One ‘I quit!’, a ‘meh?’, and finally a ‘Hooray!’ {52 Books}

As is probably your experience as well, life is busy.

This past week and a bit after being home from my whirlwind business trip and vacation, I found some pockets of time to read. It has been freakishly hot in my condo so all the work I could be doing on my house – painting baseboards, resealing tiles, and hanging closet doors – has come to a screeching halt.

Instead, I have been reading.

The Goldfinch.

I rarely quit books 550 pages into them.

goldfinch

If I am going to quit a book, it is usually within the first 60 or so pages. I tend to be a bit of a snob when it comes to reading. If I don’t like it and it is boring, I just quit. Who has that much life to invest into a horrible book? This one is a 775 page beast with long descriptions, a rambling story line, and fits and spurts of excitement.

Problems and annoyances abound in this book.

  • It opens with a flashback and then present day doesn’t show up until about page 600. (I tried reading random pages to see what the heck happens.)
  • Character development is low – the main character starts at the age of 8 and doesn’t develop heart, courage, or many abilities throughout the narrative.
  • Mostly a vanilla storyline that has random seconds of excitement which quickly fizzle out.
  • She tells us what to think about people through description and doesn’t let us form our own opinions.
  • Hard to read and I am a good reader.

And many more. Nor am I the only one with this opinion – many share my thoughts on this book.

I think my commentary on social media the other day sums it up nicely.

Not loving this book - dark and twisty but not in the super awesome way and the plot moves like a blindfolded turtle who can't get past the paisley print on his blindfold.

Not loving this book – dark and twisty but not in the super awesome way and the plot moves like a blindfolded turtle who can’t get past the paisley print on his blindfold.

The confirmation that it is a bad book – I still don’t know what happens and surprisingly, I don’t care.

Pulitzer and I disagree and I am fine with it.

The Silkworm.

J.K. Rowlings has written two books under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith. I enjoyed the first one, Cuckoo’s Calling, so when I received the library notice that the second one was waiting for me, I was happy to go pick it up. I dove in and started reading.

silkwormAbout 300 pages in, I realized the formula for the story was eerily similar to the first book in the series. The people, places, and storyline were different but how the crime was figured out and the way it was relayed to the reader came in the same way which unfortunately made me disengage from the book.

Suddenly, I was out of the storyline and sighed as I watched it unfold exactly as the first book did but with different characters and situations.

  • I can almost hear what you’re thinking, “Wow, she’s picky.

My experience with this book is similar to when you figure out that maple glazed donuts and chocolate glazed donuts aren’t very different at all – colour and nuance of flavour in the sugary topping is the only difference and after you’ve eaten them both you’re happy to just have one going forward.

A good Saturday read if you’re sweltering in your condo on a hot summer day and need a distraction from the heat.

The Fault In Our Stars.

I love young adult fiction – a woman can power through a decently sized YA book in just a few hours. I wasn’t too sure about this book due to the hype and buzz around it. I don’t like following trends and was actually repelled by this book since everyone loved it.

Then I started to read it …

fault in our stars

Within the first few pages I found myself literally laughing out loud. I was surprised by the humour, candour, and depth that showed up immediately in the story. It wasn’t the book I thought it was and I found myself encouraged and pushed to think about things I rarely think about.

I read the whole book in one afternoon – it begged to be finished.

  • The plot took twists and turns I didn’t expect and was delightful on many levels.

When I grow up, I want to write books like John Green – unassuming and powerful in their own quirky and humorous way.

It’s been a few weeks of basically no reading, but I am catching up. 1,466 pages in two weeks isn’t horrible – if I can say so myself.

What books are you loving these days? Hating? Could take or leave?