Westchester Authors & Bookworms Come Clean: They’ve Skipped The Classics, Too

As we slip into the season for curling up by the fireplace with a good read, we tend to face some indecision: There’s the long list of hot titles we missed this summer (plus last summer’s), but we also feel a small pang of guilt glancing over the classic lit we’ve been meaning to check off since high school. To make ourselves feel better about leaving Crime and Punishment in the “someday” pile, we asked some of the county’s better-read book buffs: What famous or classic piece of literature have you never read?“I skipped Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. That was definitely a CliffsNotes report. Can’t say how many times I’ve had to pretend I had read them. You’d think by now it would have been a pleasure I’d have caught up with, like finally learning how to ride a bike.” 

—Andrew Gross, bestselling thriller writer, Purchase

Death Be Not Proud by John Gunther. It is hard to read a book that you know will make you profoundly sad, even if you know you will be amazed by the courage of the human spirit.”

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—Jenny Siegel, manager of Anderson’s Book Shop in Larchmont

“Last year, watching the new Anna Karenina film, I kept telling my wife how different it was from Tolstoy’s novel—until I realized, about halfway through the movie, that I had, in fact, never read Anna Karenina, but just thought I had because some of my close friends in high school were talking about it for about a month [about 50 years ago].”

—Roy Solomon, owner of The Village Bookstore in Pleasantville

“I will drop a madeleine casually into conversation, but I’m a fraud. Never read Proust. My bad.”

—Benjamin H. Cheever, author, Pleasantville

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“I’m not ashamed to admit there are many, many classics I’ve never read [though I do make a point of knowing the general references]. The best learning happens when you read the books that really appeal to you as opposed to ones you think you ‘should’ be reading.” 

—Francine Lucidon, owner of The Voracious Reader in Larchmont

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