Confession time – I can count on my fingers and toes the number of books I have started, but not finished. Some because they were too heavy at a time when I just wanted to read something light and magical, some that I just couldn’t get into, and some that were just plain awful. As I receive access to more titles through sites like NetGalley and Goodreads, which are often advance copies of new/unknown authors, I find that I’m struggling to finish books more frequently. I absolutely try to finish each book that I receive gratis becuase a) that’s why I got the book, so I can at least give it a rating or brief review, and b) usually I’m a super fast reader and I can just push through. Books that I’ve purchased for myself are harder to pick back up.
So, I thought I would entertain you with a list of titles that I’m having trouble with!
1) Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
I love digging into books about Ancient Rome and Egypt, so I’m really interested in the information contained in this series, and it’s so hard to find books that will give you the straight up history without too much editorializing, but the writing in this is just so dry! I’m only about 1/3 of the way through the first volume. I have the edition pictured above, and if nothing else, it looks nice on my bookshelves 🙂
2) A Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Marcia Marquez.
This is a modern classic, but the writing, while it paints an enchanting picture, just meanders along. I like a fast-paced plot, personally (one reason I don’t read much non-fiction) so this one is hard for me. I’m sure I’ll finish it at some point, because it’s a good story, but I think I’ll have to be in the right mood for it (much like how I didn’t care for Austen in high school, which I first read Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey, but once I got to law school I re-read P&P and liked it so much I bought Austen’s complete works and devoured them all.) I have the edition pictured above, and I love the cover!
3) House of Leaves, by Mark Danielewski.
I was so deeply creeped out by this book that I put it down about halfway through and tried to forget about it. If you’re into horror, thrillers, creepy things or books like The Shining, give this one a go. But I’d advise keeping the lights on! The writing is phenomenal, and I love how things are deliberately set in weird places (you’d have to see the book to understand what I’m getting at here.)
4) The Book of Air and Shadows, by Michel Gruber.
I think this is a good book, it reminds me a lot of Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian (modern day scenes mixed in with historical ones, dangerous encounters, a search for historical artifacts, etc.) but the writing just doesn’t grab me the way Kostova’s did. I don’t feel as connected to the characters, and once I put it down I got distracted by a number of other books. I’m sure I’ll finish this one and post a review, but again, I think I’ll have to be in a certain “get things done and wrapped up” kind of mood.
5) The Supernatural Enhancements, by Edgar Cantero.
I got a copy of this book through NetGalley, but the photo above links to Barnes and Noble for anyone who’s interested (no affiliate links here, folks, I just like buy my books from B&N!) This isn’t a bad book, but I just can’t get into it. I stopped about 2/3 of the way through because I just don’t care about any of the characters, and the suspense I was expecting to feel based on the publisher’s blurb is non-existent. I think a large part of it is that the author switches up narration constantly and it really ruins the flow for me. Since this is a book I received through NetGalley, I’m going to push to finish it and post a review, but I’ll probably have to bribe myself with a trip to Starbucks… (because as we all know, I’m addicted to hazelnut lattes. Or hazelnut anything, really.)