Every so often, I create a post detailing those books which I have abandoned for whatever reason. A lot of the following are tomes which I have checked out of the library and have felt no obligation to finish; perhaps if I had purchased them myself, I would have had more staying power, and would have ensured that I read at least half – who knows? It is a widely-documented bookish fact, though, that life is too short to waste on books you’re not enjoying. With that said, here are the books which I have put down in the last couple of months.
Antidote to Venom by Freeman Wills Crofts
Being a British Library Crime Classic publication, I thought I would very much enjoy this; it seemed not. The storyline was peculiar, and felt very far-fetched.
Marrying Off Mother and Other Stories by Gerald Durrell
I very much enjoyed My Family and Other Animals when I read it some years ago, and found the recent ITV production of ‘The Durrells’ both charming and funny. That said, I decided to check this volume of short stories out, expecting to very much enjoy it. Sadly not. I found that a lot of the scenes and characters had been recycled from Durrell’s memoir, and put it down before I got too frustrated.
Death on the Riviera by John Bude
Another British Library Crime Classic which did not wet my whistle. I had hoped that a crime novel centered around a beautiful place would be just the thing for springtime reading, but I just couldn’t get on with Bude’s slow-moving style.
Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff
It is perhaps not cool to admit that I was a big fan of Rosoff’s ‘young adult’ novels in my teenage years, but I was. It is perhaps even less cool to say that How I Live Now is still one of your favourite books… But it is. I was, understandably, quite looking forward to reading Rosoff’s first adult novel, but found it badly stylised, and, ultimately, a little boring.
Alas, Poor Lady by Rachel Ferguson
I abandoned a Persephone, ladies and gentleman, and now have to live with myself over doing so. I really enjoyed Ferguson’s The Brontes Went to Woolworths, but this was rather clunky, and I just couldn’t immerse myself into it without feeling as though I was back in a rather dry undergraduate history lesson.
The Cost of Lunch, Etc. by Marge Piercy
I hadn’t heard of Piercy before I checked this out, and then found out how prolific she was. None of the opening pages grabbed me, so I gave up.
When I Was a Child I Read Books by Marilynne Robinson
I shall be honest and say that I haven’t got on all that well with Robinson’s fiction over the years, and that the only book of hers which I have enjoyed is Housekeeping. I felt that a volume of essays would be more up my street. Sadly not. Everything led back down the road to religion, and whilst I respect Robinson’s belief, it’s not something which I feel should be forcibly shoehorned into every possible essay, regardless of the central theme.
Have you read any of these books? Would you recommend that I try to read any of them again?