Inverarity (inverarity) wrote in bookish,

Saturday* Book Discussion: The Bucket List of Books

* Okay, it's not Saturday. I tried to post this Saturday, honest! For some reason, I kept getting a message that all posts were being put into a moderation queue. ??? Now that I seem to be able to post again, just consider this a very late SBC. Monday is the new Saturday!

ETA: It was the links! Apparently my habit of pasting tons of links and images was causing my post to automatically go into the moderation queue. Probably a new anti-spam measure LJ implemented.

Like most readers, I have a long and ever-growing To Be Read List, which realistically I will only finish if I live to be approximately 247 years old. (And if I never add anything else to my TBR list. Hahahah! As if.)

But I add lots of books to my TBR list, from "Holy crap I have to read this as soon as I can get my hands on it!" to "Looks kind of interesting, I'll pick it up if I ever see it in the dollar bin at Bordersthe Goodwill store."

Tangent: If you've never checked out a Goodwill or Salvation Army store for cheap reading, you should. Most of them have shelves full of dirt-cheap books and usually include tons of sci-fi and fantasy and bestsellers. Of course they are usually completely unsorted and also include tons of books like this:

1981, in case you were wonderingLol!WTF?-inducing

But anyway, this isn't about my TBR list per se, but those books that you have always meant to Get Around To someday. The ones you know you "should" read, or that you really do want to read, but suspect you aren't really going to enjoy that much, or which are just going to take forever and you have to be in the mood to tackle half a million words of Tolstoy. For me, they are mostly books I would like to be able to say I have read but am not actually looking forward to the experience of reading them.

Let's call it the TBR Bucket List: the books you really, really do mean to read before you die, but you're not in any real hurry to get around to them, this year or the next.

Here is my list:

The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings

How I felt

What can I say? I am a genre fanboy and I... never finished it. I read The Hobbit when I was ten, and started The Fellowship of the Ring, and eleven-year-old me found my eyes glazing over and nothing to hold my attention and I put it back on my shelf, and that boxed Tolkien set my grandmother gave me for my birthday has been sitting on my shelf ever since. I feel like I owe it to my dear, late grandmother to finish it someday, plus of course I am a big fantasy fan and OMG HOW CAN YOU NOT HAVE READ LORD OF THE RINGS?!

It's not because eleven-year-old me was too young to enjoy big, thick adult books: I read James Clavell's Shogun at that age. Tolkien's prose just struck me as too dry and dull for a story that should have been exciting (Orcs! Elves! Dragons! Magic rings!) and as a total AD&D nerd, I spent my teen years feeling guilty that I'd never actually read LoTR.

I still feel guilty. I'll finish it someday, Grandma.

War and Peace

War and Peace

There are two kinds of readers: those who have read War and Peace and those who haven't. Let's face it, this is one of those books you read for bragging rights. I may actually enjoy it, since I do like well-written epics of any kind, and Tolstoy wrote it before he went batshit crazy, but it's soooooo long and if I don't enjoy it I'm still going to feel compelled to finish it. I have thought about listening to the audio version, but that feels like "cheating": for proper bragging rights, I need to actually read all 566,000 words.

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

Tolstoy's other book Every Serious Reader is supposed to read. It interests me less than War and Peace, though it's shorter. I may start with it, in the hopes that I will enjoy it enough to be more enthused about moving on to the doorstopper.

Moby Dick

Moby Dick

I don't even know why, I just feel like I should read this one. I escaped it in high school, and there are tons of other books everyone reads in high school that I didn't that I mean to get around to (like The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, and The Catcher in the Rye), but while those others are books I might easily pick up and read on a whim and will sooner or later, Moby Dick is like a big white whale off in the distance that I know I will have to face someday but don't really want to.

The rest of Robert Anton Wilson's "Illuminati" books

I'll just keep staring at you until you finish those books

I read the Illuminatus! trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea many years ago, and loved it. (I love the Steve Jackson Games card game, too, and I even played the PBM version from Flying Buffalo back in the day. Gnomes of Zurich for the win!) Then I went out and bought every other Illuminati book by Wilson: Masks of the Illuminati, the Schrödinger's Cat trilogy, the Historical Illuminatus Chronicles, even The Illuminati Papers. And every time I tried to read any of them, my mental gears started to spin and I closed the book thinking that there must be something about sci-fi authors named Robert that turns them into serious wankers.

It's been years, and those books are still sitting on my shelf, and I still mean to read them someday. Whyyyyyyyyy?

(Incidentally, Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle is on the shelf next to them, for much the same reason.)

Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged

(Warning! Serious rantage ahead!)

I hate Ayn Rand. I hate her without ever having read a single one of her books. I hate Objectivists and I generally loathe libertarians. Everything I know about Ayn Rand and everything she's written tells me that she was a hate-filled moonbat and that I will wear my teeth to the roots with the grinding if I ever try to get through one of her books, and Atlas Shrugged is the epitome of everything I hate about delusional special snowflake libertarians and their fantasies about making the world burn for not sucking their dicks. (If you are a libertarian and this isn't you then fine, I ain't talkin' about you, John Galt.)

The Cliff Notes version

But, I also have this guilty idea that it's not really fair to hate on a book good and proper unless you've actually read the damn thing for yourself. (This is why I forced myself to read Twilight.)

So, someday I will read Atlas Shrugged. And then my fiery hate will be vindicated.

There are tons of other books sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read (and have been waiting to be read for years), and there are tons of other literary classics on my TBR list waiting for me to get around to them, but they are all of the "I will read this when I'm in the right mood" category, as opposed to my Bucket List which is of the "Someday I'll finish all the other books on my TBR list and then I'll get to these, honest!" variety. The only thing that is likely to actually put them in my hands before then is if they happen to be assigned to me in the books1001 challenge.

So, what's on your I Will Read This Someday (If I Don't Die First) list?

Previous Saturday Book Discussions.
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