Which book do you think you should have read, but never have? (Do tell, and you could win a bundle of books worth £100)

(229 Posts)
JaneMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 21-Apr-16 10:24:37

Hello,

In the run up to our first Bookfest event on 25 June (do take a look - we've got a fabulous line-up including Maggie O'Farrell, Meera Syal, Howard Jacobson, Andy Stanton and Liz Pichon, with a programme for all the family), we'll be running a survey on books and reading, and would love your help drawing up one or two of the questions.

1. Is there a book that you feel that you should have read but somehow missed out on? A classic that you've watched on TV but never perused in print? Which are the big tomes you are certain everyone around you has read, but you somehow missed out on or school or have never got round to tackling?

2. Is there a classic you are ashamed to admit you haven't read, to the extent that you might pretend that you have?

3. And - more broadly - is there an author whose greatest book or body of work has completely passed you by?

Do let us know - and all posters who tell us about the book or author who got away on this thread will be entered into a prize draw: one MNer will win a bundle of books worth £100.

Thanks as ever,

MNHQ

AYD2MITalkTalk Thu 21-Apr-16 10:34:17

Pretty much anything written by any Russian not called Asimov, Chekhov or Zamyatin. Let's go with War and Peace.

AYD2MITalkTalk Thu 21-Apr-16 10:42:00

My prize had better not be "Greatest Hits of the Dead Russians".

mogloveseggs Thu 21-Apr-16 10:45:06

War and peace. It's on my bucket list. One day I will read it........I think grin

AngryAnnie Thu 21-Apr-16 10:48:17

to Kill a Mockingbird. I bought it but always seem to find something else to read instead.

piratetoes Thu 21-Apr-16 10:54:34

Never read any Jane Austen (even though I have an English degree)! I have seen lots of TV and film adaptions of them...

31weeksgone Thu 21-Apr-16 10:56:48

Probably pride and prejudice, never had the chance!

JaneMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 21-Apr-16 10:58:37

AYD2MITalkTalk

My prize had better not be "Greatest Hits of the Dead Russians".

grin <extracts"Greatest Hits of the Dead Russians" from book pile>

Allalonenow Thu 21-Apr-16 11:01:51

I've never read Jane Eyre, it features so often on "My Favourite Book" lists that I do intend to read it at some point, just not quite yet, I don't feel the slightest bit guilty about not having read it though! smile

Terry Pratchett is an author with a body of work I've never delved into, but my Grandson is just starting to get interested in TP, so I may well read along with him.

RingUpRingRingDown Thu 21-Apr-16 11:07:51

The one that I've meant to read but haven't is War and Peace. I've tried a couple of times but given up, having got very muddled with characters. I think I'd need to sit down for several hours the first time I start so that I really get into it, rather than attempting to read it for 10 minutes before going to sleep at night. Yet Anna Karenina is one of my favourite books ever (which I remember reading on a long train journey, never looking up, and being very cross when I arrived as I didn't want to stop reading).
I deliberately didn't watch the recent TV adaptation as I thought it would ruin the book for me if I ever do get round to reading it.

I struggle with some of the classics - have never got on with Dickens or Hardy or To Kill a Mockingbird. Yet I've read and reread all the Austen, Bronte (various) many times.

VimFuego101 Thu 21-Apr-16 11:12:21

Lord of the Rings. I've tried to get into it several times, it just seems like a lot of walking.

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Thu 21-Apr-16 11:15:15

Ulysses. But tis quite long!

kelda Thu 21-Apr-16 11:23:01

Other one for The Lord of the Rings.

I love scifi/fantasy, have read all of Terry Pratchett, John Wyndham, Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, H. P. Lovecraft, Ursula K. Le Guin, Hitch-Hiker's Guide, Song of Ice and Fire and loads more in the genre.

I have read The Hobbit twice, first time when I was 9.

But The Lord of the Rings is apparently beyond me.

Also cannot be bothered with the Harry Potter books, after the first three.

BowChickaBowWow Thu 21-Apr-16 11:25:58

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Never read it (or the others in the series) as a child and just can't summon the enthusiasm to do so now.

Years ago when the BBC did their Big Read series and listed the top 100 books I did go on a mission to read as many as I could from the list (13 years on and I'm still working my way through it!). I did fail with Gormenghast though. More like Gormen-ghastly writing! wink

LadyPeterWimsey Thu 21-Apr-16 11:34:30

I fancy myself fairly well read, but have never read anything by the Brontes, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy or Dickens (apart from Oliver Twist for school, and A Christmas Carol.

Can you tell I have a prejudice against the Victorians?grin

MissMusicale Thu 21-Apr-16 11:44:25

I love books but have never read Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre even though I feel that by the age I am now I should have done or at least attempted to ( I do like the adaptations though).

I feel I ought to read "A room of one's own" as I know it's a feminist classic.
I agree with the idea that we all need our own space, but that's as far as I've got so far!

AlpacaPicnic Thu 21-Apr-16 12:04:33

Wuthering Heights... Especially as it was part of my A level course! Unsurprisingly I did not do terribly well. I even tried watching the film to muddle my way though and fell asleep at the end.

If you're reading this Mr Hughes - unlikely I know - then I'm sorry I was such a terrible student...

Roseformeplease Thu 21-Apr-16 12:10:46

1. Is there a book that you feel that you should have read but somehow missed out on? A classic that you've watched on TV but never perused in print? Which are the big tomes you are certain everyone around you has read, but you somehow missed out on or school or have never got round to tackling?

I have an English Literature degree but never read any of the books that get people raving at dinner parties. I have read all of Louis de Berniere, except "Captain Correlli's Mandolin" for example. For some reason, when people go on and on about a book, it puts me off entirely.

2. Is there a classic you are ashamed to admit you haven't read, to the extent that you might pretend that you have? I once pretended, at the height of the TV adaptation being on, that I had read "Middlemarch". In fact, I had not read most of the novel and had been faking it for years. I have now read it, after my eventual confession caused such hilarity that I felt duty bound to.

3. And - more broadly - is there an author whose greatest book or body of work has completely passed you by?

I think the Russians (Dostoevsky, Tolstoy etc) are a total blank. I also feel that Joyce is someone whose work I should have read but I have only really tried the first few pages, and given up.

PinotAndPlaydough Thu 21-Apr-16 13:02:27

Sophie's choice. I have it sat on my book shelf and can't bring myself to read it as I think it'll be too harrowing.

I've never pretended that I've read a book I haven't as I know I would probably get caught out. I don't get the chance to read as much as I did pre children which is a bit sad really. I'm sure I've missed out on some brilliant new books in the last few years.

I'm ashamed to admit I haven't read anything by the brontes (I have them on my book shelf too blush)

Mousefinkle Thu 21-Apr-16 13:11:19

1) haven't read Schindler's Ark despite watching Schindler's list about three or four times. I keep meaning to but never get around to it.

2) Never read any Jane Austen or anything by the Bronte sisters. I prefer mid 20th century American literature TBH but I know I should at least try some Jane Austen.

3) CS Lewis. My dad bought me the whole collection as a child and I just couldn't get into them at all.

booksrock Thu 21-Apr-16 13:17:01

1. Is there a book that you feel that you should have read but somehow missed out on? A classic that you've watched on TV but never perused in print? Which are the big tomes you are certain everyone around you has read, but you somehow missed out on or school or have never got round to tackling?

Until recently it was 'To Kill a mockingbird' but I finally got round to reading it. I am missing a lot of Shakespeare and have to fake more knowledge then I have on the historical plays which I don't have a lot of knowledge on.

2. Is there a classic you are ashamed to admit you haven't read, to the extent that you might pretend that you have?

Possibly 'war and Peace' but I think a lot of people still haven't got round to reading that yet. I've never read 'pride and prejudice' or any Bronte and I think that is pretty bad.

3. And - more broadly - is there an author whose greatest book or body of work has completely passed you by?
Antony Trollope, most spy novels authors, like John le carre.

RuthyToothy Thu 21-Apr-16 14:18:22

Never read any Jane Austen (even though I have an English degree)! I have seen lots of TV and film adaptions of them...

Same here! I haven't even watched a single film of TV adaptation either blush

So, shamefully, Eng Lit graduate here who has never read 'Pride and Prejudice' grin

NotJanine Thu 21-Apr-16 14:23:39

I know the story of Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol from the films, so that counts as reading the book right?

graysor Thu 21-Apr-16 14:24:49

Rebecca, by Daphne de Maurier. My name is Rebecca, so feel like I should read it, but it's never quite made it to the top of my reading pile.

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