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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Never Intend to Read It List


Today's topic was gleaned from Lynn Viehl over at Paperback Writer.

As a recovering English lit major, I was forced to read many a classic lit novel written by Ye Olde Dead White Guys that for some reason everyone insists is on some wondrous golden pedestal of awesome. And by everyone I mean other lit majors. And like, professors. And maybe the 2% of people in this world who can slog through it without falling into a soap opera-like coma. Most of the English cannon classics are on my Never Intended to Read List, or in the case of freakin' Steinbeck, Never Read Again After I was Forced To Read Grapes Of Wrath Three Times.

Three times. Three. Freakin'. Times.

Ahem. Not scarred by that at all.

But more than surviving being a lit major (until I changed my English emphasis for obvious reasons), there are always those Best Selling novels that friends usually try to foist on me. Sometimes, I'm pleasantly surprised that something so far outside of my normal reading is so entertaining. And yet...

There are some that fall into my Never Intend to Read list (also Never Intend to Finish).

Does that make me a snob? Well, more likely it's that I know what I like to read, and some of these books are not my shtick. Here they are:

1. Twilight: Look I used to be über-obsessed with vampires as a teen too, so I get it. I really do. I'm not judging. I read all the Anne Rice I could get my hands on, and her vamps don't even get to do the horizontal tango because when you become a vamp, your junk gets all defunct and no amount of Cialis will save it. Sexual frustration anyone?

What doesn't interest me is the main character. At all. One of my biggest fears is that I'll accidentally write one of my own weak-kneed-wispy-girl characters that just stands around while the boys do all the interesting things. Like protecting her, and er…being shirtless while protecting her. (I have no problem with any hotness to shirtlessness ratio, provided they're of a totally legal and not creepy age).

Plus, I've proved that I literally can't watch 10 minutes worth of any of the movies without laughing uproariously. Seriously.

2. Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, Fifty Shades Freed (aka  Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger): Again, I'm not judging anyone for their soccer-mom BDSM porn. Really, I'm not. As a younger lass, I dipped my toes into those reading waters with The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice, which despite her being my fav author as a teen, I couldn't finish. Trust me, it's waaay more hardcore than Grey and his light-gray watercolor shades of kinky.

Yet again my problem is with the main character, who is another one of those oh-dear-I'm-a-wee-innocent-weak-kneed-girl types that make me want to hurl rotten tomatoes at them. Or huge green tomatoes. It also turns out that a story that is solely romance and erotica is not my thing, but give me a strong romance subplot in an action/thriller/fantasy book and hell yes, I'm totally there. This? Not so much. Reading the first three chapters cemented that fact for me.

3. Lord of the Rings: What? But it started the whole epic fantasy genre! And it's got wise and mystical elves that were cut out of a sexy Chanel No.5 commercial! And is about good vs. eeeevil! And didn't I vacation in Middle Earth aka New Zealand once? And…And…GANDALF. Yes, yes, and yes. And yet I've only managed to ponderously slog my way through the first two books of Infinite Traveling Exposition and Overly Complicated and Lengthy Historical Backstory.

I'm sure Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, MFA just poo'd his britches in horror.  

Which is why Lord of the Rings is one of the very few books that I'd rather watch as a movie than read, because all those pages of traveling become a beautiful overhead shot of stunning Aotearoa—ahem, I mean Middle Earth. Not to mention that at least in the movies you get the benefit of the awkward, yet totally homoerotic laden moments between Sam and Frodo. Why oh why couldn't we have those intense hot-and-bothered stares from Frodo and Sam in the books? Why couldn't we see Fifty Shades of hairy-footed hobbitses sexin' it up at those Shire hoedowns before they wind up inside one another's Mount Dooms and—

Er...Ahem. Jus' sayin'. It would've been more entertaining than all the tree hugging…

Consequently, I actually adore The Hobbit and have read it several times.

So my cheeky monkeys, what is on your Never Intend to Read List (or your Just Couldn't Finish List)?

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