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Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them

Updated May 8, 2019 741 votes 45 voters40 items

List RulesVote up the writers you say you're a fan of even though you've never finished any of their books.

Literary masterminds are remembered for their intellectual contributions and expert storytelling. Many of the authors you should read are labeled as such because they challenge accepted social practices, such as fraudulent behavior. F. Scott Fitzgerald parodies the concept of assuming a fictional persona for the sake of acceptance in his widely celebrated satire, The Great Gatsby. While assuming a male pseudonym, George Eliot (AKA Mary Ann Evans) challenges her readers to question their judgments with her heavy-hitter, Middlemarch. Despite the messages imbued in these texts, countless readers lie about having read authors like Fitzgerald and Eliot and others in an attempt to maintain their intellectual reputation.

The amount of information on the internet, in popular media, and engrained into the study of contemporary literature that references famous historical authors such as Dickens, Dostoevsky, and Chopin is surmountable enough for people to successfully lie about reading books like Crime and Punishment. After all, Crime and Punishment - along with A Tale of Two Cities, Lord of the Rings, and Jane Eyre - is all among the must read books of the modern generation. There is, however, really no such thing as books you have to read, and although there is much to gain from a weekend with Agatha Christie or Franz Kafka, there is no official standard for what makes an author invaluable. 

  • 1
    George Orwell is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
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    George Orwell

    Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty-Four
    Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), better known by his pen name George... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
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    Lewis Carroll

    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass
    Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (; 27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), better known by his pen name... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Charles Dickens is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
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    Charles Dickens

    A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations
    Charles John Huffam Dickens (; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Ernest Hemingway is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
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    Ernest Hemingway

    The Old Man and the Sea, A Farewell to Arms
    Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American journalist, novelist,... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Jane Austen is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
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    Jane Austen

    Pride and Prejudice, Emma
    Jane Austen (; 16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist known primarily for... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Agatha Christie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
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    Agatha Christie

    The A.B.C. Murders, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
    Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, (née Miller; 15 September 1890 – 12... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Leo Tolstoy is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
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    Leo Tolstoy

    War and Peace, Anna Karenina
    Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (; Russian: Лев Николаевич Толстой, tr. Lev Nikoláyevich... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    John Steinbeck is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
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    John Steinbeck

    Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath
    John Ernst Steinbeck Jr. (; February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was an American author. He... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Virginia Woolf is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
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    Virginia Woolf

    To the Lighthouse, A Room of One's Own
    Adeline Virginia Woolf (; née Stephen; 25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941) was an English... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    F. Scott Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
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    F. Scott Fitzgerald

    The Great Gatsby, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was an American fiction... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    H. G. Wells is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
    10
    4

    H. G. Wells

    The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds
    Herbert George Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946) was an English writer. He was... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
    13
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    C. S. Lewis

    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963) was a British writer and lay... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Arthur Conan Doyle is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
    11
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    Arthur Conan Doyle

    The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
    Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a Scottish writer, who... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    James Joyce is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
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    James Joyce

    Ulysses, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
    James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish novelist,... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Emily Brontë is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
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    Emily Brontë

    Wuthering Heights, Poems by Currer
    Emily Jane Brontë (, commonly ; 30 July 1818 – 19 December 1848) was an English novelist and... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Ralph Waldo Emerson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
    14
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    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Self-Reliance, The essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer,... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Kurt Vonnegut is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
    11
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    Kurt Vonnegut

    Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle
    Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (; November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American writer. In a career... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Oscar Wilde is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
    10
    6

    Oscar Wilde

    The Picture of Dorian Gray, Salome
    Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish poet... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
    11
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    Neil Gaiman

    American Gods, The Graveyard Book
    Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman (born November 10, 1960) is an English author of short fiction,... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
    13
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    J. R. R. Tolkien

    The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit
    John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (; 3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer, poet,... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
    10
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    H. P. Lovecraft

    The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, At the Mountains of Madness
    Howard Phillips Lovecraft (US: ; August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) was an American writer of... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
    9
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    Ray Bradbury

    Fahrenheit 451, Something Wicked This Way Comes
    Ray Douglas Bradbury (; August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012) was an American author and... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Charlotte Brontë is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
    8
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    Charlotte Brontë

    Jane Eyre, Villette
    Charlotte Brontë (, commonly ; 21 April 1816 – 31 March 1855) was an English novelist and... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Sylvia Plath is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
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    Sylvia Plath

    The Bell Jar, The Colossus and Other Poems
    Sylvia Plath (; October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963) was an American poet, novelist, and... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Authors You Pretend To Like, Even Though You've Never Read Them
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    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment
    Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (; Russian: Фёдор Михайлович Достоевский, tr. Fyódor... more on Wikipedia
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