As a general rule, I believe in seeing books through to completion. Some terrific books take a while to warm up to, and even bad books often have some redeeming qualities.
So for me, it’s really saying something to abandon a book mid-stream. When I do give up on a book, it’s usually because either: 1. The book is truly terrible, or 2. The timing is wrong.
I wish I kept better records of the books I started (as opposed to completed) in 2012, but these are the books I know I abandoned. This doesn’t count the ones I’ve completely forgotten about, were so bad I’ve blocked them from my memory, or the abandoned book graveyard known as My Kindle.
I heard rave reviews from readers with good taste, but I only made it to page 40. The trouble started right at the beginning, as Strayed watched her mom die of cancer. Because of my personal history, I hate cancer books (though I adored A Homemade Life, which began with a similar story).
Wild reminded me of Julie Powell's (of Julie and Julia fame) Cleaving, a truly terrible book that I should have abandoned, but instead stuck with through the sad, sorry, never-should-have-been-published end. (For pure entertainment value, read the Amazon reviews of Cleaving, such as, "where insecurity and narcissism converge." I concur.)More info →
This is the second book of L'Engle's Crosswicks Journals. I love the first installment, A Circle of Quiet, so much that I read it three times this year. But every time I turn my eyes towards volume 2 my pace slows to a crawl and I stall out around page 30. Maybe one day I'll summon the resolve to make it through. In the meantime, I'm enjoying Listening for Madeleine: A Portrait of Madeleine L'Engle in Many Voices.More info →
From The Philadelphia Inquirer: "A rambunctious tour de force of inventive and intelligent storytelling . . . Foer can place his reader's hand on the heart of human experience, the transcendent beauty of human connections. Read, you can feel the life beating."More info →
I love books about cities, architecture, and the way we live. I adore A Pattern Language. I've devoured every book by Jane Jacobs and Witold Rybczynski. But I couldn't make myself care about this one enough to keep turning the pages when there are so many other great books to read. Maybe because I felt like I'd read it all already?More info →
What books did you abandon in 2012?