I understand why Pynchon and Joyce are on the list. I've read (and enjoyed) Ulysses and about 100 pages of Gravity, but they aren't for everyone. They're dense, to say the least. Atlas Shrugged is an utter waste of page. 100 Years of Solitude is one of my all time favorites and I think a book everyone should read. It's a saga, but not too difficult. Infinite Jest I have read. I just don't get Wallace, but know that I'm in the minority, at least among lit snobs. The Bible? Great piece of fiction.
The other books I haven't read.
There are only two books on that list that I've not read, "100 Years of Solitude" and "Infinite Jest". I should get around to them within the year though.
Why is the reading of those books considered pretentious? That's a silly attitude, and it's the mark of an insecure person.
There are millions of well-read and completely unpretentious people in the United States, and it's sad that whoever wrote that list doesn't know any.
So you're claiming to have read Finnegans Wake, R2?
Oh, and unbundle your panties. Stat.
I think this is a pretty common thing ..... I've "re-read" two books recently (that I must have 'skim-read' as a kid) .... because I'm reading them now as an adult and saying to myself "There is no way I wouldn't remember this part...".
This is non-fiction, obviously, but back around the time when it was published, Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" was one of the most popular books for people to give as a gift and subsequently to be left on the shelf forever. People pretended to have read it too, of course.
I've read everything by Joyce; even love Bloomsday.
Look, I love reading and I've read a lot. That was always my thing, even as a kid. I never played outside and got teased for being a bookworm. That continued right through high school and university. I took the Nelson-Denny test once and scored in the 99th percentile -- the Nelson-Denny is a reading test, comprised of vocabulary and comprehension testing. No one else in my class scored as high I did.
Anyway, it's sad that you would have such an attitude. 50 years ago, most Americans were quite literate and reading books of all kinds was an acceptable form of leisure/intellectual pursuit.
Nowadays, if people read anything more weighty than "50 Shades of Grey", they're immediately accused of being a "pretentious douchebag". Seriously, can't you see how sad and pathetic that is?
Agreed, R7. You're almost regarded with suspicion if you're well read now.
I almost never re-read a book because I prefer to move on and find something new. I'm not surprised Atlas Shrugged is on the list- a lot of the same people harping on about Ayn Rand are the same ones who wouldn't read any other book.
The writer of that blog has a degree in literature. Obviously this doesn't mean that one has to have read every classic book under their sun, but their attitude to anything longer than The Great Gatsby is frightening.
Good God, do you guys need the sticks out of your asses.
I have a a degree in literature and read voraciously, you bunch of sad twats. I was demontrating that even educated, well-read people have difficulty with and sometimes give up on the occasional novel.
I had more to say, but that one of you keeps insisting that he has read Finnegans Wake really says it all for me. Some people are so full of themselves and so insecure that they need everyone to know there is no work of literature they can't tackle.
The irony of you calling me insecure is laughable.
I won't lie about it, but one of these days I'll get around to cracking open my copy of Infinite Jest. It was given to me as a friend after he raved about it. I wonder if he was lying...
Oh God. I just clicked on...PPSM's blog?! That'll teach me to not read the author's name. I feel disgusting now. I need to towel myself off.
Quick, someone, hand me a copy of Valley of the Dolls. Wait,that's got too many pages. Does anyone have a pamphlet?!
I loved Valley of the Dolls!
You pretentious, insecure nellies are cracking me up.
I'm still an undergrad, so maybe it's different for me -preface over. Ulysses is the litmus test of comprehension. Some read it and either get it or fail to get it. Most choose not to see which category they would fall into. Me? Haven't read it. Or anything on the list. And people still say I'm well read.
An undergrad, you say?
*Flicks eyes up from filing nails*
Tell us more.
Oh, come on, at least three of those have been on the UK A Level syllabus at one time or another. Loads of people will have read most, if not all, of them.
Possibly Moby Dick, R16, but not the rest.
I'm not sure if you're joking though.
Have you read most, if not all, of them, r16?
For r15, I'm reading a manuscript right now, it was given to me by this guy who used to write television. Foolishly, I've been putting it off for a few days.
Not joking R17
Moby Dick, Focault's Pendulum and 100 Years of Solitude definately. My partner read Finnigan's Wake for A Level in Wales and Gravity's Rainbow was an optional book.
Yes, R18, I have read them all. It's nothing special. It's not as if they are the hardest, most obscure or even well thought of/boasted about books in the world.
I will never. Ever. lie about having read "Atlas Shrugged".
You partner did not read Finnegan's Wake.
Reading Finnegans's Wake is known in most academic circles as the origin of the phrase "This. Never. Happened."
I'm surprised OP knows how to read anything.
Terrible thread, terrible blog post, terrible blog. I hope OP gets a hand ailment that prevents him from typing. I'm fucking tired of you, asshole OP.
I read the whole Bible over the course of several nightmarish years in Bible School, as did many many people around me. My grandmother reads it front to back at least a couple times a year. Yes, my family is scary.
I read Moby Dick in college. It's a fucking chore. The rest, I've got every one on my shelves, and never cracked open any of them.
Is OP also the blogger of Pinecone Stew that was once heavily shilled here? I didn't care for that blog either.
I've used my Kindle to download some of the old classics and re-read them now that I am in my 40s. I liked Hardy and Eliot much more now than I did in HS.
Look for the Shmoop version of some of these; this comes with humorous and witty commentary on the characters and chapters. The Shmoop annotated Moby Dick was under $2 and well worth it. I actually enjoyed reading Moby. I've downloaded the similar version of Brothers Karamatov and will try that soon.
Some of you are truly unhinged.
Why a silly, innocuous blog gets you so angry is a mystery to me. I never claimed it to be great art. It is something I do for fun, as is Datalounge.
I am amused by your rantings, though. So feel free to keep bumping the thread and bringing my blog traffic.
Come back, [...]-[...]! All is forgiven.
I bought and read the The Silmarillion in hardback when it first came out. I've got The Children of Húrin on my Kindle, but it's a bit of a rehash of earlier books, so haven't read it yet. I took a stab at Moby Dick, didn't get too far.
I wouldn't read Any Rand if you paid me. I've read bits and pieces of the Bible, but like most Christians, I haven't cracked it open in years.
The Bible owns this thread.
Most people read The Stand?
The Stand is widely considered Stephen King's best book. It's pretty popular, but I doubt there's any one book that "most people" have read.
Of course, any Ayn Rand novel is trash of the lowest order. As unpopular as it is to say these days, the reactionary Tolkien was also a very poor writer.
Stephen King reminds me of Neil Gaiman - both are sporadically competent, but more often than not subpar. They do have their moments of imagination, though - they are well-suited for graphic novels, as these allow the artists to fill in the characterization and tone deficits.
If you have not read any Ayn Rand and/or Tolkien, your mind is a much better place for it.
I read the Name of the Rose by Eco, and I found it poorly conceived. I can't figure out why people think he's a genius.
Love Moby Dick. Masturbated to bits of it many times.
100 Years of Solitude is wonderful, but I'm kind of glad the style never really caught on.
Atlas Shrugged was poorly written. I do believe what Paul Ryan said, namely that we are in that novel in the sense that businesspeople are deliberately sabotaging the economy until they get what they want politically.
I read the Silmarillion which was fascinating but not literature like LOTR.
I read the first 200 pages of Ulysses, which I loved. I usually like Joyce, but I have to read War and Peace and some other stuff before I go back to it and tackle it and Finegan's Wake.
I read the Bible cover to cover in 2006, after which I made a list of 120 pro-gay verses and I have copied them on to DL a number of times.
What, exactly, is a book?
... I lie about reading atlas shrugged.
I like to pretend I've never read it.
PPSM, why are you getting so hostile? We are discussing your book list. Some have read some of the titles, some haven't. No one is really getting too upset. R2 claimed to have read Finnegan's Wake. And you jumped all over him. It's weird. Some people HAVE read those books! Me included! We just have! That doesn't mean we don't get why you included them on the list. I think the list is just about perfect for books many claim to have read but haven't (Proust should have been on the list, IMHO). So let's just enjoy the debate without getting all bitch and defensive.
I read Gravity's Rainbow mostly because I thought I should. Not a great way to approach a book. I couldn't tell you one thing about it now except that it had screaming missles.
Gravity's Rainbow is one of my top 5 favourite books. It's not for everyone but it is beautiful. Atlas Shrugged you could not pay me to read.
"Proust should have been on the list, IMHO"
I agree. I know Thomas Mann's reputation has faded, but I would put "The Magic Mountain" on the list as well.
This thread is proof that liberals are lying idiots.
I'm my country we read Ulysses in high school.
We all "comprehended" it just fine R14.
god, is that PPSM person STILL here? Could someone PLEASE put her in a dark movie theater with a mentally unstable gunman? Please?
PHALLOCY: Ancient & Modern Arguments Against Penile Genocide Denounced (4 vols) by N. Michiganwomyn (foreskin leather edition, signed in menstrual blood), Angry Power Press, 1996.
I also read a great deal, but on that list I've read only Moby Dick and the Bible.
Can we just lie about having read your blog and call it even?
Let's start boycotting PPSM and his blog.
PPSM, please stop linking to your pedestrian and uninteresting blog. The knowing tone does nothing for you.
PPSM--what a remarkable blog you have! It has so much potential.
I think you should concentrate on it, and not waste your time at Datalounge and all the other web sites where no one appreciates your humor and insight.
[quote]I have a a degree in literature and read voraciously
Coupling the adverb voraciously with the verb read is one of the most tiresome, trite calling cards of unoriginal twits who try too hard to sound educated.
I still don't believe any of you have read Finnegan's Wake.
I read Finnegan's Wake, but only because it was required reading in a course in college.
No. You didn't.
I loved One Hundred Years of Solitude. Only one on the list I've read. Gave up on Moby Dick half-way through.
I've never heard of Finnegan's Wake but you bitches are making me want to read it.
I'll never read a religious book, an Ayn Rand book or anything by Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter and so on and so forth.
But I'll never lie about it either.
I don't understand how reading a book that's over 100 years old (Ulysses, etc.) makes one more cultured. Even Shakespeare makes no sense. And don't call me unedumacated.
I read Finnegan's Wake, too. It's almost entirely dirty jokes.
[quote]No. You didn't.
Fuck you, you self-promoting annoyance.
Some of us went to good universities. Sorry you didn't and are resentful of our broader education.
R57, you just don't get it. At all. And everything you are posting just validates my motivation for writing that blog entry.
Resentful? Hardly. I pity people who are so insecure that they constantly have to brag to people about the high calibre of their reading lists, their taste in food, their educations, their jobs, etc. That is why I wrote that entry to begin with.
That you finally "went there" by asserting you are better than me based on where you went to school, given there is no way to know for certain where either of us attended college, just proves my point. As does your persistent insistence that you have read one of the most nonsensical pieces of "literature" ever written.
Why the hell is it sooooo important to you that I believe you read Finnegan's Wake? I am a total stranger, and you have already asserted that I am somehow beneath you based on observance of a silly blog post. So why should you care?
Some of you rancid cunts really need to learn to just skip over threads you don't like. It isn't difficult.
Back on topic...
I never even took the cellophane off my Econ 101 text book.
"Magic Mountain" was great. "Buddenbrooks," on the other hand, was DEADLY DULL.
R55, "Ulysses" first appeared in 1918. Of course, that was long before anything of cultural interest had ever occurred. Hey, it was even before "Happy Days!"
[quote]given there is no way to know for certain where either of us attended college
Bitch, please! I know where I went to college.
I took a full semester of "James Jouce" at Yale, so it is really galling for some twit on the Internet to tell me which books of his I didn't read.
Your protestations only serve to underscore the paucity of your own learning.
Just fucking shut up and stop embarrassing yourself.
Blah blah blah, PPSM.
You started this thread by asserting our posters were lying about reading these books. Perhaps many people who claim to have read these books have not, and there was a survey of Oxford dons that indicated this is true of "Ulysses" even though they all proclaimed it the best novel in English; however, if you have not read them yourself, you are hardly in a position to find them out. As it happens, there are a number of readers here on datalounge, and it was somewhat odd of you to present your blog post to datalounge, where you publicize your blog, as though it were filled with the pretentious people you run across in your quotidian peregrinations (which I said just to piss you off although it is not in any sense "elevated" or "obscure" vocabulary and pretty much anyone could figure it out, even the clerk at the Time Saver).
[quote]And everything you are posting just validates my motivation for writing that blog entry.
Dear heart, you posted that drivel and flogged it here because you're a troll desperate for attention. It really is rather pathetic.
Before I get an "oh, dear," typo alert.
PPSM has marked his video of Joyce DeWitt as "Please don't jerk off to this." THE NERVE!
The blog that OP links to very obviously moderates the comments. The fact that every comment takes the blog seriously seems to indicate all of the comments were written by the blog owner.
The only thing I ever lie about reading is Datalounge.
I've read Moby Dick, Ulysses and One Hundred Years of Solitude. Nothing else on the list, although I have read Rushdie's Midnight's Children.
Honey, the people I hang out with have never even heard of those books.
Oh Bryan, are you still trying to convince people you went to Yale?
Isn't it time for your nighty-night tranquilizer?
I generally agree with the OP, both in his blog post and what he's said in the thread. It's probable several people have read a handful of those ten, but I wouldn't believe anyone who claims to have read all ten.
Personally, I've read Solitude, and I actually didn't find it to be that bad. I was surprised to see it on the list, but to each their own. I would like to pick up Ulysses some day, but I have no interest in reading the rest. Feel free to start insulting my intelligence.
The only mistake the OP has made is not anticipating that a thread pointing out pretension would not go over well among DL posters.
A big collective "Well, smell you!" goes out to several on this thread. You know who you are.
To the sane posters who are on topic, thank you.
R72, I may be having second thoughts about Solitude, as it is a close friend's favorite book. Maybe I will replace it on my list with Proust. Good call on that one.
The rest? No way in hell.
Don't give his blog anymore hits. Let's start ignoring Pollyanna Pisspot, Scat Muncher.
PPSM, I don't think anyone is bragging about what they've read. They're just stating what they've read. You telling them they haven't doesn't change the fact that many did, in fact, read Finnegan's Wake. I really like you, but you're being obstinate for no reason.
Penis Play, SadoMasochism?
I hope PPSM's plane hits severe turbulence when he and his chubby old husbear finally leave for Europe.
R77 I heard Lockerbie is lovely this time of year . . .
1) You guys are fucking sick.
2) You are in no way discouraging me from continuing to post.
OP wears cheap shoes.
R80 And not ironically.
I've read Proust too. We should give OP a break, because he hails from Oklahoma, but I think that would just make him hold his breath and stamp his feet.
[quote]I pity people who are so insecure that they constantly have to brag to people about the high calibre of their reading lists, their taste in food, their educations, their jobs, etc.
Self pity is so unbecoming.
Three months later, and I still don't believe you've read Finnegan's Wake.
Hope you all are having a fabulous weekend!
Love and kisses!
I read 100 Years of Solitude, you really need the org chart of the family to follow who is who.
I couldn't finish Infinete Jest, but will not lie and say I did. I will try to read it but it's fucking huge.
I want to add Don Quixote to that list. I have the book, I have the audio book, I just can't do it. And I think I have already lied and said I read it.
Oh, and I bought Ulysses and it's companion reader with every intention of reading it but I haven't yet.
The reason that I think there is a point to saying that we will lie about it is because when you have these books hanging off your shelves and people come over, they always seem to look at the books. And easier than saying, "yeah I brought all that but I'm can't get motivate to read it to" cousins or some acqaintence, you just say dense or good read and move on.
I'm not going to lie to friends about it.
Honestly? I hated or disliked all the novels I've ever read, with the exception of two.
I don't mind reading plays, because the writer's "techniques" tend to be less in-your-face and goddamn obvious. Plays are often open to more interpretation.
People must think I'm an uneducated dumbass for not reading or liking novels, but I have the audacity to opine that I'm alright without them.
If I had a nickel for every one of those books he's actually read...I'd be broke!
When I was in Dublin recently I stopped by a bookstore that did regular readings from James Joyce. Have to admit I didn't understand much of the part I heard, but plenty of ordinary Irish people seemed to understand and appreciate it just fine. Perhaps it's one of those things that's better heard performed than read in a book.
It depends on what Joyce you are reading, R90. I loved Portrait of the Artist and The Dubliners. Those are both genius. But Ulysses is tedious and indicative of a descent into mental illness, and Finnegan's Wake is just nonsense. It is the Naked Emporer of the literary world.
And I will never stop making fun of people who claim how great it is. The other books on my list are there for entertainment and could be up for debate. Finnegan's Wake, though...no. Just no.
Catcher in the Rye
Easy to pretend since everyone just assumes everyone else has read it
I went and bought "Vanity Fair" by Thackeray. I haven't read it yet, but I want to get it done before PPSM starts this thread again next year.
When I was 16, a peer told me that Catcher in the Rye was an amazing fictitious account that very accurately portrayed how teenagers think. I read it, and was like, "...okay..."
I've read both Moby Dick and Ulysses for college classes eons ago. I remember Moby Dick being the most awful book I've ever been forced to read & Ulysses being interesting. All details have since frittered out of my mind.
I'm sure this doesn't count but when I was young my mom had I believe a 24 volume set of a picture/children's bible. I did read those cover to cover and repeatedly as well.
I also went to Catholic school when I lived in a third world country. We had I believe foreign nuns & priests(Brits, Americans, Germans) who were of course sadists so was forced to read a lot of it and was actually required to stay awake during service because they religiously questioned you about it every Monday.
I have no interest in reading any of the others on that list except possibly Infinite Jest.
I don't understand the Satanic Verses entry. Yes, I ran out and bought it in 1989 amid all the controversy - but I read it immediately and thought it was quite brilliant and captivating. Midnight's Children was better, but the SV was pretty damn good. Not "unreadable" at all.
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Anything by Kafka and Ayn Rand
I read three of them, not bad
I actually enjoyed Candide.
I prefer to wait until the movie gets released.
I've read 7/10. and not the bible. So what?
[quote]I loved Portrait of the Artist and The Dubliners.
My bf (61) is a well-read history buff. Out of curiosity, I had him run through the list. Most of these on the list are no where near the top of his list, with the exception of 100 Years. If you want a horribly boring book, be sure to read The "Oxford History of the Russian Empire". He shudders at the memory.
YES - Foucault’s Pendulum (very good writer, book is excellent, not fond of the style though)
NO Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
YES - Moby Dick (quite good)
YES - 100 Years of Solitude (very richly told story. Excellent, excellent book)
YES - Atlas Shrugged (good book, well-written, a philosophy he doesn't engage with, pretentious)
YES - The Silmarillion (a nice tale)
NO (never heard of it) Gravity’s Rainbow
NO (never heard of it) Infinite Jest
NO (but wants to read both) James Joyce Tie: Finnegan’s Wake and Ulysses
YES - The Bible (cover to cover - thrice. Boring book. In summary, Old Testament says "Take responsibility". New Testament says "Love one another". There ya go. You can skip this book now. The rest of it is fluff and popcorn. There are great passages in the Psalms, though.)
THRICE, R105? Who the hell says thrice?
Luckily I noticed PPSM is OP so I won't even bother to look at the list. If it lists books that I haven't read, I don't care. I found some fascinating books in Australia and England that probably aren't on the list of anyone at DL, but what does it matter? If PPSM read every book on a dozen lists, it would make him well-read but wouldn't make him sane or a nice person.
Well, I do... It's cheaper in syllables than three times, and since I'm verbose, I'm happy for anything that truncates my ramblings without losing content... but I suppose I'm the only one who does. I'm not well-read, but my bf says I have quite the vocabulary, while I always worry that my vocabulary and grammar are woefully inadequate. I talk fast and get tongue-tied and inarticulate in person.
What are they, R107?
And your narrative is deadly dull.
R110, do you mean me? R108? I know it's true. I wish I knew how to keep people awake. I've always had this problem. But in person, people seem to be enamored enough by my effusiveness that at least some of them put up with it. Fabulosity excuses verbosity?
To the person who studied" aJames Jouce" at Yake must have been an interesting.Did you need a couple of Guiness to get the point ?It sounds as though you did:)
CHRIST! JUST SHUT UP!
Surprised by how much I enjoyed Moby Dick when I reread it a year ago. There was so much homosexual subtext that I missed in high school.
Have tried to read Gravity's Rainbow four times and even have the supplement but I gave up after 300 pages.
Oh no! I accidentally added "The" to Dubliners!
I must be an illiterate fool!
Really? That's the best you can do?
You guys are too easy. I love how easy it is to get you riled up, when none of this would be happening if you'd just ignore me.
You love the drama more than I do.
I actually liked the blog entry.
I don't understand the grief.It is the OP's opinion that is all.
Not everyone will share that view.But there are books that you struggle with and believe you should read but probably never will.
I agree with Proust but there is a but as I think people have certainly read him and I certainly have a desire but not sure if that will translate into reality.
Having said that I think we should have more book threads rather than less.
I would rather than discuss books that Justin Bieber any day .
So I applaud the OP
I've read Ulysses, One Hundred Years of Solitude and Moby Dick. And parts of the Bible. I don't lie about having read the others.
I know many people who have read books on that list. So what the fuck are they talking about?
Oh dear. No one has read Finnegan's Wake, but I'm sure some have read Finnegans Wake.
Actually, you are a former "School Marm," which also makes you only semi-literate.
Where did you go to school? Oklahoma State?
Hey what's wrong with OSU?
[quote]Hey what's wrong with OSU?
Well, to begin with: It's in Oklahoma.
[quote]NO (never heard of it) Gravity’s Rainbow
LOL. How nice you admit to that, R105. Why take you seriously?
I've read exactly half of them. Should I feel a failed Lit major?
Is my penance the act of reading one of Cheney's or Rove's autobiography??
Still here, posting from Budapest!
Read about it soon on my blog!
Still here, posting from Budapest!
Read about it soon on my blog!