April 17: Top Ten Books I’ve Lied About Reading
Everybody does it; I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, or what you’re doing with your life, everybody has lied about having read one book or other. You might have said you’ve read James Joyce’s Ulysses, William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, or Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, I guarantee you’ve lied about having read something at some time in your life. I happen to be incredibly guilty of this crime, especially where classics and “required” school reading are concerned. Berate me at your will.
Never even started to read
1. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
For part of my A Level English Language and Literature coursework, I had to write a fiction piece based on Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, and interject as many relevant sources as possible, this one included. Suffice to say I purchased the book but never read it.
2. The Woman In Black by Susan Hill
With my GCSE English Literature exam text having been written by this author, I (and my teacher) thought it would be beneficial to read more widely by her. I didn’t, but SparkNotes is a wonderful thing.
3. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
Why this was recommended reading on my A Level syllabus I still do not know, but what I do know is that I have never found out.
4. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
This book that was on my recommended reading at A Level (for reasons that I have yet to discover) that I have since decided I actually want to read, especially since it was recently televised (I have it recorded for post-reading).
Started reading and cast aside/haven’t finished
5. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Another A Level dystopian (recommended in conjunction with The Road); I am now currently reading this as a likely text for my MA English dissertation.
6. The Machine Stops by E.M Forster
Given that this is only a novella, you’d have thought that I’d actually have read it (as I claimed to have done for A Level). The simple fact that it appears on this list is proof otherwise.
7. I’m The King of the Castle by Susan Hill
This was my GCSE English Literature exam text, and I never read it. I think I read about the first 50-100 pages but found it so incredibly dull (and my teacher was so boring) that I simply never had the desire to finish it. I still bossed my exam though.
8. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
I read the majority of the short stories in this anthology, but I never finished it. As the compulsory text for my AS English Language and Literature exam, I only had to discuss a couple of tales, and as such I never finished it.
Lied about having read, but eventually did read
9. 1984 by George Orwell
This classic was also recommended alongside my compulsory A Level text: I did begin reading this particular one at the time (only about 25 pages, mind you), but until this month I never finished it.
10. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
We “read” this at primary school in our group reading, but I soon grew bored and gave up. Cue another few attempts over the years, but I finally read it last year (and realised why I never had finished it before).
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