Notes from a Small Island marks an interesting change of pace. For one thing, it’s the first (maybe the only? I’ll have to check) non-fiction book on my list. It’s light-hearted, fun, silly, witty, and rather reminds me of my uncle’s travelogues.
It does seem to be a recurring theme with this list of works of literary merit that they’re often tiring to read. I can think of several reasons why that might be, but I have no definite conclusions. So, without further ado, my surmisations:
- Many of them were written a long time ago, and the antiquated language is harder to follow.
- Great works affect you on an emotional level, which is tiring (as compared to “popcorn” entertainments).
- They ask more of you in terms of story complications – I remember reading an article sometime in the last year or so that suggested great literary works expect you to cope with more complex knowledge of the “John believes that Mary thinks that Edward knows that …” variety.
- They’re less about plot and more about character development.
- All of the above.
In other news, someone has noticed me, and is following my example. Which is pretty neat (“I’m not the only one crazy enough to do this!”). I just hope I’m a good example.