Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Painful Reads

Books I Struggled Painfully Through and Some I Did Not Finish 

This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
(Made it through page 179.)
This story lost me. 
I really desired it to take me away because: Fitzgerald; but, no.

The Republic by Plato
(Made it to page 100.)
It's just unenjoyable.

The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides
(Begrudgingly read it to the end.)
After The Histories by Herodotus, I did not want anymore ancient war.

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
(Read at least half of this until I had to look away.)
Such a disappointment.  The movie is SO MUCH BETTER.

Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain
(Almost finished it, but no cigar.)
This sounded so cool to me, but after enduring most of it, 
I felt like I was swimming against the current for too long.  
It became tiresome.  

The Belly of Paris by Emile Zola
(Again, halfway through, but I couldn't stomach it.)
One could say it was quite effective, 
but at some point I had to stop because I felt nauseous.
It's not gross; it's just too much.

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
(Reluctantly finished the first chapter.)
This one irritated me for so many reasons.  
True, I did not give it much of a chance, 
but I think the F-word was the last straw on top of everything else.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
(I don't remember how much of this I did read, but I recall waiting for it to get funny, and it didn't.)
I heard this was satire, but I think it went over my head.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
(Had to finish it, but it was painful to the end.)
Everyone in this story made me angry for the entire read.  There was no rest.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
(Regretfully read this aloud to my kids.)
What did I just read?  
I told my kids they would have to read the remaining books in the series 
on their own because I was done.


Michelle Ann said...

Taste is a strange thing, as all these books are classics and loved by some. The only one I have attempted on this list is Catch 22, which I agreed with you on, and gave up after the first chapter.

Hamlette (Rachel) said...

I've only read a few of these. Wasn't thrilled by This Side of Paradise or A Wrinkle in Time. Actively disliked Wuthering Heights. Laughed so hard and so much over Catch-22 that it's one of my favorite books. But humor doesn't hit everyone the same way, and the cyclical storytelling is hard to glom onto, so I understand how someone could dislike it.

Ruth said...

I'm relieved to hear you say that you weren't thrilled w/ This Side of Paradise, since you admire Fitzgerald so much. I don't know what it was, and I had high expectations for it, but it disappointed me. I was dragging myself to finish it, which I didn't.

Ruth said...

Absolutely. Everyone thinks differently, and has different experiences, that it is difficult to say what is best and what isn't so good.

Hamlette (Rachel) said...

Yeah, I found the protag in Paradise to be very whiny and annoying.

Brona said...

Catch 22, a wrinkle in time & withering heights - yes! Spell checked kept changing it to withering & it seemed appropriate, so I kept it!!

Sad to hear there might be a Zola that might not hit the mark though 😕

Jean said...

Yes, everybody in WH IS awful. And I hated the Republic too. But...Wrinkle in Time? My beloved Wrinkle? Say it ain't so! Well, I'll forgive you, but I am quite curious as to why you disliked it so much. Outdated? Whiny Meg? Aggravating Charles Wallace?

Jean said...

Oh, and I liked Catch-22 for about a third of it, and after that I kept waiting for it to get better, or end.

Cleo said...

With classics, it's hard to say I completely dislike anything, but I'd probably be with you with regard to Fitzgerald. Just don't like his writing. Wuthering Heights was painful on one hand, but I appreciated it on another. I think Emily could have been a great author if she got out into society more and matured. Personally Catcher in the Rye would have been on my list --- I have no patience for that book. Of course, I love all the Greeks so far. Fun to have a look at your list, though!

Ruth said...

Here's the thing about Zola: I will definitely try to finish Belly of Paris b/c I am determined to complete the series. That I will do. : ) Just taking a break.

(Hahahahhaa) Withering Heights. : D

Ruth said...

Maybe WH is one I did not like, but even still, I did not dispose of it after I read it. It's still on my shelf. ????

I found Catcher in the Rye entertainingly funny (but I think b/c I was able to related to the NY sarcasm); however, Holden needed a spanking.

Ruth said...

I mean I was able to RELATE to . . .

Ruth said...

Wrinkle in Time was weird. It was so weird. I kept asking, "Where is this going." It wasn't a particular character, that I recall. It was the plot that seemed soooo far fetched that I couldn't even imagine and enjoy it. BUT, my kids loved it. Will it help to read the other books in the series?

Gently Mad said...

I can't find the post a comment section so I'm replying here. Some of the books you listed I liked; others I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. Anything by Morrison I would never bother with. I haven't read This side of Paradise, but intend to. It will be interesting to see how I like it after reading your opinion.

I liked A Wrinkle in Time the first time I read it, but not so much the second time and I couldn't get into the sequences at all. Felt the characters were too one dimensional.

I hated Catch-22 but my husband loved it because he said he had met every character in the book when he was in the Air Force.

Ruth said...

no problem, these things happen.

Interesting about Catch 22. Wasn't the author in the military? That could explain it.

So I'll be interested what you think about This Side. I'd like to know if I'm crazy or not alone in my craziness. Hamlette wasn't excited about it either.

Jean said...

Well, they aren't any less improbable; they're all sort of religious science fiction? If you don't like fantasy/SF then they won't be for you, but they mix in a lot of science. The Wind in the Door has Meg working with a cherubim to save CW from a cellular disease, and Swiftly Tilting Planet involves...well, remember the show Quantum Leap? Like that, but working through history to save the world from a nuclear war. Then there's one about time-travel to Noah's Ark...

L'Engle's other series is more reality-based. :D

Ruth said...

That may be why I did not like it -- I have not been interested in Sci Fi, and I've never watched Quantum Leap. It is really difficult for me to get into that genre.

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