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A book you've always intended to read, but --?

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This is a long list for me, but the ones that have been on it the longest:

WAR AND PEACE
ULYSSES
REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST

#1 - March 02, 2010, 06:19 AM
Jennifer Mckissack:
SANCTUARY, Scholastic Press
 
Jenny Moss:
TAKING OFF, Bloomsbury
SHADOW, Scholastic Press
WINNIE'S WAR, Bloomsbury

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All of Paradise Lost
#2 - March 02, 2010, 06:21 AM
FIVE SHORT SECONDS
SAYA AT SPEED
RULES OF THE GAME
TEST CASES
TWISTER RESISTERS
CRASH COURSE
Heinemann, Fall 2013

YAmom

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Pillars of the Earth. I borrowed it from a friend and it's been sitting on my shelf for over a year...
#3 - March 02, 2010, 06:42 AM

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War and Peace
The Sound and the Fury
One Hundred Years of Solitude
#4 - March 02, 2010, 06:47 AM
CHRISTMAS EVE BLIZZARD, Arbordale Publishing

Chronic
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Like some others have already mentioned:

War and Peace
Ulysses

Also:

Atlas Shrugged
Anna Karenina
#5 - March 02, 2010, 10:16 AM
Film school grad. Time traveller. Billy Bragg fan. Canadian/Irish novelist of character-driven fiction from sci-fi to slice of life.

Aud

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Dave Eggers' WHAT IS THE WHAT.
#6 - March 02, 2010, 11:11 AM

Kurtis

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I've read The Brothers Karamazov, Ulysses, and Bleak House. I argue that that should give me license not to feel a need to read any other long, difficult book in my lifetime.

But the one I've started a zillion times and never got even a good way into is Don Quixote. I even find it pretty enjoyable reading, but I'm just exhausted by it before I get very far into it.
#7 - March 02, 2010, 11:14 AM

Mike Jung

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Dave Eggers' WHAT IS THE WHAT.

Funny, one of mine's a Dave Eggers too. I've never been able to get too far into A HEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS - I've made three aborted tries. Not sure why, his stuff seems like it would be right in my wheelhouse.
#8 - March 02, 2010, 11:22 AM

Kurtis

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I think Eggers is overrated. He makes pretty-looking books, though.
#9 - March 02, 2010, 11:24 AM

Mike Jung

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I love his literacy work, and he's very entertaining at readings, but his book just doesn't seem to push any of my buttons.
#10 - March 02, 2010, 11:29 AM

Ok the book I know I should read but just can't make myself read is....

Lolita...
#11 - March 02, 2010, 11:30 AM
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Kurtis

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Yes, the literacy stuff makes him a hero in my book. And McSweeneys really does put out beautiful stuff. I respect Eggers a lot.

Nabokov is one of my favorite writers. Lolita is a troubling and brilliant book, but there are other enjoyable books by VN that are less  troubling. My own favorite is Pale Fire. His short stories are also terrific.
#12 - March 02, 2010, 11:33 AM
« Last Edit: March 02, 2010, 11:34 AM by Kurtis »

My sister adores Nabokov and is constantly pressuring me to read Lolita. Perhaps she is pushing me too hard. But then again, she loved Anna Karenina and I didn't. We have such different tastes in books.

But I know I should read him. Thanks Kurtis for the other recommendations. Maybe I'll start with his short stories.
#13 - March 02, 2010, 11:39 AM
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Madjack

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Atlas Shrugged was on my list too.  I borrowed it from my sister-in-law over 4 years ago and JUST gave it back to her last week - without reading it!  Darn it.  Someday. :)
#14 - March 02, 2010, 11:49 AM

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Gone with the Wind
#15 - March 02, 2010, 11:50 AM

shana

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Atlas Shrugged was on my list once. I tried reading it a few years ago, got about 50 pages in, then put it down and never picked it back up again.  :embarrassed2  :oops

But I agree with Lolita, Ulysses, War and Peace, and Anna Karenina. I keep meaning to get around to those...

A few years ago I participated in an online readalong of Moby Dick. One chapter a day (Monday-Friday only, weekends we took a break or could catch up) for everyone to read and snark on, which made it a bit more bearable to get through. Took us 8 months, but at least I can cross that one off my to read list!  :bookclub :faint
#16 - March 02, 2010, 12:45 PM

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I started Lolita once.  I loved Nabokov's prose but I found Humbert Humbert disturbingly persuasive, and when I got to the rape (and in my opinion it is most definitely a rape) scene, in which Humbert Humbert tried to convince me that little Lolita was getting what she deserved, I had to stop.  I just couldn't read anymore.  It's the first time I ever stopped reading a book because it was too well-written.

That said, I'm embarrassed by the number of classics on everyone's list when one near the top of mine is Stephen King's Dark Tower Series!
#17 - March 02, 2010, 01:00 PM
DEFY THE DARK - HarperTeen June 2013
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Paradise Lost -- YES!  That bored the socks off me.

Here we go:  A Suitable Boy -- looks great, but the size of the thing just puts me off -- he should have known better!

Don Quixote -- agree with Kurtis. I've got it and it smites me every time I see it.

The Tale of Genji -- same as A Suitable Boy. It hurts my wrist just to look at it.

The Sound and the Fury -- does anybody else find it wrong that Falkner had a thing about not using paragraphs?  

Midnight's Children -- my husband keeps begging me to read this. I keep trying. I may never make it.
#18 - March 02, 2010, 01:05 PM

Valerie - I think you hit exactly why I find it hard to even start that book. I hated Lovely Bones for similar reasons.

And Shana - I have to be honest that Moby Dick is on my books of classics I absolutely loathed.

Also I can't make myself read any JAmes Joyce or Faulkner. I could never make it through The Sound and the Fury!
#19 - March 02, 2010, 01:12 PM
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shana

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The Sound and the Fury -- does anybody else find it wrong that Falkner had a thing about not using paragraphs?  

Yes! Faulkner's writing style drives me crazy. Thankfully, I went through the whole Faulkner reading list during high school AP English, so I don't have to force myself to relive it.  :stars

ello - I agree with the loathing. Moby Dick was hard to get through and very often completely boring. I skipped the big giant passages where he was describing ships, whale hunting, etc etc. The snark from the other readers in the group is really the only thing that helped me even get through it and kept it entertaining.   :)
#20 - March 02, 2010, 01:24 PM

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I read Don Quixote and War and Peace in college only because they were assigned-- and I ended up LOVING them. Give them a chance!

I loved Heartbreaking Word of Staggering Genius also, but I think people either love it or hate it.

We chose The Suitable Boy in my book club. The people who actually read it didn't like it. I'm glad I didn't even start it.

My biggest guilt-inducers: I couldn't get through the one Jane Austen book I tried. And I never read The Book Thief or Twilight or (except for the first 100 pages) Harry Potter.
#21 - March 02, 2010, 01:27 PM
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Debby, I loved War and Peace, too--but I only picked it up because we were in a non English speaking country and it was one of the ONLY things in the library I could read.

Mine would be Don Quixote. I read four chapters in a Spanish class and found it hilarious and approachable. Yet, despite owning a copy and having the new, special, illustrated YA version out from the library right now, I still haven't managed to read it.
#22 - March 02, 2010, 01:51 PM

MaryWitzl

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I loved War and Peace, and Anna Karenina too. But Don Quixote was just SO intense!  I'll try it again when I've run out of absolutely everything else, including maybe even the old travel guides. But I guarantee you, I'd pick it in a heartbeat over The Book Thief or Twilight. I started Twilight once and couldn't get past the first page. And The Book Thief just hasn't taken off for me either, though people who share my reading tastes have raved about it.

The first chapter of A Suitable Boy looked great, but the sheer size of the volume really put me off. The human hand isn't designed for a book that big.

(Heheh -- I see I misspelled Faulkner. I'm not going to go back and change it either.)
#23 - March 02, 2010, 01:56 PM

soniag

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I know I need to read one of the great Russian novels before I die, but . . . meh.

I keep meaning to read more Henry James, too.

I'm having trouble thinking of a more contemporary "must read" that I've been avoiding!  Everyone's buzzing about The Help these days -- maybe that one? 
#24 - March 02, 2010, 02:03 PM

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Another vote for War and Peace.  And Middlemarch.  I was supposed to read it in my freshman English class in college and sort of...didn't. :embarrassed2   That is,I got to about page 80 and totally bogged down.  But I rather suspect that it's one of those books that an 18 year old won't really be able to appreciate, but maybe a 46 year old will...?
#25 - March 02, 2010, 02:07 PM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
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Catch-22. I tried, I failed.
#26 - March 02, 2010, 02:12 PM

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I agree with everyone who said War and Peace was wonderful - an "easy read" except for it's length, and anyone who loves historical fiction should pick it up because Tolstoy is a master storyteller. He was so intuitive when it comes to human nature I wondered sometimes if his wife didn't have some input.

Don Quixote, on the other hand, was too densely written for my taste. I stayed with it for a couple hours and finally gave up. That guy was crazy and making me the same!
#27 - March 02, 2010, 02:54 PM
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Paradise Lost -- YES!  That bored the socks off me.

Hm. This was one of my FAVORITE books in college! We read it in an absolutely fascinating class on literature and colonialism.

I can't even name something I've "always intended to read," because the stack of books in my house that I've bought--intending to read them--is just too large. The thing I'm trying to do this year, however, is not give up on a book so easily.

That said, my husband gave me a beautiful boxed set of the Fagles translation of The Iliad/The Odyssey several years ago for Christmas. I've read The Odyssey more times than I can count, but I've never read The Iliad. I haven't been avoiding it; it just hasn't come up in the queue yet. But it has a place in the schedule; as soon as I finish the current commitment of books (that I'm writing) and get back to my Greek retellings, it will be top of the stack.
#28 - March 02, 2010, 03:10 PM

shana

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I'll confess that Twilight is still on my "to read someday" list. I have not read the books or seen the movies! But at appearances, readers ALWAYS ask me what I think of them. And then look at me as if I've sprouted three heads when I say I haven't read them.  :hiding

The only Jane Austen book I could read all the way through was Pride and Prejudice. For her others, I needed the audiobook versions to keep my focus on the story. I did enjoy them, but my mind kept wandering while reading the books. I found I could absorb them much better by listening to them.
#29 - March 02, 2010, 04:32 PM

MaryWitzl

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I've loved every single Austen book I've read -- and reread -- and don't find the language too dense (my husband does). Maybe I should try Paradise Lost again. We read Dante's Inferno at the same time and I enjoyed bits of that, but the Milton didn't make me do anything but yawn -- and yearn for a proper novel.
#30 - March 03, 2010, 07:44 AM

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