Books

Five ‘Essential’ Books I Don’t Want to Read

BOOKs I don't wantI’ve often seen these books called ‘essential reading’ but I’ve never had any interest in reading them. I missed out on reading some of these books during high school because my English teacher decided that we would study short stories for our GCSEs instead of novels.


the catcher in the ryeThe Catcher in the Rye by  J. D. Salinger

The Carcher in the Rye is an incredibly popular novel and it’s been translated into almost every major language but I have never wanted to read it. I don’t care for books about teenage rebellion and teenage angst, they’re just not themes that grab my attention at all. It also freaks me out that people use the book as an excuse to shoot people. That’s not the fault of the book or the author but it still freaks me out.

lord of the fliesLord of the Flies by William Golding

William Golding may have won the Nobel Prize for Literature but that doesn’t mean that I want to read Lord of the Flies. I like the concept of the book but I’ve always been put off by the fact that it was marketed, at least by my schools when I was a child/teenager, as a ‘book for boys’. I don’t believe that any book can be gendered in such a way and it really puts me off when people attempt to. I think that out of the books on this list this is the one I’d be most likely to try one day.

to kill a mockingbirdTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This book has never appealed to me. I didn’t even want to read it when Go Set a Watchman was published in 2015 and people started telling me that I had to read both of them since I was a literature student. I know that it is considered to be a Southern Gothic novel, a genre that I love, but it just doesn’t seem like the type of book that I’d enjoy.

Of Mice and MenOf Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

This is the book I should have read at high school but never did. Everyone that I went to university with read this book during high school or during college and it has a special place in their hearts. I missed out on reading it at ‘the right time’ and I think that’s why I don’t particularly want to read it because the premise just sounds awful. I do, however, want to read The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck.

adventures of huck finnThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

I’ve never been interested in any of Mark Twain’s work. I don’t know why but none of his books have ever been on my to read lists. However, this is the one that I want to avoid the most. I’ve heard things about this book that make me very uncomfortable even though I can usually accept racial slurs and other language as a product of their time and environment.


If you’ve read any of these books then please let me know your thoughts on them. I’ll probably never read them but I’d still like to know your opinions!

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Five ‘Essential’ Books I Don’t Want to Read

  1. The only book I would say is a “must” read is Lord of the Flies. It’s actually really good. A fantastic look at the darkness of humanity, you know how quickly we turn into animals once civility is removed from the equation.

    To Kill a Mockingbird is actually quite good but slow.

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    1. Lord of the Flies is the only one I’d actually consider reading because the plot and themes sound interesting. It was just the fact that I was discouraged from reading it as a girl that put me off 🙂

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  2. Funnily enough I actually enjoyed all of these with the exception of Lord of the Flies! For Steinbeck, have you read East of Eden? I did enjoy Of Mice and Men, but I think if everyone had to read one Steinbeck it should be East of Eden, which is definitely his masterpiece. (I also put off reading TKAM for years because I was sure I wouldn’t like it, but I actually ended up loving it. Still avoiding Go Set a Watchman, though.)

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  3. The true of Of Mice and Men is that it’s only 110 pages long. You can knock it out in 2 hours. It’s also terrific. The last part of my review of it a few years ago:

    “I’m happy to report that Of Mice and Men is an American classic for good reason. It will make you laugh, it will make you think, it may even make you cry. It is a testament to the power of friendship, to every man’s need for a family, whatever that might be.”

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  4. That’s too bad about To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s one of my favourite books. But we are all unique in our tastes, which is wonderful! If anything, I would recommend the movie. It’s beautifully shot and at least you’ll be able to discover the story ❤

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