Friday, November 12, 2010

Blog Hops

This week I'm participating in two great hops.

The first is the literary blog hop hosted by The Blue Bookcase.

The question of the week is:
What is the most difficult literary work you've ever read? What made it so difficult?

My answer is Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. It was a class assignment in college. The subject matter was distasteful, but I could have dealt with that if I'd found a character to work with. Unfortunately, I thought they were all unsympathetic. And, I knew I was supposed to be appreciating all the brilliant wordplay that Nabokov is so famous for, but I just didn't get it. I kept thinking I was missing something. Of course I was--which frustrated me. But somehow, I don't feel compelled to try again. There are plenty of other books out there to stretch my brain.

The second is the Book Blogger Hop at Crazy for Books.

This weeks question is submitted by Christina from All About YA Books.

If you find a book that looks interesting but is part of a series, do you start with the first title?

My answer:
Yes! Unless I didn't realize it was a series, and then I 'm peeved and have to go back. Not only that, but once I start a series, I have to read them all in order and I almost always have to finish the series, even if I'm just lukewarm about it. That used to be a more stringent rule. I'm more flexible now that I'm older and time is running away from me. (I think this is genetic because I seem to have passed this on to my kids.)

Literary Blog HopBook Blogger Hop


  1. Hi Susan! Hopping through. I never read books out of order, either- I just ended up confused the few times I tried.

    Have a great weekend!

    Erika Breathes Books

  2. Lolita is one of my favorite books of all time. I definitely don't think you are supposed to feel sympathetic with any of the characters. That's part of what made it so crazy and interesting! For me at least.

  3. I can understand how Lolita may be difficult to read depending on one's values & ability to handle unlikeable characters. I'll probably try it anyway when I can squeeze it in :)

    I also struggle to read series out of order. It just seems backwards!

    Thanks for hopping by :)

  4. Hi,
    I'm stopping by for the Blog Hop and Follow Friday. I hope you have a great weekend. Happy Reading!

    I'm an old follower.

    Danielle @ Romance Book Junkies

  5. Hopping by, I love your blog. You just found a new follower.

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love the look of yours. I will definitely be back!

  7. aw lolita is one of my fav books haha humbert as a main character is overwhelming, melodramatic and in your face, which is why I love him so much. but hey, each to his/her own!

    anyway, just stopping by on the lit hop. I'm a new follower :)

  8. I can dive right into the middle of a book series if the series' story
    doesn't run chronologically.

    That is to say, if each novel in a series is a stand-alone story (like Lee
    Child's Reacher novels) then I don't feel the need to start with book one.

    On the other hand, a series of books (like Richard Hatch's Battlestar
    Galactica novels) can't be read out of sequence since each new book builds
    upon the story of the previous entry in the series.

    Happy Book Blogger Hop Friday!

    Howard Sherman

  9. Oh wow! I'm glad I don't have the compulsion to complete series! It would be torture for me!

  10. Hopping through and now following you!

    I've never read that classic... but now I'm intrigued.

    The cover of The Queens Daughter is beautiful :)

  11. Hi,
    Just hopping by. I feel the same about a series - once I start I have to finish mostly even if its just so so. I hate leaving it unfinished.

    shelleyrae @

  12. Love Nabokov & Lolita, yes the characters aren't fantastic human beings, but the book is wonderful.
    enjoyed your post, thanks

  13. Lolita is a difficult book -- both for the subject matter and all the allusions. I even read the annotated version and had trouble catching the references. You may prefer his other books -- Pnin, for example, is a delight.

    This was a fun question to answer. My pick was Finnegans Wake.

    Rose City Reader

  14. Thanks for stopping by. I find Lolita very readable but it's definitely not for everyone!

  15. Susan, I just came across your blog today and think it looks great. I see a similarity and some of what we enjoy reading. I'll be visiting again.

  16. I'd like to try Lolita but I think I'd have a problem not having a character to root for. I like the idea of the unreliable narrator though.

  17. While I, too, found the characters in Lolita largely unsympathetic, I did feel intrigued by the book. I can't imagine that I'd read anything about a pedophile, willingly, but somehow I felt this an important work to read; also, I have a passion for Russian literature.

    I'm with you; start with the first in a series, for sure!

  18. Lolita didn't do all that much for me either. Funny- I just checked my rating of it- I gave it 8/10! I don't remember doing that at all. I wrote that I didn't like the first 200 pages, but really liked the last 100- I guess time hasn't been kind to the memory of that last 100, as I remember more not liking it.

    As for series reading, I have to start at the first. There is no way I can even contemplate starting anywhere else. Makes it hard sometimes. I really wanted to read The Ghost Road, which won the Booker Prize a while ago. But it's the third book in a trilogy. Urgh. So I've read the first two books- although so long ago as to be essentially meaningless, and I still haven't read The Ghost Road. I don't have a compunction to read a whole series if I'm not enjoying them. I read the first Harry Potter, enjoyed it enough, but didn't pick up the second. Although I've always assumed that I would read it with my son at some stage- now he's never been interested. He seems to like reading a whole series more. We're currently reading through Emily Rodda's Deltora Quest- nearly finished Book 5 of the first series.

  19. I've been having the same problem with Lolita for ages. I enjoy the writing, but I want to see every single character dead in a ditch. Every. Single. Character.

    Sarah @ Loving Books

  20. Thanks for stopping by! I always find it hard to not finish a series, but my reading time these days is more and more limited, so I can justify for myself not reading the entire thing.

  21. Hi,

    I'm stopping by from the Hop

    and I'm a new Follower!

    I think that you get a better understanding of the whole picture when you read a series from the beginning as opposed to reading it out of order. I'm a big believer of reading material as it was intended which in this case would be in order.

    Have a wonderful weekend & Happy Reading!

    Darcy @ Open Book Empty Cup please check me at (

  22. Hey Susan, thanks for dropping by! I see you have a button now, I'm going to be working on grabbing some from my favourite blogs soon when I'm less busy so I'll be using it.

    Happy reading :)

  23. Hi there! I am a new follower from the hop. I must read books in order! I would never have understood the Outlander series (my favourite books ever) if I read them out of order! Come and visit me at

  24. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews of Lolita. I'm sure I'll give it a try someday, just to say I've read it and to understand what people are talking about when they refer to it.