Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Top Ten Six Tuesday: LIES

Oh, yes. Lying. We all do it. Some of us might even enjoy it just a little bit sometimes. Lying is actually one of my favorite ideas- so much so that I wrote a whole post about lying and literature a couple of months ago. I'm reeeeally looking forward to hopping around and reading everyone's dirty little secret lies.
But the problem is that I don't lie about books very often. And when I do, it's usually to protect the feelings of the person who recommended the book to me, y'knowhaI'msayin'? So if I come clean with those lies and those people read this post... then I look like a liar AND a jerky snob who didn't like that favorite book you recommended.
Tricky, tricky prompt, Broke and Bookish writers. But I'll do my best to come up with some answers while (hopefully) managing to not alienate my friends. Here goes!

1. The Southern Vampire Mysteries, by Charlaine Harris
Ooooookay. This was the first thing to come to mind because I've been watching the third season of True Blood lately and so I have Sookie and Bill on the brain. And really, I like the campy, b-movie-ish HBO adaptation better than the novels. But I can't deny that I was pretty into these books (I read the first two and then stopped because I didn't want to know where the show would be going in future seasons) and I don't think I ever expressed that. So the lie was that I didn't like them. I did! (Don't tell my mother.)

2. Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman
I read this for a book club in which, like most book clubs, we all took turns choosing a book. This was the favorite book of the chooser for that particular month, and when we met to discuss it I was too shy (and considerate, I guess) to speak openly about how trite I thought it was. It's like the writers took a fascinating life story, wrote it poorly, and stuffed it full of cutesy life lessons. UGH.
Come to think of it, I could probably compose an entire Top 10 list of books I read for various book clubs that I tempered my attitude toward in order to save somebody else's feelings.

3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Alrighty, here's a juicy lie: I have never read the ending of Jane Eyre. Can you believe it? I consider it a book I like, even love, and yet when I read it in high school I stopped about fifty pages short of the end. Why didn't I finish it? I don't remember exactly, but it could have had something to do with my desire to be a rebel. Maybe I didn't finish it (even though I liked it) just because I disliked the feeling that I had to read it for school. Yeah, sort of a stupid way to stick it to the man. I've learned the ending from watching multiple adaptations, and since I don't generally reread books I'm not sure I'll ever be able to count myself among true fans of Jane Eyre.

4. Snow White and Sleeping Beauty picture books
When I was at a garage sale with my daughter on Saturday, she picked out these two princess books and said, "Mommy! Look what I found!" I glanced down and said something like "Great, honey! I love those!" I generally try to match her enthusiasm level when I can. But in this case I could have kicked myself because that was a total lie. Those two pitiful victims are definitely not my favorite princesses, and picture book versions of Disney classics tend to be poorly written, watered-down substitutes for the movies.

5. The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
In college there was a brief period where I was sorta seeing this cool boy. He was a super smart violist who was composing a ballet. He wore awesome Danish shoes. He lent me this book because he thought I would like it, so I read it. But alas, it was sorta boring and difficult for me to relate to. I can't actually remember anything about it now (years later) except the disappointing "meh" feeling I had when I finished. Of course, when I returned it to him I told him I liked it. Lie! And a pointless one at that.

6. Most Shakespeare plays
Yeah, I'm continually pretending to be more familiar with Shakespeare than I really am. I'm like a boss when it comes to Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet, but I've never read Othello or King Lear or Macbeth. And when those plays or their characters come up in conversation I somehow still think I can wing it and pretend I know what everyone's talking about. It doesn't really work.

Uh... I'm stuck! I can't think of any other books I've lied about! I'll edit this if I come up with more. Have you ever lied about books? Which ones?