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"Top Ten Books people lie about reading" Topic

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Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP17 Jan 2014 9:41 a.m. PST


I actually did read 1984. grin Had to, it was required reading in High School. That was back when schools actually required one to read.
I own a few because my parents bought the Great Books back in the 1960s. Haven't read them, though.
I did read a few others in the series.

Personal logo lewis cannon Supporting Member of TMP17 Jan 2014 9:51 a.m. PST

I wouldn't say I've "lied" so much as "bluffed." Especially when under duress. By duress I mean for a grade.

Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member17 Jan 2014 10:11 a.m. PST

Hmm, I've read 2, 3, 4, 7 and one of 8. Not at all embarrassed to say I've not read number 1 – tried it, and found it impenetrable; lost the will to live after a few pages….

Space Monkey17 Jan 2014 10:22 a.m. PST

I haven't read any of those… but I am halfway through Moby Dick, which is a good read.

flooglestreet Inactive Member17 Jan 2014 10:24 a.m. PST

I've read the Prince, the Art of War, the Wealth of Nations, 1984, and Atlas Shrugged. But then, this is a list of books people lie about having read. Did I actually read them?

Texas Jack17 Jan 2014 10:31 a.m. PST

I would tell you which I´ve read, but you wouldn´t believe me.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP17 Jan 2014 10:43 a.m. PST

The Prince and 1984 I've read. Moby Dick is on the book pile. It's a big pile though.

An interesting TMP poll (if we still did those) might be "which 10 books do you think everyone should read ?". Maybe I'll suggest it.

Maddaz111 Inactive Member17 Jan 2014 10:49 a.m. PST

Read some, (some more than once)

I have a pet project to do a new version of the art of war, as a special gift in memory of a friend.

I have to say two of the books I am unlikely to try and read again, since I hated trying the first time.

galvinm Inactive Member17 Jan 2014 11:09 a.m. PST

I've read 7, 4, and 3.

Have no interest in reading the others.

Why lie about it?

MahanMan Inactive Member17 Jan 2014 11:19 a.m. PST

My major complaint about this list is that the New York joke really *should* be 'the National Razor'.

Personal logo Stosstruppen Supporting Member of TMP17 Jan 2014 11:31 a.m. PST

I have read Hugo and Dickens. The Prince is on the waiting list. Art of War is one I have tried to read but have been unable to slog through it.

Zyphyr17 Jan 2014 11:36 a.m. PST

I've actually read 3 of them – 1984 (several times), The Art of War (2 different translations), and The Prince (just a few months ago).

The others I am generally happy to leave unread.

kyoteblue Inactive Member17 Jan 2014 11:49 a.m. PST

I've read 2 thru 9 but will never try 1 or 10….I read a lot in High School….shrug.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP17 Jan 2014 12:43 p.m. PST

Thank goodness for cliffsnotes!

GarrisonMiniatures Inactive Member17 Jan 2014 12:57 p.m. PST

Not many there I would bother lying about, quite happy to stick with the ones I have read.

Oddball17 Jan 2014 1:18 p.m. PST

I've read two:

The Prince

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP17 Jan 2014 1:35 p.m. PST

8. Les Miserables, Victor Hugo and A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens: Virtually every bit of literature about the French Revolution could be tied here

Except Les Misérables isn't about the French Revolution. Ben Domenech is either a buffoon or a master of self-deprecation.

Parzival17 Jan 2014 2:00 p.m. PST

#s 8 (both, twice each), 7, 6 (partially only), 4 (twice), 3 (in two translations), 2. Wife has read #1 as part of a college course, and is the only person I know personally whom I also know has read it.

Zero interest in #10, #9 has been superseded long ago (groundbreaking doesn't mean continued relevance), might be interested in perusing #5, and would rather chew nails than go at #1.

Of the ones I have read, I liked all of them except #7, which is so depressing anyway that I'm not certain anybody actually "likes" that book.

jpattern217 Jan 2014 2:37 p.m. PST

2, 3, 4, 7, and 8 (both of them), and I've skimmed 9 and 10. As parzival says, 9 was superseded long ago.

Of the books listed, Moby Dick was my hardest slog, but I'm glad I persevered.

Personal logo Jlundberg Supporting Member of TMP17 Jan 2014 2:47 p.m. PST

2,3,6,7 – at least I am pretty sure, it has been a little while on Sun Tzu and the Prince.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Jan 2014 2:58 p.m. PST

I've read Atlas Shrugged, 1984, A Tale of Two Cities (twice), the Art of War and the Prince (a few times) and have read the vast majority of Moby Dick. We had to read that for 11th grade English but we didn't have to read the chapters detailing cutting up whales.

I should read the others except Ulysses. I've tried to read that and have no interest in it.

Texas Jack17 Jan 2014 3:10 p.m. PST

I have to admit that I once actually liked James Joyce, and have read Ulysses and just about everything else he wrote, with the noted exception of Finnegans Wake.

But now I am old and cynical I find all that stuff tiresome.

striker817 Jan 2014 5:26 p.m. PST

Mighty surprised I've read most of those books when others lie about it. Guess I read to much!

Toshach Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member17 Jan 2014 8:58 p.m. PST

Read Sun Tzu and Moby Dick.

How did the Bible not make the list?

GypsyComet18 Jan 2014 12:42 a.m. PST

A Tale of Two Cities and 1984 are the only two I've read cover to cover. I've dabbled in Sun Tzu, and have two different editions around the house.

While I avoided Moby Dick successfully, I have read, and enjoyed, Two Years Before the Mast.

As for Toshach's question (which I won't pursue into the DH), I have read quite a lot of that most famous of anthologies, though in a translation that no longer seems to be in favor.

Dropzonetoe Fezian18 Jan 2014 6:13 a.m. PST

Never read any of them with the exception of bits of Sun Tzu when I was a teen trying to sound smart. Around the same time I tried to read Plato as well. LOL, I was a bit pretentious back then.

I did just read In the Heart of the Sea. A book about the Essex Whaling ship that inspired the book Moby Dick.


But as an avid reader as a child(35 now). I wonder less about those milestone tomes being read, but the books I grew up on being passed by the younger generation?

The Three Musketeers, King Arther, Swiss Family Robinson, Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, Tarzan, etc.

I remember having a local mom and pop shop down the road that sold cheap paperback versions of all the classics and once a week or so going in and spending my allowance getting one. I still remember fondly the feeling of sadness when I had bought and read ever book they offered. Even the stuff that didn't really interest me!

My bookshelf proudly showing all my books lined up
I was right around 9-10yo then.

With all the books seemingly filling the shelves for kids being some sort of market driven – Disney, Cartoon Spin-off. Or new book fad, Harry Potter, Hunger Games. I am more worried about kids missing out on the wonder of reading Treasure Island more than the above list.

Cincinnatus Inactive Member18 Jan 2014 7:37 a.m. PST

Tried to read Moby Dick and failed. Tried to listen to it and failed. Both times I just couldn't make it through the tedious descriptions of every meaningless thing. Maybe I was just in a bad mood both times and couldn't make it to the good parts.

Read Les Miserables. Good book surrounded by page after page of unimportant tangents. I think he spends 30 or 40 pages describing the battle of Waterloo just to set up a single incident that happens the night after the battle. The description of the battle is unimportant to the story and from what I remember mostly wrong.

vtsaogames18 Jan 2014 10:46 a.m. PST

Of the 10, I've read 1984, the Art of War (it is short!) and The Prince. Never tried to claim having read any of the other 7, may get around to trying Moby Dick some day, may not.

I imagine the 3 I've read says something about my limited interests.

By the way, Sun Tzu quotes appear all through Mao's Little Red Book.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian18 Jan 2014 5:06 p.m. PST

I've read the comic book versions. Seriously.

And a fair number of them as actual books, mostly when I was in high school.

genew49 Supporting Member of TMP19 Jan 2014 6:32 a.m. PST

A Tale of Two Cities
Moby Dick

Like The Editor I also read the comic book versions of Moby Dick and A Tale of Two Cities; probably before I read the "real" books.

GarrisonMiniatures Inactive Member19 Jan 2014 10:22 a.m. PST

Having bought and read from cover to cover a 19th Century 3 volume version of Rollin's Ancient History I'm more inclined to pretend that I haven't read books rather than than pretend I have.

Well… I was 14 or 15 at the time…

tkdguy19 Jan 2014 4:59 p.m. PST

I have read 1984, The Prince, and The Art of War. I should read On the Origin of Species.

Streitax Inactive Member19 Jan 2014 11:37 p.m. PST

4, 7, 8, and I've seen Atlas Shrugged, parts I and II.

Lou from BSM20 Jan 2014 12:29 p.m. PST

Read 3,4 and 7. Saw 8 on Broadway… does that count?

4 and 7 were required reading in High School, back when students were actually required to read. Now all they have to do is pass a standardized exam, or not; they still get advanced to the next higher grade.

Personal logo Dan Cyr Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2014 9:36 p.m. PST

Have read either all of them in their entirely or most of the ones I still have on the shelf.

I think that there are certain basic books or authors, that everyone needs to have read. Be it Shakespeare, Aurelius, Conrad, London, Hemingway, Siddhartha, Plato, Twain, etc., make your own list of fiction or non-fiction. Being well read is a virtue.

There is nothing worse than having a conversation and realizing that one or more people involved is completely out of it due to a lack of knowledge they could have acquired by reading. There is a very sad truth to the fact that most people read little or nothing.


ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Jan 2014 7:04 a.m. PST

I've read Tale of Two Cities, Les Miserables, and 1984 as part of school assignments MANY years ago. Not even tempted to read Sun Tzu. From what I've seen of him, his work is about as useful for planning a military operation as the horroscope in the paper is useful for planning your day :)

Tumbleweed Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2014 8:47 p.m. PST

11. – The Playboy Bar Guide

12. – Thrilling Cities by Ian Fleming

13. – Add your own titles here…..

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP06 May 2014 12:45 p.m. PST

Nope, haven't read a single one of them.

Old Slow Trot Inactive Member14 May 2014 6:29 a.m. PST

Glanced through some of them.

Narcisista Inactive Member17 May 2014 9:41 p.m. PST

10- Zero interest in reading it.
9- It's hardly available and frankly specialized and superseded. Back in 2009 I remember screaming at the tv because a dumb presenter on a gameshow or something decided to give grief to some poor sap who admited never having read it on national tv.
8- Read Les Miserables, did not read Tale of Two Cities.
7- Read it.
6- Not miniamlly bothered as it isn't even minimally relevant for me.
5- Completely different field from mine.
4- Read it as a teenager. Enjoyed but it is a cumbersome book I'm unlikely to read ever again.
3 and 2- Read them as well.
1- Interested in reading it but not enough to buy it or pick it up at the libary.

RDonBurn Inactive Member09 Jun 2014 8:50 a.m. PST

There are those ten books
I propose at least ten others that wargamers have not read or even have heard of

James Dunnigans several editions of his books on wargame design and history if nothing else to shock you all--

Aristotle, Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), W V Quine and assorted others to see if it is possible to go beyond the line drawn in the sand "If it was so, it might be; if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't it's not--that's logic"

David Hackett Fisher and Martin Shubik--the Counterfactual Fallacy in Historian's Fallacies and the tale of the man who lost his car keys in a dark alley but is looking for them under a street light aways up the road because the light is better there

And Plato--who says that One is not One and Two is One hardly

and of course Clausewitz and Chandler and Griffith and Glantz and Erickson and Keegan

What is the frontage of a German tank company in the attack--10 yds between tanks, 20 yds, 30 yds, 40 yds--and on the defensive, 30 yds, 40 yds, 60 yds, 80 yds?
The frontage of a French line infantry battalion of 1805 in line formation--1000yds, 600 uyds, 1200 yds?
If the gamer cannot answer these questions, he will produce an inaccurate simulation--and yes, the drill manuals do give the answers and these frontages were used

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