Friday, March 13, 2009

Books We Lie About

Have you seen this?

I guess I'm not surprised that people have lied about not reading 1984 (I'm embarrassed not to have read it yet). But do so many people really find it necessary to lie about War and Peace and Ulysses? This is a British list, so the books Americans lie about may be different. Still, I would have expected to see The Complete Works of William Shakespeare on the list first.

Unless I actually am the only reader left who hasn't read The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

Rats. I wasn't going to let you know that.


  1. Well I haven't read the Complete Works of William Shakespeare either ... in fact there are more works of his that I haven't read than that I have.

    Most of the books on that list I find I haven't read, and don't feel the need to claim that I have. And I'm trying now to remember if I actually ever finished 1984 or if I just remember the movie.

    And the Bible is an interesting one ... does it count if I skipped over all the "begats" and chunks of Leviticus?

  2. Good question. I guess it depends on whether you generally "count" books that you've skipped small sections of. Percentage-wise, the begats don't take up that much of the Bible.

    I have the same problem with remembering whether or not I've actually read all of certain books, especially if I've seen a movie (or six) based on the book--Alice in Wonderland, for example.

  3. Funny you should mention "Alice in Wonderland" ... I'm not sure I've ever actually read the book, but as a kid I had a set of LP records (yes, records -- vinyl -- am I showing my age here?) of Cyril Ritchard reading the entire book. I listened to it so much that now, some thirty years later, I can still recite many passages from memory.

    I never have read "Through the Looking Glass", though, and only know certain selected episodes that always seem to be inserted into the movie versions of "Alice in Wonderland". And Jabberwocky. I can also recite the Jabberwocky from memory, though I have no idea from whence I gained that particular skill.

  4. What's even funnier is that part of my problem with remembering whether or not I read Alice in Wonderland is due to my sister borrowing Lewis Carroll books on tape from the library and listening to them over and over. I think Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are scrambled together in my head.

    Also, Jabberwocky just *begs* to be recited, doesn't it? I wish I knew it by heart. "'Twas brillig and the slithy toves..."