books you didn't finish

johnny k

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Then again, you may not enjoy them a second time. You've wasted time you could have spent reading something that you would enjoy. :)

Have you read Balzac? I imagine there's much more nuance in his original language.
No i haven't. I am not that big on french writers, except maybe celine, but it would be pointless to translate celine since you won't ever get anywhere close to the work on the french langage.
 

NWinther

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Ah....I have read an idiotic amount of books, I like alot of stuff!
I could not complete anything by Isaac Asimov...he bores me to death for some reason!
I love Iain Banks and his Culture works, I have still not finished Feersum Endjinn...I like it but the phonetic transcription kills me!!

Victor Hugo Les Miserables...well miserables it is!
Pelle the conqueror by Martin Andersen Nexø....we had that one in school...I got 8-12 pages in and gave up, never read it, was supposed to write about it in an essay...never did it, told my teacher that the book was a waste of paper...he got furious..haha oh well!

Ayn Rand....arrghhh kill me!

Well I read alot and forgot most of those I did not like.
Have slowed down for some years but I am now back in almost normal reading mode again.
Some books just grips you or intrigues you, others never catch on, tried a few a few of those I did not like when I was younger..same result, some are good and well written, I just do not like reading them!
 

Charlie Bernstein

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At a very difficult time in my early adulthood navigating a serious illness which nearly derailed my career, a friend gave me his “Something Happened“ paperback. I read and re-read it until the pages came loose.
10 years ago, in late adulthood, when everything was settled and going well, I attempted to re-read without success. Whatever attracted me to Heller’s nihilism was absent 35 years later.
Same thing happened with John Updike’s ”Rabbit Redux”. The thrill was gone.
Both of them were about the kind of guys I just don't care about. Same goes for all of Richard Ford's stuff.

If I want some middle-class American male angst, I'll watch Mad Men. At least that's funny.
 

mycroftxxx

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I could not complete anything by Isaac Asimov...he bores me to death for some reason!
As a teenager, I read lots of Asimov; fast forward 30 years and I reread a lot of it, and the only stuff that really held up was The End of Eternity, which I think is an excellent novel, and some of the stories in I, Robot. The rest, including the vaunted Foundation series…I really had to force myself, and ended up doing a lot of skimming.
 

oldunc

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I used to read a ton of detective stories, but at some point gangsters, psychopaths, serial killers and torture became popular favorites, and I started dropping books (not to mention movies and TV shows) right and left. Give me motives and circumstances and people identifiable as human reacting to them every time; I stick mostly to Nero Wolfe and Sherlock Holmes for that sort of thing nowadays.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. When I got to #7, "a tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag", I stopped because the tactic of that book became a drag.
I've read it a couple of times, but I don't blame you. It has a certain amount of entertainment value, but the book is usually misunderstood because he's usually misunderstood.

Community organizers think it's an organizing manual. And a bible. It's neither. It was just his way of talking about things he learned working with community groups.

They and others think he was a community organizer. He wasn't. He helped people organize around single issues they cared about in their communities. It was guys he trained in single-issue organizing who (among others) thought of building permanent, multi-issue, grassroots community organizations — a.k.a. community organizing.
 
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Charlie Bernstein

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I used to read a ton of detective stories, but at some point gangsters, psychopaths, serial killers and torture became popular favorites, and I started dropping books (not to mention movies and TV shows) right and left. Give me motives and circumstances and people identifiable as human reacting to them every time; I stick mostly to Nero Wolfe and Sherlock Holmes for that sort of thing nowadays.
Then you might like Daphne du Maurier, Ruth Rendell, and Dorothy Sayers. Good stuff.

Speaking of serial killers and torture, I must have fifty Ed McBains.

It's my literary comfort food. There are about ten in my bookcase I still haven't read. I pull them out between other books when I just want to drift into Wordland.

I have a lot of Elmore Leonard, too. But he didn't write as many, so I've finished all his crime novels and a few of his westerns. When I find 'em, I get 'em.

The three things I love about Ed and Elmore are that (a) their dialogue is pitch-perfect, (b) I worry about their characters, and (c) they have a sense of humor.

Good just for the foolish antics are Donald Westlake and Carl Hiaasen. They go for the laughs.
 
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oldunc

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Then you might like Daphne du Maurier, Ruth Rendell, and Dorothy Sayers. Good stuff.

Speaking of serial killers and torture, I must have fifty Ed McBains.

It's my literary comfort food. There are about ten in my bookcase I still haven't read. I pull them out between other books when I just want to drift into Wordland.

I have a lot of Elmore Leonard, too. But he didn't write as many, so I've finished all his crime novels and a few of his westerns. When I find 'em, I get 'em.

The three things I love about Ed and Elmore are that (a) their dialogue is pitch-perfect, (b) I worry about their characters, and (c) they have a sense of humor.

Good just for the foolish antics are Donald Westlake and Carl Hiaasen. They go for the laughs.
I pretty much burned out on the English writers long ago; for one thing, I have a terrible memory for names 9not improving with age) and they tend to introduce thirty or forty characters in the first three pages. I love Elmore Leonard, and to a lesser extent Hiassen, but I ran out of books to read. Westlake is great, especially the Dortmunder books, but I don't know that he ever wrote mysteries; never really got into the Richard Stark stuff, there were some under another pseudonym that popped up a few years back, they were just OK. I do like the Rumpole books, but they don't reread as well as one might hope. I do still have a weakness for Joan Hess. Half remembered quote from Leonard; when asked why his books were so popular, replied that he left out all the stuff that people don't want to read.
 

teletimetx

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What I liked was that Holden didn't let his soul get crushed.

Which is a laudable achievement for a 16-17 year old - but what about when he turned 43, writing copy for the Coke-Pepsi War and his teenage daughter views him with such special disdain that he’s ready to take the plunge from the Mid-Hudson Bridge near his home in Poughkeepsie?
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Which is a laudable achievement for a 16-17 year old - but what about when he turned 43, writing copy for the Coke-Pepsi War
Like his "prostitute" big brother.
and his teenage daughter views him with such special disdain
All teens have acute hypocrisy radar. That's one of their jobs. That's one of the reasons teens used to like Holden so much. His was strong enough to make him flee school.
that he’s ready to take the plunge from the Mid-Hudson Bridge near his home in Poughkeepsie?
Happily, J.D. never wrote a sequel. But judging from the other stuff he wrote, we can imagine little Holden having a pretty interesting adulthood.

He got over one hurdle, anyhow. A sign of hope.

Here's more to think about:

Screen Shot 2022-10-03 at 11.58.34 AM.png
 




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