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A time to read, a time to put the book down...


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A number of my local friends like to read, and they like to talk about what they're reading. They also like to share books with one another. It's not uncommon to hear: "You just HAVE to read this. It's SOOOO good!" The books they read are of the standard New York Times Bestseller list persuasion.I am a bit of an anomaly with this group, because I don't really like reading fiction. You got that right. If I'm going to read a book, it's usually non-fiction. To be more accurate, it's not that I don't LIKE fiction. It's just that I'm pickier about fiction. If I'm reading a biography or a historical work, I have far more patience.I think this pickiness amuses my friends. Here is a random example:Friend 1: Did you read The DaVinci Code?Me: Yes.Friend 2: Wasn't it awesome?Me: No.Friend 1: You didn't like The DaVinci Code? [neutral tone/not judgmental]Me: I didn't say that either. It was ok.Friend 2: Huh?Me: It's book junk food. Once I picked it up, I wanted to finish it even though I knew it had no staying power. Good thing it was a quick snack.Last weekend, Friend 2 decided that there was a book I HAD to read (for reasons I won't bother troubling anyone with). Unlike most of the books that the group reads, it was non-fiction (and a New York Times Bestseller, of course). So she lent it to me, and I read it this weekend.The book sucked. The only reason I finished it is that it was short, written on a fifth grade reading level, and I know my friend is going to ask what I thought. It sucked so bad that I don't even have the wherewithall to share everything I disliked about it in this blog or even to think it appropriate to name it. Let's just say the writing itself isn't impressive, and the story is even more disagreeable (an 'underdog' protagonist that I immensely disliked as a person). So now, I have to figure out just how much to say when my friend asks what I thought. I don't think she'll be surprised that I didn't really like it (because I'm weird like that), but I do think she'd be surprised at how much I found the protagonist detestable. Sometimes I think I'm better off NOT reading everything that's thrown in my direction...

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I just finished reading the Da Vinci Code myself. My roommate owns it and I figured, why not, it seems like everyone else on the planet has read it. I actually used the exact same words as you: it's junk food. The thing that bugged me most about it was the way he felt the need to add in the last chapter, explaining the final riddle. Way to assume your audience is completely stupid and won't eventually figure it out.

 

My dad reads complete crap, of the "guy who owns 37 different classic cars gets into adventures and snags a big-busted blonde chick along the way" sort, and he's always passing them along to me and telling me to read them. I started just lying and saying that I did because they're so painful to get through.

 

Val

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hey,

Lurker i was just wondering if you ever got the chance to start the book i sent you. Post here or leave me a msg. I hope you enjoyed it even though it is fiction unless the book you were talking about up there is the one i sent you but i doubt it is seeing as i am a guy and i dont know you in rl lol. Anyone get back to me with what you think if you have had the chance.

 

 

 

 

 

Laters!

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I liked the DaVinci Code. I think the storyline was a bit trite, but the underlying concept (questioning the infallibility/completeness/accuracy of the bible) was presented well. I am willing to overlook a less-than-stellar literary piece if it's message is on target, and oh-so-pertinent right now.

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Mark, I have no problem with questioning the infallibility of the church, but I find it a little sad that people need to rely on a work of fiction to get any of the historical background on these debated issues. It's not like Dan Brown invented these questions or issues.

 

I suppose if the book prompted people to go study more, that's great. But to the extent people take the facts presented in this fictitious work and treat them as infallible history - that's a problem too. I have nothing against 'historical fiction' but you have to know where the history ends and the fiction starts.

 

And aside to Will - the format you sent me is virtually unreadable online, which means I have to print this out and THEN try to decipher it. That moves it down on my list of things to take a look out. If you have another copy meant for online consumption, please let me know.

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Once you have down loaded it onto your computer all you should have to do is open it with M-word, rich text document or note pad. That is how i read it i dont know what you mean by read it "online". if your still having problems though maybe i can how help to make it work you shouldnt have to print it thats a LONG book lol.

Mark, I have no problem with questioning the infallibility of the church, but I find it a little sad that people need to rely on a work of fiction to get any of the historical background on these debated issues. It's not like Dan Brown invented these questions or issues.

 

I suppose if the book prompted people to go study more, that's great. But to the extent people take the facts presented in this fictitious work and treat them as infallible history - that's a problem too. I have nothing against 'historical fiction' but you have to know where the history ends and the fiction starts.

 

And aside to Will - the format you sent me is virtually unreadable online, which means I have to print this out and THEN try to decipher it. That moves it down on my list of things to take a look out. If you have another copy meant for online consumption, please let me know.

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