Maybe this is done a lot and it’s the first time I’ve run into it, but I love the idea of liveblogging a book as you read it, and defective yeti is doiing a brilliant job with Moby-Dick. Just a couple of weeks ago he came up against the infamous “whale chapter”:
“Cetology” has the narrator giving an impromptu lecture on the nature of the whale, grouping the beasts into fourteen categories and offering lengthy descriptions of each. Here, Melville uses a literary technique known as OMG BORING! In some other context I might have found this engrossing, but here it’s like, “Dude, you got your marine biology lecture in my adventure story!”
I, too, forced my way through this novel, feeling that it was a missing piece of my education by never having read it. I tackled it over the summer while I was in college, taking it to work with me and reading a chapter or two a day during lunch while I sat outside eating cheese sandwiches and escaping the basement computer lab I was spending all of my time in.
Thinking about what books I might do this with, I have totally stalled out on my efforts to read the Federalist Papers cover to cover. But, the sane side of me says that this is a project that probably needs to sit a few dozen items down the to-do list.