Friday, December 27, 2013

The Abandoned Books of 2013

I'm getting close to feeling like compiling end of year reading lists.  A little pushy bird in my brain keeps insisting I will probably read more before the end and I shouldn't count anything yet.

This is the first year I kept track of the books I started reading and then decided not to finish.  In the past, I just deleted them from my list, but then would sometimes forget I had already tried something (short memory I guess.)

I thought it would be interesting to explore which books were abandoned in 2013, and why.  I should probably explain that I don't think every book is meant for every reader, and in abandoning a book, I am not saying it does not have value.  But life is too short to read books that aren't clicking with you, and abandoning these freed up time to read other things!  This may be one of the reasons I read more books in 2013 than in any other year so far. Stay tuned for the end of year posts.
  1. Fear of Flying by Erica Jong - too much analysis!
  2. The Disaster Diaries: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse by Sam Sheridan - just not as interesting as I wanted
  3. Ariel by Steven R. Boyett - talking unicorns
  4. Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon - bogged down by uninteresting detail
  5. The Big Smoke by Adrian Matejka - boxing poetry
  6. Almost English by Charlotte Mendelson - Booker longlist, only got a copy after the award had been announced, wasn't caught immediately
  7. The Kill by Richard House - I'm just not a crime reader, although I keep trying
  8. The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough - more military sci-fi than I wanted
  9. Harvest by Jim Crace - got 123 pages in and nothing had happened
  10. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton - yes it won the Booker. still felt like a slog.
  11. Helium by Jaspreet Singh - assumed the reader knew more than she did, and I was lost
  12. Sea Change by S.M. Wheeler - abandoned halfway but skimmed to the end, was not sad I'd abandoned
  13. Taipei by Tao Lin - drug use is mildly interesting, but only the first time
  14. The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem - yep, I lemmed* it. Clever but repetitive.
  15. Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi - the storytelling was repetitive 
  16. HHhH by Lauren Binet - self-aware narrator, more of a structure than a story, it got tiring
  17. Spooner by Pete Dexter - speed date reject
  18. It's Only Temporary by Evan Handler - speed date reject
  19. Lit by Mary Karr - speed date reject
  20. Late Night THoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony - speed date reject
  21. A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore - speed date reject
  22. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley -speed date reject
  23. The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen - speed date reject
  24.  The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa - speed date reject
  25. The Indian Clerk by David Leavitt - speed date reject (originally made it through round 2, but then I reconsidered.)
  26. The Difference Engine by William Gibson - I got halfway and made every attempt for a book club, but just couldn't force it

I'd like to hear about which books you have abandoned this year! Do you keep track?

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who drops books if they don't measure up.


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