ITT: Books that people read just to feel smart -

FatalTater

Fattest Among Thousands, Altogether Lethargic
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War & Peace, got halfway through it and had to return it to the library. Picked up another copy and the translation was completely different and it didn't flow, never finished it.
I found that the trick to reading War and Peace is to realize that there is no main character or beginning-middle-end plot. Just a huge-ass slice of life story. Once I figured that out I could enjoy the writing for what it was. (I originally read it because it was mentioned in A Charlie Brown Valentine. I am exactly that lame.)

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (or any Jane Austin) makes me wonder about the sanity of the reader. Ms Jane never seemed to realize that not every sentence needs to contain every single word in the English language. It's like reading something translated from German. No tumblrina has actually read the books they've just watched the movies. Don't let them fool you.

The books that make me really side-eye the reader are poetry books. Very few poems are that great, and anyone that acts like they read whole books of the stuff are either crazy or lying. Don Marquis' Archy and Mehitabel, Energy Of Slaves by Leonard Cohen, anything Emily Dickinson, if you own them you glance through them once and put them away, never to be opened again. Howl by Allen Ginsberg should be read and reread ever so often though. Just because.
 

Jaimas

The Spoon Slayer
True & Honest Fan
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No one else brought 'em up, so I may as well do it: The pretentiousness combo:

1. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
2. La Rebelion De Las Masas, José Ortega y Gasset
3. The Art of War, Sun Tzu
4. Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
5. On the Road, Jack Kerouac
 

disky

Harusist
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No one else brought 'em up, so I may as well do it: The pretentiousness combo:

1. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
2. La Rebelion De Las Masas, José Ortega y Gasset
3. The Art of War, Sun Tzu
4. Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
5. On the Road, Jack Kerouac
half of these arnt pretentious theyre just what you read for highschool and college. Also catcher in the rye is great
 

Fangsofjeff

♡ meow vey ♡
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I was part of a book club and we went to Zoom since the pandemic started.

July was the month of racial struggle sessions. How to Be an Antiracist and White Fragility are big on the NYT best seller list right now so of course we had to read them. Critical Race Theory is just Original Sin dressed up in a way that makes the fancy people feel like they're doing something without doing something. Both books are written in a way that narrowly appeals to upper class borderline woke liberals that are susceptible to this horseshit.

Some people felt like their eyes had been opened to the evils of whiteness, though most thought it was heavy handed horseshit. After the books were read they basically got put back on the shelf and no one mentioned it again, total waste of time and paper.
How was it reading those propaganda books? I tried reading Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad and the only thing I got from it is that the author is dumb and racist.
 

LinkinParkxNaruto[AMV]

I try so hard and got so far
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Shakespeare, is like a cliche, is one of the go-to authors people who don't really read like to always mention. Its also one of those that burguers read in highschool and it has enough version in pop culture to get a few references just by osmosis. Its similar with dumb highschool and college kids with fedoras who say "i like classical music not this mainstream modern crap ahem" but just "classical", never a single mention of an individual composer or piece of music, 99% chance they can't tell one from the other.

Also, Foucault, Sartre, Beauvoir, any of those communist nihilist pedo pieces of shit.
 

melty

True & Honest Fan
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Crustyguy

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Books like Lord of the Flies, 1984, and Fahrenheit 451, which aren't even difficult books to read- a middle schooler can read them and understand the contents just fine, since they're written in a style that's easily digestible to a modern English speaker (especially Fahrenheit 451), and the themes aren't especially esoteric. I'm not saying they're bad books, or that they're dumb books-a lot still goes into the writing and nuances-merely that they were written to be easily digestible to the average reader, and people shouldn't feel so highly for having read them.

Nothing is special about having read Shakespeare, too; again, they're common reads for middle-high school students, and the reason they are so highly-regarded and influential in the first place is because they were the early-modern English equivalent of Star Wars. They were literally the start of pop-culture, not high art.
 

William Tell Underpass

#ApplesForHobos
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Starship Troopers is another one. I am 80% sure it is a purpose built honeytrap for pop political philosophy retards, the other 20% is the knowledge that Heinlein wrote Stranger in a Strange Land (The book people read because its in a billie joel song and never make it to the orgies).

I really enjoy it but I see Sargon types release hours long videos about its politics and just want to die.
 

Ped Xing

!Bigfoot! sightings please call 908-314-7784
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Sun Tzu is worth reading for either an aspiring military officer or a beginner military historian. Most of it is rather obvious. Clausewitz is more interesting. Duffer's Drift is far more entertaining and applicable.

People who read "The Art of War" to be good at business are huge faggots, though.

Starship Troopers is boring. Heinlein is boring.

Dune-- I fucking love the Dune trilogy, and I think it's really great deconstructive nihilistic stuff.

What bothers me are the people who read only Dune, and then pat themselves on the back for realizing spice is like oil and oil in the 70s came mostly from deserts and oh hey Arrakis is a desert planet!

Great. You get a fucking cookie, little Billy. Now tell me again how it's a "chosen one" story, you surface-level twit.
 
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Wanda

Fairy Godmother
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There are subdivisions of pretentious books.

The “high school reading list” brand: Catcher in the Rye, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, etc. They’re good books, but for some reason people get an unwarranted superiority boner off reading them.

The “cult classic” brand: House of Leaves, Infinite Jest, etc. I’ve particularly only finished House of Leaves, and while it was enjoyable to me, it’s absolutely not the kind of highbrow literature people try to pass it off as. DFW in general has the most annoying chuds surrounding his works.

The “fancy classic” brand: Mostly anything longer than a regular novel, written by a Russian author. Crime and Punishment, War and Peace, etc. The amount of people who think carrying around unread copies of Anna Karenina makes them smart is shocking.

The “new age entrepreneur” brand: Any self-help/investment to turn you into a millionaire overnight bullshit.
 

Dom Cruise

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How was it reading those propaganda books? I tried reading Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad and the only thing I got from it is that the author is dumb and racist.
It's sad how that's all it boils down to, these people are racist, they simply don't like white people, as it turns out a non-white person can be just as racist about white people as any white person can be racist about non-white people.

But because of the privilege of their skin color it's not called racism.
 

Robert Sanvagene

Taking his Poo to the Loo
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Anything by Alain de Botton or Malcolm Gladwell. Although I admit that I don't mind a bit of Gladwell when I feel like a bit of a quasi-intellectual sugar rush.
 

Moguro Fukuzou

Customer Satisfaction 100% Guaranteed
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While I love the book, The Great Gatsby is definitely deserving to be included here. I'd also put most poetry books but I just think poetry in general is largely pretentious crap. I think another big one is Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea for the simple fact that people read way too much into the "deep symbolism" present when Hemingway was quoted as saying:
There isn't any symbolism, The seas is the seas. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The sharks are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism that people say is shit. What goes beyond is what you see beyond when you know.
Yet if you look up the book you have a bunch of people rambling on about all the deeper meanings of every little detail of the book. It makes them feel smarter that they've over analyzed a book that the author has stated has no such symbolism.
 

HumanHive

Human behavior is exceptional behavior.
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Starship Troopers is another one. I am 80% sure it is a purpose built honeytrap for pop political philosophy retards, the other 20% is the knowledge that Heinlein wrote Stranger in a Strange Land (The book people read because its in a billie joel song and never make it to the orgies).

I really enjoy it but I see Sargon types release hours long videos about its politics and just want to die.
Starship Troopers was a young adult novel. Very influential on modern scifi, but was 100% written for 16 year olds. You’re just being a pretentious contrarian.
 
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