Sunday, September 6, 2009

Episode Seven - Must-Reads or Might-Reads

Has anyone ever said to you, 'Oh, you simply must read (insert title of must-read classic or equivalent here)'? Is it annoying? Has it informed your taste in literature immeasurably and you've since gone on to insist others read it? What does it say about the way you read? Nothing? Everything? Do you say, 'Tolstoy-Shmolstoy? Or 'Marquez - da Bez!' Do you even know what I'm talking about? This week, Lou and Zoe go some way, but by no means all the way, to explore the concept of 'must-reads'. Have a look, then join the discussion.


  1. Hey ladies, I'm enjoying your show - it's just like hanging out with you, with the added benefit of not having to put up with my own pointless interjections and inappropriate sexual innuendo.


  2. i just read 'ulysses'; got it out of the way before my 40th birthday, and as part of a pact with pals to read some of those novels that you know you should but really don't want to. i can't say i enjoyed it, but as co-reader rose said, when you finish you feel like you've 'put down an insurrection'. and i think that's maybe the joy of reading the 'must reads': even if you don't really like it that much, that feeling of having wrestled the thing to the ground gives you a clear conscience to go on and read some trash for the next few months (i comforted myself with china mieville's 'the scar': awesome). in that way, finishing a gargantuan 'must read' is a bit like finishing a detox: you get to feel superior, and you get to gorge on junk.
    i don't really reckon there's anything anyone MUST read, but 'titus groan', 'bleak house' and 'infinite jest' are treats it would be a pity to miss out on.

  3. My must-read for people is Moby Dick. Fuckn excellent book.

    I like what you were saying about being made to read and the reluctance that it can generate - reminds me of how pretty much every book club i've ever heard of has quickly transitioned from talking about the books to realising that nobody was reading them in time and just catching up to have a few drinks instead. the book club to booze club transition seems quite common.

    I can't think of a book someone said "oh you MUST" to me about, that i've gone off and read, though, so i guess i'm as perverse as anyone else.