Unfinished Books

Here’s the newest version of my personal topten of books I never finished reading.

Goedel Escher Bach by Douglas Hofstadter [GEB]
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoi [AK]
Der Zauberberg by Thomas Mann [Z]
The Making of Americans by Gertrude Stein [MA]
Ulysses by James Joyce [U]
Divina Comedia by Dante Alighieri [DC]
Die Traumdeutung by Sigmund Freud [T]
Wilhelm Meister by Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe [WM]
The second sex by Simone de Beauvoir [SS]
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo [M]

So I quit GEB because I got bored in the middle and I started studying computer science which was way more interesting. When I started reading AK I think I was too young and I quit because I just could not grasp what should be interesting about the whole story and the book was simply too long. I quit reading Zauberberg after several chapters of showing goodwill but I just don’t like Thomas Mann’s writing. I was probably too young for that one. Btw I quit the Buddenbrooks on the first page 🙂 With MA I never got beyond the introduction, it’s just too damn hard to read. At the time I had read a Gertrude Stein biography and was a huge fan of Hemingway et al so I thought I’d give it a try, well I gave it a try and quit. I am still reading a couple of pages in Ulysses each year. Sometimes I just open the book to enjoy a few pages somewhere in the middle or toward the end. I’ll finish that one one day. I got through two thirds of the Divina Comedia, I quit when he came to paradise. I liked reading about the sins the people committed but the good ones were kind of boring. Sigmund Freud is really exciting that’s probably why I quit after chapter one. I am really a fan of Goethe but WM didn’t get me like the rest. So I quit after like 10 pages. Maybe I should start again some time. I love Simone de Beauvoir’s other works, well I read several of the novels, but this one was more than I could take on. It’s like reading a scientific text for a course at university, and there are probably many people that have to read this for university. Oh well but I could quit so I did. Well the problem with Les Mis was I read it in French. Tried to.

I have more unread books than you would believe. But maybe one of these days I’ll be writing about my very favorite books. Anyhow I got this because American Gods was being discussed on my all-time favorite mailinglist (Unknown Armies if you want to know) …. someone asked wether he should quit reading or if it was getting any better toward the end.

By Yashima

Writer of code and stories