The Eleven Books People Lie Most About Reading

Trog links to a piece on The Federalist entitled The Top Ten Books People Lie About Reading and enumerates those which he, Trog, has read between Danica Patrick fan fiction (between two and five, because Trog counts partial reads).

I’d seen the linked piece before and considered doing a list-post comparing what I’ve read to the actual list, but my laziness precluded me. But now that all the cool kids are doing it (“If Trog jumped onto a river, would you?” “Yeah!”)

A little note, though: the item at the Federalist says “ten” books, but one list entry is actually two books. The math, it is hard for English majors.

Ergo, here is the list, with the ones I have read rendered in bold:

  • Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
  • On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin
  • Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
  • A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
  • 1984, George Orwell
  • Democracy in America, Alexis De Tocqueville
  • The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith
  • Moby Dick, Herman Melville
  • The Art of War, Sun Tzu
  • The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli
  • Ulysses, James Joyce

I do own Les Miserables and Democracy in America with the intent to read them. I also own Ulysses, but I’m not sure I’ll ever reach a point where I pick that up before another book unless it’s a post-apocalyptic world where I’m burning books for warmth.

That’s six of eleven. And The Art of War and The Prince are a hundred pages each. They’re not books. They’re fat pamphlets.

3 thoughts on “The Eleven Books People Lie Most About Reading

  1. Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
    On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin
    Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
    A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
    1984, George Orwell
    Democracy in America, Alexis De Tocqueville
    The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith
    Moby Dick, Herman Melville
    The Art of War, Sun Tzu
    The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli
    Ulysses, James Joyce

    I’m reading Moby Dick right now. Hey, then our lists will match!

    1984 is actually spelled out Nineteen Eighty-Four, which is why so many library users have trouble finding it in the catalog.

    I read The Dead and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I’m not convinced that Joyce was a genius.

    Good catch on Democracy in America. I didn’t notice that error.

  2. Any errors caught in Democracy in America were caught by Trog; I copied the list from his site.

    I’ve read The Hunchback of Notre Dame and was not impressed. He’s no Dickens, but I’m basing that on a single book. I probably have Les Miserables, too, so perhaps I ought to pick that up sometime soon to see if my second dose of Hugo is better than the first.

    And it will ensure I keep ahead of you.

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