So I have decided to use this blog post to shame myself a little bit. The shame comes from a list books that I have not read, but feel that I should have by now. Particularly because I own all the books on the list, buying them with the thought that I should read them. Now obviously I have not felt enough guilt about not reading them to actually read them, so obviously I am not that shamed by it, but it is something I keep telling myself I need to do.
What I mean by books I need / should read are ones that I just remember being a big deal at some point in my past. Either they were widely regarded novels that I had not read that related to some other cultural artifact I was interested in or they are often used as references in other areas I am interested in and feel I should understand the source material better. I know that is vague, but you will understand better when you actually see the list, which will go from my feeling of least shameful to most.
5. Catcher in the Rye
I will be honest I think this is because I saw movies where it was referenced and there is a whole following around this book. Its popularity continues into today and it is most well known for its connection to the shooting of John Lennon. What in some ways resparked the interest with my post is it being an influence of Perks of Being a Wallflower, which is a book that I also want to read. Which for me means I need to read Catcher in the Rye before I read Perks of Being a Wallflower.
This is another one that due to its acclaim and the fact that the phrase Catch-22 has become a common phrase makes me really interested in reading the book. It is very well regarded and considered one of the greats for the twentieth century. The story sounds interesting and the combination of satirical and somewhat historical novel is just great.
3. Atlas Shrugged
Okay, so this is cheating a little bit because I have attempted to start this book multiple times and just cannot get enough momentum to keep going. I will admit I do not think I have made it through the first 100 pages, which with a book that size I feel like you need to at least get to that point before you can truly say you give up on something. At the same time Atlas Shrugged is referenced all the time in discussions of politics, religion, capitalism, philosphy, etc. It would probably be good to have an understanding of what people are discussing. My mom says I should just watch part 1 and 2 of the movie and then pick up the book from part 3, but that is cheating in my opinion and won’t really count as having read the book.
This is one that I really, really, really need to read. It is one of the quintessential dystopia novels, again referenced a lot when talking about where the world is headed and what to expect. Just saying 1984 so much comes to people’s minds, even those of us who haven’t read the book. When the whole Amazon Kindle debacle happened I still understood the irony generally, even if I did not have the specifics.
This is my ultimate shame. I have studied digital media and one of the biggest names in cyber punk is Neuromancer. Now to acquit myself slightly I have read other William Gibson and loved it, but I have not seemed to find the time to read Neuromancer. It is the book that was often discussed in many of my classes and again many discussions that people have today about the Internet and worldwide web can be traced back to this book in particular. It being my field of study just makes it that much worse that I have not read this book.
So there you have it, my not-so-secret shame that there are some probably amazing books that I have not read yet. I will read these at some point, especially now that I have posted about it hopefully it will get me moving in that direction, although I am reading like 4 or 5 books right now (not a good idea). And anyone who says that I should have read some of these in high school, David and I have had this discussion. Go to five friends from college and find out what they read in high school – there will be less that matches up than you might think.