Books I Need To Stop Kidding Myself That I'll Read


Suniverse loves to read, and is an inveterate list-maker. Sometimes her lists include finishing those books that are taunting me, sitting on her bookshelf, bookmark in place, unread. Somehow, she always manages to find something else to do. See what she's up to at The Suniverse.

1. My Life by Bill Clinton. I got this as soon as it came out. Say what you will about Bill Clinton, but he is a fascinating man. You can disagree with his politics; you can disagree with his whoring around; you can even disagree with his predilection for fast food, but you cannot disagree that this guy is amazing. I find myself intrigued by him, almost mesmerized. Bill Clinton IS a rock star – engaging, charismatic, a little bit dirty. But, man, that book? I’m stuck on page 84. I already feel like I know most everything about Bill, so what’s the point? I tell myself it’ll go quickly,that I like Bill, that it will hold my interest. But it just doesn’t. It’s like he was the mayor of Dullsville and decided to bore people to death with his book.


2. Middlemarch by George Eliot. I have started reading this book at least three times. And each time, I get a couple of hundred pages in and . . . I can’t do it. I can’t finish it. I, who have a graduate degree in English Literature, who read Tristam Shandy without fear, who has re-read Thackeray’s Vanity Fair TWICE, I cannot get through this book. I give up. I just set it aside, with my nice, fancy bookmark stuck between the pages, and I walk away. It’s too hard to bring myself to care about Dorothea Brooke. It’s in the canon, I tell myself. It’s by a WOMAN, I tell myself. It’s a treatise on societal expectations in nineteenth century England – my favorite thing! But it sucks. Eliot did a better job with Silas Marner, which only felt like it was 880 pages long.


3. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. I admit it. I jumped on the bandwagon. I heard nothing but raves about this book – about how smart and edgy and engrossing it is. So I checked it out from the library. Twice. And couldn’t finish it. Couldn’t get past page 127, actually. There is nothing to this book. It is boring and the “hero” is a tool. It reminds me of the DaVinci Code, except I could at least slog through that. I made myself take it to the gym, hoping that if I was trapped on the bike or treadmill I’d read it. Instead, I found myself staring off into the distance, wondering whythis book sucked so bad and if society was playing a trick on me by praising it. I almost tried to finish it a third time, when my husband read it, but he said it was boring and I shouldn’t waste my time. I think this is one of those times I’ll listen to my husband.


What books are never going to earn a permanent spot in your library?

18 comments:

Melanie's Randomness said...

The Lovely Bones. I just couldn't finish it.

GalloIsGod said...

I am with you for No 3, it is soooo boring.

Another book I couldn't finish (couldn't finish the movie either!) is Kafka's "The trial".

Anne (in Reno) said...

I have been recommended both The Lovely Bones and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo so many times! I have one unimpeachable source however (my mom) who told me that I will HATE them both so I have given up on both and gone off singing. Thanks for reaffirming my decision, ladies!

Leah / Across the Suburban Sahara said...

I've never been able to get through Sophie's Choice, which comes highly recommended to me by various intellectual friends who are apparently far above my pay grade, IQ-wise. I can't get into it. I also have tried and failed various times to get into The Little Women. It's so boring. I read several books a week, so I've concluded it's not me -- it's them.

Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points said...

I have literary guilt that none of those books is actually even on my list.

I have tried "The Known World" twice and gave up. I mean for heavens sake, anything that makes Faulkner look like an easy read?

ugh.

Marie said...

I loved the first Harry potter but could never get through the second and have therefore never tried any of the others.

magnolia said...

a visit from the goon squad, jennifer egan. it was all going so well: really interesting character development; not a lot of plot cohesion, but not in a distracting way; good details.

but then, somewhere in the mid-100s, the story took a turn for the thoroughly implausible. i mean, this character did something that, no matter how i puzzled it out, just did NOT make sense. i put it down and i haven't been back. grr.

Liz said...

Don Quixote! I've started it 3 times in English and Spanish! Just. Can't. Get. Through. It!

Caiti said...

I tried Middlemarch this summer...I thought for sure I could do it - I had the whole summer...but I put it down, and now, I see I probably will never pick it up again...I figure life is too short to be wasted on books I don't enjoy!

Katrina said...

I couldn't get threw Catch 22 or Clockwork Orange. i have honestly started the first about 15 times and i just get so confused and set it down. same with the second i get frustrated because i forget what the words mean. but i might try again simply because i tried in high school and we know how awesome high school was for winning battles with books...

TurnToTheLeft said...

Watership Down by I don't know and the Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster. I tried to WD for school, and gave up - I read Catcher in the Rye instead. The Brooklyn Follies was on sale at Powell's and it was my first delve into "adult fiction" and I was trekking through it until my english teacher gave me a similar novel she thought I would like, which I did (it was A History of Love by Nicole Krauss, I HIGHLY suggest it), and now I can't go back to Auster's book because it seems so much worse now. Perhaps it's a "you'll get it when you're older" thing. Sigh.

Allyson said...

My dad keeps telling me that I *must* read The DaVinci Code. Nope, never gonna happen. I just can't do it.

Luinae said...

Life of FREAKING Pi!

Leelee said...

The Secret Life of Bees....Eat Pray Love....I am probably the only person that didn't like them...I am probably a freak, but I just didn't....

nikki said...

Most anything by Shakespeare. I like seeing Shakespeare performed, but reading it makes my eyes cross. Also Catch-22 (don't even try it if you've read the much superior Slaughterhouse Five. You won't stop with the comparisons and Catch-22 doesn't come off well). I'm sure there are others.

For what it's worth, I haven't read Girl with the Dragon Tattoo yet, but my mother read it and said it was terrible until about page 170 when it took an amazing turn for the better. So if you want to stick with it, there's something to think about at least.

That Kind Of Girl said...

I read Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on my sister's suggestion and, while the book definitely picks up a lot of steam halfway through, I wasn't too favorably impressed. Too much sexy violence, not enough characterization.

My never-gonna-read-it is Ulysses. It just -- it just can't be worth it. Although if I ever do break down and read it, 1) I'm absolutely blogging the process, and 2) I will not rest until I find a way to parlay that accomplishment into hot make-outs with someone who's impressed by chicks who read Joyce. Obviously.

sassysweetbren said...

You just talked me out of reading the book about Clinton. ha ha..

There was a time when I thought I had to finish a book if I started it. No longer. My time is too valuable. Now, it gets my attention quickly, or I put it on a shelve.

If you would enjoy reading about women, struggles in their lives, love in spite of hardship, and about a group of women that little is know about, read Lee Smith. Start with Saving Grace and then you will want to read the rest.

Daughter of a King said...

I am one hundred percent with you on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I was told so many times that it was one of those books you just "can't put down" and yet I've found myself abandoning it to watch another episode of the Tudors more than once. I'm currently at page...40.

I think it's the Swedish names that are throwing me off. When I have to really think about how to pronounce the name of the protagonist...not worth it.

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