There are plenty of overrated classics: books that have lost their relevance, lost their audience, or in some cases (we’re thinking of you, Ulysses.) just plain lost their way from the get-go. But not all 'required reading' deserves its bad rap. We look at the top 10 books people lie about having read… and whether to give them another try. Please email us your thoughts on this article
To Kill a Mockingbird The real problem with Harper Lee’s classic about racism in a small Southern town is not its surprisingly modern tomboy rebel narrator and her heroic father, who defends a black man wrongfully accused of raping a white woman. The crying shame is that most readers
get introduced to the novel too early, often even in middle school. Yes, there are childish characters at the heart of the plot, but they themselves don’t fully understand the story’s complex web of racism, snobbery, stifling conformity and violence—and young readers are not ready for its hints of incest, mental illness, and addiction either. We say: Give this American classic another try, especially if you had to
read it for school. Check out this list of 100 favourite American novels.