Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Can't do it

I can't do it. I just cannot finish these books.

There are four books this time. I keep thinking I need to finish these books but I realized that I am just not going to do it. Each one is a bit different as to some of the 'why' but really, I don't completely know why some books don't grab me. Especially ones that other readers have really enjoyed.

I started The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski because my book club was going to be in the audience of Oprah when she discussed it. It is 562 pages and I pushed myself to get as much done as I could in the week we had between finding out we were going and when we had to be there, reading over 350 pages. I didn't get it done but Oprah never discussed it on the show. And ever since I keep thinking I should finish. But it's not calling me.

Edgar Sawtelle is a mute child who grows up on his parent's farm, working the family business of raising Sawtelle dogs. The story is very descriptive and character driven with not much actual plot. But the characters were not that compelling to me. After reading 350 pages about these characters, you'd think I'd want to know what happens to them. But I really don't. To me there was such potential with this story but I never engaged with the characters. Thus, I am not finishing.

I received Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland from the Early Reviewer program at LibraryThing. I can't get into the book. I made it 52 pages but have no idea really where it's going or what's the point. This surprises me as Ms. Handeland is not a new author and I expected great things from the book. I was very excited to get it but just cannot read it. I realize I am not much into the latest craze of books about the supernatural but I don't think this is why I don't like it. I just don't. There are too many other books out there that I want to read to spend my time reading this one.

For a book chat, Book Club Girl sent me a copy of The Safety of Secrets by Delaune Michel. I missed the chat but wanted to read the book.

I am about halfway through the book but am finding the people in the book very blah. I don't particularly care for the main character of Fiona. She's pregnant, has an okay husband, is an actress, has a couple of best friends and is just boring. There's some secret that underlies her relationship with her childhood best friend that so far is not yet revealed. But there are a ton of other secrets amongst Fi and her circle of people - some 'normal' and some just dumb. I am not intrigued enough by the hint of the BIG secret to keep reading about these people that I find very blah.

The thing is, tons of folks enjoyed this book. So I am definitely in the minority on my opinion. Go see Dar's thoughts at Peeking Between the Pages, Sheri's thoughts at A Novel Menagerie and Lisa's thoughts at RebeccasReads. And stop by Book Club Girl for the chat with author Delaune Michel.

Lisa Roe, the Online Publicist, sent me Legerdemain by James J. Heaphey. I was very intrigued by this book as I love a good spy story and this is a real one! I don't know if the reality of it is what kept me from getting involved or just the timing of reading it. Or maybe my aversion to learning history. I've picked it up two times and cannot get very far into it without stopping. This is one where I know if I just pushed through the beginning I would enjoy it. But I just can't seem to make myself do that. I am sorry for that.

For other reviews, go to see The Bookfool at Bookfoolery and Babble, an article at Old Musty books, and Curled Up with a good Book. And I'll probably try again because I KNOW I will like it if I do.

I encourage you to read the other reviews and thoughts on these books. Just because I didn't become involved with them doesn't mean you won't. In fact, maybe that means you will! If you do read one of them and want me to post your review, just let me know. I'd love to share other thoughts of these books.


Anonymous said...

I don't think you're the only one on Edgar Sawtelle - I've read a lot of negative and lukewarm reviews. There are too many good books out there to waste your time on those you're not enjoying.

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

I'm glad you said this about Edgar Sawtelle. I had refrained from picking it up until I've seen some reviews from the blogging world (versus PW, Kirkus, etc). I think in the end, unless I see it at a library sale for $1, I'll pass on it.

Glad you let us know!

Julie said...

I don't think I'm going to finish Edgar Sawtelle, either.

Shana said...

Michele, we all have books like this. What makes me a little nervous is that I have one of the books you listed sitting in my TBR stack.

I just gave up on a book after 50 pages and passed it on to another blogger via my Tuesday Teaser post yesterday.


Red lady-Bonnie said...

Thanks for your honest post! I slugged through Edgar Sawtelle and didn't care for it. I wrote a review and I had mixed feelings about it and that it was a disapointing read. I did like the main character Edgar! I got the book from the library and was glad that I hadn't bought it.

Anonymous said...

Well... I didn't give The Safety of Secrets a glowing review... only a 7 out of 10. Most of my book reviews on those that I like are 9-10 out of 10.

I actually have to disagree with you on Edgar Sawtelle. The book has a much better ending than the beginning. But, you are right that it is lengthy in the wording. But, I loved it.

Also, I wanted to let you know that the link on your post is to a site that is now "dead" and "down." (Hee Hee). My new site is just anovelmenagerie dot com. All of my posts are moved to there, as well.

I really liked this post, though! Your honesty is refreshing!