Tuesday, December 23, 2014

#AMonthofFaves: 5(ish) Books I Almost Put Down



Ahhh yes, the ultimate struggle for all readers. When we feel like we're slogging through a book, do we endure or lay it aside? Most of the time, I'm in favor of laying a book aside if it isn't flipping my switch. However, I break my own rule sometimes, and these are some of the books that survived.

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THREE books from this year alone. Three! But as I said, I endured through the rough patches and feel pretty rewarded by all of these. I loved the gorgeous language and intimate themes in The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets. I enjoyed Paul Auster's meta storytelling and plot layers in Oracle Night. And once I got past a barrage of dry science facts, I totally dug the adventure in The Martian.


Affinity, by Sarah Waters, is a book I worked on reading for two years. That's just stupid, right? I read snatches here and there, laid it aside, and I always came back to it because Waters' writing is impeccable, her characters are compelling, and her twists are glorious. Very glad I endured with this one. 

The Color Master: Short Stories, by Aimee Bender, was super weird. That said, the stories were also innovative and multi-layered. They challenged me while they maddened me. Definitely worth the ride. 

The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova, was frustrating in its length and it plodded along at times. However, I was really glad to finish and discuss this one for last year's RIP event. This one felt like an accomplishment!

That's my list...now how about yours? 


15 comments:

  1. The Martian made my list too - and for the exact same reason!

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  2. Two books I almost put down this year - and I'm glad I didn't! The Sparrow (loved it) and The Girl in the Road (strange but worth the read). I loved The Historian and plan to start The Martian soon.

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  3. That's easy; The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld. Took me 4 tries to get into it. The audio finally did it for me and it was worth it. The Phantom of the Opera is another from this year, which honestly, I have no idea why I didn't throw it against the wall. Like, three times. What a horrible book!

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  4. I'll have to remember that the beginning of The Martian is dry if and when I ever get to it.

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  5. I really liked The Martian (though I was never really in danger of putting it down either), but The Historian is one that I probably should have let go. It wasn't bad, I think I ended up giving it 3 stars, but I liked the idea of it more than the book itself, so I ended up sort of disappointed. (The Historian is one of those books that I can read reviews from those who loved it and those who hated it and find myself nodding along with most of the review either way.)

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  6. I'm really wanting tor ead The Martian. I've only heard the best of the best about it. I'm actually hoping for the audiobook, it seems to be good.

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  7. I actually did put down The Marian after just a few pages. I didn't like the "This thing happened, and I'm going to tell you about it" narrative style. But I'm thinking I should give it another shot?

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  8. Good ones here! It's so strange how some books don't work and others just take a bit of extra effort. I liked some of the stories in The Color Master quite a bit. :)

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  9. The first one that always comes to mind for me is The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I was half way through that book and not enjoying it at all and then everything changed. Of course, because of that book, it now means that I push on through almost every book I pick up, even if I'm not enjoying them and they almost never pay off like that one did.

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  10. I keep hesitating to pick up The Martian, think I'll give it a try. Never read anything by Auster, will research at library today. I just finished Waters' The Paying Guest; I put it down several times but slugged through. Not impressed at all.

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  11. This is a great idea for a list. I hope to read The Martian soon. Thanks for the heads up about some of the science information at the beginning being a bit dry. I'll hang in there. :-)

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  12. Affinity was actually the hardest Sarah Waters for me to get through -- which was weird because plot-wise I thought it would be my favorite. I guess you never know!

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  13. I did put down The Martian and haven't picked it back up yet. I'm going to try the audiobook.

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  14. Mmm, The Historian, that WAS a slog. I read it in 2005 because I hadn't brought enough books on my London trip, and by the end of it, I wanted to smack someone. It was so loooooong.

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  15. Ooh. I’ve been on the fence about Alphabet but might have to pick it up (I borrowed it from the library once and didn’t get around to reading it). I completely agree with The Historian - although I didn’t almost put it down because I loved it from the get-go.

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