Thursday, November 8, 2007

Trying To Stay With It & NaNo Day er...8

Do you ever pick up a book and just want to put it back on the shelf so bad or just give it away but feel guilty for not reading it? That's how I am with The Age of Innocence right now. This is the second time I've tried to read this one and this book is so not my thing. I'm on my third day of reading it and I'm only 28 pages into it and it's been 28 pages of real effort, let me tell you. Normally, I'd just call it a "did not finish" and give it away to someone, but I feel like I have to see this one out. Someone tell me it gets better...please.

The reason I feel like I have to read this one is two fold. Number 1, it's for the classics challenge. Now I just read Rebecca, so I could substitute that one for this one, but it's also (number 2) for The Pulitzer Project and that would just drive me crazy if I read all of the Pulitzer winners and then didn't finish just this one. So I'm going to have to read it eventually to complete the Pulitzer list so I might as well finish it now, right?

These high society books are just not my thing. There are just too many names and too many families and no action at all. They go to an opera, they have dinner, they have a party. Mr. so and so talks to Mrs. so and so who's daughter is betrothed to Mrs. so and so's know how it goes. And the funny thing is, I enjoy the period piece films and mini-series that the BBC and Masterpiece Theatre produce, but I can't get into this type of literature for some reason. It just doesn't hold my interest. Who knows. I know lots of people love this book, so maybe if I get further than page 30 I'll start enjoying it.

On the NaNo front, today was excellent! I had a rush of ideas and exceeded the word goal of the day which was somewhere in the 13,000 range and went up to 14,497 words. Then the coolest thing happened. As I was writing dialogue for one of my characters, this one line came out of his mouth and I suddenly knew the ending of my book! Until he said what he said, I had no idea where I was going with this story. Now I do. And I jotted it all down with all of the twists and turns of where I want it to go so that I don't forget any of it. Now I just have to figure out how to get this story to that point. That's the next challenge.

Tomorrow's Friday, yay!


aichaku-愛着 said...

It does get better. :D It's one of those books I really loved but seeing I really like some slow books -- haha I may not be the right person to tell you this.

But I understand what you're saying. I now have a set of books and I feel the same way about them - I simply cannot read them and just want to chuck them or give them away.

DesLily said...

I think we all have one or two of "those books" I have a douology I just can't get into..i think its the style of writing because a review of the "storyline" says I would like it..aren't we all glad this doesn't happen often!!! Even when I read way out of what I normally like for the Perils Challenge I enjoyed all the books I read. I think sometimes our minds just go .. "nope..aint' gunna do it" lol.

I am so glad you have your ending!! it does make things easier knowing it because you can use subtle things to indicate along the way sometimes. (sometimes i sound like i know what I'm talking about...but don't believe it lol)

Bookfool said...

It's been a very long time since I read The Age of Innocence, but it is definitely a comment on society of that time and probably a little on the slow and subtle side. Maybe it's just not your type of book; there's nothing wrong with that. Remember that book on meditation that I couldn't get into? ;)

Chris said...

Aichaku, Hey! It's so good to "see" you again. I don't have a livejournal account so I kinda fell out of touch :(

Glad to hear that this one gets better ;) I'm going to have to stick with it...I'm sure it'll draw me in eventually, I hope so!

Deslily, Yeah, my mind's having a "nope ain't gunna do it" moment with this one. I'm hoping it comes along because I really feel like I have to see it through. Damn obligations!

I'm glad I have an ending too. I hope it helps me out. You should've seen me getting excited in my office by myself when it came to me. I was reaching for paper and scribbling stuff down and now I can barely read what I wrote. You most certainly do know what you're talking about! You're my expert here ;)

Bookfool, Oh dear, slow and subtle doesn't work for me very often, lol. But it's going to drive me nuts if I don't finish it...we'll see. I still have that meditation book sitting on my shelf! Maybe I should trade this one out for that one right now. I could use a little bit of zen! I'm hoping to pull that one out this year if there's another non-fiction five.

Scott said...

I know nothing about The Age of Innocence, but the cover's ugly, so I say pitch it.

Anyway, I'm really here to respond to your comment on my blog because I REALLY want to recommend something to you and make sure you see.

You said you were going to read a Mishima book, and it's one I've never read, so that's great. BUT I seriously think you should also read his book The Sound of Waves. It's a beautiful love story and I think you're really enjoy it... because you have an actual soul. It's one of my favorite books I read this year that I haven't really mentioned to anyone because I liked it in a private sort of way. But there you go.

Incidentally, since I want to win the award for Longest Comment Not About The Post Ever, you should know that I'm 175 pages into Speaker for the Dead on your repeated recommendation, and I absolutely adore it so far. So thank so for that... and now I'm going to get back to it.

Scott said...

Too many typos..... can't....breathe.....ack.....*gurgle*

Chris said...

Scott, LOL! Yeah, it's a nasty cover. I can't stand it and I think the same thing everytime I see it...who picks these things?

Awesome! I'll add The Sound of Waves to my list for the Japanese Challenge. Confessions of a Mask is one of my girlfriend's favorite books so I'm reading that on her recommendation. From what she's told me about it, it sounds like an incredible book and it's supposed to be an extremely autobiographical book though Mishima denied it. There's speculation that it would have shamed his family had it been autobiographical though the point in writing the book was to get beyond that.

Glad you're enjoying Speaker! Always makes me happy to hear that someone else is just reading that book and even happier when they love it! And you officially get the award for longest comment of the day ;)

Eva said...

I thought it got better, but I enjoy high society books, lol. Methinks you might not enjoy Jane Austen too much when you try her out...although generally she keeps her cast of characters small.

I didn't realise it won the Pulitzer!

Chris said...

Eva, I'm really hoping I enjoy Jane Austen when I get to her books. I love every production of her novels I've ever seen, so I'm hoping I'll love the novels too...we'll see! I didn't realize that The Age of Innocence had won the Pulitzer at first either. I thought that this one was published way before the time of the Pulitzer, but apparently not!

Dark Orpheus said...

I sort of feel guilty about not completing Moby Dick - but I just can't seem to finish it. So, maybe Moby Dick is my Age of Innocence?

Sad to say, I have never actually read any Edith Wharton myself - even though friends have asked me to read her so often.

But you know how sometimes there is this pressure that to be "well-read" you must read the GREAT BOOKS - "War & Peace", "Don Quixote", "Moby Dick"?

So much pressure, but sometimes, the book just don't do it for you?

So, you have your ending? Good for you! Now I'm curious about that one line of dialogue that put it all into place.

Debi said...

Glad I'm not doing the Pulitzer Project, because I think I would be exactly like you. That really does NOT sound like my idea of a good read...but then I suppose I shouldn't judge it until I've read it, huh? Nor should I judge it by its hideous cover, huh?

Congrats on all the inspiration! I can't even quite imagine how wonderful it must feel to have your story reveal itself to you so vividly. Annie's starting to feel a bit discouraged, but I hope she'll be able to get herself past it.

Chris said...

D-O, I can't say I've ever had any desire to read Moby Dick :/ There are certain classics that really just don't appeal to me. The classics that I like tend to be the ones that are a little more obscure if that makes any sense. I think I'm ditching The Age of Innocence...I just can't get into it. I'll post the line that gave me my ending later on ;)

Debi, The cover definitely doesn't help the book, lol! I think I'm giving up on it. I just can't do it. I might just back out of the Pulitzer Project. I know that it lasts indefinitely, but I don't like having an open commitment like that that I know I won't finish.

Tell Annie to hang in there! She should read Chris Baty's book, No Plot, No Problem while she's doing NaNo! Go pick it up for her. He's the creator of NaNo and the book is a guide to NaNoWriMo and it's a fun little read and gives tips of encouragement for each week. He says in the book that this second week is the hardest for everyone. If you can make it past week 2, you'll make it to the end! I bought a NaNoWriMo tshirt off the website too :) I couldn't resist!

jean pierre said...

glad you had a good nano day! it sounds like it was really key to the novel. those days are just the best. :)

as for "age", in my experience these books are almost always slow burners. once the author (finally!) stops introducing new characters and the exposition is out of the way, it usually gets a lot better!

on the flip side, if you give it another go and you still don't like it, are you sure there isn't a substitute?