My home is filled with books. Books on shelves, books overflowing shelves, books on my nightstand, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, on the floor. Most I manage to get through, if not always enjoy. I am a big believer in seeing it through. Most of my friends feel the same way. AND YET… there are always a few that we just cannot seem to finish. Some are classics that we know we should complete before the inevitable Rise of the Librarians comes to quiz us with tasers. Others are books friends raved about….or best sellers that have evoked a lot of fuss…for no reason YOU can discern.
Whatever the reason, here are confessions of my well-read friends and colleagues, many of them English professors, so I will have to give them Code Names so their students never find out their dark, dark, secrets.
1. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Dense passage about the physiognomy of whales: the poor man’s Ambien. We all know that this should be read. And many of us keep trying. It’s our own…. yeah, you guessed it… Moby Dick (Insert groaning here.)
2. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
More Viggo Mortensen would have made this seemingly-endless series more interesting for me. Skipping the endless “songs” moves things right along though. Save yourself some time and listen to some Zep to catch up on everything you need to know about what you glossed over.
3. Paradisio by Dante Alighieri
Another popular snooze-fest, this comment sums up our feelings in general:
“I can’t finish Paradisio. The torments of The Inferno and even Purgatorio appeal to my sense of schadenfreude, but people in heaven and Beatrice? BO-RING.”
4. Anything by Stephen King
I must say, in King’s defense, that his text On Writing is one of my favorites. However, King, to me, and many others, is like the Costco of literature. Do you really need that giant box of paper towels? Or that giant stack of largely interchangeable plots and characters?
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