And what I came up with was this hilarious article at Bookslut. Man, oh man, did I get a chuckle out of this. Here's the first chunk of the article:
Reading Sister Carrie has led me to remember and relive the three most boring experiences of my life. Allow me to recount them for you:
1. San Antonio, Texas, 1989. I go on a field trip to a local college with my seventh-grade earth science class, where we learn about the Edwards Aquifer. If you don't know what the Edwards Aquifer is, and why it is very important to the people of south central Texas, I will gladly put you in touch with a geologist who, if he is still alive, will explain it to you in heroic detail.
2. College Station, Texas, 1996. I take an introduction to geology course in a valiant attempt to fulfill a college science requirement. I learn about aquifers, among other things.
3. Houston, Texas, 1998. For reasons that remain unclear, I see the musical Rent.
I might have to wedge Sister Carrie in there, perhaps between my geology course and Rent. Then again, even my geology professor said something amusing once in a while. Come to think of it, the only reason this novel isn't number one is because it has nothing to do with limestone permeability. I'll warn you right now that drinking does not make this book any better, and I doubt drugs would either. Sister Carrie is just irredeemably boring, and there's nothing any of us can do about it."
Thank you Michael Shaub, for brightening my day.