The 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.
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:
I’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 why—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 right—these are friends, with similar tastes to mine— 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:
I 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?