September 30, Tuesday morning -- Reading D.E. Briggs, J.S. Hough, R. Stevens, & T.W. Young

Reading Malting and Brewing Science, Volume I: Malt and Sweet Wort, by D.E. Briggs, J.S. Hough, R. Stevens, & T.W. Young. He's down from Santa Rosa for an engineering convention and carpooled with a friend who works in San Francisco. His friend had to be in San Francisco earlier than he had to be at the convention, so he had time to kill.

Favorite book--The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas. He likes the Penguin unabridged edition. He's tried other versions, but they don't compare.

Sometimes he'll stop reading a book because he doesn't like how it makes him feel. For instance, his wife loved The Kite Runner, so he tried to read it, too, but when he got to the part about the watch (for those of you who've read it) he couldn't finish it. As for another great Dumas classic, The Three Musketeers, he didn't like the ending and won't read it again. He likes books that make him feel good.

If a book makes you feel anxious, or surfaces other strong emotions, do you ever stop reading?


Norrin2 said...

Absolutely. I loved "The Brothers Karamazov" and I tried to read "Crime and Punishment" but it got me so squarely into the mind of a madman it was uncomfortable so I never finished it.

Alba said...

Me too for absolutely. This year my book group chose to read Lolita by Nabikov.
In February I had been visited by an old friend and her three children. She had only learned in November that her former husband had sexually abused their daughter between the ages of 3 and 11.
The little family was devastated. My friend, a deeply loving, caring, involved Mother, was horrified that the abuse had taken place and she'd had no inkling at all. She was having to deal with her daughter's distress, her son's distress and her own distress and guilt.
I couldn't read Lolita. I tried because it was for book group but the writing, excellent I must say, just made my stomach churn and my revulsion was greater than anything I'd experienced before. I also found myself unable to attend the meeting, I was so upset.
The others in the group loved it and it has scored higher than anything else we've read, except perhaps The Kite Runner.

Ms. B. said...

Just today a student observer in my room asked me about Lord of the Flies. She had seen it in the library and realized she had never read it. I told her it used to be a 10 grade book and that I hated it. It's a great book but I hated what it said about humankind.
A Separate Peace did the same thing to me. So sad how books can do such a amazing job of showing how life can be at its not best.

Sometimes I put down books because I don't like where I think they are going.
And, sometimes I put down books because I think I know where they are going, and I don't like that--I want the author to lead me somewhere.
Anita Shreve is one author right now who is able to take me with her but surprise me. She looks at life from so many views and so true and yet she can surprise me with the ending. I like that.

The Kite Runner had some terrible parts but I so felt the book was a book of redemption that it was okay. The same with The Lovely Bones. Some of my women friends hated it because of the beginning scene. I saw it as a book of a family's healing from an awful, awful event.

Funny how we connect to books so differently and so individually.

Thinking back on Alba's comment: I was a mother of a young daughter when my husband, who likes sailing and geography, bought me A Map of the World. I could just see him liking the title and then thinking that if it was a Oprah book club selection, that it must be good. I saved it for a February vacation, so happy he had bought such a thoughtful Christmas present. Then I started to read it.

It was of every woman's worst nightmare: losing track of a child just for a moment and losing that child.
I put it down and could never read it again. I gave it to a woman who had no children.
We laugh about his wonderful gift to this day!