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Book Related Banter > That book you never finished

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message 1: by Samantha (new)

Samantha (modernsamwitch) | 5 comments Ever try to read a specific book a number of times, and no matter how often you go back to it, you just can't seem to finish it?

I know I have a few, I am curious if anyone else has had the same trouble.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
and A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

What are some of yours?


message 2: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 617 comments The Story of Edgar Sawtelle -it was one of the first books i got on my kindle; i've also tried the audio...i think because its a reimaging of Hamlet and I know what happens...i just can't listen


message 3: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Taylor-Watts (carolyntaylor-) | 75 comments Interesting question. This is sacrilegious, but I cannot finish Joseph Boyden's books.


message 4: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Mclaren | 293 comments Great string ... I have rarely gone back to a book that I have quit but then I usually just keep going to finish it. But there have been a couple of books that I've taken a break from — read some short stories or a cozy mystery — and then gone back feeling ready to tackle again.

Dee, I have to admit that I remember Edgar Sawtelle as just going and going and going and while I was reading thinking, enough already, conclude. But I kept plugging away at it because my local book club was reading it. Its definitely an acquired taste.


message 5: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10145 comments Mod
For me, it's been ATLAS SHRUGGED and CATCH 22. I tried multiple times to read both of those and I. Just. Cant.


message 6: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 547 comments Good question. I couldn't manage to get through David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, and Crime and Punishment years ago and I've never gone back to them. I gave them all two chances.

SO agreed re: Atlas Shrugged, Lori. I could never get more than halfway through. I somehow made it through The Fountainhead once when I was like 14 and I don't remember why haha. I really dislike Ayn Rand though so I feel zero guilt about it.


message 7: by Lars Martin (new)

Lars Martin (lmborlaug) Lori wrote: "For me, it's been ATLAS SHRUGGED and CATCH 22. I tried multiple times to read both of those and I. Just. Cant."

I got Atlas Shrugged on my to read list. Why did you give it up, Lori?

I never got through Ulysses by James Joyce. I've tried and tried to finish it, but never did. So it is perhaps a bit ambitious to have Dubliners on my to read list?


message 8: by Karen M (new)

Karen M | 1955 comments Don Quixote was my downfall. I kept the book for the longest time and finally, knowing I would never pick it up again, I gave it away to someone who needed it for school.


message 9: by Heather L (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) There are two I have attempted to read twice each, never getting more than halfway each time. I've loved every other book by Austen, but have difficulty getting into Emma. There doesn't seem to be a single likable character, and the plot is slow and plodding. The other is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I've read her sisters' books and enjoyed them, and I've seen the movie version a few times, but can't seem to get into the writing style of the book.


message 10: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10145 comments Mod
Lars,

I felt like the author was talking down to me the whole time and it was boring as all get out. I made it to page 60 maybe, both times, and just chucked it against a wall.


message 11: by Esther (last edited Jul 10, 2016 10:44AM) (new)

Esther (eshchory) | 573 comments When I was I child I could never get through Oliver Twist. I started it several times and it was even a set book at school but I just couldn't finish it.
The same with The Hobbit. My mother read it to me once, she does a fantastic Gollum, but I couldn't finish it on my own.
But once I got older and due to budget restraints had to read the books on my shelves I actually read and enjoyed them.

As an adult I have given up on the dead tree version of Moby-Dick; or, The Whale but might try audio.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a total defeat. After several failed attempts reading I tried the Elijah Wood narration. He is great but I couldn't keep my mind from wandering and after backtracking more than a dozens times I gave up.


message 12: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 547 comments Esther, I also gave up on Moby Dick. Every time I tried I just couldn't get into it - incredibly dull IMO. I get the allusions and the symbolism and all that but understanding it doesn't equal enjoying it.


message 13: by Heather L (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) We were supposed to read Moby-Dick; or, The Whale for a college American Lit course. I couldn't get past chapter three, and still managed an "A" on the paper (primarily through good note-taking in class).

As for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn . . . I hated it when we read in in HS, but actually liked it when I had to reread it four years later in college. A difference in instructors made a huge difference there.


message 14: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Kearns (brendakearns) | 3 comments I had the same problem with Huck Finn - couldn't stand it the first time!


message 15: by Lars Martin (new)

Lars Martin (lmborlaug) Right now I'm struggling with Night Soldier by Allan Furst.


message 16: by Brandon (new)

Brandon | 3 comments For me it was Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, but I haven't given up on it yet. I'll read it one day, maybe.


message 17: by Tabitha (new)

Tabitha Vohn | 164 comments Adding my praise to the chorus: great question. And YES!! Sadly, too many to remember.

The most notable for me were Tam Lin, which was a big letdown b/c it is about a college experience with the myth of Tam Lin as the backdrop so...it should have been interesting, right?

Also, A Tale of Two Cities / Great Expectations, the latter of which I blame my inability to finish on the Ethan Hawke/Gwyneth Paltrow film because I loved that adaptation and tried to read the novel afterwards. Yeah; not the same :)


message 18: by Angel (new)

Angel (wings76) | 6 comments For me it was The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I just couldn't get into this one.


message 19: by Sharon (new)

Sharon | 28 comments For me, much as I hate to admit it, I cannot get through Moby Dick. I know it's a classic and wonderful and all that, but I just can't do it!


message 20: by GracieKat (new)

GracieKat | 864 comments I can't seem to get into Charles Dickens, any of them. I know they're supposed to be classics but i just can't seem to get interested.

Also, just about anything by Ray Bradbury.


message 21: by Iris (new)

Iris Barrogan (irisblue) | 8 comments For me it was Sentimental Education. I read more than half of the book, then I put it down for a few days because I had to read a book for a class and I never had the guts to pick it up again. I am not proud of this, but I cannot say I miss not reading the ending either. It just didn't spark the tieniest bit of interest


Angela M (On a little break) I have never been able to get beyond 100
pages or so if Gravity's Rainbow. I have tried multiple times . I've given up now .


message 23: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Kearns (brendakearns) | 3 comments Gracie wrote: "I can't seem to get into Charles Dickens, any of them. I know they're supposed to be classics but i just can't seem to get interested.

Also, just about anything by Ray Bradbury."


Gracie, I feel your pain. Even the phrase "but it's a classic" tends to make me break out in hives. Gives me flash-backs to the dragon lady who taught my grade 9 English class. Ugh.


message 24: by Keith (new)

Keith Harris (KeithD) | 1 comments Perhaps you could say I am afraid of Virginia Woolf. I've seen her name more than once on lists of favorite books/authors, so I've given her books a try. I haven't been able to finish one. There is something about her style of writing that doesn't agree with me.

On the other hand, when I started reading All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy, I was put off by the style, but I pressed on. I got to be more comfortable as I went along, and I ultimately found it be quite an entertaining and memorable story.


message 25: by Paul (new)

Paul C | 4 comments I also had problems with Moby Dick, last one throw was Brave New World by Huxley. That was a rough one.


message 26: by S.K. (new)

S.K. Inkslinger Definitely Le Morte D Arthur, by Sir Thomas Mallory and
The Iron King by Maurice Druon (I was dragged in by George R. R. Martin's recommendation lol)


message 27: by Sharon (new)

Sharon | 28 comments Moby Dick, despite several attempts. Just did not hold my interest. Gravity's Rainbow is absolutely impossible. The Mill on the Floss is another one.


message 28: by Book Concierge (last edited Dec 17, 2016 06:49AM) (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) Moby-Dick; or, The Whale ... I was supposed to read it in 7th grade. I tried, but ultimately resorted to the Cliff's (Sparks) notes and watching the movie. I've tried it since with not much more success. A few years ago I read Nathaniel Philbrick's In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, which ALMOST made me want to try Moby Dick again. (Read Philbrick's book - skip the movie)

I also gave up on The Brothers Karamazov after about 600 pages (felt like 6,000). I. Just. Could. Not. Take. It. Any. Longer. (But I've only tried it the one time.)


message 29: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10145 comments Mod
Oh nooooo, Book Concierge. I loved The Bros Karamazov!

I've tried Moby Dick a few times. Once, reading - which, ugh. I couldn't manage. Then I found this website that had audio clips of actors reading the chapters. I got pretty far into it, and I can't remember why I stopped, but since stopping, I can't figure out where I left off, and now I can't even find the wesbite! So again, the book remains unfinished.


message 30: by Alli (new)

Alli Rehds (AlliRehds) | 7 comments Great ExpectationsOh dear God
What an atrocious bore of a book
Unfortunately,we had to read it front to back for English class and the plot is even worse than the length if each sentence
Each sentence was like a whole paragraph
the plot is so bad, and so predictable, it so hard to see how this can be considered a classic amongst other books by Dickens

Never again!!


message 31: by Heather L (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) Alli wrote: "Great ExpectationsOh dear God
What an atrocious bore of a book
Unfortunately,we had to read it front to back for English class and the plot is even worse than the length if each sentenc..."



I liked that one. Have read it twice.


message 32: by W.T. (new)

W.T. Fallon (wtfallon) | 5 comments Samantha wrote: "Ever try to read a specific book a number of times, and no matter how often you go back to it, you just can't seem to finish it?

I know I have a few, I am curious if anyone else has had the same t..."


I typically don't go back to a book I didn't finish. I will say I tried to read Lord of the Rings several times and could never do it. I wouldn't say it was just the length, because I've read long books that I had no problem finishing, but the length combined with the old-fashioned language, the slow-moving nature of the plot, and the fact that I couldn't relate to the characters were all factors. It was also one of those books that I found overly descriptive, something that has always bothered me as a reader, although I know some readers really love that.


message 33: by W.T. (new)

W.T. Fallon (wtfallon) | 5 comments Heather L wrote: "Alli wrote: "Great ExpectationsOh dear God
What an atrocious bore of a book
Unfortunately,we had to read it front to back for English class and the plot is even worse than the length if..."


LOL Never finished it when I was *supposed* to in English class. I recall Dickens spent TWO PAGES describing a room. I was so bored I'm shocked I didn't fall into a coma. He described, basically, every single piece of furniture in the room, the pattern on the curtains, and a whole bunch of stuff that I neither interesting nor essential to understanding the plot. I'm sure that went over a lot better back when there was no internet, no TV, no radio, and absolutely nothing else to do but read. I mean, if you found a lengthy description in a book boring, what were you going to do, close the book and stare at the wall instead?
I was never big on reading the classics assigned to me in school, TBH.


message 34: by Sarb (new)

Sarb | 7 comments I had this book called "The Goose Girl" I was done half of it and I had too return the book because someone else was waiting for that book. 2 months later I wanted to red the other half but i forgot what had happened in the first half and there you go I still to this day didn't finish that book...


message 35: by Richard (new)

Richard Moss | 427 comments Heather L wrote: "There are two I have attempted to read twice each, never getting more than halfway each time. I've loved every other book by Austen, but have difficulty getting into Emma. There doesn't..."

I love both those books Heather, but I confess I did give up on Wuthering Heights on the the first reading. I found it overblown and depressing (both actually are still true), but when someone chose it for my book group a decade later, I had to read it all the way through and really grew to appreciate why it is so special. Just don't read it as a romance is my advice!

The book I had to give up was Gormenghast. I know a lot of people love it, but I just couldn't get on with it at all.


message 36: by K. (new)

K. Olson hmmm...
Have tried Ulysses twice now, but have never gotten more than halfway. Not quite ready to give up though - still on my bookshelf. Right next to The Fountainhead.
Story of Edgar Sawtelle is in my top 5 all time favorite reads - couldn't put it down. Same with Great Expectations read for English Lit at the age of 15 - wonder would I think of it now?


message 37: by Sachin (last edited Dec 21, 2016 08:40AM) (new)

Sachin Jain | 2 comments The Selfish Gene...

Not sure why, but it appears whenever I want to get back to it, there is some other book which seems more interesting and I buy it and start reading it. I have read 3 books since I started The Selfish Gene and left it midway. Dont know if would ever finish it!

And hey, this is my first comment on this group, so Hi ALL!! :)


message 38: by W.T. (new)

W.T. Fallon (wtfallon) | 5 comments Sachin wrote: "The Selfish Gene...

Not sure why, but it appears whenever I want to get back to it, there is some other book which seems more interesting and I buy it and start reading it. I have read 3 books sin..."


Hi, Sachin!


message 39: by Martha (new)

Martha | 15 comments The Goldfinch.. I actually did finish it after skipping numerous pages. I thought it would never end. Skipping pages helped. I know there are those that loved it but I hated it. Perhaps if it had been edited down to 400 pages it would have made for a better read


message 40: by Martha (new)

Martha | 15 comments Angel wrote: "For me it was The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I just couldn't get into this one."
My sister hated it but I loved it!


message 41: by Martha (new)

Martha | 15 comments Brenda wrote: "I had the same problem with Huck Finn - couldn't stand it the first time!"
Read it later in life for a literature course. I think as an adult it had greater meaning plus the professor was really good


message 42: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Taylor-Watts (carolyntaylor-) | 75 comments Re The Goldfinch: I an one of those who loved it, but I agree it could have been edited down by a lot. The part set in Amsterdam was unnecessary, I thought. But otherwise brilliant.

Re The Elegance of the Hedgehog: I admired it. It was different, another universe from the one I generally inhabit. Our book club discussed it and almost all appreciated it.


message 43: by Dottie (new)

Dottie | 3 comments The Casual Vacancy was hard for me to get through. I read 3 books trying to finish it. It got much better towards the end.

The Girl with all the gifts was another but I cant say or ill spoil it ;)


message 44: by Diane (new)

Diane Verdi | 9 comments Lori wrote: "For me, it's been ATLAS SHRUGGED and CATCH 22. I tried multiple times to read both of those and I. Just. Cant."

I LOVED those two!


message 45: by Diane (new)

Diane Verdi | 9 comments K. wrote: "hmmm...
Have tried Ulysses twice now, but have never gotten more than halfway. Not quite ready to give up though - still on my bookshelf. Right next to The Fountainhead.
Story of Edgar Sawtelle is ..."


Lori wrote: "For me, it's been ATLAS SHRUGGED and CATCH 22. I tried multiple times to read both of those and I. Just. Cant."


message 46: by Diane (new)

Diane Verdi | 9 comments At first attempt I couldn't get thru Madame Bovary - took a break, went back to it and started all over. Finished this very strong book - was depressed for days afterwards - couldn't shake the last chapter.


message 47: by Hunter (new)

Hunter | 5 comments I'm reading The Sound and The Furry by Faulkner. I'm finding it very hard to finish. It has its moments.


message 48: by W.T. (new)

W.T. Fallon (wtfallon) | 5 comments Hunter wrote: "I'm reading The Sound and The Furry by Faulkner. I'm finding it very hard to finish. It has its moments."

I have that problem with most of the classics. I was always a big reader as a kid, just not of the stuff they assigned me in school, LOL. I have a hard time with old-fashioned, flowery language and the over-descriptive style of writing that used to be popular before the internet.


message 49: by Taniaisha (new)

Taniaisha | 1 comments I find myself struggling to finish the book All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. Its such a short book with a lovely concept but for I can't seem to enjoy it or want to finish it. Its very frustrating lol.


message 50: by Hunter (new)

Hunter | 5 comments I enjoyed All the Bright Places. I liked the story and enjoyed the pace of the book. It was a good short read.


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