A busy month = just one book and a trail of abandoned books. Do you give up on novels?
As a child of the 80s, I grew up during the Cold War, which sounds dramatic, but this simply meant that the enemy in films and television were almost always the Russians. I’m not sure if this was supposed to instill fear in me, but it had the opposite effect. Instead, I became fascinated with all things Russian ~ short stories and Russian history in particular.
I remember reading about the famous Romanov family, their house arrest and execution by Bolshevik revolutionaries — and of course, the mysterious disappearance of the Crown Prince Alexei and daughter Anastasia in other fictionalized accounts, so I’m not sure what made me read another. It might have been the appealing book cover.
After learning about The Great Depression in last month‘s The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah, the fantasy spin that Nadine Brandes puts on Romanov seemed quite silly at first. But I let myself be led into a world where Grigori Rasputin was a spell master and the Bolsheviks were killing all spell keepers. So that by second half of the book, I couldn’t put it down and ended up staying up late.
At the end, the author explained what was true and what she fictionalized which I really like. Ann Rinaldi did this with her YA American historical fiction books, too. In any case, loved Romanov and highly recommend.
Since I only completed one book this month due to getting settled in a new city and ready to teach Grade 3 at a young international school, I thought I’d take a look at a few books I never finished for various reasons — and I’d like to hear your thoughts as well.
Bespoke Traveler wanted to know what I thought about this experimental novel, so I gave it a-go, as I like a challenge.
And as you can tell, I failed. The “main character” Sarah was almost impossible to relate to or like, but because I, too, did high school (and college) theatre, it was entertaining in a personal way and that’s what kept me going.
But halfway through, the book changes direction and I think this is where it gets either confusing or fascinating, depending on who you are. If I was reading this at another time in my life, it might be the latter but because life has undergone an absolute 180, it’s too much for me.
Choi is a very talented writer though. It speaks volumes that I read half a novel about a protagonist that I didn’t like. Maybe in the future I’ll pick it back up again, but for now… I don’t have the brainpower.
Have you read it? Or are there other books you found too heady?
A Thousand Ships was another recommended book which seemed right up my Parthenon alley since I adore Greek myths.
But I disliked this collection of perspectives from goddesses, wives, and mothers so much that I started to write a rant about all the things I found wrong with it. Don’t worry though. I won’t share them now.
I think because I’ve been reading Greek myths since I was a child, I expect so much more — like Madeline Miller was able to deliver in The Song of Achilles.
Miller raised the bar, and if you’re going to retell one of the oldest tales in the world, The Trojan War, it’s gotta sing, but hey, A Thousand Ships was shortlisted for the Women’s Fiction Prize, so what the hell do I know?
My favorite genre is historical fiction and if you go searching for those must-read lists, this one’s on it.
I read about 70% of the story, and then I got bored. It seems crazy to abandon a book after reading so much of it, but I did the same thing with Stephen King’s The Stand.
The novel was obviously great until I got to the part where Katherine is hanging about the castle waiting for her true love to show up, and I kept reading to get to the part when he does (?), but it never seemed to arrive, she kept waiting and waiting and waiting, so I closed the book for good.
This is probably one the main reasons why I give up on a story. I stop caring. Much earlier in my reading life, I used to force myself to finish a book, but then someone told me they never did. It was a game-changer.
I figure there are too many great books out there to waste my time reading something I don’t enjoy. At this point, I wonder how many books I’ve left behind — hopefully, the list isn’t as long as the ones I’ve read.
Do you finish books you don’t like?
How was your August??