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Let's Talk About: Your Books > I DID IT!! Books You've FINALLY Finished

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message 1: by The UHQ Nasanta (last edited Nov 14, 2010 06:19PM) (new)

The UHQ Nasanta (uhqs) | 829 comments For those who do not permanently set aside books they find difficult to read, what books have you *finally* finished reading (at any point in your life)?

Books that took me several tries (or too long) that I finally managed to read:

Les Miserables, unabridged
Catch-22
Emma
The Fairy Godmother
One Good Knight
Mr. Malcolm's List
The Perilous Gard
The Princess Bride
Deerskin
Good Omens
American Gods
Watership Down
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
Anne Frank's Diary


message 2: by Alicia (last edited Nov 10, 2010 01:02PM) (new)

Alicia Proust, Proust and more Proust! I must have started Swann's Way at least a dozen times, only to get 50 pages or so in and then abandon it. I also tried it in the original French, and that wasn't any better. Oh well, someday I'll be able to remember lost time.

I had a really hard time getting through Blindness - it was interesting and creative, but the writing style made it slow-going because I kept having to re-read sections. It was really rewarding to finally get through it though, and ultimately the experimental writing style was very thought-provoking.

Watership Down was one of mine as well, niquae. It wasn't difficult, but I just found it incredibly dull. I would read a few pages, and then get so bored that I'd put it away. Took me forever to get through it!


message 3: by Lisarenee (new)

Lisarenee | 7659 comments Thank for posting this niquae. I took forever reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert . *ducks from anything being thrown* I kept thinking it would get better, but it didn't for me. It had it's moments and wasn't terrible, it just wasn't for me.


message 4: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Lisarenee wrote: "Thank for posting this niquae. I took forever reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. *ducks from anything being thrown* I kept thinking it would get better, but it didn't for me. It had it's mo..."

Yeah, Eat Pray Love was a bit like that for me too, so I'm definitely not throwing anything here. The first section about Italy was funny and entertaining, but then as soon as it got to the section about India it became torturously slow. I just had zero interest in reading about her beliefs in god, her spirituality, every little thought that crossed her mind as she tried to meditate and all the stuff about "reaching enlightenment" or "electricity coursing through her body". I eventually gave up on the print version, and finished it as an audiobook in a few hours on a train ride.

It definitely wasn't the book for me either, although I did feel that a lot of people who disliked this book were overly harsh in calling Gilbert selfish, insufferable, pathetic, spoiled, a marriage-ruiner, self-absorbed etc. She's just one woman telling her story - she never claimed that her story would speak to everyone or that it was the only way for a person to "find themselevs".


message 5: by Katherine (new)

Katherine My new year resolution is to finish the three books I started this year but have not been able to finish.

1) Atlas shrugged
2) Crime and Punishment
3) Eat Pray Love (at least I'm not alone on that one)


message 6: by Sashana (new)

Sashana Cool thread, Niquae. I actually laughed when I saw the title.


The UHQ Nasanta (uhqs) | 829 comments lol. I'm glad that a similar topic wasn't hidden anywhere. :D

@Alicia: I started Watership Down when I was a child. I finished in somewhere in my 20's. That's how long I took reading that darn book. I agree with you. I found it terribly dull. I've see that some people actually love it, and I have no idea why.

@Lisarenee: I can't throw anything either. I purchased Eat, Pray, Love because everyone seemed to be reading it (before the movie) - and I gave it away to a friend unread. I don't really like books of that genre, and couldn't see myself picking it up anytime soon - or at all.

err, One Good Night should actually be One Good Knight. >_<


message 8: by Shay (new)

Shay | 923 comments Katherine wrote: "My new year resolution is to finish the three books I started this year but have not been able to finish.

1) Atlas shrugged
2) Crime and Punishment
3) Eat Pray Love (at least I'm not alone on ..."


If you're really struggling through Crime and Punishment, it could be the translation. Try to see if your library has the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation. I'm reading War and Peace, which I've given up on a lot of times, but this time I'm using the P & V translation and I'm actually enjoying (most) of it. The translation really made all the difference.


message 9: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Thanks Shay I will look into that. I haven't tried War and Peace yet but when I do I will be sure to get the right translation.


message 10: by SheriC (PM) (new)

SheriC (PM) (shericpm) Shay wrote: "If you're really struggling through Crime and Punishment, it could be the translation. Try to see if your library has the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation. I'm reading War and Peace, which I've given up on a lot of times, but this time I'm using the P & V translation and I'm actually enjoying (most) of it."

I heard another tip somewhere for wading through difficult classics. The suggestion was to read the book while simultaneously listening to it on audio. The audio performance is supposed to help enhance the reading experience. I've not tried it myself, but I definitely will next time I gather the will to tackle one of the books I've attempted and abandoned before.


message 11: by Sonya (new)

Sonya marie madden | 150 comments I gave up on altas shrugged


message 12: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new)

Karen ⊰✿ | 14753 comments Mod
Seeing that a usually read a book in a few days, and it took me almost 5 weeks to finish
Papillon by Henri Charrière
I am definitely saying Yay! "I did it" about that ;)


message 13: by James (new)

James @Alicia and @The UHQ Nasanta I keep poking my fiancee to read Watership Down because I loved it, but she agrees with you guys that it sounds dull.

@Sonya she's reading over my shoulder and yelled, "I loved Atlas Shrugged!"


message 14: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 3273 comments I have been trying to get back to Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie for almost a year now. This year I have several started that are taking me forever to get back to and finish, my own fault because I started reading too many books at a time - A People's History of the United States 1492 - Present by Howard Zinn , Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke , The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, #3) by Stephen King , and Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy, #1) by Margaret Atwood


message 15: by Melissa (last edited Jul 08, 2014 11:26AM) (new)

Melissa (mkc2192) | 0 comments I've just decided that any book I can't finish will have to remain unfinished until I can get the audio book for it. So far I'll need to finish Insomnia by Stephen King and three Jane Austen books.


message 16: by Lisarenee (new)

Lisarenee | 7659 comments Tickyette wrote: "I've just decided that any book I can't finish will have to remain unfinished until I can get the audio book for it. So far I'll need to finish Insomnia by Stephen King and three Jane Austen books."

That's what I do too especially when I'm carting the kids back and forth to school.


message 17: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 3273 comments Les Misérables by Victor Hugo - the unabridged took me 3 to 4 months.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens


message 18: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new)

Karen ⊰✿ | 14753 comments Mod
I do that too Tickyette.

Even books that I need to read for bookclubs that are over about 600 pages I know I will struggle to finish (it is a mental barrier for me because at 600 pages I know I could've read two books in the same time! haha) so now I just get the audio.
Although the audio for
New York by Edward Rutherfurd is about 35 hours so I am even procrastinating about that! lol


message 19: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new)

Karen ⊰✿ | 14753 comments Mod
Sarah - I've never tried Les Miserables ; I don't know it is for me. A tale of two cities and Great Expectations I read when I was younger and didn't have a lot of book choices (and therefore other books calling me). They are wonderful stories


message 20: by Sarah (last edited Jul 08, 2014 05:33PM) (new)

Sarah | 3273 comments Les Miserables is my favorite book of all time - it wasn't a full unabridged version, but it was close. What I enjoyed most was what Hugo had to say about the human condition, war, politics, classism, love, redemption etc... The underlying story is good too - this is not the musical. He makes very deep and profound insights. This book is timeless and all though a workout, it is worth it.


message 21: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (daughterofoak) | 3473 comments Les Miserables is also my favorite book. I listened to the audio last fall when I was making a gazillion batches of jam and I just fell in love with it.
The problem is that I didn't realize that I was listening to the abridged version. I want to make time someday to read the unabridged book.


message 22: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new)

Karen ⊰✿ | 14753 comments Mod
Maybe I will get there on audio some day then....


message 23: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new)

Karen ⊰✿ | 14753 comments Mod
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
is now added to the list of "yes, I made it" books


message 24: by Kristie (new)

Kristie | 3323 comments I felt this way after reading The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1) by Rick Yancey and Wool Omnibus Edition (Silo, #1; Wool, #1-5) by Hugh Howey . For some reason, I kept getting distracted by other things and putting them aside. I'm having the same problem with The Darwin Elevator (Dire Earth Cycle, #1) by Jason M. Hough now. I'll be really happy when that one is done.


message 25: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (daughterofoak) | 3473 comments I'm *almost* done with Dune. It a good book but I'm ready to finish it and move on...


message 26: by Renee (last edited Sep 07, 2014 03:05AM) (new)

Renee (reneeconoulty) | 3309 comments Finally finished Terms & Conditions today. I enjoyed it and even laughed out loud a few times, but I found the style something I had to think about and could only take in small doses (lots of footnotes). It took me almost a month, which is a long time for me. I kept getting distracted with easier reads (especially for the Wheelathon challenge). I would still be going with it, but I made myself a deal that I wasn't allowed to start Big Little Lies until I finished it :)


message 27: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new)

Karen ⊰✿ | 14753 comments Mod
That's a shame about Wool, Kristie. I quite enjoyed that book, part 1 more than the rest though I have to say

Amanda - I remember my sister reading that over-and-over-and-over when we were kids. I've never read it ;)

Renee - Big Little Lies is worth it to reward yourself! Bloody awesome book


message 28: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte (caelestial) | 31 comments Finished reading Pride and Prejudice last summer after the 3rd attempt. So glad I actually went through with it though. It turned out to be really enjoyable.


message 29: by Kristie (new)

Kristie | 3323 comments Karen - I enjoyed Wool too. I just kept picking up other things that I was reading for BOM or something and putting it down. Once I finally dedicated some time to it, it was good. I'd still like to read the rest of the series.


message 30: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new)

Karen ⊰✿ | 14753 comments Mod
Yes I'd like to read the next one too Kristie.... One day...!


message 31: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rebeccasg) | 3321 comments This was a while ago, but I absolutely felt this way about Anna Karenina! I really enjoyed it but it was very slowwww reading (lots of lectures on politics and farming of the time).


message 32: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new)

Karen ⊰✿ | 14753 comments Mod
I love that book RebeccaS, but I always warn people to skip the farming scenes. They do get tedious... ;)


message 33: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rebeccasg) | 3321 comments @Karen - I should have just done that! I kept finding myself totally zoned out and had to re-read a lot of those scenes.


message 34: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new)

Karen ⊰✿ | 14753 comments Mod
Another reason why one also shouldn't try to read it on audio unless you have a x2 speed option! Lol


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