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#61 of 202 Old 08-27-2005, 08:33 PM
 
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Silas Marner, without a doubt. I was the kid who LOVED summer reading in high school and I couldn't finish this book to save my life. I bought the Cliff's Notes just to pass- it was the ONLY time I ever did that. And I still have that damn book......
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#62 of 202 Old 08-27-2005, 08:37 PM
 
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Anna Karenina and Ivanhoe - I liek the stories, but CAN'T for the life of me finish those books!
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#63 of 202 Old 08-27-2005, 11:53 PM
 
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So interesting to see how one's favorite books are the bane of the existence of another.
I love Silas Marner, Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Bleak House, Middlemarch, Hemingway, and Steinbeck.

A lot of it is timing. I read Silas Marner in high school and loathed it. Picked it up in college years later and enjoyed it. And yes, Eliot does write a lot of descriptive passages about the country or the squire riding his horse or the dairy barn.
I'm not ashamed to say I have no qualms about skipping scenes to get to the good parts in some of these 19th century heavyweight, doorstopping books.
I would like to try more Americans, as I read Faulkner, Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau, and Melville in high school but never went back to them.

One author's books I thoguth I would love, but didn't was Tolkien's. I tried and tried, but couldn't enjoy LOTRs. And I was so prepared to like them.
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#64 of 202 Old 08-28-2005, 12:23 AM
 
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Haha, some of my favorite books are one here :P

However, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King has got to be one of THE WORST books of all time. And this is from a die hard King fan. Well, before he got hit by that van, anyway. It must have knocked the talent out of him. :/

At any rate, to spare anyone the pain of that books, here's what happens-

Little girl gets lost
little girl gets scared
little girl falls down
little girl gets stung by mosquitoes
little girl thinks about baseball

Rinse and repeat.

I don't know how it ends because I couldn't get through it. Which is sad because it's not very long at all. :/
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#65 of 202 Old 08-28-2005, 05:23 AM
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one thing with LOTR - i had to really make myself plow through the first part which is essentially the history of the hobbits - sort of a "x begat y who begat z who begat a" kind of a thing. after all of that (NOT my kind of thing, the whole made up pre-history), i liked it!
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#66 of 202 Old 08-28-2005, 11:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by applejuice
I had to read Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Rousseau, Marx, and Hobbes for Political Theory at UCLA.

The class was two hours of lecture in a lecture hall...725 students in the class, and two hours with a teaching assistant to explain the lecture. :



The worst theorist in that lineup to read was Thomas Hobbes, The Leviathan. After I read it, I still did not know what he said.

I would have preferred to read Thomas Locke rather than Hobbes. :Puke


John Locke ? or Thomas Locke mysteries ?

" All generous minds have a horror of what are commonly called "facts". They are the brute beasts of the intellectual domain" - Hobbes


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Originally Posted by mommytolittlelilly
I LOVE everything I've read by Herman Melville, especially Moby Dick, Omoo, and Barneby the Scrivner.
" "Ah Bartleby, Ah Humanity," - Melville


had to ... sorry

As for Boring books, hmmm, : The Tommyknockers, Silas Marner, Ethan Frome . . .

DH says Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan is the most boring book he's read.

Quote from the the rant behind me " 900 pages of NOTHING!"

Myr: wife to John 8/98 and mommy to Willow 06/03, Rowan 04/07 and Linden 02/10
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#67 of 202 Old 08-29-2005, 12:35 AM
 
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Thankyou Mermommy.

John Locke

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#68 of 202 Old 08-29-2005, 01:41 AM
 
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(read in monotone...)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man....

I love to read, read every book ever assigned in school. I skipped the last half of this one and still made an A.

Ann-Marita. I deleted my usual signature due to, oh, wait, if I say why, that might give too much away. 

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#69 of 202 Old 08-29-2005, 01:48 AM
 
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Middlemarch
I had an entire college class devoted to this book. :


Oooh, but I loved Rousseau! I see my kids as living in a state of nature...happy little savages
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#70 of 202 Old 08-29-2005, 01:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristine
Nearly everything I had to read in American Lit. minus the opulent Great Gatsby. I shall single out The Grapes of Wrath as the most dull book I've ever had the misfortune of setting my eyes upon.
Oh, I liked The Grapes of Wrath. I just read it a few years ago. When I first tried to read it, I hated it and gave up, so it must have grown on me somehow.

I also loved Ethan Frome :

I hated Tommyknockers, so gave up on it early on. I've never tried Moby Dick because I had a friend who loved it, but said it was very hard getting through the drawn out water imagery scenes. Plus DH said it was really tedious too.

I've considered reading Ayn Rand, but it just looks so tedious. Ulysses eh, whatever. I read parts of it and just didn't get much out of it. I couldn't get through The Mill on the Floss either.
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#71 of 202 Old 08-29-2005, 01:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandib50
pride and prejudice - must've started that book 20 times. i'm gonna give it another try though.

Yeah, give it another try, and you have to get at least to the part where Darcy enters the picture, but it doesn't start to get good until Jane gets sick and Elizabeth goes to take care of her and people start insulting each other in that genteel way.

I remember I read Lorna Doone as a kid and must have started it 20 times before I finally read it, and once I read it I loved it.
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#72 of 202 Old 08-29-2005, 02:36 PM
 
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ITA with the PP who said that some of these authors are spoiled for people because they're introduced too early. Steinbeck is forever spoiled for me because they made us read him in grade school! "The Red Pony" in (I think) 4th grade ... I could go on a loooonng rant about this, but I won't.

Maybe I should give him another try, because although I can't get through one of his books, I actually think his writing is beautiful. I loved his version of the King Arthur legends.

I agree: Moby Dick, anything Hemingway (except "The Short Happy Life of Francis MacComber", for some unfathomable reason I liked that one), Joyce, Proust, most Dickens (a lot of stuff that's supposed to be comic relief is just painful to me).

I disagree: Jane Austen, LOTR.

New submissions: "Gerald's Game" by S. King--so pointless, and just silly. As much as I love mystery fiction, can't read Sara Paretsky or P.D. James.
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#73 of 202 Old 08-29-2005, 02:39 PM
 
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It's funny to see some of my favorites, here....Hemingway (some, not all of his works), Silas Mariner, Tolkien (I think I might become violent...), Marquez.

HOWEVER, whoever said Faulkner, YUP! Oh my god, I though I would vomit blood if I had to read anything else by that man. I read, VOLUNTARILY, The Sound and the Fury, simply because I am surrounded by English majors, and a couple of them LOVE Faulkner. I also love some of the fantastical literature (like GGMarquez, and the guy who wrote "The Milagro Beanfield War") and supposedly alot of those writers were big Faulkner fans-I thought there might be something there for me. Only death, death by ennui if I should every have to read another word of that crap! F-You, Faulkner! I would get that tattooed on my a$$ if it I didn' have to pay for it!

Man, I didn't realize how much suppressed rage I felt regarding that bastard until this thread.....Gotta go have a beer...

Lori
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#74 of 202 Old 08-29-2005, 02:41 PM
 
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Oh, forgot to add that the Joyce makes alot more sense, or at least is fun, if you read it will a thick Irish accent!

Lori
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#75 of 202 Old 08-29-2005, 02:53 PM
 
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Add me to the list of people who can not stand The Old Man & The Sea. I really did not enjoy that book. I can still remmeber arguing with my English Teacher that she really had no proof that all that symbolism was in the book and that I thought it was just about some old guy who caught a fish and was unable to bring it back to shore, period.

I loved Silas Marner, though and The Scarlet Letter, too.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
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#76 of 202 Old 08-29-2005, 03:06 PM
 
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I found Huck Finn to be pretty boring. I had to read it in 11th grade English-that was when we did American Lit. I pretty much found all the books we had to read that year, Huck Finn, Scarlett Letter, and Great Gatsby, pretty boring. I did like Of Mice and Men though.

I didn't actually read this one, I listened to it on tape while I worked, and it was unabridged, but it was Insomnia by Stephen King. It was a cure for insomnia and the longest, most drawn out, most stupid story I had ever heard.
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#77 of 202 Old 08-29-2005, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BusyMommy
Middlemarch
I had an entire college class devoted to this book. :


AAAAHHHHHH!!!! Shoot me now! I thought I was really going to like it because I loved The Mill on the Floss, but Middlemarch was so boring. ARRRGH! Quit repressing your sexuality and just DO IT!!!
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#78 of 202 Old 08-29-2005, 04:14 PM
 
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Oh, I forgot ... Heart of Darkness by Conrad ... ugh.

I actually couldn't finish it and just took the hit on my lit grade. It was worth it.
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#79 of 202 Old 08-29-2005, 09:08 PM
 
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A suggestion for those who have had trouble, as I have, with authors like Proust and some of the biggies of Russian lit: Sometimes a fresh translation can make a huuuge difference! One of my life goals is to read all of Proust, and I was never able to even get through more than fifty pages of Swann's Way until I picked up a new, recently published translation. Presto! I read it and finished it with pleasure! As for the Russians, the husband and wife translating team Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (sp?) are great. Probably more popular than I'd like them to be, given their Anna Karenina becoming an Oprah pick, but they helped me finally read Crime and Punishment and Dead Souls (Gogol). If they ever do War and Peace (and maybe they have?), I'm all over it.

For me, the stuff that made me yawn as an English major in college: The Iliad, Milton, and Coleridge come to mind. I think I've repressed everything else.
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#80 of 202 Old 08-29-2005, 09:14 PM
 
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Lady Chatterly's Lover- My DH reads it as sure fire alternative to Zanex
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#81 of 202 Old 08-29-2005, 10:12 PM
 
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The only book I've never been able to get through is ....







Huckleberry Finn


I've tried and tried and tried...
Maybe someday.
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#82 of 202 Old 08-29-2005, 10:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divina
I agree: Moby Dick, anything Hemingway (except "The Short Happy Life of Francis MacComber", for some unfathomable reason I liked that one), .

Wow, that's the only Hemingway I like too. OT a bit: the first year I ever taught, they forced me to teach American Lit for the first and last time (which became Baudelaire's Trip through Freaks and Geeks, see above post...), but I was compelled to teach at least some Hemingway.

If you folks don't know the story, it's about a woman on a safari who may or may not have deliberately shot her husband, the Francis Macomber of the title. She definitely shot him; the question is whether she meant to.

Anyhoo, I thought it made for an interesting open-ended question on which my students could write, KWIM -- feminism, hatred of men, masculine imagery of hunting and safari, , and all that stuff added up to a pretty interesting story, I thought.

Well, one of my students who was a neo-Nazi -- or at least raised his hand in a Hitler salute every time I called on him and wore a long dark trench coat years before Columbine -- wrote one of the most compelling papers I've ever read from a student.

Apparently, Mrs. Macomber used a Mannlicher rifle, which (creepily enough), my student knew a great deal about. He described it as a WWII German sniper rifle (gee, wonder why he knew that...) which was used specifically for assassination and sniper fire, and had very little recoil or inaccuracy. He argued, in short, that whatever the rifle was aimed at, it would hit -- and therefore Mrs. Macomber did deliberately shoot her husband.

Interesting. Creepy, but interesting. I've never forgotten that paper, or that student. Hope he's not in jail now. That's the crappy thing about being a teacher: you rarely find out how they all turned out after they leave you.
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#83 of 202 Old 08-29-2005, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytolittlelilly
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift is the most boring book on the planet.
.
Not if you read it the way Swift intended. Here's the opening of GT. Bear in mind that the abbreviation "Mr.," which we pronounce mister, was pronounced as master by Swift and his audience. I'll highlight interesting passages just for fun.

I was bound apprentice to Mr. James Bates, an eminent surgeon in London, with whom I continued four years... When I left Mr. Bates, I went down to my father: where, by the assistance of him and my uncle John, and some other relations, I got forty pounds, and a promise of thirty pounds a year to maintain me at Leyden: there I studied physic two years and seven months, knowing it would be useful in long voyages.

Soon after my return from Leyden, I was recommended by my good master, Mr. Bates, to be surgeon to the Swallow, Captain Abraham Pannel, commander; with whom I continued three years and a half, making a voyage or two into the Levant, and some other parts. When I came back I resolved to settle in London; to which Mr. Bates, my master, encouraged me....
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#84 of 202 Old 08-29-2005, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lorijds
Oh, forgot to add that the Joyce makes alot more sense, or at least is fun, if you read it will a thick Irish accent!

Lori
AND a beer!!!
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#85 of 202 Old 08-29-2005, 10:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Because Joyce was an Irish freak, not an American one.
But yeah, bIIIIIIG freak.
Only American freaks count?? Oh....but what about Keats? He was kind of a freak and he is fabulous.

Quote:
Dune is one of my favorites too!!!
YEAY!!! I love Dune! I was trying to talk Abi into dressing like Bene Gesserit with me for halloween but she wanted to be a princess instead.


Quote:
If you'd like to uncover your shame, my recommendation is that you try this book first because it's AWESOME -- one of the best nonfiction books I've read -- and the inspiration for Moby-Dick:
In the Heart of the Sea
I will definately read it. I really like non-fiction.

Not all those who wander are lost 
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#86 of 202 Old 08-29-2005, 10:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire

Soon after my return from Leyden, I was recommended by my good master, Mr. Bates, to be surgeon to the Swallow, Captain Abraham Pannel, commander; with whom I continued three years and a half, making a voyage or two into the Levant, and some other parts. When I came back I resolved to settle in London; to which Mr. Bates, my master, encouraged me....[/COLOR]
It is so lyrical that way! Holy cow that slight change in prefix really has a huge impact on tone.

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#87 of 202 Old 08-30-2005, 02:15 AM
 
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CB - Oh, I am so totally reading Gulliver's Travels now. AHAHAHAA! That's fantastic.
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#88 of 202 Old 08-30-2005, 02:20 AM
 
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heh heh He said Master Bates.

I dunno, Swift was so freaking weird about sexuality anyways, it doesn't surprise me all that much.
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#89 of 202 Old 08-30-2005, 02:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abimommy
Only American freaks count?? Oh....but what about Keats? He was kind of a freak and he is fabulous.

Um yeah only american freaks count because
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Shameful confession time: I'm an English teacher.

I hate almost all American literature except for two types of writers: the freaks and the geeks.

Freaks: Poe, Whitman, Dickinson
Geeks: Dickinson, Hawthorne
( bolding is mine)

As for Keats : "John Keats was born in Finsbury Pavement near London on October 31st, 1795" (from http://www.john-keats.com/ )

Myr: wife to John 8/98 and mommy to Willow 06/03, Rowan 04/07 and Linden 02/10
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#90 of 202 Old 08-30-2005, 02:41 AM
 
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Am I really the only one here that loves Faulkner?

As for the most boring... gotta be Moby Dick. I spent half of the fall semester of 1985 trying to get past the how-white-the-freaking-whale-is chapter. Never could do it and ended up withdrawing from the class even though I had a gigantic crush on the prof. I was so ashamed I could never look him in the eye again. Damn Melville for ruining such a wonderful college crush!!

--Olive
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