common. It’s not surprising that so many people get turned off to reading in high school (one of my kids did) …
    My own reading interests were directly impacted by some of the classic but dreadful reads we were given. A teenager doesn’t always grasp the deeper themes and intent of some books that might have real meaning for them later. I think high school reading programs now are doing a much better job of choosing pertinent and interesting books — certainly better than when I was in H.S. slogging through that sometimes lethal required reading list. As I look at my Unreads, that’s where a lot of them first popped up for me.
    Susan

    Reply
  85. Well there ya go – we’re all devoted and intelligent and discerning readers and writers … yet we have lots of Unreads (and Reads!) in common. It’s not surprising that so many people get turned off to reading in high school (one of my kids did) …
    My own reading interests were directly impacted by some of the classic but dreadful reads we were given. A teenager doesn’t always grasp the deeper themes and intent of some books that might have real meaning for them later. I think high school reading programs now are doing a much better job of choosing pertinent and interesting books — certainly better than when I was in H.S. slogging through that sometimes lethal required reading list. As I look at my Unreads, that’s where a lot of them first popped up for me.
    Susan

    Reply
  86. Never read any Hemingway or any of those guys. For Tolkein, I can honestly say that the movies caught the spirit of the books more than the actual books did. I think as students we are shoved into reading “literature” before we are emotionally and intellectually ready for them. I am rediscovering some of them in my new old age. Northanger Abbey is really very funny if you read it right: it is a satire. But still no Hemingway or Bronte.

    Reply
  87. Never read any Hemingway or any of those guys. For Tolkein, I can honestly say that the movies caught the spirit of the books more than the actual books did. I think as students we are shoved into reading “literature” before we are emotionally and intellectually ready for them. I am rediscovering some of them in my new old age. Northanger Abbey is really very funny if you read it right: it is a satire. But still no Hemingway or Bronte.

    Reply
  88. Never read any Hemingway or any of those guys. For Tolkein, I can honestly say that the movies caught the spirit of the books more than the actual books did. I think as students we are shoved into reading “literature” before we are emotionally and intellectually ready for them. I am rediscovering some of them in my new old age. Northanger Abbey is really very funny if you read it right: it is a satire. But still no Hemingway or Bronte.

    Reply
  89. Never read any Hemingway or any of those guys. For Tolkein, I can honestly say that the movies caught the spirit of the books more than the actual books did. I think as students we are shoved into reading “literature” before we are emotionally and intellectually ready for them. I am rediscovering some of them in my new old age. Northanger Abbey is really very funny if you read it right: it is a satire. But still no Hemingway or Bronte.

    Reply
  90. Never read any Hemingway or any of those guys. For Tolkein, I can honestly say that the movies caught the spirit of the books more than the actual books did. I think as students we are shoved into reading “literature” before we are emotionally and intellectually ready for them. I am rediscovering some of them in my new old age. Northanger Abbey is really very funny if you read it right: it is a satire. But still no Hemingway or Bronte.

    Reply
  91. I think a lot of the trouble is when well-meaning people (and teachers are included here) say, “You MUST read this – it’s good for you.”
    I wonder what would happen if they said, “Don’t read this, it’s too hard for you.”
    I did that with a friend’s son who was an unwilling reader some years back. I dropped over the Harry Potter books and told him they were NOT for him, that they were for his mother (who is a writer). I added that I didn’t think he’d like them anyhow because they were probably too old for him. (He was 13 or 14 at the time)
    My friend rang that evening and said “Psst, the first book has gone from the pile.” Two days later she emailed to say the second book had also disappeared. And so they all went. *g*
    OK, Harry Potter isn’t a classic in the sense that we’re talking about, but I’m sure if someone had told me Joyces’ Ulysses was too hard for me, I would have finished it, at least. As it was, I’ve never bothered to finish it.

    Reply
  92. I think a lot of the trouble is when well-meaning people (and teachers are included here) say, “You MUST read this – it’s good for you.”
    I wonder what would happen if they said, “Don’t read this, it’s too hard for you.”
    I did that with a friend’s son who was an unwilling reader some years back. I dropped over the Harry Potter books and told him they were NOT for him, that they were for his mother (who is a writer). I added that I didn’t think he’d like them anyhow because they were probably too old for him. (He was 13 or 14 at the time)
    My friend rang that evening and said “Psst, the first book has gone from the pile.” Two days later she emailed to say the second book had also disappeared. And so they all went. *g*
    OK, Harry Potter isn’t a classic in the sense that we’re talking about, but I’m sure if someone had told me Joyces’ Ulysses was too hard for me, I would have finished it, at least. As it was, I’ve never bothered to finish it.

    Reply
  93. I think a lot of the trouble is when well-meaning people (and teachers are included here) say, “You MUST read this – it’s good for you.”
    I wonder what would happen if they said, “Don’t read this, it’s too hard for you.”
    I did that with a friend’s son who was an unwilling reader some years back. I dropped over the Harry Potter books and told him they were NOT for him, that they were for his mother (who is a writer). I added that I didn’t think he’d like them anyhow because they were probably too old for him. (He was 13 or 14 at the time)
    My friend rang that evening and said “Psst, the first book has gone from the pile.” Two days later she emailed to say the second book had also disappeared. And so they all went. *g*
    OK, Harry Potter isn’t a classic in the sense that we’re talking about, but I’m sure if someone had told me Joyces’ Ulysses was too hard for me, I would have finished it, at least. As it was, I’ve never bothered to finish it.

    Reply
  94. I think a lot of the trouble is when well-meaning people (and teachers are included here) say, “You MUST read this – it’s good for you.”
    I wonder what would happen if they said, “Don’t read this, it’s too hard for you.”
    I did that with a friend’s son who was an unwilling reader some years back. I dropped over the Harry Potter books and told him they were NOT for him, that they were for his mother (who is a writer). I added that I didn’t think he’d like them anyhow because they were probably too old for him. (He was 13 or 14 at the time)
    My friend rang that evening and said “Psst, the first book has gone from the pile.” Two days later she emailed to say the second book had also disappeared. And so they all went. *g*
    OK, Harry Potter isn’t a classic in the sense that we’re talking about, but I’m sure if someone had told me Joyces’ Ulysses was too hard for me, I would have finished it, at least. As it was, I’ve never bothered to finish it.

    Reply
  95. I think a lot of the trouble is when well-meaning people (and teachers are included here) say, “You MUST read this – it’s good for you.”
    I wonder what would happen if they said, “Don’t read this, it’s too hard for you.”
    I did that with a friend’s son who was an unwilling reader some years back. I dropped over the Harry Potter books and told him they were NOT for him, that they were for his mother (who is a writer). I added that I didn’t think he’d like them anyhow because they were probably too old for him. (He was 13 or 14 at the time)
    My friend rang that evening and said “Psst, the first book has gone from the pile.” Two days later she emailed to say the second book had also disappeared. And so they all went. *g*
    OK, Harry Potter isn’t a classic in the sense that we’re talking about, but I’m sure if someone had told me Joyces’ Ulysses was too hard for me, I would have finished it, at least. As it was, I’ve never bothered to finish it.

    Reply
  96. I’ve read all of Dickens and I can’t think of one I didn’t enjoy. Then again, I can say the same of Stephen King’s books. Not sure what that says about me! I actually liked Ulysses. I finished Ethan Fromme, but my reaction was “meh” at best.
    I would never have read the Harry Potter books save for a narrow-minded minister at my brother’s church. He denounced the books as “satanic” and my idiot brother decided his children could not read them. My niece and nephew begged their mother to intervene. She suggested I read them and if I approved then the kids could read them. Thus began my reading odyssey with Harry Potter. As I complete each book the kids were allowed to read them. It was a nice experience for us to read and discuss the books together. I went through the same process with the Twilight books for my niece. (I didn’t enjoy them, but she did.)

    Reply
  97. I’ve read all of Dickens and I can’t think of one I didn’t enjoy. Then again, I can say the same of Stephen King’s books. Not sure what that says about me! I actually liked Ulysses. I finished Ethan Fromme, but my reaction was “meh” at best.
    I would never have read the Harry Potter books save for a narrow-minded minister at my brother’s church. He denounced the books as “satanic” and my idiot brother decided his children could not read them. My niece and nephew begged their mother to intervene. She suggested I read them and if I approved then the kids could read them. Thus began my reading odyssey with Harry Potter. As I complete each book the kids were allowed to read them. It was a nice experience for us to read and discuss the books together. I went through the same process with the Twilight books for my niece. (I didn’t enjoy them, but she did.)

    Reply
  98. I’ve read all of Dickens and I can’t think of one I didn’t enjoy. Then again, I can say the same of Stephen King’s books. Not sure what that says about me! I actually liked Ulysses. I finished Ethan Fromme, but my reaction was “meh” at best.
    I would never have read the Harry Potter books save for a narrow-minded minister at my brother’s church. He denounced the books as “satanic” and my idiot brother decided his children could not read them. My niece and nephew begged their mother to intervene. She suggested I read them and if I approved then the kids could read them. Thus began my reading odyssey with Harry Potter. As I complete each book the kids were allowed to read them. It was a nice experience for us to read and discuss the books together. I went through the same process with the Twilight books for my niece. (I didn’t enjoy them, but she did.)

    Reply
  99. I’ve read all of Dickens and I can’t think of one I didn’t enjoy. Then again, I can say the same of Stephen King’s books. Not sure what that says about me! I actually liked Ulysses. I finished Ethan Fromme, but my reaction was “meh” at best.
    I would never have read the Harry Potter books save for a narrow-minded minister at my brother’s church. He denounced the books as “satanic” and my idiot brother decided his children could not read them. My niece and nephew begged their mother to intervene. She suggested I read them and if I approved then the kids could read them. Thus began my reading odyssey with Harry Potter. As I complete each book the kids were allowed to read them. It was a nice experience for us to read and discuss the books together. I went through the same process with the Twilight books for my niece. (I didn’t enjoy them, but she did.)

    Reply
  100. I’ve read all of Dickens and I can’t think of one I didn’t enjoy. Then again, I can say the same of Stephen King’s books. Not sure what that says about me! I actually liked Ulysses. I finished Ethan Fromme, but my reaction was “meh” at best.
    I would never have read the Harry Potter books save for a narrow-minded minister at my brother’s church. He denounced the books as “satanic” and my idiot brother decided his children could not read them. My niece and nephew begged their mother to intervene. She suggested I read them and if I approved then the kids could read them. Thus began my reading odyssey with Harry Potter. As I complete each book the kids were allowed to read them. It was a nice experience for us to read and discuss the books together. I went through the same process with the Twilight books for my niece. (I didn’t enjoy them, but she did.)

    Reply
  101. I’ve never read Sir Walter Scott. I know he’s a fave of all our regency heroines, but I couldn’t get interested. Ditto for Middlemarch; the sheer weight of that defeated me, though now that it’s on my kindle I may give it another go.
    It’s not that I don’t like 18th/19th century novelists; I do. I have read or reread all of Dickens’s novels, Austen, Thackeray, the Brontes, even Horace Walpole, Maria Edgeworth, Fanny Burney and Monk Lewis. I kind of enjoy that they’re told in a more leisurely way with big words and all. It’s just that some authors are intrinsically more interesting to me than others.
    I don’t even want to talk about Moby Dick; my college BFF used to torture me by reading aloud from it. I couldn’t stand it.

    Reply
  102. I’ve never read Sir Walter Scott. I know he’s a fave of all our regency heroines, but I couldn’t get interested. Ditto for Middlemarch; the sheer weight of that defeated me, though now that it’s on my kindle I may give it another go.
    It’s not that I don’t like 18th/19th century novelists; I do. I have read or reread all of Dickens’s novels, Austen, Thackeray, the Brontes, even Horace Walpole, Maria Edgeworth, Fanny Burney and Monk Lewis. I kind of enjoy that they’re told in a more leisurely way with big words and all. It’s just that some authors are intrinsically more interesting to me than others.
    I don’t even want to talk about Moby Dick; my college BFF used to torture me by reading aloud from it. I couldn’t stand it.

    Reply
  103. I’ve never read Sir Walter Scott. I know he’s a fave of all our regency heroines, but I couldn’t get interested. Ditto for Middlemarch; the sheer weight of that defeated me, though now that it’s on my kindle I may give it another go.
    It’s not that I don’t like 18th/19th century novelists; I do. I have read or reread all of Dickens’s novels, Austen, Thackeray, the Brontes, even Horace Walpole, Maria Edgeworth, Fanny Burney and Monk Lewis. I kind of enjoy that they’re told in a more leisurely way with big words and all. It’s just that some authors are intrinsically more interesting to me than others.
    I don’t even want to talk about Moby Dick; my college BFF used to torture me by reading aloud from it. I couldn’t stand it.

    Reply
  104. I’ve never read Sir Walter Scott. I know he’s a fave of all our regency heroines, but I couldn’t get interested. Ditto for Middlemarch; the sheer weight of that defeated me, though now that it’s on my kindle I may give it another go.
    It’s not that I don’t like 18th/19th century novelists; I do. I have read or reread all of Dickens’s novels, Austen, Thackeray, the Brontes, even Horace Walpole, Maria Edgeworth, Fanny Burney and Monk Lewis. I kind of enjoy that they’re told in a more leisurely way with big words and all. It’s just that some authors are intrinsically more interesting to me than others.
    I don’t even want to talk about Moby Dick; my college BFF used to torture me by reading aloud from it. I couldn’t stand it.

    Reply
  105. I’ve never read Sir Walter Scott. I know he’s a fave of all our regency heroines, but I couldn’t get interested. Ditto for Middlemarch; the sheer weight of that defeated me, though now that it’s on my kindle I may give it another go.
    It’s not that I don’t like 18th/19th century novelists; I do. I have read or reread all of Dickens’s novels, Austen, Thackeray, the Brontes, even Horace Walpole, Maria Edgeworth, Fanny Burney and Monk Lewis. I kind of enjoy that they’re told in a more leisurely way with big words and all. It’s just that some authors are intrinsically more interesting to me than others.
    I don’t even want to talk about Moby Dick; my college BFF used to torture me by reading aloud from it. I couldn’t stand it.

    Reply
  106. I’m late to the party, but what fun it has been reading all of these responses. I’ve been a voracious reader my entire life, reading everything from the classics to cereal boxes! Even so, there are many unread for one reason or another. The first that jumped to mind is Middlemarch, although I’ve started and put it down several times.
    I am NOT a fantasy reader, but loved Tolkien never the less. It was his beautiful prose that hooked me:
    “The night was railing against the morning of which it was bereaved, and the cold was cursing the warmth for which it hungered.”
    That is as romantic as anything I’ve ever read!

    Reply
  107. I’m late to the party, but what fun it has been reading all of these responses. I’ve been a voracious reader my entire life, reading everything from the classics to cereal boxes! Even so, there are many unread for one reason or another. The first that jumped to mind is Middlemarch, although I’ve started and put it down several times.
    I am NOT a fantasy reader, but loved Tolkien never the less. It was his beautiful prose that hooked me:
    “The night was railing against the morning of which it was bereaved, and the cold was cursing the warmth for which it hungered.”
    That is as romantic as anything I’ve ever read!

    Reply
  108. I’m late to the party, but what fun it has been reading all of these responses. I’ve been a voracious reader my entire life, reading everything from the classics to cereal boxes! Even so, there are many unread for one reason or another. The first that jumped to mind is Middlemarch, although I’ve started and put it down several times.
    I am NOT a fantasy reader, but loved Tolkien never the less. It was his beautiful prose that hooked me:
    “The night was railing against the morning of which it was bereaved, and the cold was cursing the warmth for which it hungered.”
    That is as romantic as anything I’ve ever read!

    Reply
  109. I’m late to the party, but what fun it has been reading all of these responses. I’ve been a voracious reader my entire life, reading everything from the classics to cereal boxes! Even so, there are many unread for one reason or another. The first that jumped to mind is Middlemarch, although I’ve started and put it down several times.
    I am NOT a fantasy reader, but loved Tolkien never the less. It was his beautiful prose that hooked me:
    “The night was railing against the morning of which it was bereaved, and the cold was cursing the warmth for which it hungered.”
    That is as romantic as anything I’ve ever read!

    Reply
  110. I’m late to the party, but what fun it has been reading all of these responses. I’ve been a voracious reader my entire life, reading everything from the classics to cereal boxes! Even so, there are many unread for one reason or another. The first that jumped to mind is Middlemarch, although I’ve started and put it down several times.
    I am NOT a fantasy reader, but loved Tolkien never the less. It was his beautiful prose that hooked me:
    “The night was railing against the morning of which it was bereaved, and the cold was cursing the warmth for which it hungered.”
    That is as romantic as anything I’ve ever read!

    Reply
  111. Donna, you’re sending me straight back to Tolkein with that divine quote! I read Lord of the Rings in part — couldn’t finish the last one. I’ve always wanted to start over and go through them again, but so far, haven’t.
    Anne, you’re on to something there – if someone had said this book is too hard for you, I’d have been on it. And Louisa, if my father or the school had banned a book, I’d have been on that so fast, stealth reading under the covers in the middle of the night…
    I love Sir Walter Scott and have read several of his – with the qualifier that he was not the best of writers or the best of historians. Some of his stuff is impossible to get through: convoluted language, zaftig sentence construction, clunky forced rhyme…and some of his history was off the wall. But the storytelling value is high, and I’ve found SWS enjoyable.
    Another like that is J. Fenimore Cooper. I did enjoy Last of the Mohicans but couldn’t force myself through anything else. If you’re interested in reading Cooper, read Mark Twain’s essay on JFC. It’s not only hilarious, it just bites into the truth.
    Love this discussion!! Very clearly what works for some does not work for others.
    One other point I think that helps determine a Read or Unread … time. Often I look at something with interest and it’s just time, or lack of, that keeps me from tackling a longer, slower read — or a longer, denser series.

    Reply
  112. Donna, you’re sending me straight back to Tolkein with that divine quote! I read Lord of the Rings in part — couldn’t finish the last one. I’ve always wanted to start over and go through them again, but so far, haven’t.
    Anne, you’re on to something there – if someone had said this book is too hard for you, I’d have been on it. And Louisa, if my father or the school had banned a book, I’d have been on that so fast, stealth reading under the covers in the middle of the night…
    I love Sir Walter Scott and have read several of his – with the qualifier that he was not the best of writers or the best of historians. Some of his stuff is impossible to get through: convoluted language, zaftig sentence construction, clunky forced rhyme…and some of his history was off the wall. But the storytelling value is high, and I’ve found SWS enjoyable.
    Another like that is J. Fenimore Cooper. I did enjoy Last of the Mohicans but couldn’t force myself through anything else. If you’re interested in reading Cooper, read Mark Twain’s essay on JFC. It’s not only hilarious, it just bites into the truth.
    Love this discussion!! Very clearly what works for some does not work for others.
    One other point I think that helps determine a Read or Unread … time. Often I look at something with interest and it’s just time, or lack of, that keeps me from tackling a longer, slower read — or a longer, denser series.

    Reply
  113. Donna, you’re sending me straight back to Tolkein with that divine quote! I read Lord of the Rings in part — couldn’t finish the last one. I’ve always wanted to start over and go through them again, but so far, haven’t.
    Anne, you’re on to something there – if someone had said this book is too hard for you, I’d have been on it. And Louisa, if my father or the school had banned a book, I’d have been on that so fast, stealth reading under the covers in the middle of the night…
    I love Sir Walter Scott and have read several of his – with the qualifier that he was not the best of writers or the best of historians. Some of his stuff is impossible to get through: convoluted language, zaftig sentence construction, clunky forced rhyme…and some of his history was off the wall. But the storytelling value is high, and I’ve found SWS enjoyable.
    Another like that is J. Fenimore Cooper. I did enjoy Last of the Mohicans but couldn’t force myself through anything else. If you’re interested in reading Cooper, read Mark Twain’s essay on JFC. It’s not only hilarious, it just bites into the truth.
    Love this discussion!! Very clearly what works for some does not work for others.
    One other point I think that helps determine a Read or Unread … time. Often I look at something with interest and it’s just time, or lack of, that keeps me from tackling a longer, slower read — or a longer, denser series.

    Reply
  114. Donna, you’re sending me straight back to Tolkein with that divine quote! I read Lord of the Rings in part — couldn’t finish the last one. I’ve always wanted to start over and go through them again, but so far, haven’t.
    Anne, you’re on to something there – if someone had said this book is too hard for you, I’d have been on it. And Louisa, if my father or the school had banned a book, I’d have been on that so fast, stealth reading under the covers in the middle of the night…
    I love Sir Walter Scott and have read several of his – with the qualifier that he was not the best of writers or the best of historians. Some of his stuff is impossible to get through: convoluted language, zaftig sentence construction, clunky forced rhyme…and some of his history was off the wall. But the storytelling value is high, and I’ve found SWS enjoyable.
    Another like that is J. Fenimore Cooper. I did enjoy Last of the Mohicans but couldn’t force myself through anything else. If you’re interested in reading Cooper, read Mark Twain’s essay on JFC. It’s not only hilarious, it just bites into the truth.
    Love this discussion!! Very clearly what works for some does not work for others.
    One other point I think that helps determine a Read or Unread … time. Often I look at something with interest and it’s just time, or lack of, that keeps me from tackling a longer, slower read — or a longer, denser series.

    Reply
  115. Donna, you’re sending me straight back to Tolkein with that divine quote! I read Lord of the Rings in part — couldn’t finish the last one. I’ve always wanted to start over and go through them again, but so far, haven’t.
    Anne, you’re on to something there – if someone had said this book is too hard for you, I’d have been on it. And Louisa, if my father or the school had banned a book, I’d have been on that so fast, stealth reading under the covers in the middle of the night…
    I love Sir Walter Scott and have read several of his – with the qualifier that he was not the best of writers or the best of historians. Some of his stuff is impossible to get through: convoluted language, zaftig sentence construction, clunky forced rhyme…and some of his history was off the wall. But the storytelling value is high, and I’ve found SWS enjoyable.
    Another like that is J. Fenimore Cooper. I did enjoy Last of the Mohicans but couldn’t force myself through anything else. If you’re interested in reading Cooper, read Mark Twain’s essay on JFC. It’s not only hilarious, it just bites into the truth.
    Love this discussion!! Very clearly what works for some does not work for others.
    One other point I think that helps determine a Read or Unread … time. Often I look at something with interest and it’s just time, or lack of, that keeps me from tackling a longer, slower read — or a longer, denser series.

    Reply
  116. I read Lord of the Rings in late Jr. High and ate them up. I must have read the trilogy a dozen times that first year after I discovered it. I still can’t read the first sentence witout continueing. It’s a perennial favorite.
    I loved Northanger Abbey. It was really amusing, and much more an out and out satire than Austen’s other books. I remember having to read both The Monk and Mysteries in Udolpho in college. They were actually both riveting (and insane!) reads.

    Reply
  117. I read Lord of the Rings in late Jr. High and ate them up. I must have read the trilogy a dozen times that first year after I discovered it. I still can’t read the first sentence witout continueing. It’s a perennial favorite.
    I loved Northanger Abbey. It was really amusing, and much more an out and out satire than Austen’s other books. I remember having to read both The Monk and Mysteries in Udolpho in college. They were actually both riveting (and insane!) reads.

    Reply
  118. I read Lord of the Rings in late Jr. High and ate them up. I must have read the trilogy a dozen times that first year after I discovered it. I still can’t read the first sentence witout continueing. It’s a perennial favorite.
    I loved Northanger Abbey. It was really amusing, and much more an out and out satire than Austen’s other books. I remember having to read both The Monk and Mysteries in Udolpho in college. They were actually both riveting (and insane!) reads.

    Reply
  119. I read Lord of the Rings in late Jr. High and ate them up. I must have read the trilogy a dozen times that first year after I discovered it. I still can’t read the first sentence witout continueing. It’s a perennial favorite.
    I loved Northanger Abbey. It was really amusing, and much more an out and out satire than Austen’s other books. I remember having to read both The Monk and Mysteries in Udolpho in college. They were actually both riveting (and insane!) reads.

    Reply
  120. I read Lord of the Rings in late Jr. High and ate them up. I must have read the trilogy a dozen times that first year after I discovered it. I still can’t read the first sentence witout continueing. It’s a perennial favorite.
    I loved Northanger Abbey. It was really amusing, and much more an out and out satire than Austen’s other books. I remember having to read both The Monk and Mysteries in Udolpho in college. They were actually both riveting (and insane!) reads.

    Reply
  121. But I have not read Sir Walter Scott! I want to. I have Ivanhoe on audio. I plan to read one or two of his books someday.

    Reply
  122. But I have not read Sir Walter Scott! I want to. I have Ivanhoe on audio. I plan to read one or two of his books someday.

    Reply
  123. But I have not read Sir Walter Scott! I want to. I have Ivanhoe on audio. I plan to read one or two of his books someday.

    Reply
  124. But I have not read Sir Walter Scott! I want to. I have Ivanhoe on audio. I plan to read one or two of his books someday.

    Reply
  125. But I have not read Sir Walter Scott! I want to. I have Ivanhoe on audio. I plan to read one or two of his books someday.

    Reply
  126. Oh Susan, read Scott’s The Bride of the Lammermoor! It’s a great read. I didn’t read it until I won the role of Lucia in a performance of Lucia di Lammermoor, but I really enjoyed it. Tragically romantic and very Gothic.

    Reply
  127. Oh Susan, read Scott’s The Bride of the Lammermoor! It’s a great read. I didn’t read it until I won the role of Lucia in a performance of Lucia di Lammermoor, but I really enjoyed it. Tragically romantic and very Gothic.

    Reply
  128. Oh Susan, read Scott’s The Bride of the Lammermoor! It’s a great read. I didn’t read it until I won the role of Lucia in a performance of Lucia di Lammermoor, but I really enjoyed it. Tragically romantic and very Gothic.

    Reply
  129. Oh Susan, read Scott’s The Bride of the Lammermoor! It’s a great read. I didn’t read it until I won the role of Lucia in a performance of Lucia di Lammermoor, but I really enjoyed it. Tragically romantic and very Gothic.

    Reply
  130. Oh Susan, read Scott’s The Bride of the Lammermoor! It’s a great read. I didn’t read it until I won the role of Lucia in a performance of Lucia di Lammermoor, but I really enjoyed it. Tragically romantic and very Gothic.

    Reply
  131. With my head hiding beneath my wiing, I’ll confess to never having read Dickens. I bitterly resent that HS English teachers made me read Catcher in the Rye, Silas Marner, and the truly awful Lord of the Flies. I read only the Steinbeck I had to (Of Mice and Men. Ditto Hemingway (The Old Man and the Sea.) At least they were short. I could never picture myself reading War and Peace… until I was in graduate school and saw the Russian film version . Oh, boy! I went to the FSU bookstore and bought a copy of the book even through there was a hardcover edition 900 miles away at my house in Baltimore. I read almsot everything. (Full disclosure: skipped the battles). Never could answer how Andrei could be so stupid as to destory his life over a kiss. Also, when I was younger, I was never exposed to A.A. Milne, Sendak, or even Dr. Seuss. I was given Little Woomen at age 10-,and spent a great deal of time in my room rewriting it. And becasue I never managed to glom onto the traditional kids books, I discovered fairy tales and mythology, which I devoured whole! It was duriing this reading fest that I lost my heart to the great fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. Sigh…BTW, as regards historical romance, I’ve never read Dunnett, read only Austen’s P&P, Jane Eyre, not WH, loved The Scarlet Pimpernel, and also Ssabatini’s Scaramouche. This was a very fun thread!

    Reply
  132. With my head hiding beneath my wiing, I’ll confess to never having read Dickens. I bitterly resent that HS English teachers made me read Catcher in the Rye, Silas Marner, and the truly awful Lord of the Flies. I read only the Steinbeck I had to (Of Mice and Men. Ditto Hemingway (The Old Man and the Sea.) At least they were short. I could never picture myself reading War and Peace… until I was in graduate school and saw the Russian film version . Oh, boy! I went to the FSU bookstore and bought a copy of the book even through there was a hardcover edition 900 miles away at my house in Baltimore. I read almsot everything. (Full disclosure: skipped the battles). Never could answer how Andrei could be so stupid as to destory his life over a kiss. Also, when I was younger, I was never exposed to A.A. Milne, Sendak, or even Dr. Seuss. I was given Little Woomen at age 10-,and spent a great deal of time in my room rewriting it. And becasue I never managed to glom onto the traditional kids books, I discovered fairy tales and mythology, which I devoured whole! It was duriing this reading fest that I lost my heart to the great fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. Sigh…BTW, as regards historical romance, I’ve never read Dunnett, read only Austen’s P&P, Jane Eyre, not WH, loved The Scarlet Pimpernel, and also Ssabatini’s Scaramouche. This was a very fun thread!

    Reply
  133. With my head hiding beneath my wiing, I’ll confess to never having read Dickens. I bitterly resent that HS English teachers made me read Catcher in the Rye, Silas Marner, and the truly awful Lord of the Flies. I read only the Steinbeck I had to (Of Mice and Men. Ditto Hemingway (The Old Man and the Sea.) At least they were short. I could never picture myself reading War and Peace… until I was in graduate school and saw the Russian film version . Oh, boy! I went to the FSU bookstore and bought a copy of the book even through there was a hardcover edition 900 miles away at my house in Baltimore. I read almsot everything. (Full disclosure: skipped the battles). Never could answer how Andrei could be so stupid as to destory his life over a kiss. Also, when I was younger, I was never exposed to A.A. Milne, Sendak, or even Dr. Seuss. I was given Little Woomen at age 10-,and spent a great deal of time in my room rewriting it. And becasue I never managed to glom onto the traditional kids books, I discovered fairy tales and mythology, which I devoured whole! It was duriing this reading fest that I lost my heart to the great fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. Sigh…BTW, as regards historical romance, I’ve never read Dunnett, read only Austen’s P&P, Jane Eyre, not WH, loved The Scarlet Pimpernel, and also Ssabatini’s Scaramouche. This was a very fun thread!

    Reply
  134. With my head hiding beneath my wiing, I’ll confess to never having read Dickens. I bitterly resent that HS English teachers made me read Catcher in the Rye, Silas Marner, and the truly awful Lord of the Flies. I read only the Steinbeck I had to (Of Mice and Men. Ditto Hemingway (The Old Man and the Sea.) At least they were short. I could never picture myself reading War and Peace… until I was in graduate school and saw the Russian film version . Oh, boy! I went to the FSU bookstore and bought a copy of the book even through there was a hardcover edition 900 miles away at my house in Baltimore. I read almsot everything. (Full disclosure: skipped the battles). Never could answer how Andrei could be so stupid as to destory his life over a kiss. Also, when I was younger, I was never exposed to A.A. Milne, Sendak, or even Dr. Seuss. I was given Little Woomen at age 10-,and spent a great deal of time in my room rewriting it. And becasue I never managed to glom onto the traditional kids books, I discovered fairy tales and mythology, which I devoured whole! It was duriing this reading fest that I lost my heart to the great fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. Sigh…BTW, as regards historical romance, I’ve never read Dunnett, read only Austen’s P&P, Jane Eyre, not WH, loved The Scarlet Pimpernel, and also Ssabatini’s Scaramouche. This was a very fun thread!

    Reply
  135. With my head hiding beneath my wiing, I’ll confess to never having read Dickens. I bitterly resent that HS English teachers made me read Catcher in the Rye, Silas Marner, and the truly awful Lord of the Flies. I read only the Steinbeck I had to (Of Mice and Men. Ditto Hemingway (The Old Man and the Sea.) At least they were short. I could never picture myself reading War and Peace… until I was in graduate school and saw the Russian film version . Oh, boy! I went to the FSU bookstore and bought a copy of the book even through there was a hardcover edition 900 miles away at my house in Baltimore. I read almsot everything. (Full disclosure: skipped the battles). Never could answer how Andrei could be so stupid as to destory his life over a kiss. Also, when I was younger, I was never exposed to A.A. Milne, Sendak, or even Dr. Seuss. I was given Little Woomen at age 10-,and spent a great deal of time in my room rewriting it. And becasue I never managed to glom onto the traditional kids books, I discovered fairy tales and mythology, which I devoured whole! It was duriing this reading fest that I lost my heart to the great fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. Sigh…BTW, as regards historical romance, I’ve never read Dunnett, read only Austen’s P&P, Jane Eyre, not WH, loved The Scarlet Pimpernel, and also Ssabatini’s Scaramouche. This was a very fun thread!

    Reply

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