Monday, February 9, 2009

Classics and Candy

I admit that I am not a very well-read person. I got through high school English with Cliff Notes. The last few years I've been trying to read some of those classics that I missed in my wayward, misguided youth.

At Christmas break I started reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I enjoy it while I'm reading, but I'm still only half way through. And honestly, it's just not pulling me in the way I would like. It doesn't call me back to it, so I forget that I'm trying to read it. I could leave the story now and never wonder what happens in the end. I would feel a bit guilty about abandoning a classic - but only a little guilty.

Enter the book candy I bought off the Walmart shelf on Saturday while grocery shopping. I was looking for a book for my poor, sick son who has the flu. They didn't have the one I wanted for him, but I did find Sundays at Tiffany's. Oh my, that was the perfect antidote to "too much classic syndrome". I read most of it on Saturday afternoon. Finished it off Sunday evening after running a few errands and tending to my youngest daughter's fever (over 105 degrees!).

I knew Sundays at Tiffany's was going to be good when the main character was eating a hot fudge sundae with coffee ice cream in the first chapter - that's my favorite treat. The book is a fun, easy, melt-in-your-mouth, sweet read. One that you can devour.

Are there classic books that you've abandoned mid-way through? Do you have favorite easy reads? Do you have a well balanced diet of reading or do you binge on the book candy? Or maybe you're the literary equivalent of a vegan, only reading books that require lots of chewing and are packed with good-for-you stuff. Share your book consuming habits!

16 comments:

Mandy said...

Sundays at Tiffany's is FABULOUS. I loved it too. I abandoned Pilars of the Earth. Couldn't hang. I may try it again.

Karen said...

There have been several classics I've abandoned during the exposition because I got distracted by something else. The examples that spring to mind are 100 Years of Solitude and David Copperfield. I tend to go through phases where I'm either reading all vegan or all candy. My candy of choice is serial killer stuff by authors like James Patterson and Jeffrey Deaver. I loved A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but I read it when I was 12 so I might not have liked it as much if I'd read it for the first time as an adult like you are doing!

jubilee said...

Could never get into A Tree Grows In Brooklyn either. And, sigh, I have abandoned Pride and Prejudice twice. (Love the movie though.) I made it through Sense and Sensibility and Middle March just fine . . .

Maria-Thérèse said...

Both good for you and easy to read - it SOUNDS easy but has so many levels to it - "The Price of Water in Finistère" by Bodil Malmsten. She's brilliant and the book is hilarious.

Maria-Thérèse said...

P.S. I've can't get through Jane Eyre. Just can't. Soon as the madwoman starts making noise I'm outta there.

Kitten said...

I tried James Joyce a couple of times...didn't make it at all.

Veggie Mom said...

Sort of like eye candy, huh? The "pause" that refreshes!

Karen (KayKay) said...

I never could get through A Tree... either, or Moby Dick, or most of the huge Russian novels. Other than that I would say I'm pretty balanced. I tend to alternate depth with fluff. That seems to work best for me.

Pink Ink said...

Classics I've abandoned halfway through? Lots!

I did finish "Tree grows in Brooklyn", though, and I thought it was worth it. Long long work, though. More like a saga rather than a "compelling plot" so I can see why it's a struggle to enjoy.

I just read "What I saw and How I lied". Now that was one I finished in one sitting.

Yaya said...

I'm pretty good at balancing my books. Love the term 'book candy', yup I read those! Then there's the self-help and health books I read. I'm not too big into the classics. I keep telling myself someday I'll get to them. The one book that I just cannot get into is A New Earth and so many ppl rave about it.

Queenie Jeannie said...

I love to read - just about everything!! I like the junk (Danielle Steel fan and not ashamed!), and the good stories (Stephen King, Twilight series) and the classics. Jane Austin is awesome!! Have you read her works??

Jenners said...

I have a very difficult time not reading a book until the end ... no matter how bad it is. I'm not sure why. I do try to pick my books very carefully because of this. And I don't try to force myself to read things that I don't really want to read ... like classics I feel I SHOULD read but don't really want to. But I've been thinking that forcing myself to read a book that I'm not really enjoying is very silly and a waste of time....there are tons of very good books out there. I tend to read a wide variety of books -- fiction, non-fiction, memoirs but I know what you mean about the "candy" books. I buy them every once in awhile because they are just so good ... but they don't really satisfy like a really good book. I'd just stop reading the book ... if you don't care what happens, then why struggle to finish? Life is too short! There ... you have my permission1

Melissa Papaj Photography said...

I'll have to read it! Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog! Much appreciated!

noel2momof3 said...

I must be a vegan, can't stand to read anything fiction. I am going to start reading some of the classics though, just to know what I missed in school.

joanofalltrades said...

Anything easy is my favorite read. I don't think I've ever finished a book over 300 pages. Blame the ADD!

Elftea said...

I too wan tto read the classics. I too can't seem to get into them like the books I pick for myself. I want to get into Jane Austen and Maya Angelou. My favs are most science/ fantasy fictions. Or the Odd romance novel. Sometimes a regular modern fiction.
So many books going to movie before I know about the book. I can't read a book after seeing the movie. I have not seen true blood, so I will try to read the book first. sorry my comment truned into a rant.