Ok, so these aren’t the only 5 books I haven’t read, of course. They also aren’t, I’m quite sure, the most significant 10 books that I could’ve allowed to pass me by. They do however represent a point that I’m glad to have reached in my life, where I don’t give a shit anymore.

1. The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen

The Corrections, Jeez. Enough with the fucking Corrections already. I get this one at least once every 6 months. ‘Oh god mate, it’s amazing, it’s just so well created and truthful.’ I’m quite sure that it’s great for you but, for me, I couldn’t get started with it. It’s a lump of a book so if you’re struggling to give a shit after ten pages then it takes a strong resolve to bear with it, in the hope that the next 590 pages will redeem it. If I want multi-layered familial angst and revelations in my books then I’m fine for that already thanks. Read Strong Motion a while back, it was ok. Moving on.

2. Birdsong, by Sebastian Faulks

I think the problem here is Sebastian Faulks, and also the subject matter, so it’s not off to a great start. Faulks seems a bit of a poncey knobber to me, and one who is inconsistent in his subject matter. So, he comes across as a bit of a writer for hire and that suggests a lack of credibility. I’m sure that he writes beautifully but I’m reminded of a girl I knew who got an ‘A’ in art A-level because she did the work properly, not because she embraced the art, it’s the same thing to me. Also, I can and do read lots of books on WWI, usually by people who were there, and that’s good enough. Goodbye to all that, anyone?

3. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

This could indeed have included anything by any of the Bronte Massive, or Austen, except Jane Eyre. This is not my idea of a good read. It’s not I think because it’s all heaving bosoms, fluttering eyelids, unspoken angst and contempt and class hurdles, although that doesn’t help. It’s just all a bit wet, and about a time I don’t care much about. These high-born people and their troubles, in the same period that Dickens was writing about the lower classes, just mean nothing more to me than pretence and I’ve tried and failed on numerous occasions to get through any of this tripe. I do like the Laurence Olivier film though.

4. The Time Traveller’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

High concept books really flick my switch and I had high-hopes for this when I first heard about it. I like the philosophy of time travel a lot  and books that play with it generally get my vote. However, the more time went on, and the more I realised that it was not really that kind of book, my fervour waned to the point now where I almost phase it out of my vision when I see it in EVERY CHARITY SHOP IN THE WORLD. Falls into the same camp as the Ukranian Tractors book – made out to be high concept, actually a differently written romance/feelings book. I’ve nothing against feelings, I have my own in fact, therefore I want more from a book.

5. War and Peace/Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

I don’t mean a double volume of the two of course, imagine the size of the thing. What I mean is that, to me, they’re interchangeable and have nothing to interest me, as far as I know. As with everything on list, people who’ve read and loved them would say ‘Just persevere, give it another go!’ No, sorry. Massive books about people struggling and dying in the bitter wastes of Russia, meh. I’ve tried W&P and have a lovely copy at home, but it’s for show really. Do you want it? Bung me a couple of quid and you can use it to maybe elevate a spider plant with.

Clearly this list could’ve been 10, 20 or 30, but I can’t be bothered, and neither can you. I think an even more interesting list (‘more interesting than this?’) would be one of the most often seen books in Charity shops, as well as Time Traveller’s Wife, and every Lisa Jewell and Jodi Picoult book in existence.

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