Thursday, February 4, 2010

You win some... you take some back to the library

Over the years, there have been a few literary greats I just couldn't get in to. I tried, really I did, and with some of them, a few times. A few examples are: the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Henry Miller's work , War and Peace, She's Come Undone, a PD James novel (really recently) and seemingly the majority of Margaret Atwood's books.

I gave it the old college try with Never Let Me Go. I couldn't get in to it. I read some reviews (love that big book seller website with lots of feedback) and it does sound like it deals with a profound, relevant topic (human cloning, the book was written shortly after Dolly was cloned in the UK) but it wasn't happening for me. I have read hundreds, nay thousands of books and it always surprises me when I come across one that I stumble through in the beginning and just cannot get myself up to reading. Where I look at the book, and find housecleaning to do instead of diving in between the pages.

I liken it to how you tend to at least like or be indifferent to most people you meet. About 2% of the folks out there, you will just not like on sight, and the feeling is usually mutual. (Weird tidbit I learned in a conference a few years ago). Well, it wasn't that this book was poorly written (it isn't) but I just couldn't work the will up to continue it. I asked myself - do I need to work this hard to enjoy reading? And the answer was an easy no, especially since I had Ian Rankin's latest novel lined up.

This is another perk about being friendly with the library again. It makes taking risks with books painless. Oh well, I didn't like this novel so I took it back early.

I am just about done The Complaints, and although I miss reading about the somewhat crotchety Rebus, I have enjoyed this newest offering. Amazing that you can blitz through 300 pages in a few days that you enjoy, and cover about 20 pages in that time of a book you can't be fussed by. Next up, Still Alice.

On the same vein, Brandon and I have been picking out kid's books at a rapid pace. We are not winning the battle. It is amazing how many terrible, boring, uninteresting kids books there are out there! Once again, nice to be able to take out a bunch of books, and when you are done, take them back!

1 comment:

Refinnej said...

The same thing happens to me with some books...although I loved "She's Come Undone" and everything else Wally Lamb has written.

Margaret Atwood = very strange. I liked "The Handmaid's Tale" but it's a lot of work to read any of her other stuff. I don't even try these days.