Top Ten Books I’ve Put Down – Tell Me Why I Should Pick Them Back Up
I’ve added a slight twist to this week’s TTT because when I glanced through my Goodreads shelves I realised that any books I felt a little “meh” about from the start, never went on to become amazing, or even just really good reads, that I’m glad I stuck with. If they were “meh” at the start they were pretty “meh” at the end too. Putting a book down or marking it as a Do Not Read, Do Not Resuscitate, Back-Away-From-This-Book is really hard for me and my bookish OCD, so when I do finally put a book down I’m usually pretty sure that I never want to see it again. However, there are loads of times I’m enjoying a book and just don’t get around to finishing it. It’s not the same as a DNF because I fully intend to finish it; I’m just not in the mood for it at the time, or the story-line slows down, or I get distracted by something new and shiny…
So, this week I bring you the Top Ten Books I’ve Put Down and You Can Tell Me Why I Should Pick Them Back Up Right Now (and breathe!).
1. The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling: When I was first told that J. K. Rowling was releasing a book for adults I had two initial thoughts – 1. “Damn, I wish it was a new Harry Potter book” and 2. “When can I get my hands on it?”. I think there’s a very unique voice and style to Rowling’s work that I love and I was very intrigued. Then they released the blurb for The Casual Vacancy –
“When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils… And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?”
What?! I felt like I needed to own a twin-set and pearls to even buy this. Obviously, I bought it anyway and began to read it. But I’ve never gotten around to finishing it, so tell me book bloggers, am I missing out?
2. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson: I’m sure this is some form of blasphemy, but I just couldn’t get in to this novel. I tried, twice. I know I want to read it, and everyone goes on and on about how good it is, but for the first time ever I kind of feel like I’d just rather watch the movie (*runs away and hides*).
I found the first few chapters to be so difficult to follow, and the descriptions to be so intricate that I was reading from one detail to the next with not much else in-between, though that was quite a while go, so maybe it’s time to dust it off and try again…
3. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks: When Iain Banks sadly passed away in June 2013, a huge amount of noise was made about his work; he was hailed a visionary, a man ahead of his time, an unappreciated genius and some of his work was labelled “cult classic” or “must read”. I obviously had to give his stuff a go. I bought a 3 book set from The Book People (none of which I’ve finished actually) and made a start on The Wasp Factory, which seemed to be one of his most talked about novels. I spent most of my time reading this squinting, either from trying to figure out what the hell was going on, or from being so disturbed that my squint was the equivalent of covering your eyes at a particularly horrific scene in a movie (think ankle-breaking in Misery). I’ve still not finished this book, and I haven’t been brave enough to try any of the other books either…
4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: This book is talked about, referred to and generally loved by all, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad review. I don’t feel quite as bad about this one, because it’s a relatively recent addition to my wall-of-books, but every time I’m looking through my wall to carefully select my next read, this just seems to get overlooked. I usually really enjoy novels that are set during, or are about, the Holocaust and WWII, but for some reason I think it’ll be heavy, I think it’s a I-need-to-keep-my-brain-in-to-read-this kinda book, and most of the time at the minute that’s not what I want at all.
So, it continues to sit and mock me for not yet reading it.
5. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy by Douglas Adams: I have all 8 books in this series. I know that doesn’t make any sense. It was supposed to be a trilogy, but there’s really five books in the actual series, and in the set I got from The Book People, there were 8 books. So I lucked out with that one. I’ve heard so many great things about this series, my mum loves this series, it’s considered a modern classic by many and is actually one of the books I want to read in my Classics Club. I started book one about three weeks ago and and have yet to finish it (it’s only 216 measly pages). It’s nonsensical, and there’s so much of it I can’t visualise properly because it happens so quickly and the descriptions don’t really give me enough of a chance to see this intergalactic craziness.
6. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell: Rainbow Rowell and her books are probably some of the most talked about topics in the book blogosphere, right up there with John Green. I purchased this as an eBook when it was on offer through Amazon and I’ve barely made a start on it yet.
I think I’m putting it off until the hype dies down. When I read The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns by John Green, I think the hype-monster affected my opinions of the books, and I don’t want that to be the case with Rainbow Rowell.
How much longer I’ll have to wait is another question…
7. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: I’ve heard some mixed reviews about this book, people either completely love it, or think it was an entire waste of reading time. I’ve never read anything by Donna Tartt, but this book was much anticipated and I bought it just before I started blogging.
My main reason for putting this read off is the size of the book, it’s huge. That wouldn’t have phased me before I started blogging, I actually preferred longer books as you can really get lost in a meaty story, but now I think of how long it’ll take me to read and just shy away from it. I read the first page, I read the blurb, I read the little intro, and then it was placed delicately back on to my little wall-of-books.
8. The Bourne Series by Robert Ludlum: This is another collection impulse buy I can blame on The Book People. I LOVE the Bourne movies and never actually knew they were based off a book series, so when I found out I bought them immediately.
I’ve never really read anything from the Spy/Mystery/Adventure genre, and for some reason thought the Bourne books would be a good place to start, with all 10 of them. Aside from the fact they are going to take me a while to complete, I read the first few chapters of the first book and wasn’t sure how I felt about it. Maybe they’re a slow burner that take a little while to get into, but it didn’t grab me from the get-go.
9. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness: I’m cheating a little with this one as I haven’t actually purchased it yet, but I keep putting it in my shopping basket and taking it back out. You guessed it, The Book People collections, again! I’ve heard mixed reviews on this series, and I know it’s YA, but that’s about all I know.
The titles of these books drew me in originally, but I think I need some more information, minus spoilers, before I commit and buy a series I’m not sure I’m going to like.
Share your opinions people!
10. S. by J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorst: I LOVED the concept for this book. I own it, I look at it periodically, I take out the inserts and gently caress them (not as creepy as it sounds) while marveling at the minds who created this idea. I couldn’t wait to read it when I first got it, even though the fictional novel The Ship of Theseus didn’t really seem like my cup-of-tea, I was willing to read it so that Jen and Eric’s story made sense (the characters who write the notes to each other in the margins). I didn’t kid myself, I knew this would be a tough read and that there would be many hidden elements to the story I wouldn’t understand and probably never would (the creator is the Director of Lost after all), but this is such a mammoth read and concept that I just stare at it lovingly rather than actually reading it. Then of course, there have been some quite bad reviews online that put me off reading it at all, and instead I began looking at it as a piece of art. I don’t really care how awful it is, or if I never read it, I just had to own “Abrams and Dorst’s love letter to the written word”.
What do you think of my list? Are there any books I should pick up as my next read and just get stuck into them already??