Compiling the opposite of a Bucket List (it starts with an F) is curiously freeing. Having a list of things you feel no obligation to and in fact hope never to do gives you a little peace of mind about the limits in your life – there’s things you’ll die without doing and that’s okay. It gives you more time for the things you do want to do. In this case, it gives me a little hope that there is in fact time to read all the rest of the books.
Besides, nothing brings people together quicker than shared apathy.
So for my first post on Travel Far, here is the list of books that I plan never to read.
Dr. Zhivago, by Boris Pasternak
This is my mother’s favorite movie. Once we caught it on TV and she gave me a quick summary of the plot. Unbeknownst to me, it was very near the end and I caught the climactic scene. At that point, despite developing an interest in Russian literature later in life, I figured there was no point in putting myself through the rest of the book for an ending like that.
Finnegans Wake, by James Joyce
No one, besides maybe Joyce (and I have my doubts), knows what it means. Check out the first page here (hosted by Trent University). It doesn’t get better. It’s full of little tricks and literary allusions and basically I think Joyce out-hipstered himself trying to do something no one had done before.
Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
I have no interest in reading a glorification of spoiled white ladies who survive and thrive by exploiting their fellow human beings. Feel free to correct me if my summary is off, but I have a feeling it’s not.
Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
This is the only one that I actually feel a little bad about – it seems like a book I ought to like and I even gave it a good effort as a child. I read up until Chapter 40 – a long way for a kid! – when something big happened that I had heard rumors of. After confirming the rumors, I abandoned the book, never to return. My mom encouraged me to keep going since I was so close to finishing, but I would have none of it. Now, as an adult, I do know how the rest of the book ends and let’s just say that it doesn’t inspire me.
And finally, a two-fer.
The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
I read Anthem. I think I’m good.