It’s generally very difficult for me to give up on a book, especially if I had a particular reason for reading it. But sometimes I have to let myself, and these are some I couldn’t get through.
I attempted to read Angela’s Ashes in the months just after I got married. It was a weird, exciting, stressful, distracting time in my life, and though I’m pretty sure I was giving it up permanently at the time, I’ve since felt that I’d like to try it again someday.
Wyrd Sisters is the only Terry Pratchett novel I’ve ever struggled with, and I can’t say why; I just know that it was dragging interminably, and with two discs left of the book I just needed to move on to something else.
I picked up Size 12 is Not Fat in one of my few attempts to read the mystery genre, but it didn’t go well.
I checked out a paperback copy to make sure that it wasn’t just the audio narration I hated, but it wasn’t. The writing is too gimmicky, the main character sounds like she’s still a teen pop star (which is such an unlikely plot point in the first place), and the body-shaming of skinny girls was getting out of control. The side characters—Magda, ugh—are all absurdly annoying except Cooper, who is such obvious chick bait (for lack of a better term). And frankly, I didn’t find the protagonist’s reasons for suspecting foul play remotely believable. “It’s like the uncoolest cartoon character ever. No one who likes Ziggy is going to elevator surf, Coop. No one.” Hey, good point. That is solid evidence right there. I’m totally convinced.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is another one I’ll probably try again someday, but it was too abstract when I was trying to read it. I didn’t have the patience at the time.
I loved the setting of The Heretic’s Wife, but around halfway through I just got really bored. The characters weren’t very compelling and little seemed to be happening, though I gave it another two or three discs hoping it’d pick back up. It didn’t, so I bailed.
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell was a difficult one to give up. If it were shorter, I would probably have kept going, but . . .
I’m very surprised by the total lack of spark I felt with this book, because I’ve heard exclusively good things about it and the premise sounded great to me. I don’t need fast-paced action, plot twists, or suspense to be thrilled by a book, and I have no problem with books of several hundred pages. The audio narration was excellent, and the writing itself is elegant and often funny. So I am completely at a loss to explain how bored I was. I made it halfway through disc four thinking oh my god did any of this really need to be said? before deciding I wasn’t going to sit through another twenty-two discs. Maybe I’ll try again someday, especially if people keep telling me how much they loved it. But for now, I give up.
I couldn’t stand The Eyre Affair, but it’s one of those books that so many people like, I keep thinking maybe I was wrong about it somehow. For that reason, I can see myself trying it again someday—not because I think I’ll love it but just to make sure I don’t.
I’ve been meaning to read it for a long time because the plot sounds like EVERYTHING I SHOULD LOVE—but it wasn’t. The writing was pretty sad in a lot of places, and there was too much of that incredibly lame alternate-reality slang you often get when writers try and imagine how we’ll talk about technology in the future. It was a bust from the beginning, and I kept going because I desperately wanted it to get amazing . . . But shortly after the introduction of a character named Jack Schitt, I knew it was time to call it a day.
I loved Brene Brown’s TED Talk on shame, but when I picked up The Gifts of Imperfection, I lost interest almost immediately. I was getting a religiousy sort of feeling from it, I think, and there’s very little in a book that can make me lose interest faster.
I really enjoyed The Amulet of Samarkand, the first book in the Bartimaeus trilogy, but when I got to The Golem’s Eye I couldn’t stand what an asshole the protagonist had become. He’s like twelve years old, so there’s a chance he grows up, and the first book was so much fun that I’ve considered many times giving this series another chance.
I have adored every other comic I’ve read by Kelly Sue DeConnick, and Pretty Deadly just looks so ridiculously cool that I was really reluctant to put it down. I’ve never been good with gore, though, and as much as I wanted to be able to read this one, it was too much for me.
Check out everyone else’s Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish.