Thursday, March 1, 2012

Good Books You've Never Finished

It took years for me to not feel like I needed to finish a book if I didn't like it.

Maybe this mindset starts in school; you don't have the option to put down a book if it's required reading and there's a test (well you CAN but I think it's just as much work to piece together someone else's recaps than to skim through it myself).

Sometimes I quit reading a book because it's not very good: boring writing, cliche storyline, odd pacing. But  other times a book is technically good, but something else prevents me from finishing.

Here are some of my non-finishers:

The Kite Runner
This is a fantastically written and moving book. But when it got to the point of a child sexual assault, I just couldn't do it. I understand how it tied into the story, and I understand it was necessary. At the time, it felt too serious. Sometimes I want a book to be entertaining, and that's not entertainment to me. I always meant to go back to it, but who wants to knowingly pick up a book that's so depressing?

Anna Karenina
I've tried, guys. I even got the new edition Oprah promoted. I would read the same parts over and over. I'd look down at the page number and it still read 20. I gave it three tries over the course of two years. I'm still on page 20.

Salem's Lot
Fresh off of reading Stephen King's book On Writing, I thought I'd take on one of his classics. A creepy vampire in a sleepy northeastern town? YES. However, I found his writing about writing far more interesting than what he actually got famous for. I realize Stephen King tells stories in an older style - distanced and meandering with literally dozens of charcters. I lost it when one chapter described what everyone in town had for dinner. We're talking like 30 people. One guy ate canned peas. WHERE IS THE VAMPIRE?!

How about you? What good books have you had trouble making it through?


  1. I got about halfway through The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater and ended up putting it down. I will get to the rest of it eventually, but at the time it was just not the book I was in the mood to read. Extremely well-written, but I wasn't feeling it then.

  2. Too many to list, but to my enduring shame, I've never been able to get through The Lord of the Rings.

  3. I actually read a lot of Stephen King in my younger days, but the one book of his I have never been able to finish, (and I have tried many times) is 'It'. I have no idea why.

    I'm struggling at the moment with 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep', which is a shame because I love Bladerunner.

  4. Hello Stephanie! I tagged you in a meme. Try your hand at it if you want to.

  5. I've had Diana Gabaldon's Voyager on my "currently reading" shelf on Goodreads for almost a year now. I loved Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber and this is good too but I just don't have the time. I feel bad b/c I know it will be good. :-)


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