Tuesday, July 12, 2005


You may have noticed a new heading named "Reading" to your right.

I used to be a voracious reader as a kid, reading everything that I could get my hands on, but that hobby took a back seat to learning the new language and keeping up with school after we moved to the United States. Burying my nose in hardcore engineering and science textbooks in college left me very little time to delve into classic literature, and now I feel really illiterate and uneducated.

At my last company, a group of us organized and ran a bookclub. We'd agree on a book to read, and then reconvene a few weeks later to discuss before picking another one. It was a lot of fun, and I really miss it.

So by noting the name of the book and my start date on the blog, I am hoping to be held accountable by the online community and to motivate myself to read more and thus expand my intellectual horizons. After I am done, I will take a stab at writing a book review.

I picked John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath after seeing it top so many people's lists including L Girl’s. You are more than welcome to contribute comments about it, but please, don't be a dork and ruin the story for me. That I've done that to you and others with movies and books in the past does not constitute a good excuse for you to try to outdork me.


At July 12, 2005 7:16 PM, Blogger L-girl said...

How great! I hope you enjoy the book. Keep us posted on your progress.

At July 12, 2005 9:33 PM, Blogger American Girl said...

I think we should do an online book club - wouldn't that be fun!

But if you had to start with a book why John Steinbeck? Having lived just outside of Salinas, California I was forced to read him all through high school and unfortunately Of Mice and Men left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

At July 12, 2005 9:52 PM, Blogger David Cho said...

Well, the reason for picking Steinbeck is quite simple. The Grapes of Wrath tops a lot of people's lists of all time best classics.

At July 13, 2005 6:58 AM, Blogger American Girl said...

Maybe I will have to read that one again, because I seemed to have blocked it from my memory.

I do love reading though. Right now I am finishing up The Secret Garden and Saturday I am going to be starting Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince. I also love Pride and Prejudice (or anything by Jane Austen).

At July 13, 2005 11:55 AM, Blogger Just Rannin' Around said...

Reading, one of my favorite forms of entertainment. I have bookshelves full and could go on forever about everything that you should consider reading. If you ever want a suggestion....let me know.

At July 13, 2005 10:55 PM, Blogger T said...

Horrible book in my opinion. Jenny loves it though. It's one of her favorite books.

At July 14, 2005 9:06 AM, Blogger Jenn said...

I've been rereading the Chronicles of Narnia. Great reading, and fast too. American Girl--I love Jane Austen too! Haven't read the Harry Potter books though; I just like the movies.

At July 14, 2005 9:27 AM, Blogger American Girl said...

The sad thing is when I went to post my favorite books my mind went blank and an hour later I remembered how much I love the Chronicles of Narnia - and C.S. Lewis in general. I actually just re-read them lately and loved them. Lewis is an amazing author and has such insight.

Jenn- you should read the Harry Potter books - so much better than the movies (even though I do love the movies too). Rowling really knows how to draw in her readers.

At July 15, 2005 9:16 AM, Blogger Kat said...

i second terrence. book sucks but jenny LOVES it. i hate the rosa-sharn. stuff. argh.

At July 15, 2005 2:43 PM, Blogger Domestic Goddess said...

So i recommend Crime and Punishment. I loved that book, most people find that a bit odd, but I thought it was fascinating. I decided to read it one day because I saw it sitting on my sister's bookshelf. It is a littl hard to get into, but once you do, wow.

At July 16, 2005 1:36 PM, Blogger L-girl said...

You know, there's a big difference between "I don't like that book" and "that book sucks".

Everyone might not enjoy reading Grapes of Wrath. But to say it sucks displays enormous ignorance.

I don't care for Beethoven, but I know his music doesn't suck.

At July 16, 2005 3:55 PM, Blogger David Cho said...

I agree with you, L-girl. Geez, Steinbeck only won the Nobel Prize in literature, and Grapes of Wrath is his flagship novel.

I am enjoying it, but having trouble cutting through the Oklahoma dialect, which I really can't say I am enjoying. I guess it's like reading Huckberry Finn. I worry about losing out on cultural subtleties hidden in the dialogue.

What I've appreciated so far is not getting innundated with having to meet a large number of characters in the opening chapters which can be overwhelming. I get a little stressed about trying to size up their significance in the opening chapters when the author tries to squeeze in so many characters at once.

At July 16, 2005 5:43 PM, Blogger L-girl said...

I'm glad you agree, David. For your own sake, not mine!

I didn't think of that re Oklahoma dialects. Hopefully it's not as bad as Huck Finn, which many people find impenetrable.

The opening, by the way, the passage about the red earth, is very famous.

Steinbeck wrote GoW in one draft, in order, from start to finish. That is unheard of. He would never do that again for any other book.

At July 17, 2005 6:28 AM, Blogger Niobium said...

Oh how I loathed The Grapes of Wrath--he's too verbose for me. To Kill a Mockingbird, on the other hand, was fantastic. And so was Catcher in the Rye which I re-read periodically.

At October 03, 2005 11:31 AM, Blogger narniafan123 said...

Just found some interesting stuff on the upcoming Chronicles of Narnia film. narnia


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