So many books (you know the rest)
by Herman Melville
Published in 1851 (I finished it on October 11, 2005)
This scores high in oh so many ways. The pictures are vivid. The allusions and metaphors are spectacular, and it really forces you to think deeply about things. I would have ranked it higher, but for the fact that it took me two years to finish it. This was primarily because “Moby Dick” is a tough book to read. It was just hard to pick up and easy to put down. The reason being it came off as a “how to whale” guidebook many times, which would be great if I were planning on taking up whale hunting in the 19th century. Nevertheless, despite the more difficult areas, the chapters were short and the topics changed frequently. My favorite object was the “life buoy/coffin” that comes near the end. Lots of great stuff to analyze there!