Saturday, March 19, 2011

Books Not Read

Well, with my access to free books cut off, it seems like I don't have a lot to say about books anymore. I have an account on Goodreads, where I post ratings and reviews for the books I've read. Since most of the handful of people who actually read this blog are also my friends on Goodreads, I would feel like I was repeating myself to also put my book reviews on here.

I realized the other day, however, that I never put books that I don't finish on Goodreads. So I thought this might be a good place to do that. Following is a list of books that were on my "to read" list, but which I never ended up finishing & am unlikely to ever pick up again.

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman (non-fiction)
I'm pretty sure everyone's heard of this book, so it needs no explanation. I read the first chapter & really wanted to like it. I hear it's interesting. But I just couldn't get into it. I might give this one another shot at some point; it could have just been my mood at the time.

A Summer Affair by Elin Hilderbrand (fiction)
Why, oh why, did I ever put a book about a woman having an affair on my "to-read" list? People having affairs annoys me. And so did everything about this book, especially the main character. I got maybe 50 pages into it before giving up.

Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill (non-fiction)
A memoir by a woman in her 90s. Another book that I desperately wanted to like but couldn't get into. I could never put my finger on why. I think I wasn't particularly enamored of her writing style. I think I made it maybe 20 or 30 pages in?

The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen (fiction)
Another book that I desperately wanted to like. It's an adventure tale about a boy traveling across the country to accept a prestigious award. It was just too much. Too many diagrams and drawings and things in the margins. Too many attempts at cleverness. Too "twee." I think I read a few chapters.

Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz (fiction)
A book about an admissions counselor at Princeton. I read maybe 3 pages. Zzzzzzz. If a book bores me in 3 pages, you know it's got to be bad.

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe (fiction)
This was something about a PhD candidate and witches and a magic book or something. I read a few chapters. Sadly, it was very slow and boring. How can a book about witches be boring? You tell me.

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray (fiction)
I really gave this book - about a young man at a boarding school in Scotland - the old college try. I got to about page 160, at which time I flipped to the back to see how much more I had to read and saw that this book is 650 pages long! 650 pages! I'm sorry, but this isn't an epic like Lord of the Rings, so that's pretty ridiculous.

I actually did like a lot about this book. But it suffered from what a lot of modern books suffer from (in my opinion): too long, too much detail, too many plot lines, too many characters. It got to the point where I couldn't keep any character straight, except for Skippy. It's like editors don't even edit anymore. When I realized I still had 500 pages to go and it was due back at the library in 3 days, I had to call it quits. I doubt I'll ever pick it up again.

Citizen Girl by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus (fiction)
I put this book on my to-read list and then realized that it was written by the same women who wrote The Nanny Diaries, one of my most hated books of all time. So I took it back off.


Oh no, I see a trend. I don't like fiction very much, do I?