Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Books -- Day 5

Day 05 – A book or series you hate

I don't read books I hate. If I can't stand it, I put it down and don't finish it.

The only exception to that was when I was in school and we had to read certain books, some of which were okay and some of which I just couldn't make my way through. And even then, I put it down.

The worst class that I remember for that was an American Lit class in college, taught by a professor who was okay but hated the early time for the class (as did most of us) -- I think it was a 7:40 am class, a barbaric hour as far as I'm concerned if I'm to retain anything.

We had five books, I think. "Steppenwolf" was one, "Swann's Way" another, something by -- wait. Why would we be reading those books in an American Lit class? Must have been world lit.

Anyway. "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" by James Joyce, "The Brothers Karamazov." Something else long and tedious. (I don't think that was the class where we read F. Scott Fitzgerald.)

For the first time in my whole life, I didn't read all the assigned books. I read Steppenwolf and Portrait of the Artist, and maybe at least some of The Brothers, but I could NOT do Swann's Way nor whatever the other was. I just didn't do it.

I passed the class too, focusing the final essay on the two books I had read, neither of which I found particularly wonderful, literary classics though they might be. It wasn't a class of which I'm especially proud, nor did I learn much -- probably that 7:40 a.m. thing had a lot to do with it. But I passed with a C at the least, maybe even a B-. (Learned to BS my way through an essay too, a skill with which I have made money in my career ...)

Although I was an English major, I suppose I'm vastly under-read as far as classic literature is concerned. I think it may be because I don't like being told that I must read something, whether it is a book club or in a class, with the implication being that I will like it because it is a 'good' book written by an esteemed author.

I don't like one particular modern-day author very much, but it has to do more with her literary style than her stories. I'll delve into that in another post during this exercise.

1 comment:

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