I Quit

I’m sorry, but I’ve done it again. I have quit reading books without finishing them. Back in May I posted a list of 4 books that I just hadn’t been able to finish reading, be it for the narrator’s annoying voice (it can make or break an audiobook), the author’s pedantic attitude, or just the plain boring-ness of the plot. Here again are a couple books that I just can not bring myself to finish. I’m sorry books. It’s not me, it’s you.

Drowned Cities by Paulo Bacigalupi. I want to apologize to Paulo. It is NOT him. It’s me. I just don’t have it in my to read another science fiction/dystopic novel right now. So let me say that I am putting it aside, not leaving it behind. Is that okay? Paulo? Paulo?

The Information: a history, a theory, a flood by James Gleick has been on my bookshelf since returning from ALA Annual Conference in late June. It was one of the 3 nominees for the (first ever) Carnegie Award for Excellence in Adult Non-fiction, so I knew it had to be worth a read. And it IS great! But it is just so heavy, so esoteric…it takes me 30 minutes to read just a few pages. So, I will not continue reading. But below are a few passages (in the epilogue; I figured reading the “wrap up” of the book would give me an understanding of the book’s contents) I found to be just inspiring and fascinating:

“Even in the nineteenth century mystics and theologians began speaking of a shared mind or collective consciousness formed through the collaboration of millions of people placed in communication with one another.”

“Language maps a boundless world of objects and sensations and combinations onto a finite space. The world changes, always mixing the static with the ephemeral, and we that language changes…from one moment to the next, and from one person to the next. We can be overwhelmed or we can be emboldened.” *I am confused by the idea that we can take language and make it mean one thing or another. I get that it is “up the the interpretation of the reader”, but what about the author’s intent? Does that count for nothing? This argument can be found in a lot of contemporary conversations, especially those regarding the Constitution and the Bible. Its authors are not here to ask, “What, exactly, did you mean by that?” so we take it upon ourselves to guess…and hope that we get it right.


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