Authorial Confessions

For this week’s Broke and the Bookish weekly meme I’m looking back on a former topic–authors I have never read. As a former English major and ongoing fan of books in general, some of these make me blush. The concept of revealing my top ten unread authors reminds me of a game in one of my favorite books called Humiliation (the book, if you’re interested was Changing Places by David Lodge). In Humiliation you admit famous literary works you’ve never read and gain points for everyone in the group that has read each of your unread beauties. So in the spirit of David Lodge’s party game, let’s see how many points I can rack up, shall we?

1. Kurt Vonnegut: I can hear some of my hipster friends crying as I confess this. Sorry, y’all. I’ll get around to reading Slaughterhouse Five someday, I swear.

2. Ernest Hemingway: To justify myself a little, I’ve read his short story “Hills Like White Elephants,” but never one of his novels. Hemingway has beautiful, evocative language, so he should be my kind of writer. I think what held me back was that initial high school intimidation after reading his short prose and realizing the man was allergic to explaining who was talking. Maybe if I can get past that age-old terror, I’ll give him a shot.

3. Douglas Adams: This poor man is forever on my TBR lists. There is no particular reason for avoiding A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, just a persistent case of later-itus.

4. Barbara Kingsolver: Critics agree that Kingsolver is one heck of a writer, but I’ve never really had an inclination to pick up one of her books. I can’t really see that changing anytime soon, to be honest. Nothing against the lady personally but I’ve yet to be grabbed by one of her back-jackets.

5. Jack London: Nope. Nope. Nope. Wilderness survival stories and angry animals are not for me. Nope. Nope. Nope.

6. James Joyce: Intimidation, thy name is Joyce. Several friends took a study abroad class on Joyce’s Ulysses while we were in England. Some of them cried about it. Either real, salty tears or cries of rage and frustration. But many of them walked away happier for the experience. Most of them that I’ve kept in touch with still talk about that summer course, so I feel compelled to give in on this one at some point.

7. Jonathan Franzen: I’d love to cross this guy off my unread author list. He’s an epic writer of the modern era, and he even wrote a hefty book set in my hometown (The Twenty-Seventh City). I also had a beloved teacher in high school recommend Franzen to me, so I may be feeling particularly guilty about this one.

8. Ursula K. Le Guin: For a good long while I’ve heard that Le Guin is an amazing fantasy writer. And I’m inclined to believe it! Another author that has been recommended by some very trusted sources. I imagine Le Guin won’t languish on this list for long.

9. Nicolas Sparks: I swear, every movie that bears his name makes me more determined not to read anything he puts out. The Notebook was an amazing and moving film, so I would probably be willing to make that exception. His other novels, not so much.

10. John Green: His books are supposed to be compelling and well written YA fiction. I’m not nay-saying any of that. I just haven’t gotten around to him yet.

So how many points did I manage? I’d love to be able to cross a few of these writers off my unread list soon, but others may just languish there for the foreseeable future. If I can slog through any of these in the near future, I’ll try to post about if they met or failed any expectations I may have had. Happy reading!

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6 thoughts on “Authorial Confessions

  1. I share your “shame” on 3,7, and 9. 🙂 I’d recommend easing into Vonnegut and London via their short stories. Vonnegut’s collection “Welcome to the Monkey House” has something for everyone and many top-notch stories.

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    • So glad I’m not the only one! I’ll have to look in to Vonnegut’s short story collection, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to muster up the courage on London. Some initial literary scars never fade.

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  2. I’m with you on 2,7, and 10. I don’t really have any desire to read Hemingway for a pretty silly reason. I read The Paris Wife by Paula McLain and he was just such a big pretentious asshole in that book that it killed any interest I had in reading him. Goofy, I know:0)

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    • I don’t think that’s a silly reason! I have issues with certain actors or actresses based on specific characters they portray, so it’s a similar principle. Other than your disapproval of Hemingway the character, did you enjoy The Paris Wife? It’s been on my TBR list of ages.

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      • I think Paris Wife is worth reading. It’s very atmospheric – of Paris and the Time Period etc… and the writing is good. I didn’t love it though because of Hemingway’s aforementioned douchery and Hadley, his wife’s, imitation of a doormat. It was frustrating and a little brutal to “watch”.

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