Today’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is about books that I couldn’t finish. (It was supposed to be Ten Characters You Like that Other People Don’t or vice versa, but I couldn’t think of singular characters that were that divisive.) I used to be the sort of person who tried to finish every book I read. Thank God I got over that! Unless it’s a book for my book group, I will give a book between 50-75 pages, and if it’s not doing it for me, back it goes. With a Goodreads TBR approaching 600 titles, and little free time, I don’t have any reading time to waste!
So here are my books that, for whatever reason, I just couldn’t commit to. There are a couple of titles that I may try again sometime. (Because sometimes it’s simply my mood, and not the fault of the book.) I’ll put asterisks by those.
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. My Goodreads review: “Too saaaadddd…”
- Swamplandia by Karen Russell. Gave this one 100 pages. It was going nowhere.
- The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson. Also gave this over 100 pages. Found it too quirky and the characters unbelievable.
- Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. I KNOW, GUYS. I know. I feel like the only person in the world who doesn’t love this. I love Rainbow Rowell, and have really enjoyed all the other novels if hers that I’ve read. But I just couldn’t get into this one. I think it just had too much teen romance for me, and the stuff with Eleanor’s family was depressing the hell out of me. I think Rowell’s terrific, and if I had read this when I was 14 years old, I would have thought it was fantastic. But I read it at 37, and it just wasn’t for me.
- One More Thing: Stories by B.J. Novak.** I should have loved this. I love The Office with a passion, and I loved his children’s picture book. But for some reason I totally lost interest midway through the audio book. The stories started to feel the same to me. I think this one might play better with me in paper book form. I’m going to try it again sometime.
- The Martian by Andy Weir. Most people LOVE this book, but I just couldn’t get into the very technical, really flat writing. I think the storyline is original and exciting, though, so I’m thinking that the movie would be awesome.
- The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. From my Goodreads review: “Got halfway through it. I got fed up with these tragic characters repeating patterns and making each other unhappy.”
- First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen.** Usually I love her stuff. I might just not have been in the mood for it when I got it. It’s a sequel, and the writing felt a little forced. I’ll try it again sometime.
- The Quick by Lauren Owen. I have no specific memory of why I abandoned this one. Lots of people liked it, though.
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Classic, undeniably still relevant today. It was just so. Damn. Sad. Maybe I’ll try again one day. Probably not.
Have you read any of these? When you DNF a book, do you tend to go back and try again at a later time, or do you let it go forever?