For That Artsy Reader Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday:
This weeks’ topic was:
May 26: Opening Lines (Best, favorite, funny, unique, shocking, gripping, lines that grabbed you immediately, etc.)
but I got confused about the date and didn’t realize until the last minute, so I had already made a list for:
May 12: The Last Ten Books I Abandoned (this could be books you DNFed, books you decided you were no longer interested in, etc.) (submitted by Claire @ Book Lovers Pizza)
which was a week I’d skipped. I don’t usually DNF books because not finishing something always makes me feel like things are left undone. But these are the last books that I definitely considered putting down at one point or another. Maybe I’ll revisit this week’s topic on another week.
1.Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon– My book club has been reading a books of a different genre each week. For this coming week it’s horror. I chose this book because I’d read The Other by the same author and really liked it. Unfortunately this one didn’t live up to that standard.
2.Three Women by Lisa Taddeo– I read this one because it had been getting rave reviews and showing up on a million “must read” lists. The subject (female desire) didn’t particularly interest me, but I figured if it was handled with insight or skill that might change. Unfortunately I didn’t feel like this look at the sex lives of these three (suburban, white, American) women shed any light on the subject.
3. Clandara by Evelyn Anthony– I’d had this on my shelf forever and I can’t remember where I first got it. It’s a historical romance set against the fall of the Jacobite cause in Scotland. The research and history was actually handled well, but the “hero” and “heroine” were both such despicable human beings that I didn’t care what happened to either one of them. I just felt sorry for any characters who happened to cross their paths.
4. Hearts and Bones by Margaret Lawrence– I had a copy of this one for a while too (If nothing else, this prolonged time at home is helping read a few of those books I’ve had sitting around!) and it looked good: a historical mystery set in the early days of America. But I couldn’t engage or invest in any of the characters. Usually I can invest in unlikable characters, but in this case I got the sense that the author didn’t know that they were unlikable.
5. The People in the Trees by Hana Yanagihara-In this case the author was well aware that the character was unlikable. I read this one because I’d been really moved by A Little Life by the same author. Once again I admired the skill with which the difficult story was told, but in this case I felt like I was reading a textbook rather than a novel. Even when it was supposed to make me angry, I couldn’t feel anything.
6. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher- I was surprised by the fact that I didn’t like this one because I’d expected to. It’s been recommended to me many times and it’s been compared to other books I’ve really liked. But the inter-generational story featured three generations of characters I didn’t like: even when I was clearly supposed to. The characters that I wasn’t supposed to like felt paper thin.
7.Beyond the Wild River by Sarah Maine– I’d been interested in reading books by this author for a while since she’s frequently compared to authors that I like. Maybe I’ll give her another chance with a different book. This one sounded like it had potential: a mystery set in the 1890s with an heiress and several wealthy friends on a fishing trip with an accused murderer. But nothing landed. I felt like I was just waiting for it to be over.
8.The Answers by Catherine Lacey- This one was recommended quite a bit and got pretty good reviews. It also had an interesting premise, a broke girl gets a second job as a “girlfriend” of a famous actor. But while interesting thoughts and ideas were presented, nothing was really explored and I never felt like I knew the characters.
9. An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear– I liked the first few Maisie Dobbs books, but with this one I really started to feel like the series was covering the same depressing ground over and over. In the first book we meet a heroine who has been traumatized be her service as a nurse in WWI as she starts a post war business. Several books later it’s the great depression, she’s still traumatized and all her cases still involve things that happened during WWI. I don’t know if I’m going to move on with this series or not.