Sunday Salon – Books I Haven’t Read

I’ve seen others have been writing a sort of meme “confessing up ‘ to the books they haven’t read, so I thought I would too. These are the books that maybe I “should have read” by now but haven’t yet got round to. I don’t actually believe there is any “should” about it, but there seems to be some idea that to be “well read” you have to have read from a “canon of literature”.

I haven’t read:

  • The epic poem Beowulf, and reading about the film doesn’t count (I haven’t seen the film either)
  • Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queen has passed me by as though it was never written. Apparently Elizabeth I loved it.
  • Gulliver’s Travels, although I think I “know” the story of his time in Lilliput and Brobdingnan from watching a cartoon version once.
  • Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, although I read extracts when I was taking an Open University course.
  • The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith – it’s one of those books I’ve been meaning to read for years.
  • Anything by Samuel Richardson, although he is considered one of the authors of the first novel in English, but I have read Tom Jones by Henry Fielding, amd Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, other contenders for the title.
  • There are several of Charles Dickens’s books I haven’t read, such as The Pickwick Papers, The Old Curiosity Shop, Martin Chuzzlewit, Nicholas Nickleby and Barnaby Rudge although I have read some of his books – Tale of Two Cities, Bleak House, A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations immediately spring to mind – there many be others.
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, although I have read The Moonstone.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas – this is on my tbr list.
  • Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome – apparently a classic satire.
  • The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith – a classic British comedy.
  • Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas – one of my school friends (and that’s aeons ago) was forever extolling its praises and I still haven’t read it,
  • Ulysses by James Joyce – need I say anymore?
  • The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy. But I did watch both of the TV series of the books.
  • A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell – I did try the first book once.
  • Anything by Salman Rushdie.
  • Ditto Terry Pratchett
  • White Teeth by Zadie Smith, although I have read On Beauty.

This list is getting far too long and depressing in the amount of books I haven’t read and I’ve hardly touched the surface of the 20th century, never mind the 21st. Looking at this list of English Novelists on wikipedia is even more depressing (or exhilarating depending on how you view things) because of so many authors I haven’t tried that I’m stopping now. And there are so many more world wide authors as well!