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The Great Books We've Never Read

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Slate's having its annual Book Week, part of which is an admission by several notable authors of the "Great Books" they've never read.

My list? WAY too long. I'd have a much easier time mentioning the Great Books I have read. Short list.

I don't know who Jonathan Ames is (sorry), but his response LEAPS out:

"I haven't read the Bible..."

Well, that's one book I have read. I wouldn't have expected any famous author to admit to not reading the Bible, but there you have it.

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Roger Kimball confirms that I need never read Norman Mailer,

For readers who did not witness his elevation to the role of literary-political culture hero, it is difficult to appreciate the awe with which Norman Mailer was regarded by the literary and academic establishment from the 1950s through the 1960s and into the 1970s....

The adulation that greeted The Armies of the Night underscores an important fact about Mailer

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Great books I've never read and have no real interest in:

My Antonia by Willa Cather

Anything by Thomas Hardy

Anything by Henry James

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Moby Dick by Herman Mellville

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathon Swift

Great books I mean to read someday:

The Iliad (Fitzgerald translation)

David Copperfield and Bleak House by Charles Dickens

The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in a Time of Cholera by Gabriel Marquez Garcia

Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe

1984 by George Orwell

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene

Confessions by Augustine

The Stranger by Albert Camus

Great books I've never read and have a mild interest in reading:

Pride and Prejudice and Emma by Jane Austin

Crime and Punishment and Brother's Karazamov by Dostoyefsky

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Midnight's Children and Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

Great books that weren't easy but were definitely worth the effort:

All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren

The Inferno by Dante

The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy

Notes from Underground by Dostoyefsky

In Memoriam by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis

Native Son by Richard Wright

Silence by Shusaku Endo

Great books that I have read but think were not worth the effort:

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Herzog by Saul Bellow

Ulysses by James Joyce

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

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