Full disclosure: though I’m writing fiction I’ve been more of a non-fiction reader most of my life. It’s only in the past ten years or so that the balance has shifted. As someone who tends to go narrow and deep, I’m surprised and embarrassed to realize my fiction exposure has been wide and shallow:
Much as I loved “Rebecca” I’ve not made time to read the rest of du Maurier’s work.
I’ve only read one each of the “Outlander” and “Lymond Chronicles” series. I enjoyed them but didn’t LURVE LURVE LURVE them enough to continue.
Ditto Margaret George and Philippa Gregory, two other histfic heavyweights. I can’t even tell you which ones I’ve read.
My track record in other genres is no better:
I’ve never read “The Hobbit” or “Lord of the Rings”. I tried the former in both high school and college and found the language too dense to get into. As such I figured LOTR was above my pay grade. I enjoyed the movies though (yes, I am a prole). Maybe I should take another run at these.
Many of the classics of science fiction have slipped under my radar: I’ve never read Heinlein or Asimov, save “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” because I wanted to know what inspired “Blade Runner”.
None of McCaffrey’s “Dragonriders of Pern” series. I couldn’t finish the first because I found it cliché; friends in the know said it’s better if you encounter it at age twelve rather than thirty-two.
No Agatha Christie or Conan Doyle, for no good reason at all.
No Jane Austen. I know, revoke my girl card.
Very little Stephen King because “Pet Sematary” kept me awake for two weeks as a kid. According to one and all he’s a master of suspense, I want thrills, not terror so intense I can’t turn out the lights.
I try to catch up with the old but the new is so tempting!
What haven’t you read that you feel like you ought? What classics did you finally get around to only to find they didn’t live up to the hype?