This week I decided to make a Saturday List in the spirit of the True Confessions listed when writing about P.D. James. I like books, but I find that people are constantly shocked by what I haven’t yet read. There’s such a lot to read! Here are my True Confessions about Books I Should Probably Read, But Haven’t Yet. (This is the Fiction Version of the list.)
1. War and Peace. A couple of years ago, my friend the Street Pastor and I challenged each other to read War and Peace because we both had a copy sitting on our shelves looking at us. The Street Pastor finished War and Peace. I didn’t. I started. I got through part one, then I decided to give myself a little break. Then the little break got a little longer. And pouf! the year vanished and I didn’t get further than part 1. Now War and Peace doesn’t just look at me from a shelf, it glares at me from my bedside table over the reading glasses of a bookmark. The thing is I liked part 1. I want to read the book. It just intimidates me with all the weightiness and seriousness of it. I’ve not read very many books in the Large Russian Novels category because of the intimidation factor. I read Anna Karenina, but that’s it. I need to get over this whole intimidation thing.
2. Anything by Michael Ondaatje. This horrifies my friend the Playwright who once had a cat called Ondaatje. I quite liked the movie version of The English Patient and realize that the book is probably better. I had a copy of In the Skin of a Lion that I cannot currently find. I’m sure it is somewhere in the stacks of books. I’ll find it, and I’m sure I’ll read Ondaatje someday. It just hasn’t happened yet.
3. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. I like Atwood’s books quite a lot and my friend the Peace Pastor thinks AG is one of her best. (I actually think the Peace Pastor likes it because there’s stuff about quilting in it.) I’ve got a copy, I started it once, but it just hasn’t stuck yet. I realize that timing has a lot to do with this. I’m worried that I’ve got a lot of expectations loaded onto the book and it just won’t live up to them. I need to stop worrying and just read the book.
4. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. Yes, I’ve read all the other Austen books, but not NA. Why? Why can’t I get over the fact that this is the last Austen book I can read and just do it? What am I saving it for? Am I being like Desmond on LOST carrying around the one Dickens book he hadn’t read so it can be the last book he reads? How will he/I know when to start reading? Too many questions. Clearly I’m a head case about this one.
5. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. “What???” yelled my friend the Constant Reader and her brother the Linguist. “You do math! You haven’t read Alice? What’s wrong with you?” (I’ve summarized what they said.) I quite enjoyed the Tim Burton take on Alice at the movie theatre. I then picked up a copy of the books to read. Haven’t yet. Too many other lovely things in the To Be Read pile. Possibly the expectations around the book are factored into my procrastination here as with Alias Grace.
This is a short fiction version of Books I Should Probably Read, But Haven’t Yet. Look for a non-fiction version coming soon!
What books do you feel you should read but haven’t yet? True confessions please.