The Hungry Soul

>> Saturday, December 27, 2014

I look at some books and think of how I came to read them. Or the information they contained. Or things that happened while I was reading it.

But not this book.

No, when I look at the cover of this book, all I can think about how long it took me to try and finish this thing, which included multiple attempts. I can't think of when a book has ever taken so long and so many attempts for me to finish it.

If I remember correctly, I bought this book twelve--almost thirteen--years ago after I finished reading The Fat Fallacy.  I was intrigued by what the author of that book had mentioned about this one, so I ordered a copy and began reading it. I actually got pretty far, more than half way. And then I stopped. Can't remember why. It might have been because I was reading another book at the time, and I couldn't successfully read more than one at a time even though I tried.  So I shelved it.

I tried reading it again a few years afterwards and got nowhere. I tried again last year starting all the way back at the beginning because, hey, I could hardly remember anything that I had read ten years ago. I didn't get very far, just ten, fifteen, or perhaps twenty pages in. Gave up again and then started to read something else more interesting.

I started again later this fall. I didn't get very far until I was stuck sitting in my chair at work the day after Thanksgiving with nothing to do but read. I got pretty far, more than half way. When the only saving grace of reading a particular book is that it kept you from complete and total boredom for eight hours--and that includes deleting old emails and surfing the internet--it doesn't make for a great recommendation. Because after reading so many pages, I was actually getting into it, yet never compelled to continue and finish.

The subtitle of this book is "Eating and the Perfecting of Our Nature." I think it should be reworded as "A Day Trip Through Meaningless Minutia." 'Meaningless minutia' is probably the most key phrase for this book. Yes, it's well written and argued, but for a collection of essays, I could never make out what the author was driving at. I was left at a bunch of "yeah, that's interesting but what of it?" The only real bit of information I thought was interesting was when the author was pointing out some moments from Homer's Odyssey and how they related to a philosophy of eating. Then it was back to more meaningless minutia.

And I never even finished this. Last week I put this up for sale on Amazon because I didn't want to keep it. I even gave myself one week to finish it before I allowed my listing to become active. I figured if I was ever going to finish it, then it would be when I had an actual deadline. Nope. Still had at least 40 pages left to read when it sold yesterday. But I didn't hesitate to put it in the mail.

I am so relieved that book is out of my life.


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