"The only way to do great work is to love what you do" (stolen from a Colin Smith comment)
For me, I'd be almost anything by Dickens, except GREAT EXPECTATIONS. I never finished HARD TIMES or OLIVER TWIST.
MIDDLEMARCH by George Eliot for a VIctorian Lit course in grad school. Made my head hurt.
I was once at a production of Les Mis and heard two women talking during intermission. The first was saying how impressive it was that they got so much of the plot into the play because of how big the book is. The second woman said, "Oh, have you read it?" The first woman responded after a long pause, "No. But I've seen it. And it's, like, really big." It was one of the greatest exchanges of the night.
I managed to make it through Jane Eyre kicking and screaming, but I couldn't face Wuthering Heights. I would like to formally apologize to my high school English teacher right now. I still haven't read it.
Moby Dick - I read the first chapter and one chapter somewhere in the middle. Luckily it was my teacher's favorite book. She discussed it so well in class I aced every test :D
I don't even bother to fake it. I usually just say,"I can't read this crap even if it is considered a classic."Worst book ever...Walden!
The Great Gatsby. I figure after 20+ years I can admit to that. And hope my HS English teacher isn't reading this!
@Mittens--right there with you re: Jane Eyre. It took me forever to read that thing! Wuthering Heights is waiting on my bookshelf--but I already know how it ends, so I'd probably have a hard time plowing through it.
Snow Falling on Cedars. I know everyone loves, loves, loves this book, but I couldn't make it past the first half.
'Silas Marner'... I carried it through both semesters of the 11th grade. I read two pages (which induced an immediate coma)before uttering the phrase 'Screw This'. I somehow managed to fake it thanks to a ten dollar donation to a really smart girl in my class. All I remember is the book was about some dude named Silas Marner... and it put me in a coma!
Tolkien . . .THERE, I said it!
None, except when I'm under the covers with my man, cradled in his arm, as I face the opposite way - then I pretend to read the pages. Instead, I luxuriate in his smell.
The Brothers Karamazov for a Russian Lit class in High School. Too many names! I just listened to the teacher during the discussion and aced the test. My grandmother had always wanted to read it, so she was delighted when I gave her my copy. Win/win in my opinion.
The Hobbit in grade 9. (Sorry, miss Foster!) I more than made up for it by reading it *out loud* to my grade 6 class, complete with "ssssss" for Smaug. And, yes, that was the first time I enjoyed it, too.
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