Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Lied About

 Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

1. I lied about reading Wuthering Heights... In grade 10 I had to read it for a class assignment but it annoyed me so much that it took me ages to get through it. So about halfway through it I jumped on Sparknotes and watched the film adaptation. I got a good enough overview between these sources to get through my assignment with a decent enough mark. I felt bad though so after it was over I finished the book...Ugh, I should have just left it half finished.

2. I lied about reading Twilight... Last year I had to read it for a popular fictions/popular cultures class I took and in the class discussions I said that I hadn't read it before, however I had actually read the complete series the year before. This actually reminded me of a post I read awhile ago over at Alison Can Read where she said that it wasn't fair that people feel bad for enjoying or loving a book (in both this case and her post - Twilight) because of a particular public opinion. I wasn't embarrassed because I loved the book (in fact I disliked the whole series), but I was worried that people would make snap judgements about me as a person and as a lit student because of this association.

3. I find Sonya Hartnett over-rated... Sonya Hartnett is one of Australia's golden literary daughters and at uni everyone raves about her. She's alright. She puts too much emphasis on description and not enough on plot in my opinion and is a little bit floofy for my taste, but her books are short enough that when they're prescribed reading I can get through them easily enough. However whenever a conversation is started in class and everyone pipes up with how much they worship her I just slump down in my seat and keep quiet.

4. I didn't originally like Harry Potter... I mentioned this in an earlier post but when I first picked up Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone I was soooooo bored. It wasn't until I skipped the first five or six chapters and the action began to pick up that I could settle into it and begin to truly enjoy what I was reading. Once I was hooked I could go back and reread the start of the book without the same issues but it amazes me when I look back and think how close I was to just chucking it in altogether!

5. I couldn't finish Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness... I had to read this for a class at uni but I couldn't get past the first chapter. I'm not even sure what it was exactly but I had absolutely no interest in finishing this book. I've heard people rave about this book and I usually smile and nod and mumble indistinct noises in reply before changing the subject fast. My taste in writing has changed quite a bit since I was supposed to read this so I'm considering giving it another crack but the dislike I had for it originally is holding me back.

6. I lied about reading and liking Janet Evanovich's One for the Money... A friend gave me a copy of One for the Money for my birthday a few years ago knowing that I like books but not knowing any more than that. I read the back cover, flipped it open and read the first line, closed it and pushed it away. It sat neglected in my book shelf until a friend's birthday came up and I wrapped it up and passed it on. It was much better suited to her and she enjoyed it quite a bit! I only had to lie the one time to the original gifter and simply said I'd enjoyed it and that was all she needed, it has never come up again!

And that is all from me. I simply couldn't think of any more literary lies. The only other possible addition would be a blanket holding of my tongue and forced smile when friends discuss books and authors I really dislike but that I don't feel like getting into a debate about. That doesn't happen too often, more often than not I'm placed in that situation about music or films instead. And the reason I don't respond is because they're fair weather readers, they don't care why they should be reading my authors over theirs so it isn't worth the awkward conversation!

How about all of you? Did you find a full 10 literary lies?


  1. I like the way you presented your list. I've not read Twilight -- its hype, reputation, and location in the children's department have thus far prevented me from making a go -- but I imagine I would sympathize with your feelings if I did.

  2. I don't lie about literature - if I like something, I say so and if I hate somehting I do the same. This is why I only found one literary lie of mine. It wasn't about a book but a poem.
    This was in first year college overview course on poetry in English from Beowulf to the poems of T.S. Eliot. The poem in question was The Wasteland, the reading of which was possibly the biggest waste of time of my whole academic career.
    However, the teacher liked it very much and I realised I didn't have convincing enough arguments to be able to get a good grade for my essay by saying I didn't agree with him, so I put together a finely crafted lie about how great I though it was, and got a 9.5 (equal to an A in American terms).

  3. I didn't like Harry Potter when I first read it either when I was in my early teens. I picked it up again on a whim before the last book was released and breezed through the entire series.

    I did like Heart of Darkness though, although I have become a way that I am usually in the minority on that one.

  4. @Jenn, I really don't know why I didn't like Heart of Darkness for all I know I was in a bad mood and couldn't get through it. I've heard so many wonderful reviews of it that I really need to just read it and decide once and for all what I think!

    @Bibliophile, must have been one hell of a lie! I hate when teachers are extremely vocal about books they love because it makes it seem as though you can't have a different opinion unless you have strong reasons why. Sometimes you just don't like it! Although I suppose with an assignment you need to be fairly convincing...

    @smellincoffee, thanks! I resisted the series for a long time but decided I couldn't pass judgement on the 'twihards' without actually reading it so I gave it a go. Don't bother!

  5. I did the same thing with The Odyssey as you did with Wuthering Heights. It must be an over active conscious in High School.

  6. Kayleigh, you do indeed have to be convincing. Words like "grandeur", "profound" and "magnificence" are all very useful for such suck-up pieces...

    If I were faced with the same assignment today I wouldn't have any problems at all expressing why I dislike it, but back then I didn't have the English literary vocabulary I do today. If I indeed still do dislike it - it has, after all, been 20 years and tastes change.

  7. I can definitely understand your reasons for lying about certain books. The one that jumped out at me was Twilight and how people judge others based on what they read. It's a pity one book like that can erase all the other ones you've read. I've omitted some books from my reading history for that reason too.

  8. Incidentally, I seem to be one of those rare people who actually liked Heart of Darkness, even after being forced to analyse it half to death.

  9. Most books I had to read for school, I read the Sparknotes or rented the movie instead. Somehow, I managed to pass.

    I was late on the whole Twilight craze. I ended up reading all the books in 1 week since I got them right before the last book came out. I'm still not sure how I feel.

    I pretend like I know a lot more about Shakespeare than I actually do. lol.

  10. Ahhh, "twihards"! I think I almost like that more than Potterhead! ... but then again I would count myself as one of the Potter faithful..

  11. Interesting list. There are some books we can never get into...

    Here is my Top Ten post!

  12. Great list! And good for you for airing out your lies!!! :0) I feel like I should have devulged more in my list now...hehehe - check it out if you get time!
    Me, My Shelf and I: Top Ten Tuesday

  13. I hated both Wuthering Heights and Heart of Darkness, but I made myself finish them. At least there were a few good themes/quotes in Heart of Darkness, but I couldn't find a single redeemable quality of Wuthering Heights. My favorite Bronte work is definitely Jane Eyre. Nice list!

  14. @Me Mys shelf and I, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, haha!

    @Gautami Tripathy, definitely, some books just can't tick all the boxes you need.

    @Smellincoffe, How great is it, it always makes me giggle (and then feel a little mean). I proudly call myself a Potterhead (although that's actually the first time I've heard that phrase!)

    @Kati R, for the most part I manage to get through all my books for uni, but when you have two or three classes with at least 8 set readings that you should probably be trying to get through at least twice...well the ones that don't grab me immediately sometimes get left behind! Sparknotes is fantastic though, even when I have read the books I like to go on and see what they say about particular motifs etc

    @booknympho, It's really sad that people are judged on their books choices, and as you say anything else they've read is erased, but the worst part is that it is generally (in my experience) literature and creative writing students who are the worst. The amount of crap they heap on genre fic of any calliber or successful authors who release books with regularity is terrible, but perhaps they're lying themselves to try and fit in?

    @Lisa, I can imagine I'd have done the same if I'd been prescribed it in Highschool!

    @Bibliophile, Now that i'm in my last year at uni I'm more comfortable to be vocal about my dislikes both in assignments and class discussions, but it did take awhile to feel like I was safe to say so.

  15. I felt the same way about Harry Potter! I couldn't understand what the fuss was about when I read Book 1. I very nearly stopped there. But I'm so glad I kept going because I loved every other book in the series.

  16. I hated Heart of Darkness the first time I read it, but now I really genuinely like it (not a lie). I think for me, some of the things I read in school, I hated them because someone else told me to read them.

    Come check out The Scarlet Letter's Top Ten Tuesday

  17. I've been trying to post a comment all day! I'm glad I finally can.

    Anyway, I almost missed the Harry Potter boat too. I started to read it when only the first two books were out, but I couldn't get into it. Then, my book was stolen so I didn't keep trying. I saw the first movie when it came out and read the first four books after that. I was instantly hooked.

  18. @Jenni, it's so easy to become addicted to the HP series but I never realised how many people, like me, weren't completely wowed by it at first!

  19. +JMJ+

    Wuthering Heights is on my list, too--but for a different reason! =) Which film adaptation did you watch?

  20. The old one, haha, I can't be more specific than that sorry! I think it was from the 40s or 50s. It wasn't great... but that might have been because of the book it was based on!



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