How To Read A Classic In 30 Seconds Or Less

It is all over.

Our relationship had ended.

It all fell apart.


Because of the 10 reasons I will share with you below.

But first an idea I had:

This idea was inspired by my co-worker Samwise Gamgee.

It is “How to Read Classic Literature In 30 Seconds or Less”.

I have put the first and last sentence of the following books.

Naturally there is the possible spolier.

In no particular order of importance (just whatever I pulled off the shelf)…

Some classics for your reading enjoyment in 30 seconds or less…

All Quiet on the Western Front
Erich Maria Remarque

We are at rest five miles behind the front.

Turning him over one saw that he could not have suffered long; his face had an expression of calm, as though almost glad the end had come.

Kurt Vonnegut

Having written “The End” to this story of my life, I find it prudent to scamper back here to before the beginning, to my front door, so to speak, and to make this apology to arriving guests: “I promised you an autobiography, but something went wrong in the kitchen.

Oh, happy Rabo Karabekian.

A Confederacy of Dunces
John Kennedy Toole

A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head.

Taking the pigtail in one of his paws, he pressed it warmly to his wet moustache.

Foucault’s Pendulum
Umberto Eco

That was when I saw the Pendulum.

It’s so beautiful.

The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas

On the 24th of February 1815, the lookout at Notre-Dame de la Garde signaled the three-master, the Pharaon from Smyrna, Trieste and Naples.

“Wait and hope.”

For Whom the Bell Tolls
Ernest Hemingway

He lay flat on the brown, pine-needled floor of the forest, his chin on the folded arms, and high overhead the wind blew in the tops of the pine trees.

He could feel his heart beating against the pine needle floor of the forest.

War and Peace
Leo Tolstoy

“Eh bien, mon prince, Gênes and Lucques ne sont plus que des apanages, des estates, de la famille Buonaparte.
Well, my prince, Genoa and Lucca are now no more than possessions, estates, of the Buonaparte family.

In the first case, the need was to renounce the consciousness of a nonexistent immobility in space and recognize a movement we do not feel; in the present case, it is just as necessary to renounce a nonexistent freedom and recognize a dependence we do not feel.

There you have it folks. Please share with me YOUR favorite books in 30 seconds or less in the comments below.

The reason I shared about these books is because all of them, and just about all books, have a great look at relationships.

Relationships are usually difficult (sometimes) but are generally worth it (unless they are negative).

I would advocate making yourself easy to get along with and kind so that relationships with you will be worth it to people.

Also I like the saying of leaving people with the sense of wanting to spend more time with you when you leave. Meaning leave of good terms and before things get dull.

Stay interesting.

So why did our relationship end?

For Day 98 of Claudia’s book Become An Idea Machine I have to come up with “How to ruin your relationship in 10 steps”. The obvious lesson would be to do the opposite of the following steps to have a good relationship.

We will skip the “biggies” that everyone knows would end a relationship (infidelity, violence, abuse, etc.) but instead we will go for more subtle things that kill relationships.

1 It starts off with the drift. Drifting apart in interests, hobbies, spending time together.
2 Usually this is precipitated by excessive device usage. Cell phone, computer, television, etc.
3 Then comes passive aggressive behaviors. Not putting the toilet seat down, not taking the trash out, not being helpful, not having sex on purpose.
4 Followed up with “joking” snide comments towards each other. Or general picking on/at each other, especially in front of others.
5 Next comes out right fighting/arguments. Often with verbal escalation of yelling/crying etc.
6 This is exacerbated by one partner leaving to “cool down” but not ever resolving the issue.
7 Repeat fights. Always about non-issues masking the real issue.
8 Bring up old facts. Don’t have mercy or forgiveness.
9 Start spending time apart as often as possible. Keep talking to a minimum.
10 Don’t answer each others communication (texts, calls, emails).

Congratulations! You have succeeded in ruining your relationship in 10 easy steps.

On a more serious note, if you have a bad relationship and it is abusive please get help. If it just sucks, and some people do, then consider skipping all 10 steps and just getting away from them as soon as you can. If you are in a good relationship that is slipping or getting rocky, then find some encouragement and get outside help if you need. A few years ago, as my wife puts it: “My marriage was not doing well. Michael and I had some pretty serious issues that needed to be addressed.” We overcame the difficulties and are now doing better than ever!


P.S. Want to know who influenced me the most?

I will give you a hint, one was James Altucher.

When reading Conspire To Inspire, you will find out why I chose to feature him along with eight other prominent people.

The story will tell how I discovered them, and why you should care.

Don’t believe me? Find out for yourself by joining me to Conspire to Inspire.



Need an idea of what theme to write ideas about? Go to for thousands of themes for ideas!


Want to know more about Sarah? Go to for more great stories!


Need a Ghostwriter? Check me out on Fiverr.
Ad an add here at the end of my blog via my Fiverr gig.


One thought on “How To Read A Classic In 30 Seconds Or Less

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s