Sunday, May 3, 2009

Books Not Finished

It used to be that I thought it imperative to finish every book that I began. Then as I realized that I'd never be able to read all the books I wanted in my lifetime, I began to give myself permission to stop reading books I did not like. It still is a struggle. I have this feeling -- where does it come from? -- that you should finish every book you start. Perhaps it results from school where you have required reading.

This spring I have encountered five books that I have not finished reading. I am slightly unnerved. Five books in only the first quarter of a new year! As a friend of mine would say, "What's up with that?"

Here are the books and the short version of why I put each aside.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
2009 Newbery Award Medal recipient
Dark, dull, difficult to imagine.

Paris Noir edited by Aurelien Masson
The introduction was a turnoff!

Into a Paris Quartier by Diane Johnson

Know Your Power: A Message to America's Daughters by Nancy Pelosi and Amy Hill Hearth
Obviously ghost written, and very poorly.

The Practicing Congregation: Imagining a New Old Church by Diana Butler Bass
I imagine this was a doctoral thesis which someone decided to publish. Boring.

Anyone have a good book to read?


  1. 10-10 -10: A Life-Transforming Idea by Suzy Welch

    It made a great article in O Magazine, but there isn't enough here for a book. Within the first 50 pages I got the entire premise, and then it was just the same-old-story with different characters. So I stopped. The "Life-Transforming Idea" is to make decisions based on what will this mean in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years. Yea, I get it.

  2. I used to think I had to finish every book I if by opening the cover I undertook an obligation that could not be refused. I finally decided time is too precious and too fleeting to waste it on boring, poorly written or shallowly conceieved books. So more and more often I close the cover and set books aside unstarted or unfinished. It's a wonderful freedom!! Middle age definitely has its compensations.