Monday, November 22, 2010

5 Books I Can't Get Through.

Ever since I finished grad school I've been sort of ADHD with my reading. I seem to love to start books, but have gotten really bad at following through all the way with them.

If anyone has recommendations on whether I should "just do it" or "just toss it" I would greatly appreciate it.

1) Annie Dillard: The Living

It's set back in the day and just hasn't liven up to my expectations of Dillard...I guess I just can't get past the past. The writing is good of course, it's just the storyline is nothing I can really relate to thus far.

2) Diane DIPrima: Pieces of a Song
I'm just really bad at reading poetry no matter how "beat" worthy it is.

3) Judith Butler: Undoing Gender

It's theory. And it's Butler. Thus, it's just going to take me a while.

4) Gabriel Garcia Marquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude

It's taken me like 100 days to get through 100 pages. I don't know why, I just can't get into it. Maybe there are just too many characters to remember.

5) Jane Goodall: Reason for Hope

Ryan won this book at the vegan meetup. It's pretty Jesus-y so far. I don't know if I can handle it much longer.

I don't know. I'm just really in the mood for a really good book. I don't want to re-read books I know are good, I want to read new ones, would love suggestions if any of you all have any. Also if you think I should power-through with any of these five let me know and I'll give them all another shot.


  1. I have had a hard time reading books in their entirety lately as well. I think grad school killed my joy of reading a little bit. Good for you for even attempting Judith Butler just for funsies!

    I don't know if I could request anything you haven't already read. Have you read much by Margaret Atwood? I enjoyed and finished all of the books I attempted by her.

  2. I have read a few of Atwood's books. But there are always more, I should just go to the "go to's"--authors I can count on.

  3. Krystal,

    I like your stuff. I got here from Elephant.

    About the books, I was intrigued by your selection of 100 years. I read the whole bloody book. I somehow felt obligated to do so. It fits with my fascination with all things latino, the spanish language, and lots of connections. But, it was tedious, confusing, and in the end, just a bore. It's on my list of presumably great books that I just don't get. The author expects a lot from the reader when he has multiple characters with the same name.

    Some time after completing that thankless task I came across an essay from one of my favorite authors, Barbara Kingsolver. I'm going to paraphrase here, grossly. She said that the fiction author has an obligation to the reader to make you care. If at any time the author fails, you should stop reading. She goes on to say that it is best, when reading fiction to be willing to stop, even if you are near the end, if it just doesn't matter.

    Life is short. Read good books. Good books are fun. Barbara Kingsolver has written lots of good ones. I especially like Animal Dreams, which she wrote when she was young.

    Thanks for your open, honest, funny comentary.