Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

In the midst of all my Armchair BEA excitement (and I really am excited about it!) I still managed to remember my favourite meme of the week, The Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday! That's right, I still remember my old friends, even when exciting new ones come along. This weeks top ten may well have defeated me though- I honestly (haha) can't think of ten books, so I'm just going to have to tell you about as many as I can think of, most of which are for the same shameful reason... So, here are:

Top Ten Books I've Lied About

1. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens- I'm not sure I've ever overtly lied about reading Oliver Twist, but I definitely know a lot more about it, and can converse a lot better about it than I should be able to after my whopping 9 chapters experience with it. I may, therefore, have given the erroneous impression of reading it when really, I definitely haven't.

2. The Republic by Plato- I have twice had to read The Republic for educational purposes, and twice I haven't finished it. I have, therefore, essentially lied to my tutors about reading this book (a common theme as you're about to see). Another lie associated with this book- I have a copy that is completely stolen from my college that I am definitely now way too scared to take back. And I think I'm so moral...

3. The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle- Assigned reading for the same unit as The Republic. Unfortunately, I assigned myself the watching of Buffy the Vampire Slayer instead. I didn't do so well in that exam, to say the very least...

4. The Ethics by Spinoza- I tried so hard to read this, but it honestly was entirely incomprehensible to me. I still can't even tell you what on earth the guy was talking about, and I wrote an entire essay on him, that I probably didn't understand either.

5. Meditations on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes- I probably read more of this than some of the other philosophers, mainly because one unit was based on this whole book, but I still don't really have a clue what old Descartes was on about... Hellishly written as well!

6. Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant- Say this dude's name to me and I'll probably come out in a cold sweat. I thought Spinoza was bad, but I didn't even know from bad til I got round to Kant! I just can't even describe how scary this book is, so I read the bare minimum of it to avoid a nervous breakdown. That worked, and some very handy secondary reading got me through that unit relatively unscathed...

7. A Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume- This fucker was huge, so one look at it, and the fact that it was a philosophical text meant that, of course, I wasn't going to read it in its entirety. I did manage to do a presentation on a tiny section on it though, which was nearly more than my brain could handle anyway!

That's about all I can think of, and to be honest I didn't even really lie about them- had I been explicitly asked by my tutors, I'm sure I would have told them that I hadn't, in fact, read them at all. If I am anything, I am unfailingly honest, just, apparently, really really lazy when it comes to reading philosophical texts, even when they're assigned. I think the lesson here is this- you probably shouldn't do a joint English and Philosophy degree when you're used to almost exclusively reading prose that really engages you- philosophy just really doesn't hold the same magic as novels do. Also, I'm a pleb, but we'll just ignore that, shall we?

What about you? Are you a dirty liar, or do you try and stay honest with your reading? Maybe your lies are reserved only for those who make you read horrible scary books? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Most of mine were like yours and related to prescribed class reads that I was supposed to read but could not bring myself to finish.

  2. Don't even make me think about Descartes again! Was it a Descartes lecture on friday mornings?

  3. @Frances Why yes, yes it was, but I don't know how you would know that considering you made me go on my own about 3 times! You evil whorebag... hehehe.
    If it had been third year, of course, then I wouldn't have gone either... damn being good!

  4. Wow! That's some heavy duty reading. I agree with you about Kant's spookiness, especially in "the supposed right to lie"

  5. Woah, what a list! No wonder you lied about reading those!

  6. Interesting list. There are some books we can never get into...

    Here is my Top Ten post!

  7. Sometimes I like to say that I've read some Kant and some Hegel, which is true. I've read at least one chapter of each.

    Come check out The Scarlet Letter's Top Ten Tuesday

  8. +JMJ+

    Most of my "lies" were "lies of omission," too. Luckily for my reputation as a great reader, nobody has ever thought to ask, "Did you really read the whole thing???"