Friday, January 25, 2013

Continue still in this so good a mind,

Well, there's good news and bad news to report. The good news is I finally finished the second book in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  The bad news is, I still have another book to read.

I'm happy to report however, that the final 100 pages of The Two Towers were the best yet, and actually had me interested in reading (which is perhaps why I read the final 100 pages today).  This also means that I am keen to continue reading the next book, to see what happens. This is in great contrast to when I finished the first book, and had no desire whatsoever to continue reading the next two books. Having said that, I'm still debating whether or not to continue with Lord of the Rings right now.

My other option is to squeeze in another list read before continuing, just so I can get some forward progress on the list for the first time since November. The danger in this tactic is that I may lose whatever momentum I have built up these past couple of days, and reading the third book will be like starting all over. But I fear that  regardless of having more interest, the final book will take me another month. Currently I have The Sound and the Fury sitting next to my computer, taunting me to pick it over The Return of the King which sits beneath it.

There wouldn't even have been a debate, had I not made a little discovery last week.  The Return of the King is, shall we say, the girthiest book of the three, and measures over 600 pages (compared to 535 for book 1 and 436 for book two). However, as I thumbed through it a few days ago, I discovered that in actuality, it's only 375 pages. I say this because I have no plans to read the over 200 pages of appendices found at the end. My philosophy on appendices in fiction writing is there shouldn't be any; either you want that information in your story or you don't.

This was the same situation I ran into with Infinite Jest, which contains 1,150 pages, but I only count as having read 1,079; there were 70 pages of footnotes. I've tried to imagine Hemingway having an appendix or two in The Old Man and the Sea. I then shudder.

I'm flying to Victoria tonight, and plan to make my decision before I leave for the airport. I will bring both books with me however.


  1. Hi! Just stumbled upon your blog and saw your raving review of Gone With The Wind. Could you list your favorite books from the List? I've read GWTW and loved it as much as you, so I wad thinking you would recommend a few other books that were just as amazing.
    Thank you!

    1. It is such a great book! Some of my other favorites, although quite different from GWTW, have been "The Sot-Weed Factor" by John Barth, "Lolita" by Vladimir Nababkov, and "I, Claudius" by Robert Graves. Also, "Lucky Jim" by Kingsley Amis, "The Corrections" by Jonathan Franzen.

      "The Corrections" is a good 'character' novel like GWTW, where you really get to know the main players in the book. As this was my favorite part of GWTW (getting to know Scarlett), this might be a good one for you!

      Have you read any other books from the list?