Daily Archives: March 4, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Popular Authors I’ve Never Read

This Tuesday’s Top Ten Tuesday meme (hosted, as ever, by the fine folks over at The Broke and the Bookish) is ‘Top Ten Popular Authors I’ve Never Read.’ This one, I have to admit, wasn’t hard to complete. I had a longlist of thirty names, whittled to a shortlist of fifteen, and the following ten are the winners (yay?)  I’m pretty sure everyone will have heard of these authors, and in some cases I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never read their books; in other cases, I’m not at all ashamed. I’ll let you decide which is which.

Also, it’s nice to be on the other side of the longlisting/shortlisting process for once, it must be said.

Will I? Won't I? Hmm.... Image: mcpagal.blogspot.com

Will I? Won’t I? Hmm….
Image: mcpagal.blogspot.com

So. In no particular order, the authors I have not (yet) read are:

Salman Rushdie

Yes – Salman Rushdie, of fatwa fame. I own several of his books, including Midnight’s Children and Haroun and the Sea of Stories, but I’ve never been able to wrap my head around them. I’m not sure if it’s me, or if it’s Salman, but we’ve just never seen eye to eye. Maybe one of these years I’ll try again.


Tom Clancy

Big Bold Stories of Big Bold Men doing Big Bold Things! Yep. Suffice to say, I’ve never been too fond of Tom Clancy or his oeuvre, either. I’ve read a few James Patterson books (Patterson’s sort of Clancy-esque, isn’t he?), and enjoyed those; I’ve also seen several movies based on Tom Clancy books, including ‘Hunt for Red October’, which I was rather partial to. However, I’ve never actually read any of his work. Should I?

Yessh or no! Itssh a ssshimple quessshtion! Image: dailymail.co.uk

Yessh or no! Itssh a ssshimple quessshtion!
Image: dailymail.co.uk

Jeff Kinney

I’m sort of embarrassed to admit this. Jeff Kinney has to be the biggest selling, most famous children’s author of the present moment – his ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ books have sold in their millions, and the movie (possibly movies?) based on them have been hugely successful, too. I, however, have never read them. References to the characters or the stories go entirely over my head. I feel like I’m missing out.

Actually, I’m not sure why I’ve never tried a ‘Wimpy Kid’ book. I’m sure they’re hilariously funny, and I’m sure they’re worth reading.

Ach well. There’s time yet.

Greg from 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' Image: fanpop.com

Greg from ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’
Image: fanpop.com

Gillian Flynn

For the last age, you couldn’t move in book circles without hearing either Gillian Flynn’s name mentioned or that of her record-busting book, ‘Gone Girl.’ The premise of the story didn’t really grab me – a woman goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary, and her husband is under suspicion for having murdered her, in case you’ve been living in a cloistered community forever – and then I started coming across reviews which talked about how the book had been badly over-hyped, and wasn’t actually as good as all that. Apparently, the movie version changes the ending completely, which begs the question: was the book’s conclusion not satisfactory? And why?

If anyone’s read this, and would like to let me know whether it’s worth a try, feel free.

Cecelia Ahern

Yeah. Well. I hate the term ‘chick lit.’, but I’m not sure what else to call Cecelia Ahern’s work. From what I’ve read about it, there are elements of magical realism and fairytale to her books, and they are massively popular – and so, fair play to her. However, the sparkly, pinky-purple, twee covers on her novels give me indigestion, frankly, and they’ve never tempted me to open them up. In any case, I have very little interest in books about women ‘discovering themselves’ (i.e. embarking upon a relationship with a man), and negotiating the minefield that is the modern career, or dealing with the horror of not having enough shoes, or whatever it is that chick lit books are about.

When it comes to this genre of literature, I’m with Homer.

Image: globalnerdy.com

Image: globalnerdy.com

George R. R. Martin (technically!)

I know, I know! How can I call myself a self-respecting nerd without having read any of the Game of Thrones books? Argh! I can hardly bear to admit this.

You shall die for your insubordination... Image: rockpaperwatch.com

You shall die for your insubordination…
Image: rockpaperwatch.com

I actually own the second Game of Thrones book, and one of my friends loaned me the first one over a year ago (and, probably, won’t be at all impressed to learn I haven’t read it yet.) In my defence, I have read the first forty pages, but then I stopped. Not because I wasn’t interested, but just – I don’t know. Life happened. I haven’t seen the TV show either, but it’s second on my list of ‘must-buy boxsets’, after Dexter.

I’ll start the books again, I promise. Just let me keep my nerd credentials? Please?

Cassandra Clare

Cassandra Clare, author of the Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series, superstar author, multi-bestseller, and – as yet – unread by me. I’m not really sure why. I haven’t read Clare, or Holly Black, or Lauren de Stefano, or Richelle Mead, or Yasmine Galenorn, or Melissa de la Cruz, or any number of other YA/urban fiction superstars, and I have no explanation. I have dipped in and out of their books at times, and I’m familiar with the genre, but I can’t say it’s ever set my imagination on fire.

Huh. There you have it, I guess.

Jo Nesbo

Now. I like my Scandinavian crime fiction as much as the next person. I adore Henning Mankell, and I’ve read all the Wallander novels. I love Yrsa Sigurdardottir, the Icelandic crime fiction author. I read The Millennium Trilogy with huge enjoyment. I enjoy the darkness, the clipped style, the isolated protagonists, the descriptions of the weather, the alcoholism, the depression… and, even, I own several Nesbo books. I’ve just never read them.

There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Zadie Smith

Oh, gosh. I am embarrassed by this.

Image: vol1brooklyn.com

Image: vol1brooklyn.com

I have had this immensely talented lady on my ‘to-read’ list for years. Years. I have no valid reason why I’ve never read her. Fear, probably. Fear that I’ll read her books and give up writing because I will never, never be as good as she is.

Yup. That’s it.

And finally…

E. L. James

I really don’t think this one needs any elaboration.

However, you may be interested in Janet Cameron’s very funny Fifty Shades of Failure series of blog posts, wherein she details her attempts to read E. L. James’ work with a straight face, in the interests of serious literary inquiry. You’d be better off reading these than the books themselves, if even a fraction of what I’ve heard about them is true.

Not that I’ve been reading about the books, or keeping tabs on the reviews, or anything.

Image: keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

Image: keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

So, that’s this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. Have a good one, everybody!