07-11-2008 06:25 PM
07-12-2008 12:31 PM - edited 07-12-2008 12:34 PM
Message Edited by ande on 07-12-2008 12:34 PM
07-13-2008 02:32 PM
08-04-2008 10:52 PM
sunapparition wrote (in part) I have a rule that once I start a book; I have to finish it.
I'm curious, but why?
There are so many wonderful books out there that I wonder why anybody would spend time finish a book that isn't "doing it" for them.
YOu don't say how old you are. I sort of assume from your post that you're still in school, but then again you could be an 80 year old great-grandmother for all I know. And yes, I do know 80 year old grandmothers who would use the c word. But not many.
If you are in school, here's a list of books it would be ideal for you to have read before you get to college. If you've read even most of these, you'll be ahead of most of your classmates. I will say up front that if I were doing the same list (I was a high school English teacher preparing students for some of the premier colleges and universities in the country) I would have many different selections. Austen: not only P&P but also Emma. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, absent from list but shouldn't be. Dickens, Bleak House. George Eliot, Middlemarch. And many others. But the list there is a perfectly respectable list to work from, except that any list for the college bound that doesn't include any Shakespeare is woefully deficient. Read King Lear. Read it again. Read it for a third, fourth, and fifth time. If after doing that you don't consider it one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written, well, maybe you should go in for digging ditches for a livelihoodl
Here's another list -- this one Clifton Fadiman's list of books that constitute a lifetime education. (They're based on his book titled "The Lifetime Reading Plan." He has listed them in chronological oder, and there's a reason for that since ideas build on one another, so that it helps to know what your author has read to understand fully what they are saying. But you don't need to read them in that order. Any of these books would be a wonderful read. Try, for example, Sophocles's Antigone. An extraordinarily powerful play. Well worth reading and re-reading. (I do subscribe to the theory that any book worth reading is worth re-reading.)
Also, I would advise you to read a good book on classical mythology. Mythology is so prevalent in writing and even language that if you don't know the myths, you're missing a lot. Do you know what it means when an author refers to a promethean agony, or the mythical origin of narcissism, or ... so many places mythology comes out! Bulfinches's Mythology is a classic, but not all that much fun to read. Edith Hamilton has a good mythology. Actually, the Idiots Guide to Classical Mythology is amazingly good desite the idiotic title. Or if you're willing to go to the source, the Mandelbaum translation of The Metamorphoses of Ovid is very readable and quite fun. And you don't have to read it straight through, but can read along slowly thinking about each of the myths as you get to it. (But don't browse, read it in sequence because it does flow as a coherent sequence of myths.)
One book that will be a challenge (it is even for advanced readers) but is certainly one of the most intelligent and beautifully written books in the English language is Milton's Paradise Lost. Don't expect to get it all at first; I've read it several times and get more and more out of it with each reading. But it's a magnificent piece of writing, and links the classical and Judeo-Christian worlds wonderfully. Not easy reading, but well worth it.
And, one last word: don't forget to go outside and just enjoy the summer!
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
08-15-2008 08:13 PM
08-28-2008 12:18 AM
11-25-2008 11:37 PM
Here's a rule of thumb I picked up from an author of some Book List book. If you are under 50 years old, you should read 50 pages of a book and then decide if you like it well enough to continue. If you are over 50 years old, subtract your age from 100 and that's the number of pages you should read before you decide. I grew up thinking that I always had to finish every book I started - but as I get older, I do not want to waste time plowing through a book that does not "catch" me - using the guidelines stated above. There are just too many books to get through before I die.
Hope this helps!
11-25-2008 11:41 PM
11-27-2008 10:40 AM
11-28-2008 02:16 PM
Ande - and how do I find the lists? I am new to this and find it very confusing - i.e. how to find things within the categories and getting the right "threads"!!!
They should write a book about it............ lol
04-13-2009 08:35 PM
I would like to invite you to check out this new book club forum http://www.bookreadertimes.proboards.com/index.cgi This forum belongs to a book club by the name of Book Reader Times. They have really cool giveaways everymonth. I joined them a couple months ago and i really like it. www.bookreadertimes.com