Skip to comments.The Top Ten Books People Lie About Reading
Posted on 02/03/2014 2:13:32 PM PST by jocon307
Have you ever lied about reading a book? Maybe you didnt want to seem stupid in front of someone you respected. Maybe you rationalized it by reasoning that you had a familiarity with the book, or knew who the author was, or what the story was about, or had glanced at its Wikipedia page. Or maybe you had tried to read the book, even bought it and set it by your bed for months unopened, hoping that it would impart what was in it merely via proximity (if that worked, please email me).
(Excerpt) Read more at thefederalist.com ...
I haven't lied about reading books, but the one I could never get through was Jane Austen's "Emma", I even made it through Gravity's Rainbow eventually, but not Emma!
I read this article - /Lying mode off
I finished “Emma,” finally, after seeing the movie. And I like Jane Austen, even.
I’ve read three or four of the books on the list, mostly for high school or college classes. I’ve never lied about reading the ones I didn’t read. However, I lied about making it all the way through Mahan’s “The Influence of Sea Power Upon History.”
Didn’t read the article:
Any of “The Russians “
Ha, me too. I learned way more about whale penises than I cared to know.
I read 2 of them. I have no problem saying I didn’t read the other 8.
I wrote a book report on Moby Dick from the Classics comic book version of Melville’s story. Got a B. Assigning that novel to a 12 year old is child abuse, IMHO.
I tried reading Ulysses, but found the style just too distracting.
A big ol’ tip of the hat for finishing Gravity’s Rainbow.
I tried way back when, 1975, IIRC and never could make heads or tails of it.
GR Reminded me of the ending to Mad Magazines 2001 parody.
“How to write an incomprehensible science fiction book and gross millions of dollars”
Numbers 8 and 5.... I have not read on that list .... :o)
Honest...... Stay safe !
I think that is one that everyone DID read back in the 70s when it came out. And "Johnathan Livingston Seagull". And of course "Love Story".
I know I really should. And at times my intentions have been really good.
But then I look at all 839 pages and 3 1/2 pounds of it sitting on the coffee table....and I just can’t.
839 pages and 3 1/2 pounds
“4. Moby Dick, Herman Melville: If you havent managed this one yet, consider that William F. Buckley, Jr. did not actually read this until he was 50, remarking then to friends: To think I might have died without having read it.”
Well, to paraphrase Buckley: “I wish I had died without reading it...”
Like many ‘classic’ books, it is best viewed on YouTube, or reviewed in Wiki.
I never read “Democracy in America” but last year I did read a biography of Tocqueville with an emphasis on his American trip. Fascinating life.
Have read: 10, 7, and 3. Read some of 6 and 5, but did not finish them.
Ulysses is the only one I didn’t read. Just can’t get past the first 50 pages.
Wow! I loved “Gravity’s Rainbow!” I’ve read it twice.
“The novel shared the 1974 U.S. National Book Award for Fiction with A Crown of Feathers and Other Stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer. Although selected by the Pulitzer Prize jury on fiction for the 1974 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, a single passage involving coprophilia offended the other members of the Pulitzer board, who rejected the selection. No Pulitzer Prize was awarded for fiction that year. The novel was nominated for the 1973 Nebula Award for Best Novel.
TIME named the novel one of its “All-Time 100 Greatest Novels”, a list of the best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005 and it is considered by some critics to be one of the greatest American novels ever written.[”
The author missed a book! The number one unread book that people lie about is the Bible!
I’ve read Moby Dick, Les Miserables (three or four times), A Tale of Two Cities, 1984. None of the others on the list. Others that people have lied about I would guess is The Inferno (I’ve read the entire Divine Comedy) and Paradise Lost - all read. I’ve read Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Mansfield Park. I hated Mansfield Park and it may have cured me of Jane Austin. I’ve read all the Shakespeare tragedies and several comedies. I haven’t read the histories for some reason. Mr. Mercat and I were at Max McLean’s production of C.S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce. Afterwards Max came out and asked who had never read the book. Lots of hands went up. Then he asked who had read part of it (its quite short) and a bunch more hands went up. Then he asked for those who had read the whole thing to raise their hands. About 10 hands went up and this was in a very large theater filled to capacity. I was hoping he’s ask for more than once since I’ve read it three times. I feel like Herminie Granger.
The only one I’ve lied about was Moby Dick. And I had to lie about that for a high school English class.
But I don’t think the teacher was fooled.
Ditto. I read 1984 and Atlas Shrugged (note the screen name ;-). Have not read the rest.
(...every and I mean every female novel authoresses)
I did read most the Brothers Karamazoff. I hated it and by the end I wanted them all to die a gruesome death. I skipped a bit to the end and as I recall, they did.
You should try it. It’s a pretty easy read despite the length. I would like to find the 800+ page version as mine is 1100 :-)
I can’t even recall how many times I’ve taken Democracy in America with me on a trip with every intention of reading it. Maybe one day I actually will...
I think its supposed to be read out loud, in a bar, while you’re drinking. At least that’s what my son said.
10. Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand (Own it, paperback)
7. 1984, George Orwell (Own it, paperback)
5. The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith: (Own it, Hardback)
3. The Art of War, Sun Tzu: (Own it, Hardback)
I have read at least once:
9. On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin:(Own it Kindle Version and Hardback)
8. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens (Own it, Kindle Version)
4. Moby Dick, Herman Melville:(Own it, Kindle Version)
2. The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli (Own it, Kindle Version)
I have never read:
6. Democracy in America, Alexis De Tocqueville: Though in the paragraph after it mentions also The Federalist Papers, And The Constitution which I have read multiple times and own several different editions as well as "The Anti-Federalist Papers.
1. Ulysses, James Joyce: And after reading the first few pages have no interest in it whatsoever...
On Kindle, it weighs the same as a comic book. :)
“I read 2 of them. I have no problem saying I didnt read the other 8.”
Same here. I’ve only read Tale of Two Cities and 1984.
Sorry, only one dies. And he was the one that might not even have been a brother....
“....I wanted them all to die a gruesome death. I skipped a bit to the end and as I recall, they did.”
LOL, I love it when a book lives up to your expectations!
10. Atlas Shrugged — I made it about a third of the way through before I set the book down and it got lost.
9. On the Origin of Species — Haven’t read it, don’t particularly want to.
8. Les Miserables / A Tale of Two Cities — I think I read the condensed/children’s versions when I was a kid.
7. 1984 — Read it, depressing end.
6. Democracy in America, The Federalist Papers, and The Constitution — unread, partial, read.
5. The Wealth of Nations — Unread.
4. Moby Dick — Read it.
3. The Art of War, Sun Tzu — [partially-]Read
2. The Prince — Unread
1. Ulysses — Unread
Interesting. I haven’t read Ulysses yet - I have the book on my shelf and occasionally consider picking it up to read, but haven’t yet done so. I did read Atlas Shrugged (twice), the second time out loud for the Freeper Book Club so my wife and I could read it at the same time. That did in fact make a big difference in my comprehension/memory of it. Maybe I’ll try that with Ulysses.
BTW - I also read 1984, Moby Dick, and The Prince. This list makes it look like I’ve been delinquent in my reading! :-)
Read “Paradise Lost.” It was a struggle though. Read the old English one that was made into an entertaining movie, but the name escapes me now. Also read a ponderous parody of for a paper in high school. Don’t recall it’s name either, but it was 50 years ago,,,,,, and I’m happy to forget about it! Fielding??????
I have Spengler’s volumes of “Decline of The West” in one of my bookcases, but never managed to make a dent into it! Having to constantly get out the dictionary,,,, well,,,, you know what I mean, But my favorite is still “Gravity’s Rainbow.”
Funny - just downloaded free Kindle edition of “Democracy in America” today. Let’s get to it!
It is a wonderful book and if read, you will be confused as to why being called an Uncle Tom is an insult rather than praise. Most of my government minority students in college claim to know why Uncle Tom is an insult whereas when challenged to explain ‘why,’ it becomes clear rather quickly they have not read the book.
Rand sure did want to make sure people got the point so every character gets a bit preachy. General rule of thumb is if a character has a speech that goes on longer than a page, skip the next 10. You won’t miss any plot.
I’ve read #3 and #10.
After reading, “That Every Man Be Armed,” by Stephen P Halbrook and loving some of the awesome quotes about armed citizenry in that, I’ll be reading me some Machiavelli and Cesare Beccaria next.
False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that it has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are of such a nature. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
Try the audiobook. I love listening to them while at work.
I don't know about Machiavelli. If everything else he wrote contradicts The Prince then so much the worse for everything else he wrote. If he intended to make the opposite point of all he wrote in the book, then obviously, he failed.
I guess I should list the books (they are listed 10-1, don’t know if that’s a meaningful ranking or not):
10. “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand
9. “On the Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin
8. “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo and
“A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens
7. “1984” by George Orwell
6. “Democracy in America” by Alexis De Tocqueville
5. “The Wealth of Nations” by Adam Smith
4. “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville
3. “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu
2. “The Prince” by Niccolo Machiavelli
1. “Ulysses” by James Joyce
I’ve read the list. I’ve also read War and Peace, in Russian, all 3 pounds of it. I’ve read The Rise and Fall of The Roman Empire. Browning’s poems; Service’s poems (more to my dark taste than that of Frost, whom I’ve also read); Carl Sandburg’s works; Mark Twain’s works; Shakespeare, Chaucer, Dickens, and Orwell; Huxley; Aristotle, Socrates and Pythagorus; writs of Stoicism, Epicureanism, and the follies of Bacchus; Roman philosophers and Euclid; a few writings of Madame Blovetsky, Crowley, Gardner and Buckland, mixed with Mather and Whitefield; Hammett, Spillane, Chandler, and Poe. To ensure that my American Spirit stays true to Freedom, I have read ‘Das Kapital’ and ‘Mein Kampf’, and paid attention to the speeches given by a certain Premier Kruschchev, when he endangered me and my fellow Americans.
I first read 1984 in high school and did not really understand it then. I've read it again a few times since then. Each time I read it I am more impressed.
A Tale of Two Cities requires a knowledge of the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror to understand. It is an interesting period in history. Les Miserables is not about the French Revolution but rather a later time in France.
The Prince is interesting if you understand that period in the history of Florence and Italy. It is dedicated to Lorenzo de Medici and was Machiavelli's unsuccessful attempt to gain the patronage of the Medicis.
I doubt anyone except a very rare few have actually read Origin of the Species or Ulysses. The Wealth of Nations is an important work because of a few of the principles that are learned in economics. I don't think you need to read the entire book.
I’m totally maxed out on Les Miserables. I read it two or three times in the unabridged but I have an amazing ability to skip over passages in books that I find boring so I listened to it on audiobooks when it finally came out. I had to listen to every word of Hugo’s socialist BS and it so bogged down the story that I was fed up with it by the time I finished. The sewer parts are awesome though and I totally love the Archbishop. Watch the latest movie. The archbishop is played by the man who created the role of Jean ValJean in the original stage play.
Lots more people would take literature courses if they consisted of reading aloud in a bar. :-))
I had a pocket book edition. Started it around 3-4 times. That was about it.