In the past month or so, it seems to me that life has taken a turn to be extremely busy, both at work and play. (This is not bad at all – it just seems that I have much less free time than I used to have.) Whether it’s true or not (and whether I have actually perfected the skill of “piddling around” to a new dangerous level), this is the perception that I have.
Such business also means that I am becoming a lot less tolerant with books that don’t strike a high note with me, and in the past few weeks, I have been hitting the Mother lode of DNFs. (I honestly feel that it’s not the books’ fault most of the time. More me being extremely picky and deep in a reader’s block or something.)
Here is my list of Doomed DNFs:
- A Long, Long Way – Sebastian Barry – I have loved Barry’s other works, but this one was so HARROWING in its never-ending descriptions of WWI life in the trenches that I dreaded reading it. It really was way too graphic for a read I’m having for fun. It was giving me nightmares, and so I stopped. (I understand that WWI was a terrible experience for millions of people. It was just too much to read it in my off time.)
- Our Noise – Jeff Gomez – this must have been a vanity project when it was published in the mid-1990’s. Plus, it was full of music refs to small indie bands that I’d never heard of and so I didn’t get the jokes. Plus all the characters were having their mid-20’s angsty life crises that seemed to never ever end.
- Out in The Noonday Sun – Valerie Pakenham – Just plain boring (although how it got that way with one of my favorite subjects, I’ll never know.)
- Gothic Tales – Elizabeth Gaskell – Not her best work for sure. She was writing them to be published in a weekly magazine published by Charles Dickens, and there is a feel of the stories just being churned out for money. When the notes at the back of the book are one’s favorite part of a short story collection, there’s a problem. Definitely nothing like the standard of other works. (And it was a bit boring. Sorry, Gaskell fans.)
- Coasting – Jonathan Raban – this is in progress, but if it doesn’t pick up the pace in the next chapter or two, it’s “off with his head” (the book’s not Raban’s)…
On the sunny side, all of these titles were on the TBR pile (and several had been there for YEARS), so this was good at clearing space on those shelves. I really must go through my shelves more often. Who knows what other treasures are hiding there?