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Posts tagged ‘infinite jest’

Can Catch 22 Top To Kill A Mockingbird?

Time to justify my rankings.

I update them after each book, but after every five novels I feel the need to explain myself—otherwise, I’d be like a college football coach voting in the coach’s poll (If you get that joke, raise your hand.) As always, you can see how I’ve ranked all 20 on My Rankings page.

So here goes my nonsensical explanations for books 16-20:

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The First 20: A Look Back

The last 10 of the first 20.

Well, I’m back live today. Thanks for hanging around during the week of “reruns.”

I thought I’d start off this week by looking back on the first 20 books of this project, something I’ll do after each ten reads. If you need a reminder, here’s my look back on the first ten.

Now, for a few of my mostly subjective thoughts:

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Can Long Novels Hold You Captive?

Gravity's Rainbow: Still to come in the 101 Books.

Have you ever heard of The Stockholm Syndrome?

It’s the idea that some hostages become blindly devoted to their captors. They could be in the middle of awful circumstances, but the hostages think any sign of “kindness”—providing food or water, etc.—shows good on behalf of the captor. It’s a weird thing that the mind does under extreme stress.

Anyway, Mark O’ Connell wrote an interesting, and pretty funny, article about The Stockholm Syndrome as it relates to long novels (e.g. Infinite Jest). Earlier in life, O’ Connell despised long novels, choosing to read, say five 250 word novels, over a 1,000 page beast.

But things changed when he picked up Gravity’s Rainbow.

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Your Search Questions Answered, Volume 1

Before I start today’s post, I’ll openly admit I’m totally copying this idea from The Good Greatsby. And I like it so much, I think I’ll make a reocurring series of posts from it. I’m sure my version won’t be near as funny and insightful, but I’ll give it a try.

Here’s the deal. The cool thing about having a blog on WordPress is that you see all of the search terms that people plug into Google, Yahoo, etc to find your blog. About one-third of my daily blog traffic comes from search engines, so I always see some wacky and random questions and weird search terms pop up.

So I’ll attempt to answer these questions–in all of their unedited glory–to the best of my ability. These are actual search terms that found my blog. Let’s begin.

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Win a Copy of One of the First 17 Books!

As a thank you to the readers of 101 Books, I’m giving away a free, brand-new paperback copy of one of the first 17 books I’ve read during this project. It’s on me. Shipping included!

The winner picks the book–any one of the first 17 is yours for the taking. Yes, even Infinite Jest. Even Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. It’s your choice!

The catch? There is no catch. To enter the drawing, all you have to do is answer the following question in the comments below: What is your favorite book of all time?

From your comments, I’ll randomly select one answer as the winner, which I will announce on Monday. You have until midnight Saturday (Central Time) to get your answers in. Go!

Looking Back on Infinite Jest

Wow. I’ve written a lot about this book. That’s what happens when you write a blog about reading through 101 books. You’re going to write a lot about the ones that take a long time to read.

Here’s a little rundown of all the Infinite Jest and David Foster Wallace-related posts over the last month or so. Take a trip down 101 Books memory lane.

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Book #16: Infinite Jest, Part 2

Continued from Part One. 

Reviewing Infinite Jest is proving to be possibly more difficult than reading it.

This is such an unconventional book. If I’m honest with you, I didn’t understand all of it. But I doubt anyone does on a first read-through. Three days after finishing, I’m still thinking about it, trying to run through plot connections in my head.

A friend told me that Infinite Jest is really a book that needs to be read more than once. A 1,000 page book that needs to be read again? Really? For now, I’ll have to pass on reading this one again. But I know I’ll be thinking about it for awhile.

Reading Infinite Jest is like being transported into another universe–not unlike Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Of course, it’s set in a world we know, but it’s a massive world filled with deep, moving characters. Hal, Orin, Gately, Himself, the Moms, Joelle–the list goes on.

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