Lots of People Have Never Finished “Ulysses”

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Via Tyler Cowen, here are the top five most abandoned classic books, as chosen by Goodreads:

Oddly enough, I’ve read all five, and the only one I abandoned was Ulysses.1 200 pages was all I could take. Maybe someday I’ll try again with one of those annotated versions that explains the half dozen obscure allusions on every page. If I do, maybe next I’ll take up Bleak House and Foucault’s Pendulum, the only other remaining titles on my list of books that defeated me.2 Probably not, though.

1OK, I never plowed through the whole John Galt radio address in Atlas Shrugged. But come on. That doesn’t count, does it?

2Moby-Dick fell off the list in 2009. The Brothers Karamazov was conquered last year. Three remain!

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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