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Old 07-23-2014, 05:34 PM   #31
Katsunami
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Wow...

The Hobbit isn't THAT difficult. Don't overdo it
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:11 PM   #32
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Haha.... no, I read that one much more quickly. (though have to say that it felt a little overhyped and definitely read like a children's book)
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:44 PM   #33
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I think the only books I've ever abandoned are Russian novels that were assigned as summer reading in high school--Anna Karenina and War and Peace. Every few years, I read a couple of chapters of one or the other, and then put it aside again. There are plenty of books I buy that I never start, but if I do I start, I finish. Rarely am I tempted to abandon a book.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:09 PM   #34
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Wallace Steigner's All the Little Live Things was *extremely* boring for the first 2/3rds. I slogged through because it is my husband's favorite. I'm very happy I did because the last 1/3 made up for it. Stephen Donaldson's first 3 of his trilogy I learned to skim a little. I read a lot of "how to run your nonprofit" books, those can be pretty dry and boring. Outlander was horrible. I read about 1/3 then started the second book, then went back and finished reading the first. 8 books later I'm still alive.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:37 PM   #35
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:57 PM   #36
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My money is on The Goldfinch.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:05 AM   #37
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My guess is Creativity, Inc. (I'm reading that now, and the first third is quite good, then it bogs down & gets really repetitive.)

You're gonna have to spill at some point, twowheels, might as well be now!
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:09 AM   #38
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Certainly in the UK, many people bought Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" when it was first published, and would leave it on show to illustrate how intellectual they were. Few, I suspect, read it - not that it's a difficult book.
I have a copy. I haven't read it in a while but I agree it isn't very technical at all. He kept the language simple enough for the layman to understand.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:10 AM   #39
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I have an acid test for novels which helps leave me in the position of never getting into reading one which becomes a chore to read (I use the same test for movies as well). For me they have to stand the "test of time", which means that by the time they come into my orbit 99.999% of them are relegated to being remaindered or pulped long ago. The other 0.001% will be around, still in print, in 10 years time and so likely worth reading.

I ignore all recent reviews of and prizes won by novels, they seeming to be mostly hysteria, exaggerated academian, or advertising driven, and ignore as well the opinions of the chattering classes caught up in their mass hysterical endeavours to outdo each other in their analysis of books they imagine to be well dressed but which actually have no clothes on.

Applying such a test does not mean that one is a literary snob, as the chattering classes will rush to claim, as light fiction of proven appeal and of whatever mass market roots will normally still be in print after 10 years (much for many more decades longer than that).

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Old 07-24-2014, 01:12 AM   #40
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I think the last time I did that was with Moby Dick by Herman Melville. It's a classic that I'd always been meaning to read (never did it at school). Finally did it a few years ago - even commented about the experience here. Why push myself through it? Well ... because I tend to be rather stubborn with books anyway, and because there are some wonderful quotes buried in there, and because it is a classic and I kept hoping it would come to something more. And, if you really want to know, I think all the great quotes have already been used on Star Trek - so I could have saved myself the trouble.

On the other hand, as hardcastle says, some books are worth the trouble, just that - for me - Moby Dick wasn't one of them.
For me it was "The Valley of Horses" by Jean Auel. It was the switch from the characters to all the background material about the land that did it. I don't mind a sprinkling of details here and there to educate the reader but when it goes on page after page rather than moving the characters forward the author loses me.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:28 AM   #41
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Haha.... no, I read that one much more quickly. (though have to say that it felt a little overhyped and definitely read like a children's book)
Hehe. It *is* a children's book.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:45 AM   #42
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I have a confession: I sort of knew what you meant. I just don't subscribe to the idea that growth can only be achieved through books that bore me to tears.
But if you stare at the book until your eyes bleed, you will finally be able to see the emperor's new clothes! There is no end of books that can help you with mental growth. If one book is a slog, then you can always pick up another book that you actually will enjoy reading. Don Quixote is one of my favorite books, but for others it might be a slog.

I am slowly slogging my way through Moby Dick, now and then I will read a chapter. I think there is great stuff in there, but I think he desperately needed an editor. "The whiteness of the white"? Someone published an edited version "Moby Dick in Half the Time", with a lot of the really extraneous parts removed. In response, someone published "; or, The Whale", which only had the parts that were cut out of the other book.
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:29 AM   #43
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Haha.... no, I read that one much more quickly. (though have to say that it felt a little overhyped and definitely read like a children's book)
That's because it IS a children's book.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:12 AM   #44
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I don't have problem abandoning books if they don't interest me. Sometimes, I'll go back to it when I know I'm in the mood to finally read it. For instance, I read And the Mountains Echoed this summer. I tried when it was first published but I realized a few pages in that I just wasn't in the mood to read at that moment. There are other books that I abandon that I know I'll never touch again. These are usually books that just annoy me and never stop annoying me. I try to give these books a good 25-50 pages before I give up.

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Is it Capital in the 21st century?
That's a book I just abandoned. I borrowed it from the Kindle Unlimited. That's another book that I want to read but just not now. Maybe I'll buy a hard copy and just read it then.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:59 PM   #45
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You're gonna have to spill at some point, twowheels, might as well be now!
Those who are guessing novels are way off, given the clues I've given. :-) Those discussing A Brief History of Time are much closer, though this book's a bit more technical than Hawking's. This one is a bit newer, though still "dated".

It's not that it was hard, in fact it was 'dumbed down' quite well. It just went on-and-on with what felt like page filler. The first part was actually very interesting, and there was some interesting stuff near the end, but the middle was extremely boring, IMO.
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