Monday, June 02, 2008

POP! The Don is Dead.

Wherein I celebrate the conclusion of reading drudgery and offer you limited control over my life.
Don Quixote is complete! The grind is over! I love reading but there are 2 books now that have challenged me to the point where reading stopped being fun and became a chore. This one and Tender is the Night. I had actually knotted the noose and strung it over the beam before, mercifully, coming to the end of Tender. Don Quixote was just tooo loooong. Not boring, like Tender, or difficult. Just way, way to descriptive of limited action scenes. Basically, the book is 1100 pages long (my version) and there are really only about 7-8 key events that take place. The other pages are filled with repeated descriptions of people mocking Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Amusing but, you know, we get the point already. They’re stooges. Larry, Moe and Curly can convey that in less than 30 seconds. How did Cervantes not expect folks to go ahead and flip on the TV at some point? Honestly.

I did gain one huge benefit from the experience: use of the word “wherein”. I’ve been using it a lot lately and will continue doing so until you all are sick to death of it. I suffered; you will too.

So, what's next? More reading of course.

Hesitantly, I offer you this little control over my life. I wouldn’t trust any of you to babysit my dirty socks but I’m going to step out on a limb here. I can always completely ignore your choice anyhow if I don’t like it. Here’s the next book nominees along with a completely inadequate brief description (provided by BarnesandNoble.com).

Arrow of God (Chinua Achebe)
Author of Things Fall Apart, a must read for all and one of my favorite books. “Set in the Ibo heartland of eastern Nigeria, one of Africa's best-known writers describes the conflict between old and new in its most poignant aspect: the personal struggle between father and son.”

Arrowsmith (Sinclair Lewis).
One of my favorite writers and one of the few books of his I haven’t read. More satire. I can never get enough. It “recounts the story of a doctor who is forced to give up his trade for reasons ranging from public ignorance to the publicity-mindedness of a great foundation, and becomes an isolated seeker of scientific truth.”

Portnoy’s Complaint (Philip Roth)
A risqué choice here. The book promises to use the word ‘masturbation’ a lot so I’ll be doing lots of immature snickering. “This modern classic of the Jewish American experience centers around one Alexander Portnoy, who on the couch of his psychoanalyst, confesses everything from his adolescent preoccupation with masturbation to his subjugation by his dominating mother, Sophie.”

Slash (autobiography)
Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll? ‘Nuff said. This is an autobiography I can relate to…except mine would be called Soda Pop, Couch, and Conformity.

Please cast your ballot below. If you select ‘other’, you will be required to put a title in the comments.




Happy trails.
_______________________________________

Another round of fartlek running on Sunday:

8.0 miles
54:14
6:47 pace

I did the same course I completed two weeks ago in an eerily similar 54:13. Maybe...could I be, a robot?

25 comments:

Danielle in Iowa said...

James Joyce is the author that makes me want to string up the noose. I have decided that people who claim to love JJ are just pretending so they can seem smart.

But I have never even tried Cervantes...

Kaeti said...

re: Joyce, I kind of agree with Danielle. I think Pynchon also (often times) falls into the "I'm just reading this to look smart" category.

To avoid falling this category, I only read Danielle Steel novels.

Sarah said...

I voted for Slash. After that long slog through Cervantes I think you need a break. I learned never to read two weighty classics back-to-back when I did a tour of Russia via The Brothers Karamazov and War and Peace. If I hadn't already read Anna Karenina I might have thrown that in there, too. But, ugh, if the Bros. Karamazov wasn't bad enough than I had to go straight into W&P??? What was I thinking, only bringing those two books and nothing else on my 5-week geology field camp? I thought it would be a good way to boost my literary knowledge. I should have just read Clan of the Cave Bear for the tenth time. Go with Slash. I think your brain will like you better.

Kevin said...

Congrats on finally finishing it. It only took you how many years?

Topher said...

Before I could vote, I'd need to see the book covers. That's what we, your readers, have to look at for the next several years.

Kristina said...

Seriously--check out The Ground Beneath Her Feet. It's one of my favorites. It's great literature without the work.

Viper said...

I voted for Philip Roth mostly because I don't care for him from what I've read of his.

Marcy said...

Puuuuuulllleeeassee, you already know which one I voted for :P Love me some white trash.

Ms. V. said...

Franny & Zooey.

Other than that, I like the drug and sex one. Slash?

Seriously, I was obliged to put in Bright Shiny Morning. A great read.

Lily on the Road said...

We had to read Portnoy's Complaint in High School, so I want you to go through the same agony I had to go through...LOL..

Xenia said...

I voted for Arrowsmith. Totally random selection though since I've never read S.L.

How about reading some genre stuff? Pratchett and Gaiman's Good Omens is hilarious. And it's about the apocalypse, so that's saying something.

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

I agree with Sarah, you need a break from the mondane, and Slash is certainly a break from the mondane. It should also give your rope a break.

P.O.M. said...

After the "Battle of the DON" you need a little light reading. What's lighter than sex, drugs and rock n roll?

The Laminator said...

I was hesitant to vote at first because I didn't want to the idiot that put in the only vote for a not-so-good book...but now that I did...my came out to be the most popular choice! Cool! It's like winning at Family Feud! Survey says...I know what I'm talking about!

Totally random I know...

Viv said...

I of course picked the most unpopular book.

That run off by one second is intersting. I am sure it would be difficult to try to do that.

nwgdc said...

slash. absolutely slash. i predict a landslide victory.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

NICE WORK!!

MizFit said...

I LOVE Phillip Roth.

you? James Frey? I just finished his newest and have to say I LOVED it.

(embarrassing but true)

if youd wanna read it email me and Ill mail it yer way.

MizFit

RazZDoodle said...

I did a little checking and found out that none of these books have that nifty "pop up" feature that I'm accustomed to. I'm afraid I'm unqualified to vote. Good luck. You're on your own on this one.

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

The last book I "read" was actually one that I listened to on tape. So with that in mind, I picked Slash, thinking it would be most entertaining to listen to.

Mir said...

Congrats on finishing DQ...I felt similar when I finally finished it...wanted a drink. :P Still, it was good and I'm glad I read it (now I can use quixotic in a sentence--see? I just did). Good luck with the next one. Alas, no suggestions to offer since I haven't read any of them. :)

Amanda said...

I had to read it in Spanish during college, so I feel no pitty for you!

sRod said...

Can you count reading Don Quixote as cross training? It did tax your endurance threshold.

Betsy said...

I would just like to state that I studied Spanish for 8 years and managed to never read Don Quixote.

Marathon Maritza said...

I have Don Quixote in it's original Spanish and now I fear I will never start it because of this post. (Amanda - was it brutal???)

I voted for Arrow of God because I read Achebe's 'Things Fall Apart' in college and loved it.