Do you remember those embarrassing games that other kids always wanted to play? Games like Truth or Dare? Well, here’s an embarrassing game for adults — for adults who read, that is. It’s called:


Or, at least, that’s what I’m calling it until someone thinks up a better name.

To play it, you name a category of fiction or literature (or if you want, make it film or something else) that you think you should be well versed in….or want to be….or pretend to be….or are, except for one or two (or thirty) embarrassing omissions. Then, of course, you name the most shocking omission you can think of.

Yes! Humilitation all round! And great fun to play at home, in the car, or at an academic conference (if you already have tenure).

Okay. I’ll go first.

BRITISH LITERATURE: As you may have guessed by the laughing Albert Finney pictured above, I have never read Fielding’s TOM JONES. There are many other greats of British lit that I haven’t read, but I think this is the one I most WANT to have read.

DRAMA: I try to have a basic working knowledge of the great plays….but I confess I’ve never seen (nor read) Chekhov’s THE THREE SISTERS. (Um, and while we’re on the subject, I can say the same about THE SEAGULL, UNCLE VANYA, and all but the first act of THE CHERRY ORCHARD — which I was supposed to read in high school. Don’t tell Mrs. Johnstone I never finished it, please. It was a busy week.) So when fellow drama lovers start talking about someone always wanting to go to Moscow…or maybe it was St Petersburg…I just nod my head and try to look intelligent.

WORLD LITERATURE: If you include American authors, I’ve never read (drumroll, please — long list coming): LES MISERABLES, WAR AND PEACE, DON QUIXOTE, THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA, THE GRAPES OF WRATH, MOBY DICK, and so much more!

ROMANCE:Okay, this is perhaps my most embarrassing omission of all, given that I am making it in the Risky Regencies blog…. I have never read Laura Kinsale’s FLOWERS FROM THE STORM. Yes, I know it’s great. Yes, I’m sure I’d love it. Yes, I have meant to read it for years. And yes, when I’m around other romance writers (particularly Regency writers) I always pretend I’ve read it. But I’m confessing to you now. I haven’t.

As for MOVIES: Hmm…I haven’t ever seen ANIMAL HOUSE, or THE MALTESE FALCON, or … wow, I’ve spent far too much time seeing movies — I can’t think of many really embarrassing omissions. (Guess I know what I was doing when I should have been reading TOM JONES!)

As for SCIENCE FICTION TV & MOVIES: — I’ve never seen a single episode of DR WHO! (Doesn’t he looked shocked!)

Okay, there, now that I’ve begun — who here has an embarrassing omission to make??? 🙂

Cara King —