Sunday, July 28, 2013
What Not To Read
Here's an interesting article from today's Daily Telegraph: a list of 25 books you don't have to read before you die.
Now, mostly those lists of books to read and places to go and movies to see before you die are rubbish, aren't they? Read what you want, go where you want, and watch what you want. You're capable of developing your own likes and dislikes, and good for you.
And who compiles these lists anyway? Is there a secret society that has set itself as the arbiter of culture and taste? If so, what are my chances of joining? (She asks as she types this in her pyjamas.)
And while the list of 25 books you don't have to read is a fun twist on an old theme, it's just as pointless really.
But, for the record, here are the ones that made the list that I don't agree with:
Twilight. Yup, you heard me. I really didn't like Twilight, and I really didn't understand the fuss, but I'm glad I read it. Why? So I can have fun discussing it with the gazillion other people who read it. It's pop culture, not literature, but who cares?
Catch 22. Are you kidding me? This book is one of my favourites. Ever. Fantastic book.
To The Lighthouse. I wouldn't call myself a huge fan, but this is one of the rare books I studied at university that I enjoyed more because I studied it. Unlike anything by Joseph Conrad.
Fifty Shades. I read a chapter. Couldn't even bring myself to get to the naughty bits. Had to see what the fuss was about. Still not sure I understand. And, for those who haven't seen it before, here is the best review of Fifty Shades of Grey ever, courtesy of Goodreads reviewer Katrina Passick Lumsden. It's probably not NSFW. But worth it, just for Bert's face.
So, what books would you put on your personal list of books you don't have to read before you die? Apart from anything by Joseph Conrad.
*Okay, so Conrad was a great writer and his books are classics. To me though, they will always be a classic example of what happens when you have to read them over and over again at school and university. Sweet mother of God, not Heart of Darkness again!