I am not one of those people who feels they must finish every book they begin reading. I'm not even the sort of person who dutifully finishes every book they're assigned to read, if my college career is any indication. Shame on me, right? The thing is, there are just too many books I want to read that I know I'll never have the time for that sticking with something just because I've given it a chance seems silly. My to-read shelf on Goodreads is embarrassingly stuffed full of stories just waiting for a library loan or a Kindle sale. And I'm adding to it all the time, begging book recommendations from friends and stalking places like Epic Reads (and not just because their Instagram is delicious).
I've also given up books I'd wager some of you absolutely loved. I submit myself to your judgment and soon-to-be lower opinion of me.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
I think I tried to read this one three times, given the heaps of praise dumped upon it by so many trusted reader friends. But there was something about the prose that was so off-putting I just could never get very far. I tend to have trouble with period fantasy - is that a genre? - that takes itself too seriously, if only because all of my ungracious eye-rolling makes it difficult to follow the lines of text. I'm a bad person. I know.
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
I can't even tell you how excited I was to read this after a recommendation from one of the coolest reader-types that I know, and how I slogged my way through about forty pages before drifting shamefully away. Is there such a thing as dude bro fantasy? Because, yeah. This one was not for me.
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
See above. Same feels.
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Ninety pages in and yet another character's perspective introduced, I returned this one to the library. Maybe I lack the focus for such a graceful novel right now, but I wanted more of a linear narrative given how rich the world Wecker had already established. I'm still intensely interested in what's to become of the golem and the jinni, but it felt like I was more willing to follow them to find out than Wecker was. I feel so dirty admitting what an impatient reader I am.
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
My devotion to Atwood is serious business, such that failing to finish reading the MaddAddam trilogy - among a scant handful of books of hers I haven't read - haunts me. Especially now that I know I'm going to be dead or a head in a jar when her latest work becomes available for public consumption. But I've started and stopped this one several times to no avail. Oryx and Crake left me in a place I guess I'm not quite willing to leave.
So, please, alleviate my guilt. What book skeletons have you got in your closet?