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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Try, Try Again

How many times in your reading life have you returned to a book that stymied you the first time? Did you crack it the second time? What was different?

I'm more inclined to try try again when a reader I really respect tells me how much they loved a book I struggled to finish the first time. And I've found a very high percentage of those books to be worth the second effort. Despite giving up the first time, Ursula Hegi's "Stones From the River"  is in my queue now based on how much my wife loved it. And most recently, I returned again to "Great Expectations" after reading Pat Conroy's memoir and being evangelized by his passion for the classics.

Which books are on your list to try again? How did they end up being there? I've many times cited "100 Years of Solitude" (Gabriel Garcia-Marquez) as the prime example in my reading life of try, try again. I started this amazing novel 3 times before Marquez pulled me into the spell. Some would say we have no obligation to an author if their work doesn't immediately draw us in. I would submit much of how something lands with us has to do with timing. If someone whose reading tastes you admire suggests you try try again, heed that advice.

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