Four DNF books in a row is unprecedented in the history of my reading. I just don’t do that, and to do it on four books. I am still trying to wrap my head around it. I don’t regret not finishing them, but I am wondering what happened. Usually I am spot on in the books I request that DNFs are indeed rare. So something broke down in my internal book selection guide when I was requesting these books I fear. Let’s hope the May requests are more successful!
FINISHED SINCE THE LAST UPDATE:
Y’all. I love mythology. I always have. I love how humans have used stories about gods and goddesses to explain away nature and hardship. There is a part of me that thinks it makes more sense than one all-knowing God/Allah or whatever who has no problems letting horrible things happen to good people and good things happen to horrible ones. Madeline Miller’s new novel confirms my love of mythology in a way that makes me so very happy. It is SO good. Well-written, well-researched. I found myself taking my time, savoring each page and just enjoying the story as it unfolded.
It took John Scalzi to break me out of my reading ennui and thank goodness he did. His follow-up novel about people who are locked into their bodies was exactly what I needed. Smart, sharp, compelling, it is just another example of his skill as an author.
I read to the 21 percent point and realized that not only was I not really enjoying the novel, I was skimming through as much as possible in an effort to plow through it. That is not how I want to read any book, especially so early on in the story. As for the story, to me it is yet another World War II book in which the protagonist insists he was just following orders and that neither he nor his commander were true Nazis. (This is a very simplified take on the story, but you catch my meaning.) Plus, I get that the story takes place during the war and that plenty of women in occupied cities were raped, but I don’t need descriptions of every scene or almost constant reminders of them. The whole thing turned me off to this one to the point where I feel absolutely no guilt about deleting it and moving on to the next book.
Holly adores Sara Shepard’s books, so I thought I would give her first foray into adult fiction a chance. It turns out that after 20 percent, I did not care enough about the character to want to continue. In fact, I did something I never do and flipped to the last few chapters to find out if I missed anything. It does not look like I did.
I did not even start the Iris Martin Cohen novel. When I was looking over the synopsis again, something about it failed to grab my interest. Then I looked at the ratings on Goodreads and figured that I was not going to miss anything by skipping it altogether.
Julian Barnes’ writing is gorgeous, and I initially fell in love with his latest novel. Then I felt the pretension of the main character and could not stomach the idea of finishing it. The writing may be gorgeous, but I was not willing to suffer through the characters just to enjoy the writing.
May Review Copies:
I have been looking forward to this month’s batch of review copies for months now. I’ve got the end of one of my favorite series, a sequel to one I loved last year, my favorite author, a good mix of YA and adult, science fiction, fantasy, horror, suspense, and some historical fiction thrown in for good measure. Bring them on!
So, what are you reading?
I’m sorry you’ve encountered so many duds lately! I’ve heard from several readers that The Elizas is bad. I’m definitely not wasting my time. I’m thrilled to hear you loved Circe. I started it over the weekend. Can’t wait to see what you think of Paper Ghosts and the new Nora Roberts book!!
Everything turned around with Circe so it is all good!
I am reading Infomocracy because I’ve had it checked out for WAY TOO LONG and it’s beginning to be disgraceful. So far it’s really good, and it got me through a very annoying series of DMV visits this morning, even though it does have an awful lot of pov characters. I’m having a hard time keeping up.
I find that my attention span these days makes a large cast of characters, and especially multiple POV characters, too distracting and difficult to follow. I miss the days where I loved such complex stories, but I just can’t do it anymore. I hope it gets better for you!
Bravo for DNF-ing books that aren’t working for you! I hate it when people ‘slog’ through books. I know that many find it hard to stop reading a book, but I know that not every book is going to speak to every reader. Doesn’t mean the book itself is not worthy of some readers, just not every reader. So, good for you. Your May books include many that I want to read too. Look forward to hearing how you do with them.
I don’t like DNFing books, so you won’t see this become a regular occurrence. I am one of those that find it difficult to stop reading a book and am okay with that. I still feel that if I am interested enough in a story to start it, then I deserve to finish it. I know that attitude frustrates others, but it is how I approach books. The four last week were total anomalies.