Saturday, 9 April 2011

Not the 50 books you must read before you die

The Telegraph's got a piece on (basically) 50 most overrated books, called "Not the 50 books you must read before you die". It's tongue in cheek, naturally - but the commentary about each title elicited a chuckle. I know I'm never attempting most of the books on the list, but I'm guilty of reading some of items here.

The titles in bold I've read cover to cover.
  1. Ulysses by James Joyce - Err... no.
  2. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell - I may or may not have it somewhere in my room, but I doubt that I'll ever read it.
  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - not a fan of Austen
  4. Emma by Jane Austen - ditto
  5. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D H Lawrence
  6. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  7. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
  8. Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald
  9. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
  10. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  11. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
  12. The Outsider by Albert Camus
  13. Candide by Voltaire
  14. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  15. The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  16. Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos - I actually read through this; stick to Dangerous Liaisons or Cruel Intentions; the latter only if you're under 35.
  17. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  18. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky - didn't get very far; he's the reason I hate Russian authors.
  19. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - I always see this, but don't care enough to pick up, let alone read.
  20. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - it's okay, I can do without this.
  21. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert - ditto
  22. Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
  23. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson
  24. Snobs by Julian Fellowes
  25. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking - okay, who's actually read through this cover-to-cover and enjoyed it?
  26. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  27. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka - The cover always caught my eye, but not enough to actually buy to read it.
  28. Polo by Jilly Cooper
  29. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
  30. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
  31. Does Anything Eat Wasps? by the New Scientist - I wanted to read this.
  32. Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray - I think I have this somewhere, but I never finished.
  33. The Game by Neil Strauss
  34. The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer - oft-mentioned in the early Adrian Mole books, but not about to pick it up.
  35. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell - heard this on audio (narrated by Gladwell himself); the gist is to be good at anything you need at least 10,000 hours of practice. There - I've saved you time and money. You're welcome.
  36. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie - didn't have to buy this, Dad already had a copy lying around.
  37. The Fry Chronicles by Stephen Fry - read it. Glad I didn't buy it. Still preferred Moab is My Washpot.
  38. Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton
  39. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt - read this; didn't want to read Teacher Man, the follow up :P
  40. A Journey by Tony Blair - eh?
  41. Courage by Gordon Brown - really?
  42. Jordan: Pushed to the Limit by Katie Price - former Mrs Peter Andre? I don't think so.
  43. Saturday by Ian McEwan
  44. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières - there's a reason why you always see this book at Payless Books warehouse sales, I'm just saying. And the movie with Nic Cage doesn't really help its cause, either.
  45. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown - Come on, who hasn't read this or seen the movie?
  46. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - Does it count if I've read this on PDF?
  47. Harry Potter… by JK Rowling - Yes, I've read this (of course)
  48. One Day by David Nicholls
  49. Scouting for Boys by Robert Baden-Powell
  50. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov - there may or may not be a copy lying around somewhere, but I'm not about to read it.
You have GOT TO READ the original piece - it's snarky hilarious :)