Failing up

Important I think, to start a new blog with a clean slate. In this case that means admitting to my short comings as a reader.

I will probably never finish a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel. I just won’t. He’s a beautiful writer. Or at least I know that the 0.0009% of his work that I’ve managed to read is beautifully written. However, his sentences are very long. So when I read his work it comes out like this in my head: “At that time Macondo was a village of twenty adobe houses, built on the bank of the river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were Mommy, Mommy, draw a T-rex.” Naturally, after drawing the T-rex, I have to start over. I hadn’t gotten to the period yet. Also, I suspect, although I have no personally generated proof, that Marquez runs short on mayhem. I rather crave mayhem. Mischief too.

Then there are other books I have never and will never read all the way through. These books are shortcomings because they come up to haunt me. People love to quote them, or use them as references, or make movies out of them. Still as much as I have tried to read them, I have failed. I am always left with the silent looks like wisdom bluff when these bookscome up. Here they are, in no particular order.

Books I have Started, and Will Never Finish, Even Though I Should:

1. Anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Especially, Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude.

2. The Great Gatsby or really anything by Fitzgerald. What can I say? I just can’t bring myself to care.

3. Wuthering Heights, with many apologies to Emily, it is just not happening. Give me Anne, give me Charlotte, but I just can’t take Emily.

4. Ulysses by James Joyce.  Just, blarg, bleck, and thhhhppppptt.

5. Tortilla Flat, or Cannery Row, or Of Mice and Men, or East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I have read The Grapes of Wrath all the way through. I was forced to read it in High School. Ever since then just seeing John’s name in big block letters across a book gives me a strange rash.

6. Dune by Frank Herbert. Someone actually offered me money to read this one once, and I still didn’t do it. I can’t be bought, or bribed. Mostly.

7. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. I actually carried this one around in my back pack for two years straight in college, and I still haven’t read it. However as books go, the copy I had was very useful It was the perfect size for adding stability to the bottom of my pack so I didn’t lose as many pens down there. Which is more than I can say for many of the books I’ve actually read over the years.

8. Moby Dick by Herman Melville. An English teacher once told me she thought most of this book was written as if an inch worm were crawling over a Whaler, and describing what it saw. As it turned out I agree.

9. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. What can I say? She was board, and so was I.

10. Lincoln the Man by Edgar Lee Masters. Spoon River Anthology was another I was forced to read by the same teacher that brought on the Steinbeck allergy. It was only years later that I realized Edgar had managed to publish more than one book. I couldn’t fathom it at first. Then I got a case of car wreck curiosity. But no, no, no, no, Mr. Masters is not for me.

So now that we’ve cleared the decks, on to what I have read……


Posted on April 1, 2011, in list. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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