Okay so the title might be slightly melodramatic considering we’re actually only 12 days into 2014 and it rut might also be the wrong word. However so far I have struggled to find a book that I’m in any way interested in actually finishing. This is not like me at all. I can usually find something interesting, compelling or intriguing enough to keep me going. But all attempts at a decent read this year have since been abandoned (at least for now).
My first book was Reading Lolita in Tehran, a book that has been on my radar for ages and was recommended by the friend who also gave me The Messager, perhaps the best read of 2013. I should love this book, it’s just the kind of book I would go for. It’s about an all-female book group reading fantastic literature and discussing it while living under the oppressive Islamic regime in Iran. Despite all that I just cannot get into it. I find the author/narrator, Azar Nafisi, smug and self-important, the glimpses of life in Iran are just that and don’t go further (sadly) and the continual literary references to me seem repetitive and dull not having read all the books myself. I think I could probably get past all of that if the book was better written and followed a structure I could get my head around. Instead Nafisi chose to break the book into themed chapters, each one based around the group’s reading of particular books. The events jump around making it confusing and breaking up any flow the story might otherwise have had. So after getting 120 pages through it, I put it down…..
Only to pick up American best-selling and highly acclaimed author Joyce Carol-Oats. In this case it was a book called Middle Age – A Romance. I have five words for this one…. Get. To. The. Point. Woman! After reading close to 100 pages I had found out that a guy called Adam Barandt (whose whole name was used every time and often written in capitals, I have no idea why?) died. I found that out the in the first paragraph. Nothing else happened for nearly 100 PAGES! I had a choice, either stop reading this one or render myself unconscious through sheer boredom.
Now I’m feeling a bit gun shy about picking up the next one. Is it going to be another disaster, yet another unfinished book for 2014? So my questions, what books have you just not been able to force yourself to finish? And more importantly what SHOULD I try next?