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The books many start, but few ever finish: Survey reveals the reads nobody reads (HRC 1.9%)
ukmail ^ | 7-8-14

Posted on 07/08/2014 6:44:44 AM PDT by InvisibleChurch

It's the cultural crime we don't dare admit - starting that big, high-brow book with the best intentions before leaving it half-read down the back of the sofa.

So those who give up on tough reads will be relieved to hear they're not alone.

A mathematics professor has singled out which books are our most 'unread' - and intellectual big-hitters are far and away the worst culprits.

Readers in their droves gave up on Hillary Clinton's memoirs, Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time and Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century before they were even a tenth of the way through.

Far more bookworms persevered with the light erotica of Fifty Shades of Grey and the teen violence of Catching Fire, part of the Hunger Games series.

The ingeniously simple test was devised by Jordan Ellenberg from the University of Wisconsin, who studied the Popular Highlights feature on Kindle e-readers.

The function allows users to select their favourite sentences from a book, and the results are collected centrally to build up a picture of which phrases are the most popular among the public.

(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: books; literature; reading
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1 posted on 07/08/2014 6:44:44 AM PDT by InvisibleChurch
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To: InvisibleChurch

Why would anyone care about Hilary Clinton’s memoirs? I mean I can understand if it was like Teddy Roosevelt...he can talk about his exploits with the Rough Riders or Grant’s memoirs. But Hilary Clinton? What has she done that’s worth that many pages?


2 posted on 07/08/2014 6:46:39 AM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges

there is one book i have started at least three times and i cannot get passed the third chapter, and that book is A Tale Of Two Cities (Dickens)... i want to read it... i have read a lot of Dickens, but cannot follow through on this one... it took me two tries to get through Lolita (Nabokov)...


3 posted on 07/08/2014 6:51:32 AM PDT by latina4dubya (when i have money i buy books... if i have anything left, i buy 6-inch heels and a bottle of wine...)
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To: Borges

Never read a politician’s memoirs within 20 years of being written.

Pap and political BS like Clinton’s will fade very quickly. Truly historical and useful autobiographies or histories (like Churchill’s) will increase in stature as time goes on.


4 posted on 07/08/2014 6:53:10 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: Borges

I never trust a book written by a prospective candidate for office; of course it will be material putting him/her in their best light, and redefining their own history. The lamestream media and the dems substitute autobiographies as “vetting the candidate”, using King Obama as an example.


5 posted on 07/08/2014 6:54:03 AM PDT by FrankR (They will become our ultimate masters the day we surrender the 2nd Amendment.)
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To: InvisibleChurch
Of that lot, the only one I have read was Hawking ... and I was thoroughly unimpressed. The rest look like several hours of my life that I would never get back.

Currently reading "Enemies Foreign and Domestic".

6 posted on 07/08/2014 6:54:11 AM PDT by NorthMountain
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To: latina4dubya

Lolita is difficult but well worth reading. It’s pretty fantastic.


7 posted on 07/08/2014 6:55:26 AM PDT by Borges
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To: NorthMountain

The Great Gatsby and Infinite Jest are certainly worth reading.


8 posted on 07/08/2014 6:57:08 AM PDT by Borges
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To: InvisibleChurch
A mathematics professor has singled out which books are our most 'unread'

Math professor? Sounds like he's got an axe to grind with the English department.

9 posted on 07/08/2014 6:57:08 AM PDT by Spirochete (GOP: Give Obama Power)
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To: Borges

I couldn’t put this book down. Read it straight out in 60 minutes.... And only $1.99 to boot.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Bed-fails-laugh-laughter-ebook/dp/B00KZ2DI84


10 posted on 07/08/2014 6:57:42 AM PDT by nikos1121
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To: InvisibleChurch

Hmm. I read the Kahnemann book cover to cover. Really enjoyed it, actually.


11 posted on 07/08/2014 6:59:48 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: InvisibleChurch

My personal formula ... if a book hasn’t grasped my interest in the first 100 pages the rest goes unread. Often times it’s just a couple of chapters.


12 posted on 07/08/2014 7:01:24 AM PDT by BluH2o
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To: InvisibleChurch

Hillary has the intellect of a three year old, “her” book is worthless.

Piketty’s book is the economics equivalent of that hocky stick glow-bull warming joke.

Let’s not confuse things like that with Stephen Hawking’s book, please.


13 posted on 07/08/2014 7:04:08 AM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: latina4dubya

Try Victor Hugo...I couldn’t even put Hunchback of Notre Dame down and did not really understand it fully until the second time I read it.


14 posted on 07/08/2014 7:04:45 AM PDT by gr8eman (A good rant should have the word "crap" in it at least 4 times!)
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To: nikos1121

Whatever happened to the “Totally Tasteless” series of books??? :)

CA....


15 posted on 07/08/2014 7:06:40 AM PDT by Chances Are (Seems I've found that silly grin again....)
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To: InvisibleChurch

The Brothers Karamazov in my case. I got half through it twice. Its a great book, but man, its a chore to read and follow casually.


16 posted on 07/08/2014 7:11:55 AM PDT by lefty-lie-spy (Stay metal. For the Horde \m/("_")\m/ - via iPhone from Tokyo.)
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To: InvisibleChurch

I can proudly say that, of that lot, I have read exactly none.

But as evidence that I do not lack perseverance, I have actually read “War and Peace” (twice!) AND “Moby Dick.” Furthermore, I enjoyed them both.

On the other hand, I struggled with Dostoevsky and found “Ulysses” (Joyce) unreadable.


17 posted on 07/08/2014 7:12:54 AM PDT by IronJack
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To: gr8eman
Try Victor Hugo...I couldn’t even put Hunchback of Notre Dame down and did not really understand it fully until the second time I read it.

i guess it is preference... i got through Hunchback the first time--but the French are so different from what i know... from Americans... some of their ways are kind of spooky to me... spooky is not really the word--i cannot put my finger on it... i loved Victor Hugo's Les Miserables... i think it is the best book ever written...

speaking of the French, i read a really good "new" book called The Paris Wife... it is about Ernest Hemingway's first marriage and their time in France as he was making his way as a writer... very good story... i did not want to read the last few pages because i knew how it would end... and i did not want that ending... :(

18 posted on 07/08/2014 7:13:47 AM PDT by latina4dubya (when i have money i buy books... if i have anything left, i buy 6-inch heels and a bottle of wine...)
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To: latina4dubya

Three times I started “Lord of the Rings.” And three times I made it about half way through the third book and then tossed it aside. To this day I don’t know how it ended.

The trouble is....I don’t like Fantasy. I was only reading it because everybody else was reading it.


19 posted on 07/08/2014 7:16:00 AM PDT by JoeDetweiler
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To: JoeDetweiler
Three times I started “Lord of the Rings.” And three times I made it about half way through the third book and then tossed it aside. To this day I don’t know how it ended. The trouble is....I don’t like Fantasy. I was only reading it because everybody else was reading it.

oh!!! tears are practically coming to my eyes as i think about Lord of the Rings... the themes of valor and honor, perseverance... catches me right in the throat... but i do like fantasy and scifi...

20 posted on 07/08/2014 7:21:45 AM PDT by latina4dubya (when i have money i buy books... if i have anything left, i buy 6-inch heels and a bottle of wine...)
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To: IronJack

You’re proud that you’ve never read The Great Gatsby? :)


21 posted on 07/08/2014 7:25:30 AM PDT by Borges
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To: InvisibleChurch

Most unreadable books ever:
1.Gravity’s Rainbow- Thomas Pynchon
2.Ulysses- James Joyce
3.Satanic Verses- Rushdie
4.Anything by Umberto Eccho
5. Cryptonomicon- Neal Stephonson


22 posted on 07/08/2014 7:28:18 AM PDT by Hiro Protaginast
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To: gr8eman
Try Victor Hugo...I couldn’t even put Hunchback of Notre Dame down...

I couldn't put down Les Miserables because I rested it on my lap and was pinned there until I got some help. :-)

Seriously, it was on of the best books I've read. It even made me wish I understood French so I could read an untranslated version.

23 posted on 07/08/2014 7:31:58 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (The IRS: either criminally irresponsible in backup procedures or criminally responsible of coverup.)
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To: Hiro Protaginast

Anything discursive or difficult then?


24 posted on 07/08/2014 7:33:17 AM PDT by Borges
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To: KarlInOhio

Do you like the musical? On stage I mean. That recent film was terrible.


25 posted on 07/08/2014 7:33:53 AM PDT by Borges
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To: JoeDetweiler
Oh, I love Fantasy, although I agree it often comes down to personal likes and dislikes.

I read the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy when in my early 20s (a long time ago, I'll grant you!).

The Hobbit was kind of slow until the Battle of the Five Armies, upon whence it's pace picked up considerably, leading in to The Fellowship.

I was at the beach when I finished The Two Towers, and once I put it down, I simply had to have Return of the King at that very moment! My mind demanded it!

So a neighbor took me down to the local bookstore and made my vacation the smashing success it eventually turned out to be.

I read a lot of books (too many, thinketh my wife!), but there are books out there whose turgid prose will simply turn me off and not permit me to finish them, they are that bad.

I think it's a defense mechanism of some sort my mind has devised over the years.

CA....

26 posted on 07/08/2014 7:37:56 AM PDT by Chances Are (Seems I've found that silly grin again....)
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To: Hiro Protaginast
4.Anything by Umberto Eccho

I agree with your list, except for this one. I find some of Eco's work quite entertaining, especially Foucault's Pendulum.

27 posted on 07/08/2014 7:38:02 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: Borges

I’ve only seen the “in concert” version on PBS. It seemed like a thin veneer compared to a great tree: a couple of hours were only enough to give a hint of the book.


28 posted on 07/08/2014 7:45:20 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (The IRS: either criminally irresponsible in backup procedures or criminally responsible of coverup.)
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To: latina4dubya
I have a confession. I can read just about any book written in English, with comprehension, and will finish them if they don't get repetitious or they don't have long chapters that don't accomplish much.

But I never could, and still can't, understand or enjoy Shakespeare. Most of the modern adaptations are fine, but not the originals.

I guess I have no taste or class. That's what some English teachers told me when I'd say I'd rather read Poe than read Shakespeare. Even Chaucer, Melville, Niestche, Dostoyovski...no problem.

Heck, we don't even know who Shakepeare really was. Probably some serial killer royal.

29 posted on 07/08/2014 7:49:56 AM PDT by grania
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To: wideawake
Hmm. I read the Kahnemann book cover to cover. Really enjoyed it, actually.

Kahnemann and his previous partner, Amos Tversky's works about risk analysis and the various biases that go into human judgement are all excellent. Its not done so with a lot of scientific jargon either.

30 posted on 07/08/2014 7:51:50 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: InvisibleChurch
I would suggest reading Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984 as well as Jean Raspail's Camp of the Saints as essential to understanding what we face with the Obama administration.

Camp of the Saints depicts an invasion from the third world underclass that ends Western civilization.

31 posted on 07/08/2014 8:01:55 AM PDT by The Great RJ
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To: grania
But I never could, and still can't, understand or enjoy Shakespeare. Most of the modern adaptations are fine, but not the originals.

that is because Shakespeare was meant to be watched! watch the plays... they are fantastic... try not to watch adaptations before you watch in the original language... i introduced my sons to Shakespeare while they were tots... they love him... i first showed them Shakespeare: The Animated Tales dvds... these are adaptations for children done in several styles of animation... then i showed them movies like Two Gentlemen from Verona and Taming of the Shrew... than MacBeth and Othello... then we started going to plays when they were grammar school/middle school-aged...

and there is a new Julius Caesar movie coming out soon... i cannot wait to take them to watch this... the love Shakespeare and Roman history, so this will be a double shot of enjoyment for them... :)

rent Taming of the Shrew starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton... it is fantastic!

32 posted on 07/08/2014 8:04:34 AM PDT by latina4dubya (when i have money i buy books... if i have anything left, i buy 6-inch heels and a bottle of wine...)
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To: InvisibleChurch

The only book on this list I’ve read is the “50 Shades” book. I only read it because an old girlfriend compared me to Grey (of which I disagree). I found the book to be horrendously bad and wish I had never read it.


33 posted on 07/08/2014 8:09:41 AM PDT by rfreedom4u (Your feelings don't trump my free speech!)
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To: KarlInOhio
I couldn't put down Les Miserables because I rested it on my lap and was pinned there until I got some help. :-) Seriously, it was on of the best books I've read. It even made me wish I understood French so I could read an untranslated version.

when reading Fahrenheit 451 i asked my students and their parents: "if books were outlawed (as in Fahrenheit 451) which book would you want to commit to memory? for me it would be either Les Miserables, or the Book of Romans... i might forgo Les Miserables only because i believe my two sons know it by heart... but i think my husband knows much of Romans, so i might consider something else altogether :)

as is said in a previous comment, i think Les Miserables is the best story ever written... (not counting the entirety of the Bible)...

34 posted on 07/08/2014 8:11:23 AM PDT by latina4dubya (when i have money i buy books... if i have anything left, i buy 6-inch heels and a bottle of wine...)
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To: grania

I must have no class or taste either. I can’t and won’t read Shakespeare. I went to see A Midsummer Nights Dream at a live theatre and left during intermission. Of course it was half in English with Vietnamese subtitles and half in Vietnamese with English subtitles (this was when I was in Hawaii). Way too confusing.


35 posted on 07/08/2014 8:12:30 AM PDT by rfreedom4u (Your feelings don't trump my free speech!)
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To: rfreedom4u
I found the book to be horrendously bad and wish I had never read it.

i thumbed through it and the writing looked atrocious... so i skipped it... i took a second stab at Lolita instead... that time i finished it...

36 posted on 07/08/2014 8:12:41 AM PDT by latina4dubya (when i have money i buy books... if i have anything left, i buy 6-inch heels and a bottle of wine...)
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To: latina4dubya

LM was a huge best seller upon release. When Hugo wanted to know what the sales figures in America he sent a telegram to his American publisher with a single ‘?’. His publisher’s response: ‘!’.


37 posted on 07/08/2014 8:13:44 AM PDT by Borges
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To: rfreedom4u; grania
I must have no class or taste either. I can’t and won’t read Shakespeare. I went to see A Midsummer Nights Dream at a live theatre and left during intermission.

let me recommend something better in DVD--like Taming of the Shrew or Hamlet... or Much Ado About Nothing with Emma Thompson, the fantastic Kenneth Branagh and Denzel Washington... this is a wonderful movie... Shakespeare's comedies are so clever and witty... his tragedies so--well, tragic! the characters in these plays are the same characters of today... the themes so relevant even today... Othello, MacBeth... King Lear!

38 posted on 07/08/2014 8:19:16 AM PDT by latina4dubya (when i have money i buy books... if i have anything left, i buy 6-inch heels and a bottle of wine...)
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To: grania; rfreedom4u

Joss Wheldon filmed Much Ado About Nothing last year. He filmed it in 12 days at his home (in black and white), presumably in California. The dialogue is Shakespearean but the surroundings are modern day including Mercedes Benz’s, iPods, iPhones, modern kitchens, etc. This helped me understand the story better than had it been done as a period piece (subtitles help, too!). I think the b&w helps you focus on the characters instead of the background, too. It’s on Netflix, maybe Amazon Prime, but give it ten minutes and tell me what you think.


39 posted on 07/08/2014 8:24:58 AM PDT by InvisibleChurch (http://thegatwickview.tumblr.com/ http://thepurginglutheran.tumblr.com/)
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To: Borges
LM was a huge best seller upon release. When Hugo wanted to know what the sales figures in America he sent a telegram to his American publisher with a single ‘?’. His publisher’s response: ‘!’.

i love that!

40 posted on 07/08/2014 8:26:00 AM PDT by latina4dubya (when i have money i buy books... if i have anything left, i buy 6-inch heels and a bottle of wine...)
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To: latina4dubya

Another interesting factoid about Hugo...he asked for clemency for John Brown.


41 posted on 07/08/2014 8:32:19 AM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges
he asked for clemency for John Brown.

John Brown the abolitionist???

42 posted on 07/08/2014 8:34:07 AM PDT by latina4dubya (when i have money i buy books... if i have anything left, i buy 6-inch heels and a bottle of wine...)
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To: Borges

Oops. Missed that one. I can assure you, I’ve read “Gatsby” at least four or five times, along with everything else Fitzgerald wrote, including “The Last Tycoon.” For a time in college, Fitzgerald was my favorite 20th-century writer.He still rates high on my list.


43 posted on 07/08/2014 8:34:43 AM PDT by IronJack
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To: latina4dubya

Yes!


44 posted on 07/08/2014 8:36:06 AM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges
Another interesting factoid about Hugo...he asked for clemency for John Brown.

this conjures up another literary work--Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin... i believe John Brown read it several times, and had his children read it... it moved him... our family listened to the unabridged version on audio when we were studying the Civil War...

45 posted on 07/08/2014 8:37:39 AM PDT by latina4dubya (when i have money i buy books... if i have anything left, i buy 6-inch heels and a bottle of wine...)
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To: Hiro Protaginast

Cryptonomicon rocks. It’s not light, late-night reading, but it is a worthy tome—this from a math- averse reader. Lol


46 posted on 07/08/2014 8:44:07 AM PDT by antidisestablishment (Islam delenda est)
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To: latina4dubya

A good assessment of Hunchback...

“The novel as Epic Theatre: that is what Hugo brought to narrative fiction that wasn’t there before. ‘Notre Dame de Paris’ (Hunchback of Notre Dame) was published in 1831. A giant epic about the history of a whole people, incarnated in the figure of the great cathedral as witness and silent protagonist of that history. The whole idea of time and life as an ongoing, organic panorama centered on dozens of characters caught in the middle of that history! Beggars as protagonists of a novel? Not before Hugo!
‘Notre Dame de Paris’ was the first work of fiction to encompass the whole of life, from the King of France to Paris sewer rats, in a manner later co-opted by Balzac, Flaubert, Proust many others, including Dickens, who certainly knew this novel by heart, so often does he imitate it.”


47 posted on 07/08/2014 8:46:42 AM PDT by Borges
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To: latina4dubya

Tale of Two Cities is largely a set-up to the last 40 pages, where suddenly you find yourself so caught up you can hear your pulse pounding in your ears.


48 posted on 07/08/2014 8:47:13 AM PDT by lurk
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To: All

I just finished “The Book Thief” and it is a masterpiece. Highly recommended as a book you won’t be able to put down, and will stay with you for a long time.


49 posted on 07/08/2014 9:00:45 AM PDT by Semper911 (When you want to rob Peter to pay Paul, you'll always have the support of Paul.)
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To: lurk
Tale of Two Cities is largely a set-up to the last 40 pages, where suddenly you find yourself so caught up you can hear your pulse pounding in your ears.

sheesh! i will have to give it another shot!

50 posted on 07/08/2014 9:01:59 AM PDT by latina4dubya (when i have money i buy books... if i have anything left, i buy 6-inch heels and a bottle of wine...)
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