Monday, June 4, 2018

TTT: I didn't DNF it, I just...stopped reading it.

With the delightful bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish moving on to other things, TTT is now hosted by just one of their contingent, That Artsy Reader Girl .  If you want to quadruple the size of your TBR AND find a bunch of great book blogs to follow head on over and check it out!

The topic this week is:   Books I Decided to DNF (did not finish) too Quickly

I'm a pretty ruthless DNF-er. There are so many more great books than I'll ever be able to read, so if a book isn't working for me, I'm okay with abandoning it. However, there are some books that I feel like I've picked up at the wrong time. Almost all of them are Serious Books, and frankly, I'm not always in the mood for serious and heavy. So sometime in the last year or two I added a Goodreads shelf called "Maybe Later."  These are the ones I paused in too long to really say I'm still reading them, but I'm interested in giving them another try at some point.

1. Night by Elie Wiesel
I've been trying to read this for nearly a decade. It's like 40 pages long, so "trying to read" is maybe not the right term. But I've been meaning to read it, and I've started it a couple of times. I know he's been called out for being a lech, but in this case I don't think that affects the power of the book.

2. Longbourne by Jo Baker. 
Pride and Prejudice from the staff's POV. Doesn't it sound fantastic? But when I tried it last summer, I wasn't in the right mood or something. I think I had just read Jane Steele and didn't handle the shift in tone between my literary classic updates very well. 

3. Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
Man, I wanted to love this SO BAD. I saw the author speak at NCTE last fall, at a ticketed event I lucked into when some random person said, "Hey do you want this ticket to the luncheon with this guy named, um, oldest or something?" He was AMAZING (Older, not the random person, although I appreciate him as well). Anyway, I was excited to read a modern fantasy with a non-white protagonist. But I just couldn't get into it. I still feel like I SHOULD though.

4. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
I got a copy of this at the ALAN workshop the day after NCTE. It's set in my state, and it's about resisting rape culture. I am hoping to give it another go this summer, because I tried twice this school year and never made it past chapter 2. 

5. The Notorious Benedict Arnold by Steve Sheinkin
I was so impressed with Sheinkin's Most Dangerous that I wanted to give another one of his nonfiction works a shot. I've had this book in my classroom for years, from unknown provenance, but I actually tried listening to a library audiobook of it on a road trip last January. It was okay, but the pace of audiobooks did it no favors. I went on to a different audiobook, but I hope to pick up the paper copy someday and try again.

The next section of the list are sequels. I wanted to read them because I loved the first book. I tried to read them. I somehow...didn't manage to read them. But I'm still invested in the series, so I'll be back!

6. Akata Warrior by Nnedi Akanofor
Akata Witch was one of those terrific surprises some books can be. But I just never got going on the sequel.

7.  Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
This is the third book of a trilogy. I was completely enamored of book one and book two. I listened to the companion novel and adored it. I am equally smitten with Strange the Dreamer and can't wait for Muse of Nightmares. But I just couldn't keep going with this one. It felt like more of the same, I think? Or like maybe I'd just read two giant books in a row in her style and I needed a break?

8. A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
Speaking of reading two giant books in a row and lacking the strength to go's been 2 summers since I read Game of Thrones and Clash of Kings. Maybe I'm ready to plunge into the world of Westeros again--or maybe I've forgotten most of what happened.

9. A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
I LOVED Life After Life. It was so unique and creative while still being very engaging. But I just couldn't get as caught up in Teddy's life.

And finally (and most embarrassingly)
10. Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro
I actually won a Goodreads giveaway for the first time in forever. And the book I won is #ownvoices, intersectional, and YA. PERFECT for my classes. Definitely something I want to support by reviewing. But...I kept reading thrillers instead.

I've gotta be honest with you--I would not put large sums of money on me finishing most of this list. But there was something about them that made me unable to just say, "Nope, not for me." Are there any on here that you feel strongly about--either to dive back into, or to put aside for good?


  1. I hope you get on better with The Nowhere Girls. I'm hoping to pick it up this summer as well! My TTT

  2. I do that - not so much consciously DNF'ing, but rather I just put a book down and don't... pick it back up lol? For a very long time? :) Longbourn was like that for me! Thought I'd love it, and didn't so I set it aside. Haven't gone back to it yet, sadly...

  3. I really need to be a little more like you and just be ruthless with books I am not enjoying as sometimes it takes me a long time to give up on a book, or I finish it and then regret all the hours I spent reading it. I really admire that you can be ruthless with them.

    Here's my list:

  4. I need to get better at DNFing. I do it sometimes, but not often enough. I guess I like wasting my time on bad books. Night was assigned reading in high school, but I didn’t actually read it. I remember starting it. I know I didn’t finish it. I should probably try reading it as an adult.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  5. I have to admit, I haven't got to Dreams of Gods and Monsters yet, but the size is intimidating!
    My TTT:

  6. Anger Is a Gift is one I want to read as well, but I know it's not an easy book, so I need to be ready for it. I hope you get a chance to try Night and Shadowshaper again soon. I like both very much.

  7. I couldn't stick with #2 either. Night IS worth it. Small bits--a page or two at a time. Take time to breathe between readings if you have to. But it's worth it.

    Good post

  8. I understand your challenges with Shadowshaper. I enjoyed it and want to see more books like it, but it had a slow-ish start for me and a little bit of chosen one tropeyness. Daniel Jose Older is definitely on my authors to read shortlist - he has another book coming out this fall that I want to get a hold of.

  9. I am surprised about some of the books I have seen on these lists, Laini Taylor especially!!

  10. I have not read any of these, but this is the first non-rave for Anger is a Gift. It didn't seem like a book for me, but it has been very well received.

  11. I was moved by Night, but I didn't know that Elie Wiesel is a lech.....

  12. Goodness, I wish I was better at DNFing. I only have 5 books on my DNF shelf, and ONE on my "ask again later" shelf, so that shows you what a mess I am- if I start it I feel so compelled to finish it. Which is so SILLY. I haven't read any on your list, so I don't have any words of wisdom on whether finishing them is worth it- but I feel like there are probably other books you'd enjoy much more? Great list!

  13. Great list! It's always so intriguing to see what others DNF or if they consider it a true DNF pile. I recognize a lot of these titles but most of them I'd never read because I felt like they wouldn't be my cup of tea, either. I will say that I don't blame you at all with A Storm of Swords. I took forever to get to the third book in the series and then I put it down and suddenly three years have passed since I tried to pick it up. They're such a commitment and while they are good, it's easy to lose focus and get gaps in your memory about what had happened previously.

  14. Haha! I have books on Goodreads still marked as "currently reading" from years ago! XD I think I'm also stuck in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, actually!

  15. I REALLY struggled with Longbourne as well. I made it all the way through, but it was definitely difficult. I liked the idea but the tone was all wrong, and the whole Mr Bennett thing? No thank you!

    Dreams of Gods and Monsters too, actually. Again, I finished it but I was so disappointed in it. I DID have a gap between the books, so I don't think it was that. It just seemed more rushed and less planned.

  16. I have a few books like this that aren't really DNF's but more like "books I just couldn't get into right now." I agree, though, that I don't know when I'll actually get back to them.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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