Yes, I have returned. With Top Ten Tuesday! I’ve finished my Open University Diploma and handed in the first two chapters of my novel on Thursday last week so I’ve mostly been taking it easy, reading, writing and surfing the net. I’m reading The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell at the moment – although its a slow burner, I’m finally into it. Perhaps because I’m not used to reading detailed historical fiction I’m finding his medical description/bits of backstory a little overbearing, but I’ve been spoilt with fast paced fiction. Its good to read stuff that doesn’t immediately give it’s secrets away.
Anyway, this week is Top Ten Books I Have Lied About – whether it means I have read or haven’t read them. Or lied about whether I loved or hated them (haven’t we all felt a bit of pressure to ‘prove’ we read certain books in certain company?). Here goes…
1. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I read this book and got halfway through to that battle scene. And sadly, gave up. I get the feeling that I might have said I’ve read it all somewhere…
2. To Kill A Mockingbird. I am truly ashamed of not having read this book, but I haven’t, and might have lied about it too. I have it on my bookshelf though!
3. The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf. I’ve read bits of it but have failed to read the whole thing the whole way through. I had to skim read some of it for essays, but have always given the impression that I’ve read it all. The shame…
4. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. I admitted I hadn’t read much of Dickens to my Mum recently. She was very surprised. I’ve read Great Expectations but nothing else. I guess I just find it hard to sink into his books.
5. A fondness for YA literature. I know this is nothing to be ashamed of, but I love YA literature, and feel strangely furtive when I browse YA in bookshops. I mean, we live in the age of Harry Potter – why should this be embarrassing? I don’t broadcast this love from rooftops. Maybe I should!
6. I quite like fiction about Jane Austen books that isn’t actually Jane Austen. I adore her books, so naturally also get excited about books like ‘A Weekend with Mr Darcy’ (which is soppy, silly and very tongue in cheek but I enjoyed it). I feel, again, strangely embarrassed about this.
7. I have random flirtations with Chick lit. I’m not sure if anyone knows this, probably by omission. I know, its ridiculous – why should we be ashamed of what we read? It is the genre that gave us the fabulous Ms Bridget Jones.
8. The Complete Chronicles of Narnia. I’ve read probably three or four of them, but not all of them. You can blame my younger self.
9. The Princess Bride. I should definitely read it, but again, I haven’t. I think I told someone I had though. Possibly I got a quarter of the way through and stopped reading.
10. Anything by James Joyce. I’m sorry, everyone seems to wax about how fantastic his writing is, but I hate it. I tend to nod and agree when everyone says they love his writing, but it just seems so hard to me. I can’t get on his wavelength and just read the books – I’ve got Ullysses and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man on my bookshelves but they kind of got abandoned when I was a couple of chapters in. Perhaps some books are just not meant to be yours to enjoy? I don’t know, I’m kind of sad about it, but there are other books out there to read!
Image from We Heart It under ‘books’.