Books We Pretend We’ve Read

In a recent Barnes and Noble Newsletter “The Week’s Best Reading,” Anne Lamott confesses:

“I hear that War and Peace is as great or even greater, but although I always tell people that I’ve read it (‘in college’), the truth is that I haven’t.”

Reading Lamott’s confession was like an invitation to a virtual Reader’s Anonymous Meeting.

Hi, my name is Ashley, and I lie about the books I’ve read.

I’m not sure I could pull off a full I’ve-read-that fake out like Lamott. I’m a half-assed liar. I stick with fibs about the books I almost finished.

So here’s my confessional list. I share with the hope that my indiscretions will a) make you feel better about yourself because you finish books or b) make you feel better about yourself because you realize we all fib about the books we’ve read. If you fall into category “b”, feel free to answer the polls below.

Books I pretend to have read, because I didn’t finish them: 

Frankenstein  by Mary Shelley

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Books I pretend I’ve read because I DID read them and don’t remember a damn thing about them:

Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck


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