Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Top Ten Books I Feel As Though Everyone Has Read But Moi

Our friends over at The Broke and the Bookish want to know what classic/popular books you haven't read but everyone else has. Here's my list.

1. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.
Okay, I did read the first one but wasn't inspired to read the others.

2. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Never got around to The Lord of the Rings either.

3. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.
Just celebrated its 50th year anniversary.

4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
50th anniversary was last year.

5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.
And I'm a mystery fan.

6. The Giver by Lois Lowry.
Love her other novels, yet never got around to reading her most popular one.

7. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
Read Her Fearful Symmetry and didn't care for it.

8. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman.
I've heard again and again how great this trilogy is. One day.

9. Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman.
Lately I've been reading--and enjoying-- a lot of graphic novels so I really should read the one that started the trend.

10. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.
Although I've read a few of his lesser-known novels, I haven't read the big ones, including Great Expectations, Bleak House, etc. I enjoy Dickens, so I should read more of him, but his novels are soooo long.


  1. Haven't read Pullman's series either and don't plan to although I did enjoy the Sally Lockhart books. I could have put "The Giver" on mine. Interesting that I've read others by her but just not this one! Enjoyed your list!

  2. I only read the first of the Pullman series. I enjoyed it but the ending didn't inspire me to continue. I love some of his other books, too. I read The Hobbit, but not LOTR. I haven't read The Giver either, and that may make me feel the most left out of your whole list. Everyone talks about it and I heard Lois Lowry speak at SCBWI in NYC last winter. Since I don't read much adult lit anymore, the others don't make me feel left out. I did read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and now won't watch the movie. I like Daniel Craig too much to want to see him go through what the character goes through.

  3. I have not read any Harry Potter books.
    Hmmm...I just realized...I've read and loved your even numbers, except 10. I haven't read any of your odd numbers plus #10.

    It's funny how one is reluctant to take a chance on any of an author's other books if one's very first exposure to their work was negative. I was thinking of that as I read your #7, because I read the same book as you, and had the same reaction. And now I don't want to try any more.

  4. I loved reading Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, beginning with The Golden Compass. One interesting thing about the series, is that it was first published in Great Britain as mainstream Fantasy. In America, because the characters are young, it was first published for Young Adults. Later, it was published with different cover art, so it is now shelved in American book stores in both Adult and Young Adult areas. It's a complex world, and I can't claim to understand everything Pullman was doing with it, particularly in volume 3. My son read the books when he was only twelve, and he enjoyed the series a lot, probably experiencing them very differently from me.

    I love fantasy fiction, and the Harry Potter movies, but I have never been able to read a Harry Potter book. I'm told by many adults and children that the first volume is the hardest to get through, and that the series improves with each volume. However, my son was disappointed by the quality of the writing in the final book, feeling like J. K. Rowling was throwing in a whole bunch of unprecedented and unconvincing concepts in order to wrap up the story line.

    I love the Lord of the Rings books. I have never been able to read The Hobbit. Somehow, it does not engage me. When I was in college, a feminist friend felt she couldn't get into reading it because there are no female characters. For me, I don't think that's it. I find the LOTR books to be compelling; and The Hobbit to be tedious. Perhaps Tolkien was still discovering that world, and he was more descriptive than confident. Your mention of it has made me curious, and I should probably pick it up again. We have a copy somewhere in the house.

    I read To Kill a Mockingbird as a senior in high school, and David Copperfield- maybe, maybe, never. I think it was another Dickens for middle school.

    I did read The Giver, before my son read it, and one of the sequels.

    The other titles, it also feels like I should read, but there are so many books in the world, even as educators and writers, we have to pick and choose, and match our own interests.