Living the good life + Fighting the good fight

Books I Never Finished & Why

For the last couple of years, I have been reading a lot. Some time after grad school, I realized how many years I wasted not reading. Maybe I was more interested in other things or maybe I was busy reading academic books and articles during school. Nonetheless, I am reading now.

In 2019, I read 31 books. But, 2019 was also the year that I decided that life is too short to read books that are boring or don’t interest me. If you are like me, you have this blocker in your mind that tells you that no matter how bad a book is, you have to finish it. I’m done with that. I usually give a book 50-100 pages and then I will allow myself to quit.

Here is a list of books I haven’t finished and don’t plan on finishing. I will explain why if I remember.

Books I Was Supposed to Read for Work

To be fair, I wasn’t interested in reading these books to begin with. But, I got bored with the content and found them repetitive.

  • Thank You For Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide To Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman
  • Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath

Books I Was Supposed to Read for School

There are only a couple of books in this category because there are other books that I didn’t finish and I plan on revisiting. Maybe it is not a coincidence that both of the books I didn’t finish are dystopian, which is not my favorite genre and tends to scare me.

  • The Circle by Dave Eggers – I got pretty far into this book because I was reading it for a class, but the Google-like company in this book that contributes to technology and social media taking over society really freaked me out.
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – I think I was too young to understand or even attempt to appreciate this book. But, I remember people burning books and I was out.

Books I Read Because I Like The Author

  • Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling – Like most humans, I read the Harry Potter series and was more than willing to read Casual Vacancy. From what I remember, I thought the storyline was dry and that there were too many characters introduced in the beginning.
  • The Lying Game by Ruth Ware & Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware – I tried to read both of the Ruth Ware books above because I read her book, The Woman in Cabin 10, which I enjoyed and highly recommend. With these two, I was bored and I felt like the story was slow. I think the best thrillers hook you within the first 50 pages, and I was not interested after the first couple of chapters.
  • Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks – I attempted to read Tom Hanks’ book because I thought it was going to be about typewriters and it was! However, I felt like the short stories were boring and did not capture my attention. There is a reason why writing short stories is so difficult. You have to get your readers attention and tell a full story within a limited amount of pages and I don’t think these stories did that.

Books I Was Interested In

  • Big Stone Gap: A Novel by Adriana Trigiani
  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson – Many people love A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. I, however, did not enjoy his sarcastic humor and got annoyed with his voice very quickly.
  • Woman 99: A Novel by Greer Macallister – Unfortunately, I got very far into Woman 99 by Greer Macallister before I decided that it wasn’t worth my time anymore. The main character gets herself admitted into an insane asylum so that she can find and save her sister, but over halfway through the book the plot was stagnant and flatlined, so to speak. The pace and the lack of character development made me lose interest.
  • Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy – I liked the premise of this story. It’s about a young girl who, against all odds, enters a beauty pageant as a plus size woman who is rough around the edges. She makes new friends, who also join the pageant, and makes friends with drag queens and often references Dolly Parton. I almost finished this book, but, the main character allows herself to lose someone she loves because she is scared and self-conscious. That made me so upset! What was the point in building up her confidence throughout the whole book if you were going to let her crash and burn on her own accord?!
  • Game of Thrones by George RR Martin – Do I need to explain this one? I think Martin is a confusing and dull writer and I cannot stand that every chapter is from a different person’s perspective.
  • The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity by William P. Young
  • Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – I didn’t even get 50 pages into this one because I don’t like reading books that include a lot of letters. Just a personal preference. I may watch the movie though.
  • Girl Squads: 20 Female Friendships That Changed History by Sam Maggs and Jenn Woodall
  • Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
  • Mockingbird Songs: My Friendship with Harper Lee by Wayne Flynt
  • Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave

I am willing to hear the case for any of these books and would love to hear recommendations for other books I should read.

To see what I am reading, visit my Goodreads account, which is linked at the bottom of the page and check-out my top three favorite books of 2019, which I discuss here.

1 Comment

  1. Suzanne

    I agree with you on The Circle. Brett recommended it to me, so I read it and finished it but was also freaked out by it. We went to see the movie when it came out, and it was AWFUL, so don’t waste any time or money on that one.
    I have to disagree with you on The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I love that book! In fact, I read it at least twice, maybe more! I’m afraid to watch the movie though for fear that the images won’t match the images in my mind.

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