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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Books Begun But Not Completed in 2013

This is an odd list, perhaps, but one I thought I might enjoy writing. Even just a few years ago I could not set aside a book. I could not. It was almost a physical impossibility. I had older reading friends who would set aside books with abandon (maybe not with abandon, but to my OCD must-read-every-word-printed-in-every-book-I-pick-up eyes, it seemed like it). I was aghast at those older friends. Now that I am growing older, I find it not only possible but sometimes even advisable to set aside books I've started. I also merely skim some books, rather than reading them deeply. I can hardly believe how much I've changed. I hope for the better.

I started Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I never thought I would start this book, and I probably wouldn't have, if it hadn't been for the gentle but continued urging of a reading friend over the course of a couple years. Even after I borrowed it from her it took me a couple months before I opened the book. Then my husband saw me reading it and asked me not to. I stopped reading to honor him. Sadly, I was far enough in to the book to have begun to care about the characters.

I started reading Little Britches by Ralph Moody out loud to my children. I started it twice. I haven't finished it once. This is a book that receives high reviews from other home schooling families. My own children really enjoyed the limited part they got to hear. I, however, simply could not get enough into it to continue reading it. If I don't enjoy a book enough, I won't keep reading it out loud. Sadly, I have not started reading another book out loud to them since setting aside Little Britches the second time. Poor children. Next week, next week.

I started reading Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor by Richard Doddridge Blackmore. A reading friend encouraged me to try this book, and I was about halfway through it, enjoying it. Everything was going swimmingly. Until my Kindle acted up and wouldn't let me access it for a long time, long enough that when I did get to return to Exmoor I couldn't decide whether to pick up where I left off, or begin again at the beginning. Now it has been long enough that I intend to try again, from the beginning, this time with a hard copy that the reading friend generously loaned to me.

I started into two separate Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell mysteries by Laurie R. King. I just did not cotton to them. I was sad about this, because I thoroughly enjoyed the first such mystery about Sherlock Holmes and his wife Mary Russell that I read, which involved a movie set for the Pirates of Penzance.

I started reading The Awakened City by Arturo Miriello, Volume One of Swords of Men and Angels. I wanted to like this one, but the first several pages were rife with grammatical and syntactical errors. I could not go on.

I started reading Saving Leonardo by Nancy Pearcy. I think I need to give this one another try. I think I wasn't thinking deeply enough about what I was reading in the book when I started it, giving it cursory but not deliberate and intense attention.

I started "Don't Make Me Count to Three!" by Ginger Plowman. I had long wanted to read this book, but when I actually began it I decided the advice it contains is not advice I need. Doesn't that sound horribly arrogant of me?

I started Dark in the City of Light by Paul Robertson. I wanted to like this one, too. I suppose, in a sense, I want to like all the books I start. If I didn't want to like them, I wouldn't be likely to start them, would I? I had a very difficult time following the action in the first few pages. I was lost.

There might have been others, too. These are the ones I can recall starting but not finishing. What about you? When do you not complete a book you start, and why?


  1. I'm glad to hear you actually got through half of Lorna Doone. I do hope you'll finally get to the last half because it truly is the most exciting part of the story and rather hard to put down once things start happening.

    I also was unable to get anything at all out of Little Britches, despite it coming highly recommended by many. It was just so uninteresting and rather "plodding". Also, I seem to resist books that are heavy on words of father-son wisdom, especially when they start meddling with my work ethic.

    I guess I mostly enjoy escapist literature because the reality of life is all too evident and doesn't need reinforcement in my recreational reading.

  2. I do plan to finish Lorna Doone. I am sorry I was not able to finish it when I first began it. If something derails my reading of a book, as happened when I was reading Lorna Doone, I have a hard time going back to it. I think enough time has now passed that I won't have difficulty returning.

    I'm glad to know I'm not the only person in the whole world who wasn't enthralled by Little Britches. It has felt like I was. I had thought it was possibly due to the fact that I have never liked Westerns of any sort.

    I think I prefer escapist literature, too.