November 20, 2011

I Quit...

No, not blogging! As noted in my previous post, I no longer hesitate to give up on a book if it fails to capture my attention. Lately, I’ve given up on several books, but rather than post a separate entry for each, I thought I’d lump them all together. I know there’s no reason to bother with the DNFs, but my memory isn’t what it used to be and I need all the help I can get to remember what I’ve read or attempted to read so I don’t accidentally buy a book I’ve already tried. Please tell me you all suffer from the same problem!

So, very briefly, here’s what failed to capture my interest:

The Little Friend
by Donna Tart

I read almost 100 pages, but after the first chapter it was quite a struggle. Strange novel!

I See You Everywhere
by Julia Glass (audio)

Listened to over 100 pages before finally calling it quits. I read and enjoyed Three Junes when it first came out, but haven’t read anything else by Glass. I haven’t given up on her yet.

by Mary Doria Russell

Listened to a chapter or two and gave up. The reader was putting me to sleep! My husband, stepdad and two good friends loved this book. I’ve enjoyed everything by Russell, so I’ll have to try the printed format.

Falling Together
by Marisa de los Santos

I gave up after about a hundred pages. I couldn’t get interested in Pen’s story and thought the writing was very disjointed and the plot lacking. This is so disappointing, especially since I loved Belong to Me and Love Walked In. This new novel almost feels like it was written by a different author. I’ve read several reviews on Amazon and have to agree with those who gave it only one or two stars.

Now to go read more of Jack Finney’s Time and Again, which has captured my interest!


  1. Sorry they didn't work for you.

  2. I've done a lot of DNF-ing, this year - probably more than usual. And, yes, it's helpful to have a record! But, I tend to remember things that annoyed me better than the so-so books I finish, so I don't always do posts about them.

    I am crazy about Jack Finney! Hope you continue to enjoy Time and Again. I have 3 of his novels, a book of novellas and some short stories. And, I still have the one book by him that didn't thrill me, just because it's original to the time period it was written and I get a kick out of that.

  3. I loved MD Russell's other books, haven't tried Doc yet.

  4. I used to believe in persevering with a book I didn't like, but The Da Vinci Code forever laid waste to that belief, oh God did it.

  5. Quitting books you're not enjoying makes reading, in general, so much more enjoyable! Waiting for Columbus is one of the few DNF's I've had this year, but it seems like most people loved it.

    Too bad about the Julia Glass novel. I read Three Junes with my book club years ago and listened to The Whole World Over... enjoyed both but not compelled to read more. I loved The Secret History and have been curious about The Little Friend.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Les!

  6. Sharon4:50 AM

    I did finish Falling Together. It was not as enchanting a read as Belong to Me and Love Walked In. Please look at A Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy. It is about the Occupation of the Channel Islands. I really enjoyed it.

  7. My Mom used to check out lots of books from the library, and very often she would realize after 50 + pages that she had already read the book! That is when she started making a list of the books she read so she wouldn't forget!

  8. How funny, because Time and Again was one I could hardly stand! But I agree with you about Falling Together. While I finished it, I was very disappointed!

  9. Phew! So glad you're not abandoning a.) your blog and b.) 1Q84.

    Although you might be tempted to give up the later. Hope not! ;) xoxo

    (Care to read for Venice in February with me? See my post on Sunday, and I'm going to ask Nancy if she cares to as well. I'd love to you have two, my longest known blogging buddies, partake with me.)

  10. Doc didn't work for me either, though it should have. I'm with Bookfool on Jack Finney. Wonderful book.

  11. I don't even list the books I don't finish because mostly I don't want to be reminded of them! :<)

  12. It's so hard for me to abandon a book, but then I realize life is too short to waste time reading books you don't like.

  13. Anonymous12:22 PM

    I am also so disappointed with Falling Together. I am sticking with it, it does get a bit better. But, I don't feel the same connections to the characters that I did with her other books. I agree, it does seem like a different person wrote this book. It must be very difficult to live up to readers expectations of your writing.

  14. Anonymous1:35 PM

    I have always considered the Donna Tartt book since I loved The Secret History but the reviews never seem very positive so I haven't gotten past that yet.

  15. I am glad you aren't quitting blogging!

    I think this year has been my worst year ever for DNF. I don't really keep track. I just have books laying around with the bookmarks still in them...

  16. I took note of all of them..to avoid later on, but then I wept a little when I saw Falling Together on your list!

  17. I wasn't thrilled with the top 2 either, and the other 2 do not seem to be ones I'd enjoy either.

    It's good that you stop reading when books aren't working for you. Life is too too short for mediocre books.

  18. Les,
    I would definitely suggest that you go back to "Doc" at a later date. I was a bit disapoointed when I first finished the book,but that was because I had recently read Jeff Guinn's excellent nonfiction, "The Last Gunfight", and had noticed a few historical inaccuracies in Russell's book. But as a little time passed, I realized how much I had enjoyed the character and the storytelling, and that I had let a few miscues get in the way of my enjoying a wonderful read.
    And in some other interesting news. HBO has bought the rights to "Doc" to turn it into a series with Ron Howard directing the pilot.


  19. I just read Stephen King's 11/22/63 and he calls Finney's Time and Again the best time travel story every written. I'll have to check it out.

  20. Kathy - Yeah, me too.

    Nancy - I'm pretty sure I've quit on a lot more than usual this year. What's so disappointing is that I read close to 100 pages in three of these. These days, that's a big chunk of my reading.

    You and two other friends have raved about Time and Again. Stephen King even mentions the book (and author) at the end of his recent novel (so I'm told). I'm really getting into the story now and am anxious to go read this evening.

    Josh - I guess we should both read it before the HBO series begins. I just heard it's going to be directed by Ron Howard. Should be another HBO winner!

    Susan Bennett - Ah, now see I loved The Da Vinci Code, but didn't care for Angels and Demons. Pepsi or Coke? ;)

    JoAnn - Hmmm, I haven't even considered Waiting for Columbus. Off to see what it's about, although I'm not sure I need to add another book to my list or stacks!

    Speaking of stacks, I think I have a copy of The Whole World Over somewhere around here. I hope it's better than I See You Everywhere. And, I have The Secret History on a shelf and will give that one a read later this winter. It sounds like more readers enjoyed that more than The Little Stranger.

    Hope you had a good Thanksgiving!

  21. Sharon - I wonder why we didn't feel the same about Falling Together as we did Belong to Me and Loved Walked In. I haven't given up on Marisa, though! Wonder what she'll write about next.

    Oh, and thanks for the rec for A Soldier's Wife. I do believe I have a copy on one of my floor stacks here in my office/guest room. Yep, there it is! :) Moving it to my nightstand...

    Stephanie - I have several regular customers who come in with little lists or note cards with the books they've read or what they want to read. For those of us who read more than a couple of books a year, it's pretty easy to forget titles we've read after a few decades! I wish I had the time to list the contents of all my reading journals so I could use the search function when I need to locate an entry about a specific book. I've been known to sit on the floor with a dozen journals scattered about me, thumbing through the pages in order to locate ONE book! Of course, it's fun to read some of those entries and revisit those books...

    Rhapsody - Oh, I hope I don't start to dislike T&A after all these hours of reading! OK, maybe not hours. ;) I read for about 15 minutes each night then I fall sound asleep. Gone are the days when I spent hours and hours reading the afternoons away. Maybe someday...

    I'm so glad I'm not the only one who was disappointed with Falling Together. I kept wondering if it was simply a timing issue for me. I've been distracted with work and household issues and haven't had much time to focus on my reading.

    Bellezza - Oh, every now and then I'm tempted to quit. Especially when I think about how much time I spend on my blog and NOT reading. But I would miss it too much. I think. No matter what, though, I would never stop visiting my favorite blogs! :)

    Nope. I haven't quit 1Q84. Just waiting for a big chunk of time to get back to it. Probably later this winter. I have a long flight in March and it may be just the right time to dive back in.

    And, yes!!! I plan to join in on the Venice challenge. I read your post and have it bookmarked to comment on. Life keeps interfering, but I'm very anxious to peruse my shelves and find a few books to read during that period. Plus, I love the button/widget! :)

  22. Mary - I still plan to give Doc a try, but this time I'll try the printed version. If it doesn't work for me, I'll take the easy way out and watch the HBO show once it airs.

    Nan - Somehow this does not surprise me! ;)

    Pam - It's tough for me, too. Although, every now and then I start one that I know nothing about and after a page or two I can easily chuck it against the wall and say, "What the hell was I thinking?!" It's the ones that have been highly regarded that are so difficult to abandon.

    Anonymous - Oh, dear. Another disappointed reader. I'm glad it gets better, but I'm sorry it's not living up to either of our expectations. Now I'm curious as to who you are. :)

  23. Reviewsbylola - Another fan of The Secret History. OK, this is one I definitely want to try. I hope I'm not disappointed!!

    Kailana - Aw, thanks. :)

    I don't dare keep the books I've abandoned. The only joy in quitting is being able to clear out some of the clutter in this house! I have far too many books piled all over my office. I simply must stop bringing home so many ARCs. Honestly, I can't remember the last time I actually bought a book. I get ARCs, books from my mom, books from friends, etc. I don't accept anymore books from authors but I still can't get out from underneath this mountain of books!

    Staci - Who knows. Maybe you'll love it. I hope you do read it and come back and tell me it was great. I hate that others aren't happy with it either.

    Diane - Most definitely! And as I creep closer to 50, I find that I'm rethinking how I want to spend my free time and reading mediocre books is not on that list.

    Lee - I plan to go back to Doc. I respect the opinions of those who have read it, and I really do like MDR's writing. It may have just been that reader. Ugh.

    Funny you should mention Guinn's book. I had a customer in the store on Wednesday asking for MDR's book. I chatted with him a little bit about meeting her in Cleveland back in '98 and he said he loved Doc so much that he wrote her a little fan letter and was thrilled that she wrote back. And then he asked if I had had heard of a book called The Last Gunfight. I knew it was by Guinn and took him right to it. Is Guinn the reviewer who used to come into our store and was also at the Speedway event that year we went up there for some book show?

    Anyhow, I'm rambling. I'll have to get Guinn's book for Rod to read. I'll bet he'd love it. And, yes, I saw the news about HBO on Shelf Awareness. Very exciting!!

  24. Katya - A good friend mentioned this the other day. I may just have to ignore all the books piled up around me and get that chunkster as soon as I finish Time and Again.


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