The Twenty Books Most People Have Lied about Reading

In most cases not really genre, of course, but how many have you read?  I count only six and a half for myself (I’ve read a fair bit of Sherlock Holmes but probably not all).  On the other hand, there are one or two I’m proud of having not read — does that make me illiterate?  The compilation, by Joe Ellison, is on SHORTLIST.COM and can be found by pressing here.


  1. Thanks for this! I didn’t read Lord of the Rings and I didn’t read Harry Potter and I am glad, and you can’t make me do it. I’d read a smattering of the other books OR saw the BBC performances –or in some cases, the movie (To Kill A Mockingbird). Some novels I’ve not heard of but I know novels that they DIDN’T mention that belong even more, on that list. It’s all subjective according to the taste of who posted the list!

    What were your two that you hadn’t and will not be reading, Jim?

    • Primarily 50 Shades and Harry Potter, though I expect I might have enjoyed the Potter books when I was younger. I did enjoy Lord of the Rings as a college student, for instance, but I think it would be less to my taste now. (Alice in Wonderland, on the other hand, might hold even more interest*.) If I can count seeing movies, however, I could add more to my 6.5.

      *The memory comes that that would include a friend and me in college setting up a chessboard and working out the moves in Through the Looking Glass.

  2. Interesting re: chessboard and moves in Alice! My gosh, was 50 Shades of Gray on the list? I missed it. That’s a silly book, certainly not written by a talented author. Thumbs down. I didn’t read it, Bruce tried, said it was a waste of paper. I did flip it to one page near the end and I could tell it was not my cup of tea at all. It’s been panned by numerous on Good Reads.

  3. Presumably these aren’t “best” books, but popular books or books in the news or books supposed to be best that come up in conversation, thus tempting people to say they’d read them so as not to appear dumb. Or something like that. (One notes, for instance, there’s no Shakespeare on the list.) I haven’t the slightest idea though how one would get accurate statistics on something like that, so (as your first comment implies) he may be just making it up anyway — though top seller lists and things like that (sales statistics from publishers?) might provide clues.

    (Also, come to think of it, books that have had movies made of them, especially recently, would likely be ones that people are talking about, or things like Harper Lee’s “sequel” recently coming about.)

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