Friday, June 04, 2010

A personal history of reading

by Rachel
A couple of posts ago I mentioned not being able to finish reading Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland, despite desperately wanting to. It always seems like such a shame to begin reading a book and then put it aside mid-way. So, I was quite happy to read Sonya Chung’s article on The Millions which details her personal history of reading: books she has read, books she should have read, books she read but felt she shouldn’t have, books she tried to love but just couldn’t read anymore, and so on.

I thought it was a good idea to analyze my own reading and would like to share with you my number one choices for each of Sonya’s categories (please don’t judge!):

The Number One Book I Did Not Finish But Very Much Want To Try Again
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

The Number One Book That I’ve Already Tried More Than Once But Couldn’t Engage With, I Don’t Know Why
The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Number One Book That I Found Mostly Painful and Likely Will Not Revisit
Rabbit at Rest by John Updike

The Number One Book I Shlogged Through and Almost Abandoned, But Kept On; No Pay-off, I Felt, In the End
Museum of Innocence by Orham Pamuk

The Number One Book I Struggled Through, Maybe Put Down For a While, But Finished and Am Very Glad I Did
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Now that my taste in reading has been analyzed, care to share your list?

8 comments:

  1. The number one book I couldn't finish and didn't understand in the faintest:

    A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce.

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  2. Ok, call me a coward but I can't disclose the book I have tried several times to read and did not for fear of public flogging. I can, however, relate to much of your list.

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  3. The Number One Book That I’ve Already Tried More Than Once But Couldn’t Engage With, I Don’t Know Why: DAY by AL Kennedy

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  4. The Number One Book I Did Not Finish But Very Much Want To Try Again
    The Grapes of Wrath

    The Number One Book That I’ve Already Tried More Than Once But Couldn’t Engage With, I Don’t Know Why
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    The Number One Book That I Found Mostly Painful and Likely Will Not Revisit
    A Prayer for Owen Meanie

    The Number One Book I Shlogged Through and Almost Abandoned, But Kept On; No Pay-off, I Felt, In the End
    Atonement

    The Number One Book I Struggled Through, Maybe Put Down For a While, But Finished and Am Very Glad I Did
    Anna Karenina

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  5. Interesting!

    The Number One Book I Did Not Finish But Very Much Want To Try Again
    I pretty much finish any book I start. On the rare cases I don't, it's because I hated the story enough to not want to try it again.

    The Number One Book That I’ve Already Tried More Than Once But Couldn’t Engage With, I Don’t Know Why
    The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkein. Love the movies, don't care for Tolkein's writing style.

    The Number One Book That I Found Mostly Painful and Likely Will Not Revisit
    The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

    The Number One Book I Shlogged Through and Almost Abandoned, But Kept On; No Pay-off, I Felt, In the End
    I wouldn't say *no* payoff, but The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe. I really wanted to like it.

    The Number One Book I Struggled Through, Maybe Put Down For a While, But Finished and Am Very Glad I Did
    Nemesis by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverburg.

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  6. The Number One Book I Did Not Finish But Very Much Want To Try Again
    The End by Lemony Snicket (It is so sad to read all but the last book in a series, especially when it has 13 books.)

    The Number One Book That I’ve Already Tried More Than Once But Couldn’t Engage With, I Don’t Know Why
    Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

    The Number One Book That I Found Mostly Painful and Likely Will Not Revisit
    Gossip Girl: The Prequel by Cecily Von Ziegesar

    The Number One Book I Shlogged Through and Almost Abandoned, But Kept On; No Pay-off, I Felt, In the End
    Guitar Girl by Sarra Manning

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  7. Linda Johnson5/6/10 2:12 PM

    I just finished shlogging through one and almost abandoned it but kept on and really felt no pay off in the end
    The Lovely Bones

    Number one book that I have already tried more than once and really wanted to read but just couldn't engage with it:
    The Screwtape Letters
    Thankfully the radio theater version that came out last year, with Andrew Serkis (Lord of The Rings) doing Screwtape, is phenomenal, and I have finally read it, and it was worth it!

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  8. The Number One Book I Struggled Through, Maybe Put Down For a While, But Finished and Am Very Glad I Did

    Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell --Susanna Clarke

    it's worth it, I promise!

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