Monday, May 28, 2007

My Favorite Worst Book

I love to read, and have devoured hundreds of works over the years. I've found that truth is much stranger than fiction, and usually more interesting too, therefore, non-fiction and works of historical significance are my preference. I do read fiction too... lots of it. This year in fact, I'm focusing on the works of Melville, and so far every other book I've read has been fiction. I'm currently reading an interesting historical novel called 1919 - Misfortune's End by Paula Phelan. Last year I read twelve books, some of which were really good... others were unfortunately wastes of pulp, and my time. One of them was the worst book I have ever read, and strangely, it is also one of my favorites. I knew it would be a difficult read, but I had no idea what a profound impact it would have on me. I would read one chapter every day and at the the end of each chapter I was thrilled to put the book down. I spent the next day pondering what I had read, all the while dreading the time I would have to open those painful pages again. Voices From Chernobyl - The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich should be required reading for everyone on our planet. It was the worst book because of its depressing graphic representations of the grim situation in that region. Being somewhat of a history buff on all things nuclear and nucular, I thought I knew what to expect, but I wasn't prepared for the horror that awaited me on those pages, and I still fight back tears on quiet mornings when I think about it. WARNING! Don't read this book! A must read!

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