Over at the New Dork Review of Books, Greg was inspired by a Jimmy Kimmel list of the best movies he's never seen, to post a list of the best books he's never read, and I thought that was a pretty cool idea I would do too. Some of these books intimidate me, some I don't like their reputations, and for others I don't like the authors personally. Are any of these favorites of yours? Should I reconsider?
1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy -- This one I still might read one day. We'll see. It's the only likely one on the list.
2. Ulysses by James Joyce -- I read Portrait of the Artist in college and that was painful enough at half the size. No thanks.
3. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville -- I have read and hated at least three Melville novellas, and from what I've heard in this one he just tells you that now that he's got you into the story, he's going to change the subject and talk about something irrelevant for a chapter or two.
4. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez -- Couldn't get through One Hundred Years of Solitude. Don't like magical realism. Sorry, but this one just isn't going to get read.
5. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy -- This book just reeks of misogynism and all things manly. Thanks, but if I'm in the mood for that I'll read another Hemingway.
6. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger -- Tried twice to read this but couldn't get past twenty pages. Didn't feel the least bit sorry for the whiny little brat and wanted him to just grow up.
7. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen -- Too good for Oprah, means he's too good for me, too.
8. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace -- Have you seen the size of this book? I'm sure it's great and I've heard wonderful things about Mr. Wallace, but have you seen the size of this book? I'm no sissy (last year I read Lonesome Dove and the year before, Shogun!) but that looks like it would break my wrists just to hold it.
9. On the Road by Jack Kerouac -- Pretentious drug-taking isn't improved by good writing, in my opinion. I could be wrong though, since I haven't read it.
10. White Teeth by Zadie Smith -- I have seen Ms. Smith in person a couple of times and was shocked at how snobby and put-out she was by having to be in the same room with riff-raff. I will spare her the insult of someone never featured in a monthly magazine touching her book.