Ten books not to read

In the London Times, Richard Wilson lists 10 books that you shouldn’t read before you die, simply because they’re not worth the effort.

10: Ulysses — James Joyce
9: Lord of the Rings — JRR Tolkien
8: For Whom the Bell Tolls — Ernest Hemingway
7: À la Recherche du Temps Perdu — Marcel Proust
6: The Dice Man — Luke Reinhart
5: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas — Hunter S Thompson
4: The Beauty Myth — Naomi Wolff
3: War and Peace — Leo Tolstoy
2: The Iliad — Homer
1: Pride and Prejudice — Jane Austen

Agree or disagree with the list, the commentary that accompanies it is worth reading.

I’m about half and half on this one.

From where else? Shelf Awareness, of course.

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10 responses to “Ten books not to read

  1. I agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY with the assessment of Ulysses, but not with LOtR (*though that depends on WHICH book is being mentioned – I enjoyed the first and third, but had to force myself through the middle tome). Since I’ve not read any of the others (I know, I know – two degrees in English and I’ve never read P&P or the Bell Tolls; I am appropriately contrite, I assure you), I can’t pass any judgments…

  2. I’m kind of shocked that LOTR and Pride and Prejudice are there.

    I tried to read The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolff and just couldn’t get throuh it. On the other hand, I devoured Misconceptions while pregnant with my second child.

  3. I actually was shocked by the presence of numbers 1-3 on the list, as well as LoTR.

  4. People who feel that way about Ulysses should remember that simply because they don’t understand something doesn’t mean other people won’t. To be a bit more generous: Ulysses isn’t worth a quick read but it is worth taking the time to understand.

  5. Numbers 1-3 are the only ones on the list I have read (and I thought they were worth the time). I actually read War and Peace while on bedrest, expecting my first son. It was a great way to pass the time. I have tried to read Ulysses and LOTR and given up on both of them, but to each his own.

  6. I don’t agree about Pride and Prejudice at all. And if I made the list, The Golden Notebook and The Brothers Karamozov would’ve been at the top.

  7. I agree with a few of those, the others I’ve not heard of. I don’t agree with Pride and Prejudice and if I had made the list I would switch that one with Catch 22….I just couldn’t get into that book!

  8. I loved LOTR and Pride and Prejudice. P&P ranks as one of my top five favorite books ever.

    I have Ulysses on my shelf to read – I feel it’s one of those staples a true bookworm should read (I’ll get to it someday…). Same with the Iliad.

    I don’t like Hemingway, but some people like that style. Again, another iconic novel that should be read – if anything, to have an appreciation of the genre, style, and author.

  9. I’ve read 3 of these (1,4 9)! Which amazes me, and of the other 7 – I doubt I’ll ever get to, but never say never!

  10. Jessica Coleman

    OMG it’s too late! I guess I’d better not die tomorrow. I’ve already read 1-5, 8, 9, half of 10, and the first two volumes of 7. Luckily I’d never heard of 6, or I guess they’d have to revoke my readers’ card.

    Honestly, now, you know that list was written by a man, because men always hate P&P. Too bad for them. “The Dice Man” must have been the only book this columnist ever picked up that wasn’t assigned in school. He probably sat in the back of the room carving his initials in his desk.

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