Saturday, June 19, 2010

Books I Haven't Read

Isn't it funny to see a "no books allowed" symbol on this blog? I had fun seeking that out.

I loved Iliana's "Nope, I haven't read that" post, which she wrote after reading Stefanie's post about books it seems like everyone else has read. So, I decided to snitch the idea and write one of my own posts about books it seems like everyone has read that I haven't.

Books I haven't read . . . and why:

1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - I avoided this book, early on, because I thought it was a mystery and I just don't enjoy mysteries, anymore, although I'll occasionally read one that sounds interesting. I've continued to avoid it because I've seen the word "brutal" used as a description of treatment of the heroine. I'm not sure whether I'll read it or not, but at this point I'm in no hurry.

2. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - I don't know what it is about the description of this book that puts me off, but I've toyed with reading it simply because a few friends liked it and in the end I always end up thinking . . . Nah, still not interested.

3. The Road by Cormac McCarthy - I love post-apocalyptic books, but I've heard so many people say The Road was "the most depressing book" they've ever read that I've removed it from my wish list. Then, I waffled -- added it back to my list and then took it back off. In the end, it was a comment that one person couldn't get "those awful images" out of her head that convinced me both book and movie are worth avoiding.

4. The Help by Kathryn Stockett - Last year's runaway summer hit did pique my interest but I haven't read it. I also haven't yet read Mudbound by Hillary Jordan. I have acquired copies of both via Paperback Swap and I do plan to read them.

5. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - No interest, whatsoever. I don't plan to ever read it.

6. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell - Oh, man. It's so wrong that I haven't managed to read Gone with the Wind. I love the movie; I live in the Deep South. I really want to read this book. I've made three failed attempts, but the first time I was in college and just too busy to concentrate, the next time I tried to read while I had small children running around, and the third time I attempted to read it while I was working in a bookstore. I have a feeling that when I do eventually read it I will need to avoid other books and simply allow myself to be immersed in the reading, like I did with The Passage.

7. The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown -I actually own a copy of the illustrated version (a library sale find -- it cost a quarter). I thought it might be interesting to look at the photos, but I just can't stir up any interest in reading the story. I have, however, read Angels & Demons. It didn't thrill me. I'm not tempted to read another of his novels.

8. Anything at all by Margaret Atwood, although I have several books on my shelves: The Handmaid's Tale, Oryx & Crake, The Blind Assassin and Alias Grace. Someday, I'll read Margaret Atwood.

9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - One of those books I missed out on because I took journalism rather than English (partly to avoid more high school grammar -- I got so sick of grammar). I've attempted it once and didn't get far. I have, however, read Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise and was impressed, so I plan to give The Great Gatsby another go.

10. Most everything Oprah has ever recommended - I've read a total of 3 Oprah recommendations: The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve, Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts and A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I read them because they were recommended to me by people I trust, not because of Oprah.

I'd love to see this meme-like post passed around a bit. Please tell me if you decide to post about what you haven't read, as well!


  1. Love this meme and this post! Completely agree with you on The Lovely Bones (and many of these, except Water for Elephants :)

  2. Melissa,

    I didn't say this, but I think my dearly departed mother also has something to do with my avoidance of Water for Elephants. It was one of the last books she read and she didn't like it. I know a lot of people who enjoyed the story, though, so it's definitely one I've given plenty of thought!

  3. I haven't read several of those on your list either! But, I do recommend Atwood. Oh man, just brilliant. I loved The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo but there are some brutal scenes. So, definitely take that into consideration.

    I remember for the longest time I actually avoided all the Oprah books. They all seemed so depressing! I've read quite a few, some I've loved and some not so much.

    Thanks for playing along!

  4. I have a problem with starting Atwood! i dont even know why

  5. Iliana,

    I keep telling myself, "This will be the year I read Margaret Atwood," and then those years just rush on past. She's on the mental agenda, for sure.

    Yep, "brutal" is the word that's keeping me away from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Thanks for confirming that. I used to have no problem with violence in books, but then at some point I realized I couldn't stand it, anymore. Now, I lean toward reading "sweetness and light", as much as possible. It makes me happier. I do read war books, though. That probably gives me my fill of brutality and then some.

    That is exactly the reason I avoided Oprah books. And, actually, The Pilot's Wife is kind of depressing. But, I'll read a book she's recommended if it interests me enough. I don't have a particular prejudice against her choices, these days.

    Thanks for the idea!!


    I know! Weird, isn't it? I think in my case it's at least a little bit fear. Margaret Atwood is so universally admired that she terrifies me just a little bit. LOL

  6. sorry...need to post again to subscribe to comments

  7. I'm just now reading finishing up The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo which I read b/c my book club chose it. I didn't manage to finish in time for the meeting which I regret, because there is a lot in this book I'd like to discuss. It IS a mystery and there is a lot of brutality towards women in it and I have mixed feelings about that.

    I read Gone with the Wind this year and loved it so much, it has skyrocketed onto my list of favorite books I couldn't believe such a huge book could be so addicting and it's masterfully written.

    I hated The Lovely Bones, so I recommend you continue to stay away from it. ;)

    I haven't read many of the others you mention. I did watch the film The Road and found it disturbing, but not without hope.

    This is a super fun post, and I may steal the idea. ;)

  8. What a wonderful meme-thingy! I love it! I might have to do a post like this in a couple weeks. :)

    To respond to your books:
    1) I hear it's super violent, so I avoid it too.
    2) Sounds faddish, have also avoided it.
    3) Tried to read it, stopped 30 pages in, realized I was bored & only reading to pass the time. Never went back.
    4) Never been interested in it at all.
    5) Same.
    6) Haven't even seen the movie...I feel so ashamed.
    7) I also read Angels & Demons and was less than impressed. Have never bothered with another of his books.
    8) I read The Handmaid's Tale 2 years ago but it didn't impress me much.
    9) Somehow I missed out on Fitzgerald in school too! But I do plan to try him sometime.
    10) I never know what Oprah has recommended! Sometimes I find out I've read one of her recommended reas (like The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck) after I've read the book...

  9. Your list is frighteningly close to mine, with a couple of exceptions. I've read and loved Gone With the Wind, Water for Elephants, and The Help. I read The Da Vinci Code and liked it. I do think I want to read The Girl With book...maybe. Attempted (and had an epic fail) with The Great Gatsby back in high school...maybe I'd feel differently today. There is NOTHING that will make me touch The Road or The Lovely Bones. Just don't do those depressing types of books...thus the lack of Oprah tales on my lists. Great idea for a post, btw.

  10. Amy,

    It IS a mystery? OK, that makes things easy! I'd heard "thriller" but I'm really not sure I fully understand the difference between thrillers and mysteries, apart from maybe a bit more tension.

    I really, really, really need to read Gone With the Wind. Really.

    "Disturbing but not without hope" sounds positive. I don't think I'll rush to read The Road, but you're giving me second thoughts. Thank you for your opinion!

    You should definitely steal this post. It's already proven itself worthy of theft, at least twice. ;)


    I feel a little relieved after reading your list of responses to each. I do want to read The Help -- I'm not even certain why, although maybe it has to do with the fact that certain people I trust implicity enjoyed it -- but I can't say I'm in any hurry.

    I have a copy of The Good Earth. For some reason, Oprah's opinion of whether or not I should read specific classics has no meaning to me, whatsoever. I'm just too bent on the opinions of readers I know and respect -- particularly those I think of as my "reading twins", who have similar taste.

    I thought of another book I've avoided that it seems like everyone else has read, when I was at Chris's blog: In Cold Blood. NOT interested. But, I do plan to read Breakfast at Tiffany's.


    MUST read Gone With the Wind. I feel so bad about that one. I'm thinking I should just set aside a week or two and stop blogging, this fall, just to make myself take the time to read it.

    What did you think of The Help? I don't recall you mentioning that one, but you might be one of the reasons I ordered a copy.

    Yep, same here on depressing books. I have waffled a lot about The Road, though, simply because I love post-apocalyptic tales. And, I've read some pretty depressing ones. Actually, come to think of it, I do prefer them to contain a ray of hope. Amy mentioned The Road is "not without hope", so that's a positive. That's definitely why I avoided Oprah books when they were all the rage.

  11. Love reading these lists! Here are my thoughts on the ones you included:

    1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - I haven't read it, though I do plan to try it on audio, knowing that if the brutality is too much, I'll set it aside.

    2. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - I love this book! LOL

    3. The Road by Cormac McCarthy - This is a depressing book, but also a beautifully written one.

    4. The Help by Kathryn Stockett - Haven't read it yet, but definitely plan to before the movie comes out.

    5. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - I know I couldn't handle this one, so I've stayed away from it.

    6. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell - I hate this movie, so doubt I'll ever be tempted to pick up the book.

    7. The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown - Not tempted by this one, although I did see the movie.

    8. Anything at all by Margaret Atwood, although I have several books on my shelves: I read and enjoyed The Handmaid's Tale years ago in college, but nothing else by Atwood so far.

    9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - I know that many people will consider this comment total sacrilege, but I think this is one of the most over-rated novels considered an American classic. I didn't like it.

    10. Most everything Oprah has ever recommended - I've read a few, but not because of her. :)

  12. Carrie,

    I know! Aren't lists of books crazy fun to read? :)

    Between you and Amy, I'm slowly warming back up to the possibility of reading The Road. Sigh. I just can't make up my mind about that one.

    I didn't know there's a movie version of The Help coming out! I never do rush to the movies, though, so there's no hurry getting to the book. I'll read it when it calls to me. :)

    Lots of people dislike The Great Gatsby. I don't think it's a sacrilege to have taste. However . . . Gone With the Wind. Hmm. I just love that movie. You're coming close to sacrilege with that comment. LOL

    Thanks for your responses! That was just as fun as reading the original posts!!

  13. I got halfway through The Davinci Code and wanted to barf because it was so bad so I kinda stopped :p As for The Great Gatsby, I HATE that book!!! But I love the copy that you sent me because I've always loved that cover! And now I actually have it. I do so love my classic covers. I think my problem was that I was forced to read it in High School and it wasn't a good year for me and I really disliked Gatsby and I don't know...Fitzgerald just didn't work for me. I did the exact same thing as you with The Road...on the wishlist off the wishlist on the wishlist and I think it's staying off now :p In fact, I actually bought that one and then put it up on paperback swap, lol.

    As for Oprah's books...what I've read that she just happened to recommend, I've actually liked a lot! But I would NEVER read a book just because she recommended it!! You know...I just may do this too!

  14. Chris,

    That certainly settles it; I really dislike barfing, so there's no sense taking the chance on DaVinci. :)

    I don't know what my problem was with Gatsby, but I didn't get far at all. It just didn't work for me. I still do plan to give it another try, but I'm well aware that it tends to get a strong reaction, one way or another. You may have had a bad year, but a strangely large number had a coincidentally bad year when they read it, in that case. LOL I'm glad you like the cover of that book. When I saw it at the library, I thought it looked very much up your alley. Somewhere, I saw a set of frames designed specifically for paperbacks that size. Wouldn't that be perfect -- to frame it (but not read it again)?

    Funny that you also have waffled about reading The Road. I suppose I should be happy that I didn't go so far as to buy it before one of my many changes of mind.

    Yep, I put no stock in Oprah's choices based on her recommendation, but that doesn't stop me from reading an Oprah book if it appeals to me or a trusted friend recommends it. Funny. I think she appeals more to people who aren't regular readers, actually, although I might be off base.

    You should definitely carry on this post! I'd love to read about some books you haven't gotten around to or which don't pique your interest!!

  15. What a great list!
    1 - I haven't read it either, though probably will eventually.
    2 - Loved this book :)
    3 - I haven't read this either, though my roommate loved it.
    4 - Nope, haven't read either of these books, and not really interested in The Help. Too much hype I think.
    5 - Ick. Read it based on co-workers recommendation. Did NOT enjoy.
    6 - Really and truly love this book. I first read it when I was 12 or so and have read it almost yearly since. I also love Scarlett, which is a sequel.
    7 - Read it, but meh.
    8 - I recently read and loved The Handmaid's Tale so am planning on reading more eventually.
    9 - Bleh. Read it, did not enjoy.
    10 - Ugh, yes yes yes. I've also read a few Oprah recommendations but I seem to never enjoy them. I find they are always just super depressing.

  16. 1. violent, but I liked it
    2. liked it
    3. read, but didn't really like it
    4. probably won't read
    5. definitely won't read
    6. read and love it (years ago)
    7. read it and enjoyed it
    8. have liked some, disliked others
    9. read it
    10. have read a few of Oprah's rec's, mostly depressing

  17. Warning - long comment ahead ;-)

    I This is awesome - what a fabulous post. I'm planning to steal it and work up one of my own. Can I streal your no books image too, because that's perfect??

    I totally agree about The Road and The Lovely Bones for the exact same reasons.

    As for Gone With the Wind - I'd read it 3 times before I ever saw the movie and I think that's why I don't like the movie.

    Atwood - I've read two, liked them, but they're odd and work to read so it'll probably be a long time before I pick up another.

    I haven't read Dragon Tattoo yet, but it was because I was waiting for all 3 to be available. You know I read plenty of books that are too brutal to pass "The Bookfool Test" ;-) but I do make an effort to warn you.

    The Help I'll read eventually (when it's not on any unread post in my feed reader)

    If I have happened to read an Oprah recommended book (there are very few), I've made sure I bought the edition that did NOT have her name on the cover.

  18. Amy,

    The hype is really the main reason I've put off reading The Help, even after deciding it sounded interesting. I'm trying to gradually go back to my old reading method - ignoring a lot of new releases in favor of whatever calls to me (preferably off my own shelves). That'll make some of these choices easier! :)

    It sounds like the only book people are really bristling at my resistance to is Water for Elephants. I could have had a copy, but I left my mother's copy in Oklahoma. At the time she died I couldn't stand to look at it and my sister is not a reader, so I knew she'd give it away.

    I used to have a copy of Scarlett. I'm not sure if I kept it, though. I have a tendency to move my books around frequently and if I don't read them right away, some end up getting donated or boxed up for later. I really need to move. It would force me to go through all of my books and figure out exactly what's there.

    Thanks for your responses! It's fun seeing which of those books my blog friends have read!


    I've probably read your review of #1. I'm not a mystery fan, but every now and then you talk me into adding something mysterious to my wish list. If you mentioned the brutality, you're likely one of the reasons I've avoided it!

    There was a time I desperately wanted to read The DaVinci Code, but for some reason I had it in my head that it wasn't worth spending $6 to buy a copy. It took forever for the illustrated edition to show up in the library sale and by then I'd read Angels and Demons. I liked it but it was too violent and the ending was so silly that it just left me feelng like I could do without more Brown. Maybe someday I'll change my mind, but I doubt it. :)

    Oprah's choices seem to be universally considered depressing. I'm glad I'm not the only person who came to that conclusion!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, too! I'm really enjoying the response to this post.

  19. SuziQ,

    All the comments on this post are long! I'm enjoying reading them all. :)

    Sure, steal away. I didn't create that no-books symbol, but I couldn't figure out who to credit. It wasn't apparently original to the site from which I snagged it.

    I sat through all three hours of Gone With the Wind when I was about junior high age and it was re-released in theaters, with my mother and sister. That probably has a lot to do with my love of the movie - seeing it on the big screen without having read the book, Clark Gable in full color. Yep, I can understand how the opposite would be disappointing. What little I've read seemed far removed from the film version.

    That is exactly the kind of comment that I assume has made me fear Atwood! I'm lazy. "Hard work" is something I only occasionally insert into my reading. Disappointing, but true.

    Oh, yes, I know you'll warn me if Dragon Tattoo doesn't pass "The Bookfool Test". (snicker) One more reason to love ya. :)

    With a movie coming out, it'll probably take me longer to read The Help. Sounds like you and I think a lot alike. I was fortunate to read The Passage just before its release. I think otherwise, I'd have avoided it. The movie rights have already been sold -- the fervor definitely would have put me off.

    I don't think any of my books have an Oprah symbol. I really loved Jonathan Franzen's determination not to allow that symbol on his book. That took guts.

  20. This is a great post. I like seeing all the different thoughts on some of the main books being talked about.

    A coworker recommended Water for Elephants but it is not a Brittanie book. I listened to the first three cds of the audio book The Help before I had to return it to the library but it was good. I want to read the paper copy one day. The only Oprah books I read were for the summer of Faulkner she did. Her books are not something I would normally read anyway. I have read The Great Gatsby and Gone With the Wind several times. I can't say I love the Great Gatsby but it is one of those books. I did not like GWTW movie because I loved the book and it did not follow it exactly. lol I read Scarlett the sequel written by a different author and liked it. I have never read Atwood but I have heard good things about the Handmaiden's tale. I have no desire to read The Road, Lovely Bones, or Dan Brown's books. The Girl is on my maybe list. I am on the list at the library. :)

    I have been reading a lot of Christian historical fiction books lately because of blog tours. I am getting a little tired with them but most of them are good. Do you still like them?

  21. Brittanie,

    Isn't it fun? I should steal more often. LOL

    I like the way you put that: "Not a Brittanie book." That's why I don't necessarily feel bad about choosing not to read certain books everyone else has read -- not every book is for every reader.

    Sounds like everyone agrees with you on GWTW -- if you've read the book first, the movie is not good. I do love that movie, but it's good to know the book is quite different. I guess it would have to be, as thick as it is!

    I still like Christian historical fiction, but I'm a person who craves variety and I try to avoid reading too much of any particular genre or subgenre. I've discovered that if I overindulge in a particular type of book, I'll eventually burn out (like I did with mysteries -- I'll read a few per year, maximum; I burned out so thoroughly that it took me years to even get back to that much). So, I still read it, but like everything else . . . it's just a "now and then" thing.

    Sounds like it's time for you to take a break from Christian Historical Fiction. Sometimes you just have to do that. :)

  22. I'm rather amazed that I've actually read most of the books on your list. Huh. And do try Atwood; she's just good.

    My love for Water for Elephants is the dignity she gives to the old guy - I just fell in love with him. (Most of the story is his life/memories.) Since I work in the nursing home, I really enjoyed this setup.

    I recently read somewhere that the audio of The Great Gatsby sold somebody on it because the voice/reader was just so darn good and got the feeling of the words just right. But I don't recall my thoughts on the book - too long ago.

  23. You dodged a bullet with The Road, that much I'll tell you, ha. :) I couldn't stand that book.

    Girl With the Dragon Tattoo I really didn't consider all that violent, but perhaps I'm more jaded than I think I am. In retrospect, as much as I loved The Passage, the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (and it's successor) was far, far better.

    I wasn't a big mystery/thriller person either before that book, but it also led me to some other fantastic Scandinavian authors which has been a lot of fun.

    Loved your list, by the way, and any time you want to get started on Gone With the Wind, let me know and I'll be happy to read along with you (for the 100th time, LOL).

  24. I saw your comment on Brittanie's blog about TSI. It was fabulous. I am really loving that series and I hope that it won't stop as a trilogy or saga, but just keep going. There are endless possibilities for plots.

    You can see my review here:

    Oh btw, if you ever want to keep up to date on Christian Historical Fiction... I've made a community to attempt to compile information about the latest and upcoming releases (maybe it will help you pick and choose for the ones you do wish to read.) *grin*

  25. This is a terrific topic for a post. I read -- and liked -- some of the books on your list, including The Great Gatsby and The Lovely Bones. The Da Vinci Code, in my oh-so-humble opinion, is overrrated.

  26. Care,

    Well, I'm not surprised you've read most of them, although I can't say why! I will definitely read Atwood, at some point. I have far too many of her books, already, to avoid her forever.

    I think you just hit on the reason my mother disliked Water for Elephants. She was terrified of nursing homes and her greatest fear was that we'd put her in a home and just abandon her. I think she was actually quite surprised that my sister and I were willing to take care of her to the bitter end. You've made it sound interesting. Keep it up, lady. :)

    I don't do audiobooks because I have no commute and can't use headphones (so no toting around books while I work around the house), but that would have been a lovely way to keep myself occupied while I was completely unable to function, earlier this month. Too bad I didnt think of that. Ah, well. Eventually, I'll give The Great Gatsby a second try. It's always good to know which books really worked on audio, in case I ever do find a way to listen to them.


    I'm all for dodging bullets. :)

    I think perhaps I'm a little weird about violence. It tends to trigger nightmares, so that's one reason I avoid it. Oddly, I can read war books (novels and memoirs) without any trouble, whatsoever. Did you see SuziQ's comment about The Bookfool Test? She's got me all figured out and warns me if a book I'm considering is too violent. Isn't that the coolest? She'll let me know if I can handle The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I have a feeling it wouldn't beat out The Passage, at least for me, since I loved the whole experience of being immersed in that weird, futuristic world of nasty virals and struggle to survive, though. I get kinda gushy about The Passage.

    I'm actually a former mystery/thriller fan. Sadly, I overdosed on them and they still make me queasy.

    I will definitely let you know if/when I get ready to read GWTW. I'm thinking I should shoot for fall. That book really needs a reading in 2010.

  27. CherryBlossom MJ,

    Hi! I know you're name from FirstWild, actually! You might know if the second TSI has been offered up for review, there. It's possible I overlooked it. I overdid the ARCs, last year, so I'm not signing up for many at all, now, but I do keep up with the latest Christian releases. I'll definitely check out your review and community, though! Brittanie and Holly (2 Kids and Tired Reviews) have been my best sources for picking through the huge selection of Christian historical fiction. There is a LOT to choose from!

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog!


    Someday I'll get to The Great Gatsby!! Not The Lovely Bones, though. It doesn't even slightly interest me.

    I really did want to read DaVinci, at one point, just to see what all the fuss was about. But, Angels and Demons (while enjoyable in its way) gave me that "overrated" feeling about Dan Brown and I'm fine with avoiding him.

  28. I was almost able to say that I matched you on all items on your list - however, I've read The Road (bleak, so bleak) and I was once forced to read Song of Solomon (one of Oprah's recommended books).

  29. Bookfool--here's my review of The Help, which I read over a year ago: Loved it and I hope you pick it up soon!

  30. So good to be "known". Yup, I'm an Assistant Director at FIRST these days... Brittanie and Holly definitely have great blogs. I can completely understand being overwhelmed with the ARCs and final press prints for review... But it's so hard to deny a good read.

    TSI: The Influenza Bomb was a Glass Roads PR tour, it was not offered through FIRST.

    - Margaret

  31. Hmph! What does Oprah know about books for goodness sake?

    I love this post, I'll think about what I haven't read after reading your list.

    Your header is wonderful! I have a bookmark of a hummingbird photograph you sent me a few years back, and it's very special to me.

  32. Cool list! Gah - there are so many I haven't read - but I don't really keep a list in my mind of ones I chose to avoid per se. Here's my take on your list:

    #1 - I was one of the handful of people on this planet who did not like this book, was not sucked in to reading the series and have no desire to hear any more about it. There were brutal scenes - but they were empowering if that makes sense? That wasn't my beef with it. I just thought that the author never stuck to the best parts and rambled off on things of no interest to me.

    #2 - I liked this book - and it has a twist ending that caught me by surprise. A very cool tale of love and determination.

    #3 - I haven't read this yet - but want to sooner than later.

    #4 - My favorite book in forever. Just read it. Soon. You'll want those characters to stay with you forever. Especially Aibileen.

    #5 - If you are not into troubling issues, this isn't for you. But instead of seeing it as a book about a young girl's murder, I saw it as a book of a family's survival, and love and loyalty. I didn't find it disturbing - rather very touching.

    #6 - 4th time's a charm! Stick with it - you'll be rewarded.

    #7 - If you did not like Angels & Demons you will not like this. Angels & Demons was much better in my opinion. I enjoyed them both. Hated the movie. I would recommend Digital Fortress instead - no religious symbol seeking there. But still fast paced adventure.

    #8 - I have only read The Handmaid's Tale and LOVED it! I hear Oryx & Crake is even better. My first real intro. to dystopian writing that I could really relate to - disturbing in how possible this world could really be. Gave me the willies.

    #9 - Never read it. But I am a big supporter of the Classics - so maybe I should.

    #10 - I read Night by Elie Wiesel because I saw him interviewed by Oprah to introduce his book on her book group selection. That was the only book I read based on her as the source of introduction - but I have read many of the same works she has selected. They do often cover the same themes - but I can't really argue with the quality.

  33. Ha ha - I did a post like this on Friday because I saw it on a blog that got it from Stefanie's post. It's such a great idea.

    My list also had The Help on it. Like you, I'm curious but in no hurry. Also, I put Margaret Atwood on my list too!

    I haven't read Larsson's book or Gone with the Wind either.

    I did not like Water for Elephants. I liked the descriptions of the circus, but could not emotionally buy into the central love story. I that the resolution of the nursing home framing story was a bit too neat. Overall, it just wasn't for me.

    The Road has some disturbing 'scenes', but it isn't without hope.

    Eh, Lovely Bones was okay, but you're not missing anything by not reading it.

    I read the illustrated version of The DaVinci Code. It was a pretty quick read, and tolerable, but I mostly read it to know what people were talking about.

    These posts definitely make for fun discussion!

  34. Yep, I have a feeling I'm going to be doing one of these posts to put up later in the week. I love your list. I absolutely hated The Lovely Bones, but I highly recommend the movie. Peter Jackson is a freakin' genius, and it was a beautiful film.

    I have The Help on my Nook, but I'll be fiddled if I've gotten around to it yet. Blarg!

  35. Library Girl,

    I tried to read Song of Solomon, but I didn't get very far at all and re-donated it (it was a library sale find). I may end up considering The Road for a few more years!

    CherryBlossom Margaret,

    So true. I do still request a book from FirstWild occasionally, but not often. I just need to be really careful. Last year, at the end of the year I had several stacks of ARCs that I hadn't read. I'm still back-tracking!

    I'm not familiar with Glass Roads, but I do have a message saying I'm not accepting books in my sidebar, so even if a PR rep went around the web looking for reviewers, it's possible he or she was put off by my sidebar comment. I'll find a copy, someday!


    Apparently, Oprah's an avid reader, but I think she focuses on dysfunction (maybe because of her own history?) -- or, at least, she used to. Hmmph is about how I feel. I've never been a fan, but I'm not a big TV person, period.

    I would love to see your list!

    Aw, thanks. I'm glad you've enjoyed your hummingbird bookmark. :) That's a Costa Rican hummingbird in the header. He's been the background image on my netbook for over a year and I still love looking at him, so I figured he'd be good for a change of pace at the blog. I was getting tired of my kitty header.

  36. Tammy,

    Thank you! I just read your review of The Help and it does sound terrific.

    The Bumbles,

    I enjoyed reading all your comments! I will definitely read The Help and Gone With the Wind. Nope, I'm not into disturbing reads and just can't see myself bothering with The Lovely Bones. It's always, always nice to hear that someone didn't enjoy a book everyone seems to be reading -- in this case, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Sometimes the hype just gets insane.

    I have a copy of Night somewhere - actually 2 copies. I have read a book by Elie Weisel (sp?) and it was a little too heavy in imagery for me, but I read a lot of WWII memoirs and novels, so I already owned a copy of Night, pre-Oprah-list. But, I lost it and had to order another. And, then I lost that. I guess we can't bank on seeing a review of that one on this blog, right away.


    I'll go check out your post. I thought it was such fun reading Iliana's and Stephanie's posts. Very cool that we have several haven't-reads in common!

    I think the whole "circus" aspect is one thing that puts me off Water for Elephants. I kind of hate circuses. Clowns freak me out. LOL

    I'm still waffling about The Road. I may continue to waffle until my waffle is burnt.

    Now, I'm beginning to wonder if I re-donated The DaVinci Code. I think I might have. I've been working on purging for months and I didn't think I was going to end up reading it.

    Yep, this post sure does stimulate discussion! I've been stunned by the response.


    Freaking awesome or not, I don't think The Lovely Bones is the kind of movie I'd enjoy.

    We can read The Help together -- maybe sometime around the time the cows come home.

  37. Margaret Atwood is like a lot of television series to me - excellent concept, not always enthralling as is.

    I have The Road, someday I'll read it.

    Gone With The Wind - when I first read it I loved Scarlet, when I reread it a few years ago I loved Melanie.

  38. Carrie,

    That's an interesting description of Atwood's writing! I can always count on you to shake things up.

    Good, you can add one more opinion of The Road to the muddle.

    Ah, see . . . now I need to read the book just to see whether I like Scarlett or Melanie best. I think I admired Scarlett's tenacity but didn't really like her . . . character (bitchiness, actually) in the movie. I did, however, love both the wimpy yet reliable Ashley and suave but dubious Rhett.

  39. That is an interesting medley you have listed :) I can personally vouch for Water for Elephants. I found it simply unputdownable. And let me tell you, I too had this indescribable hesitation to read it but once I did I finished it in a trice. The same goes for Gone with the Wind too! :)

  40. Bookfool, I LOVE this post!! Such a fun idea! Of this list, the only books I've read are Great Gatsby (assigned reading!) and The Road, which I actually loved. But what they say is true: it's depressing as all heck.

  41. Birdy,

    That's interesting that you resisted Water for Elephants, too. I've done a lot of thinking about it, since I wrote this post. I think my resistance partly has to do with the circus and partly with the fact that my mother didn't like it. Maybe someday I'll change my mind! I'm definitely going to read GWTW, though!!


    I wish I could take credit for the idea! LOL You should write up your own list. "Depressing" and "not without hope" are the two key phrases people have made, regarding The Road. So . . . still waffling. I may waffle till the cows come home, but that's okay. I've got more than enough books to choose from, while I decide.

    What did you think of The Great Gatsby?

  42. I *hated* The Great Gatsby. Hated, hated, hated. Everyone else seems to love it. I've been thinking about giving the book a second chance but then I remember what a chore it felt reading it years ago. *shudder*

  43. Rosemary,

    In that case, why bother? There are plenty of wonderful books calling out your name and you can check Gatsby off your life reading list. If I were you and I wanted to attempt more Fitzgerald for fun, I'd go with one of his lighter jazz-era novels. I loved This Side of Paradise.

  44. Ha! I've read every book on this list except The Help (which I'm more or less...or less reading now for my book club meeting that was last week). Water for Elephants isn't that great. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo can get pretty gruesome with the violence. The Road is haunting and has awful images. GWTW is wayyyyyy too long. LOVE Atwood. Da Vinci Code is entertaining but same as Angels & Demons. I do think that Oprah has recommended some great books...they're not all crap.

    So, more or less you're on the money honey. :) I have heard that The Help is fantastic, though--one of these days I'll make it past 75 pages.

  45. Trish,

    Wow, so I should just run the books I haven't read past you, before I seriously consider them! LOL I enjoyed the Oprah books I read -- yep, they're not all crap, but I definitely feel more comfortable getting recommendations from trusted friends than reading just any old thing Oprah recommends. She's definitely not one of my reading twins. I'd already tried and given up on a number of books she recommended before they became "Oprah club" books.

    I still want to read Gone With the Wind! But, yeah . . . it's a monster.

  46. Anonymous4:12 AM

    This is a great idea! I adored Gone With the Wind, I think I read it at least once a year when I was a teenager. The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo is also great after the first hundred pages.
    I also recently read The Great Gatsby and The Help- my reviews are at my blog. If I had to pick, I'd pick The Help.
    I also have no plans ever to read Water for Elephants or The Road.

  47. Samstillreading,

    You're very well-read. Gone With the Wind is definitely the one title I am most desperately aching to read. I just saw someone reading a huge copy of it, last week -- a really nice copy that fell open in her lap. I might have to look up that copy. Mine is mass-market size and I have a feeling it'll be a pain to read a copy that size.

    I will dash over to read your reviews. I'm looking forward to reading The Help, but I think I'll wait till fall. It's hard reading Southern fiction when it's hot out. I'd rather read about snow. Must find snow books.

  48. This is an awesome post. I love it.

    Of your ten i've read Lovely Bones and Da Vinci Code. You aren't missing anything with either of them. I only read them because everyone else was reading them. I learned my lesson and that's why i'm avoiding the girl with a dragon tattoo.

    The Great Gatsby, however, I will force myself to read at some point. I'm amazed that I got a degree in English and managed to avoid reading it.

  49. Colin,

    Thanks! Wasn't this a great post idea? I wish I'd come up with it, myself.

    It's always great to get a little reassurance that you're not missing anything, so thanks for the comments about Lovely Bones and DaVinci.

    You have an English degree and haven't read The Great Gatsby? That cracks me up. Also, it's really nice to know. I'm determined to give it another try, someday. Recent, popular fiction is less important to me. I tend to find that I love the language in older, classic novels.

  50. That was such a fantastic post! I have my lists like this too, maybe I should write a post just like yours! :)

  51. Great post.

    Just a quick note of encouragement about a few of these books.

    1. The Help - fun, quick read, but a book with some depth. Read it soon.

    2. Water for Elephants - this one is also create and enjoyable. Read the first chapter and you'll be hooked.

    3. Girl with Dragon Tattoo. I loved these 3 books. That said, it's not for everyone. If you read the first few pages you'll probably know if it's something you'll like.

  52. Wow, I've read all of them except The Road, which I will probably include on my own list. My thoughts:

    1. Dragon Tattoo -- liked it at the time, but it's kinda misogynistic and disturbing. Don't want to read it again.

    2. Water for Elephants - meh

    3. The Road -- only one I haven't read. Sounds utterly depressing, will probably include it on my own list.

    4. The Help -- thought I'd hate it because of all the hype, but I really liked it.

    5. Lovely Bones -- too depressing. Why do so many people love this book about a rape/murder victim?

    6. GWTW - I love GWTW but I first read it in 6th grade. Love the movie too.

    7. DaVinci Code -- great concept, bad writing. Hated Angels & Demons, Lost Symbol was so bad I gave up after 70 pages.

    8. I have liked some Atwood, especially The Blind Assassin and The Robber Bride.

    9. I didn't read Gatsby until I was an adult and though I'm not crazy about the story, the writing is beautiful.

    10. Some of Oprah's books are actually good. I agree about The Good Earth, it's wonderful. Also Middlesex and The Poisonwood Bible.

  53. I like your list. WATER FOR ELEPHANTS was a HUGE disappointment for me. LOVELY BONES is a tricky book....interesting premise but frustrating and difficult in many ways. I have to say THE HELP was my favorite read of last year.

    Life by Candlelight

  54. Nikola,

    Definitely, go for it. It's loads of fun to find out what other readers haven't read (and why).


    I'll definitely read The Help, but probably not till it cools off. I usually find it awfully difficult to read Southern fiction when it's steamy outside.

    It hadn't even occurred to me that I should drop by the library to read the first chapter of Water for Elephants. Thanks for mentioning that I'll get a good idea whether I'd enjoy it by reading the first chapter. I've been very iffy about that particular title. I'm just going to avoid Dragon Tattoo, for now. It doesn't sound like my thing at all.


    Haha! I am so enjoying the diversity of opinions about these books! People seem to either love Water for Elephants or think it just "meh". It still doesn't interest me, but I like Janna's thought about reading the first chapter.

    The Road does sound depressing. I'm still curious about it, but for now I'll continue waffling. I just can't make up my mind about that book.

    I'm a little baffled as to why people desire to read a story about a rape/murder victim, myself. The Lovely Bones has never interested me one bit.

    I totally agree with you about Dan Brown's writing--and Fitzgerald's. I just wasn't impressed with Angels and Demons, but I recall a specific scene that was so beautifully written it made my jaw drop in the one Fitzgerald book I read, so I still do want to read The Great Gatsby, even though I know the storyline is depressing (I've seen the Robert Redford movie). Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  55. Amy,

    It sounds like you're reinforcing my opinions of whether or not to read Water for Elephants and The Help. For some reason, the hype over The Help hasn't bugged me as much as it often does with runaway bestsellers. Water for Elephants, on the other hand . . . that's always been an iffy one. I definitely don't want to read The Lovely Bones. It just doesn't interest me at all.

  56. I really disliked Water for Elephants and The Da Vinci Code, so I think you've done very well avoiding those! I also wouldn't read The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, for much the same reasons as you. But I think Margaret Atwood is an amazing writer. I recently enjoyed The Blind Assassin--definitely worth reading :)

  57. Gentle Reader,

    I will definitely read Atwood. I've been collecting her books for years without bothering to read them. The Road is still on my iffy list. It'll probably stay there for a long time.


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