I’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 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 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 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 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.
The 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!