Top Ten Tuesday is the weekly meme hosted by the gals at THE BROKE AND THE BOOKISH. Every week there's a different theme and this week it's those pesky books everyone else in the world seems to have read but I HAVEN'T. Don't forget to check this link to see what other books other bloggers are dishing about today.
Before I begin, let me quote Emerson once again: No two people read the same book.
TOP TEN BOOKS (and book types) EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD HAS READ EXCEPT ME - more or less:
1) MADAME BOVARY by Gustave Flaubert.
I've seen several good movies based on the book so I feel as if I'm very familiar with the story. Happy, it is not. Never liked the main character though I think I understand her. The book is considered a masterpiece, I know - but, for whatever reason, has never tempted me. Death by arsenic in the end? Ghastly. No thanks.
2) LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R. Tolkien
I know I should read this series. My friends have read it and loved it. I keep meaning to pick it up. Really. But after watching the four films and being exhausted by them, I think I might want to not read the books until the films' aura has faded. And now there's a version of THE HOBBIT being filmed by Peter Jackson even as we speak. I may stay exhausted for a while longer.
3) Books by Jodi Picoult.
Her fans are legion, my own daughter included, but...I think of these books as 'Book Club Books' and that's a major negative for me. I was never a big fan of Oprah's book choices because most of them were essentially the same triumph-and-tragedy story of a woman struggling to overcome odds. Been there. Done that. Or perhaps I should say, Been there, read that. A hundred times. Especially in my formative years. Don't need to read any more unless it's told in a new and unique way.
I have a suspicion that there are authors working right now (mostly women writers) who specialize in Book Club Books - the sorts of things that will appeal to the common denominator of women sitting around in coffee klatches. No offense meant to anyone, I sit around in coffee klatches once in a while myself. Just don't like to make a habit of discussing what is essentially the same sort of women-overcoming-great-odds-story again and again.
4) CRIME AND PUNISHMENT by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I'm sorry. I can't. I've read some Russian writers here and there and enjoyed their books. But I am so sure I would NOT enjoy CRIME AND PUNISHMENT - just listening to the grim synopsis makes me break out in hives.
5) MARLEY AND ME by John Grogan
Can't read a whole book about a dog who dies at the end. Just can't. One of the first things I do when picking up a book about a dog is read the ending. Dead dog in the end means the book will stay unread.. I put it back on the shelf with a shudder. I know I'm missing lots of great dog books, but that's a chance I'm willing to take.
I am first and foremost a dog person, dog lover extraordinaire. I want a happy ending or at least, I want the dog alive and on the precipice of happiness in the end. It's my quirk and I live with it.
6) All vampire books except DRACULA by Bram Stoker and SUNSHINE by Robin McKinley (a vampire book for people who hate vampire stories) will continue to remain unread by yours truly for the rest of my natural life. I am tempting fate, I know, but I've always been a daredevil.
7) THE HISTORIAN by Elizabeth Kostova
A vampire book that was heralded by critics and bloggers alike. Everyone loved this, it seems. Everyone except me. Reading ABOUT the book made me want to break my vampire rule and read it. So I picked up a copy at the library.
Deadly dull just about covers most of what I read. I got about a third of the way in, reading until my eyes glazed over. I put the put down with great disappointment.
Let me say this: I don't enjoy being the 'odd man out' - I want to jump on certain bandwagons. I really do. It bothers me when I dislike something everyone else likes. I always wonder if I'm being contrary. But honestly, there are just certain sorts of writing and story telling that are not for me.
8) SILENCE OF THE LAMBS by Thomas Harris
No, no, a thousand times no! Haven't seen the movie either. Never will.
9) MOBY DICK by Herman Melville
I've tried. Oh, how I've tried. (I may even keep trying.) But I can never get past the first few chapters. It's almost like I'm reading something written in another language. I do so want to 'get' with Moby. But I think I'm doomed to disappointment.
10) Celebrity Biographies by...uh, celebrities.
I enjoy gossip as much as the next person, but these sorts of tell-all books only passably work if the writer, usually enabled by a ghost writer, has had an unique life and lived a long time. A bio of a person who is 23 or 24 years old cannot, by that very fact, be unique or interesting. At least, to me. There are exceptions of course, but on the whole I prefer to 'err' on the side of sneering caution.
Who can refute a sneer?