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Monday and Thursday

Musing Mondays2

This week’s musing asks:

What is the longest book you have ever read? How long did it take you to read it?

Was it War and Peace or The Fountainhead or Gone with the Wind?

War and Peace felt the longest because I wasn’t interested in the digression in agriculture and how land was divided. Gone with the Wind was a fast read (7th grade level reading) because I kept wanting to know what will happen to Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler. While the novel centers on Scarlet, I have come to like Butler a lot—so much so that I don’t want him to fall in love with Scarlett, who only chases after someone who doesn’t exist, except in her imagination. She only comes to term with her true feelings, which she lacks throughout the book, and acknowledges emotions as strength, only a tad too late. Her long journey to become a person who is capable of love seems ironically fruitless. The novel is what critics might call a timeless American classic. It muses on that reflection sometimes can be the only chance of happiness in the memory of what was promised to us.

Last year I finally conquered The Fountainhead, the book I meant to read for extra credit in 11th grade. Rand believes that there is only black and white in moral issues; there is no gray. Therefore, giving in a little is not compromise but rather forfeiting one’s values and surrendering to evil. She argues that society, tainted by collectivism, has a herd mentality that corrupts individual mind. Whether you buy her outlandish ideals, the book itself is gripping and riveting.

It will change when I muster up energy to read A Suitable Boy–over 1400 pages.

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Booking Through Thursday asks:

Have you ever bought a book, started reading it and then realised you have already read it? If so, how far did you get? (Can you tell this happened to me for the first time ever this week!?!)

(Laughing out loud) I as reading this book titled The Other Hand by Chris Cleave, whose book Little Bee I enjoyed tremendously. If you haven’t read it, it is a novel that reminds us of humanity, humanity at its best and most invincible, in the face of horror and sorrow. The manner with which their disparate lives intersect is serendipitous, and how this story unfolds is magic. The book is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, nudging the terrains of delicate emotions. So I picked up this other book by him called The Other Hand, and about two chapters into it I realize it’s Little Bee, except it’s published under a different title in the UK.

8 Responses

  1. I think GWTW is my longest as well, although I think The Stand was up there too. Not completely sure which was longest. Once a book goes past 1,000 pages, everything blurs!

  2. I think GWTW is my longest book too although I’m reading Don Quixote this fall so we’ll see!

  3. I read GWTW years ago but just finished 1100 pages of Don Quixote this past year. Loved it. Have still not read A Suitable Boy. The print looks so tiny and the bulk so thick yet I know I would enjoy it. Need a burst of energy. Have not read The Fountainhead but read Atlas Shrugged. Enjoyed it but was quite young. Would probably get more out of it now in later life.
    Yes have bought books that I have reread but they were crime reads from airports and had forgotten the story completely until the ‘ second’ copy. It’s annoying isn’t it! Pam

  4. “A la recherche du temps perdu” by Marcel Proust took me for ever. Not an unpleasant read I have to say.
    Shame on me I have never read GWTW (is that a really bad thing???).
    And yes…I bought a book which I’d already read. The original version was in English, so when I bought the Dutch translation I didn’t recognise it immediately. After the first chapter I thought the story sounded somewhat too familair and checked my bookcase…and voila…there it was.

  5. War and Peace is the longest I’ve ever attempted; it’s also the one I have re-read the most, each time in a different translation. It is among my most favorite books. I often re-read favorite passages and try to interpret them afresh.

    I’ve tried Gone with the Wind, and I’m sorry to say I’ve never gotten very far, because so many people I know love this book.

    I have yet to read The Fountainhead. I’m tempted because of your comments.

    Les Miserables, in English translation, is another very long book I’ve read and enjoyed.

  6. Easily the longest book I’ve ever read was Atlas Shrugged, another Ayn Rand. It took two attempts before it finally hooked me and then I couldn’t put it down.

  7. Hi, Matt! I just love the weight and feel of door stoppers. As to reading them, I’m afraid I’m not that consistent though. While I do have a copy of War and Peace and Atlas Shrugged, I have yet to go past the first few pages.

    Recently, I just finished the unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo, which is the book for discussion this month in my book club. I’m not sure if it’s longer than Les Miserables, another door stopper that I’ve read.

  8. I’ve read “A Suitable Boy” !!! It took 2 months and I was bedridden. What a happy experience (enter sarcasm here) But I still keep it at eye level on my bookshelf to remind me of that time and what I have accomplished since.

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