1 Down, 99 to Go


I finished my first book off of my reading list project, Giovanni’s Room. On one hand, I feel good. I got the first novel out-of-the-way and I’m building up steam for the second. On the other hand, I am so relieved it was such a short read.

Cover of "Giovanni's Room"

Cover of Giovanni’s Room

While in the midst of reading, I realized why I prefer the non-fiction over the fiction. I don’t give a rat’s ass about symbolism. I don’t care what the room or the cleaning agent covering the only window represents. Am I the only person to read this novel and think, “What the hell is an unemployed thirty-year-old man doing in Paris and writing to his father demanding money?” This same man is also borrowing money from ‘friends.’ Again, I don’t care what this symbolizes. He’s an irresponsible child going around the city drinking, smoking and ruining the lives of others all in an attempt to figure out what he wants. Oy vey! The character just frustrates me.

The non-fiction books I usually read don’t have this stuff, they are clear-cut. If I want to confuse my mind, I dip into philosophy, poetry or psychology; mostly in a historical context. When those make my brain too mushy, I run back to plain history.

Given my reaction to this first reading, I’m a bit concerned. However, if I am anything, I am persistent. I do not give up that easily. I will be more determined with my second book to actually pay attention to what I’m reading so my mind doesn’t wander. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to point out the symbolism.

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6 thoughts on “1 Down, 99 to Go

  1. The symbolism can be a pain in the ass. It’s why I hated discussing book in school because there were all these things to think about that didn’t seem too important to me. Well, good luck continuing your reading list and keep us updated 🙂

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  2. I appreciate your sharing of your honest reaction to the book and fiction in general. It will be interesting to see if your reaction to fiction changes as your journey continues…You maybe have not yet met the “right” novel 😉 Happy reading trails to you!!

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  3. Thank you very much strollingturtle. My feelings towards novels isn’t totally destroyed but it’s nothing to write home about either. As always, I appreciate your comments. I know I’m doing something right when you leave a comment. 🙂

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  4. Well, in general my fiction reading is for enjoyment and escape. If I’m going to read something that is supposed to be especially meaningful or too realistic, I’d rather do so in the context of a class or as a member of a book club, because it can be easier to slog through the symbolism and sadness that seems to be so much a part of real “literature” with other people. Maybe you need to start a book club, 😉 And, for the record, I think you are “doing something right” pretty much every time you write a post, whether I comment or not. As always, thanks for sharing your experiences and reflections in such an accessible and enjoyable to read way. Cheers!

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  5. My pleasure, strollingturtle. It sounds like we are opposites. I prefer reading non-fiction for leisure. Go figure? It takes all kinds! 🙂 Thank you again for your comment and the time you take to respond! 🙂

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