I set out to read 10 classics and finished these 3.

I had a lofty goal at the beginning of the summer: to read well known novels or classics. I brought home about 10 books, of which I can safely say I finished a whopping 3. I feel really unintelligent when I can’t say I’ve read all the classics (hence this journey) especially as a librarian. I’m just more of a tech-savvy librarian than one who reads thousands of books and admire those who do so.

Siddhartha
This wasn’t what I had expected when I read it, and I actually started and finished it on vacation since it’s a rather short book. I had thought it would be about the Buddha and Enlightenment, but it turned out to be more about Siddartha’s journey through various beliefs, highs and lows of life, and his argument against the Buddha. I felt uneasy reading his story and had hoped for a positive outcome. I needed to know what happened next. Aside from that, I probably should have learned more about the book before reading, as I knew nothing other than the title and it being Buddha related. I am happy that Siddartha finally found his place in life and peace.

Of Mice and Men
Everyone reads this in school, right? Not exactly. I didn’t have this book as one we read in school, but believe me I suffered through many other classics that I actually want to re-read now. This was a quick read, though it took me a month to finish it. I felt such sorrow for the characters George, and especially Lennie. In the end, I liked this book. It was odd, sad, but evoked an element of sympathy for others I had buried away for awhile.

The Good Earth
I put this book on my list to read, because I heard an awesome Ted Talk and the speaker mentioned that this book changed her. I thought, well, okay then, let’s give it a try. I liked that the book was rather fast paced, as months and years passed quickly throughout the story. I was very disappointed though to find that Wang Lung worked so hard to get to the top, but then at the end of his life it was for nothing and he was right back where he started.

He had little peace throughout his life and a lot of struggles, even when times were great much like we all do. I loved his tie to the land, and the thought that no one could take away your land when they could steal every thing else. It was his pride and I only wish that he was a little happier throughout, and maybe loved his first wife O-lan a little more. Overall, I don’t think I wasted my time in reading this story. It brought to the forefront that no matter how much we scrape and claw at life, we’ll all end in a peaceful place on the other side with all of this left behind.
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I’m a deep thinker, but I put too much pressure on myself with these books to find the hidden meanings and I sometimes missed out on the enjoyment of the stories. I never feel smart enough when talking about books with those who are well read. I read them for what they are worth, and always seem to find it awkward to discuss or explain my thoughts on the story.

I’m off to read Running with Scissors, which was kindly suggested to me ummmm, two years ago. I’m a little slow to get around to reading books. Though, this does sound like a good one I can’t promise I’ll finish it any time soon.

kate