Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Classic Phraud

Book Club tonight, kids. So far we've read some really great books in our fun little club. We scour Book Club and Bestseller lists for new titles, and with only a couple exceptions, they've all been great. Have you guys noticed the amount of Book Lists going around? Like the top 10 autobiographies, or the top 10 books about canker sores or whatever? It must be the time of year. They're everywhere. BUT: The one that really flips the script on me is the list of The Top 50 Books You Should Have Read By Now. (Or some variation of that...)

I've got a confession to make. Those lists? The ones that gauge how smart you are based on the books you've read? Yeah - I lie. And I lie big time. I'm all "Oh, Little Women? I've seen the animated MOVIE and I'm sure the book is the same. CHECK!" Or "Okay, Huck Finn. I'm SURE I must have read that in middle school. Do I remember any of it? Not really, but I'm pretty sure I would have at least skimmed it at some point. CHECK!" By the time I finish those mini life tests, I've read darn near the entire Presidential Library.

But I'm an ENGLISH major, people. Me not having read a certain amount of "classics" is like a Scientist never having read about the atom. Or a model never having made herself throw up. It just goes against nature.

Yes, I have read tons of great books. I really love reading, and there's RARELY a time when I'm not in the middle of a great book. I've actually never read a book in its entirety that I didn't like. And while I've read Ayn Rand and very much enjoyed it, I definitely fell asleep while reading Animal Farm and never picked it up again.

I am a fraud, you guys. I lie about the amount and quality of books I've read. I took an entire class in college on Shakespeare, and yet I still can't admit that I never read The Catcher in the Rye. I know who Holden Caulfield is because of the movie The Good Girl starring the illustrious Jennifer Aniston. But I've read The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. It's a nonfiction book about one dude who is living amongst a group of other dudes who live to pick up women. You know what you guys? I LIKED IT. I liked it more than 90% of the books I read in college.

What does this mean, you guys? I studied Literature and Shakespeare and Greek mythology at a Big Ten school. And yet I prefer the juicy, sexy, racy, vulgar, and irreverent voice of my own generation. What does that make me? I'll tell you what it makes me: a fraud. I reference classic literature as if I've read it cover to cover 10 times, when in reality it's because I either saw the movie, or there was a reference to said classic literature in Family Guy.

Well, there it is people. My Dirty Laundry. Aired out for all of you to enjoy. I'm a big fat liar who prefers Vogue to Jane Austen. Just do me a solid and don't tell anyone though, okay? Cool.


JessiferSeabs said...

Family Guy is a really good show. that's all I got. I was an English major too and I've read a ton of that stuff, but there is lots I haven't either. Own it.

Pharon said...

In related news, I just discovered that someone found my blog by googling "Classic Literature". Hahaha...sucker.

Anonymous said...

phil knows all his theatre references from The Simpsons so you can totally count any source of knowledge you like in my book.