Monday, November 7, 2011

Brow Bruising Reads

Adam C. Zern on a few of his most challenging reads:

"There have only been a few books that have been a true challenge for me to complete.  Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky was exceptionally difficult for me to finish.  It was a lengthy book, yes, but it was the tone, tenor, and mood of the book that made it so difficult for me to slog through.  I genuinely felt depressed while reading that book.

Still other books are hard to finish simply because of their immense size.  Last year I read The Wealth of Nations or An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith.  That mighty tome weighs in at over 1200 pages in length (at least my paperback version did).  I felt compelled to read it in an effort to feel more educated on some of the basics of economics.  It's such a foundational work that I felt it was appropriate to start there and work my way into newer works of economic literature.  It was worth reading but it took a lot of reading.

My single greatest achievement in terms of length of book has been the Bible.  I had read the New Testament four or five times before attempting to read the entire Old Testament.  In a spirit of full disclosure, it was the motivating influence of my wife that led me to finally commit to read the entire Old Testament for she had done so herself.  Opening to the first page of the Old Testament and reading those powerful words "In the beginning . . ." (Genesis 1:1) left me feeling both excited and overwhelmed.  Truly that was the beginning of a reading adventure that lasted for about two years.  I made a commitment to read at least four pages of the Old Testament everyday until I had finished.  I was moderately successful with that goal.  Between Genesis 1:1 and Malachi 4:6 I found plenty of "word[s] fitly spoken" and they truly were "like apples of gold in pictures of silver" (Proverbs 25:11).  Finishing that last verse was a wonderful feeling.  And as a reader, but especially as a Christian and Latter-day Saint, reading the entire Bible seemed, quite frankly, like the right thing to do."

Other topics of interest:
Page-turners: Black Hawk Down
Overrated: The Da Vinci Code
Boring Books: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

1 comment:

  1. My major english writing's teacher (a brow bruising course) thanked our night class for having read the Bible, or at least being familiar with it. It's becoming harder and harder for her to find any one in her day classes (public school students for the most part) that know what the book of Genesis is, forget about having read it. Which is unfortunate; it's only our heritage, culture, past, basis for our government, and foundation.

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