Friday, November 29, 2013

Book Speed Dating Round Three

I came up with the idea of speed dating my books when my GoodReads "To-Read" Shelf passed six hundred items.  I remembered Nancy Pearl's advice that you should give a book 50 pages, and decided to try doing so with a pile of books from the earliest items on my to-read list (started in 2009.)  I did two successful speed dating projects - one in June of 2011 and one in April earlier this year in 2013.  They are getting closer together, and for good reason.  This is a great way to get the books I don't actually want to read out of my house!  I spent some time compiling a third pile and decided to tackle it as part of NaNoReadMo.

There is no rhyme or reason to this pile other than the date they were added to my to-read list.  I accidentally gathered more than I intended, but it worked out okay.  Some I finished right away, and others I discarded without even giving them 50 pages.  I'll explain why in the list below.  If you want more detailed reviews, please see my GoodReads profile.  Copying and pasting it all here seemed redundant.

Books finished right away:
  • Emiko Superstar by Mariko Tamaki (graphic novel, from a now closed publisher in Toronto)
  • Lying Awake by Mark Salzman
  • Cleaving by Julie Powell
  • Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Books Still Listed as To-Read, because I like them enough to continue:
  • Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
  • Mirrorshades by Bruce Sterling
  • The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
  • People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
  • The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike
  • Glasshouse by Charles Stross
  • Shards by Ismet Prcic
  • In the Woods by Tana French

Books I'm Uncertain About Only 50 Pages In, but I'll keep reading (they deserve a second date at the very least):
  • Atlas of Unknowns by Tania James
  • The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
  • The Ten Thousand Things by Maria Dermoût

Books I've Abandoned Officially
(Please note these are my own impressions, and they might just not be my thing! That's the point of a speed date - gut reaction, decision MADE. I'm rather proud of how many I've rejected, actually.  I need the space!)
  • Spooner by Pete Dexter
    Not my thing, and by page 4, I had already grown weary of his use of racial slurs.
  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
    You say precocious, I say obnoxious.
  • Lit by Mary Karr
    Because I'm not very interested in reading about someone ruining their life.
  • A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
    Just not compelling, no idea why it's on the list to begin with.
  • Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony by Lewis Thomas
    A book of essays that is probably out of date at this point.
  • The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen
    It made me feel impatient.
  • It's Only Temporary: The Good News and the Bad News of Being Alive by Evan Handler
    While he has had major setbacks with cancer, I wasn't that interested in what he had to say.
  • Ariel by Steven R. Boyett
    I was all in until the talking unicorn showed up.
  • The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa
    Seems more like a summary of a plot than an actual story.
What's next?  Well, I'm trying to decide between getting another speed dating pile together or finishing some of what I started!  Probably both.  I have some time off coming in December which would be perfect for another pile.


  1. Nice job, you got rid of a bunch! I have to tell you, I absolutely love this idea. I might have to try this to clear out my shelves a bit!

  2. I'm glad you liked Wide Sargasso Sea so much, I'm really looking forward to it. I am terrible at actually stopping a book I do not like, so I'll have to give this idea a try at some point.

    1. May I give you permission to stop reading a book you don't like? I do! Granted. (does that help? Ha)


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