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Footnotes > Musing on a Monday: Neglected Reads

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message 1: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 6674 comments I started musing on this while reading Kimber's review of The Night Circus. She commented on how she will often wait a long time to read some 'hot' or 'popular' book. That's definitely something I do too - for any number of reasons. The why isn't really that important - unless you all want to discuss that! What I was musing on was the popular books I have delayed reading in the past and especially those still stacked up waiting for my attention.

Still waiting - as in books I have owned for years but not yet read:
The Kite Runner
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
Water for Elephants
Memoirs of a Geisha
Stieg Larsson Girl With trilogy (I did finally read the first last year - loved it - still have to read other 2).

That's the tip of the iceberg. I will get to all of them. Eventually. Most were given to me as gifts - perhaps that's why they are not yet read? Because I got them when I was not in the mood? Not really. In truth, I buy books that catch my eye and interest me for any number of reasons, knowing full well I won't get to them anytime soon given my busy work schedule and life in general. And I'm easily seduced into reading other things.

Some will disappoint me but most will probably have me wondering why I waited so long. Some recent examples:

Adored when I finally read, and kicked myself for taking so long:
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
A Discovery of Witches
The Cuckoo's Calling
Tana French
Educated (not such a long delay reading though)
Olive Kitteridge
The Paris Wife
The Name of the Wind


Examples of books I had for quite a while, eventually read and really disliked or was extremely disappointed in:

Wolf Hall - so poorly written - will never read another Hilary Mantel. Ever.
Gone Girl - did not get the hype at all. Patricia Highsmith did the same and better long before. However, not so bad that I won't read Flynn's work again.
The Girl on the Train - OK - might read another Hawkin's some day. But not worth the hype.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - so irritatingly bad -- super lazy effort at satire that was appalling. I will say the movie adaptation was far superior. Skip the book and watch the movie. I have a copy of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters which may never get read - although it has a different author.

Obviously there are far fewer that disappoint. I think that's because I'm a pretty eclectic reader in general and not over critical. But I have my limits.


message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8523 comments Interesting thought about books that were popular way back when that we just sort of missed the boat on. There’s a few on my TBR. Correlli’s Mandolin, Cold Sassy Tree, Invisible Bridge...


message 3: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 6674 comments Corelli's Mandolin is one on mine too.


message 4: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8523 comments If it doesn’t get picked in Trim, we someday read it together for a tag?


message 5: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7482 comments Oh, Theresa, you I are on the same page(Ha-pun intended, I guess) this week-I was musing on this subject last week, as I was dusting all the books sitting on the bench at the foot of my bed.

The Shadow of the Wind
The Girl in the Tower(on my list of 36)
Their Eyes Were Watching God
The Zookeeper's Wife
Things Fall Apart
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell(started, put it down, again and again)
Caleb's Crossing

That's not all of them....*sigh*

I am with you on Wolf Hall, it was DNF for me
and I hated The Girl on the Train and DNF Gone Girl


message 6: by Joi (new)

Joi (missjoious) | 3809 comments I tend to be on the "late" side of reading with the trends also.

I feel like alot of the classics could be considered as my neglected reads. Books I know I should read, but I'm too consumed with the newer, shinier books.
Jane Austen, 1984, Charles Dickens, Aventures de Huckleberry Finn, things like that.

Then there are the more recent books that I've neglected also.
The Kite Runner
My Brilliant Friend
Interview with the Vampire
Books I've just somehow never "been in the mood for".

I think sometimes waiting until after the hype dies down also helps keep my expectations in check. If a book is overhyped, I'll expect it to be really good- instead of waiting until some others have read and reviewed, so I have a better idea of if the book will "match" with me or not.

PBT tags is definitely a main reason why I read books that I've neglected for a long time.


message 7: by Holly R W (new)

Holly R W | 1257 comments Joi wrote: "I tend to be on the "late" side of reading with the trends also.

I feel like alot of the classics could be considered as my neglected reads. Books I know I should read, but I'm too consumed with t..."


I do think that being in the right mood for a certain book is a big factor in liking it. There are several books that were very popular at the time, but they did not appeal to me for one reason or another and so, I passed on them.


message 8: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 6674 comments Amy wrote: "If it doesn’t get picked in Trim, we someday read it together for a tag?"

Absolutely. Now to find my copy....which could take months.


message 9: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 6674 comments Joi wrote: " think sometimes waiting until after the hype dies down also helps keep my expectations in check. If a book is overhyped, I'll expect it to be really good- instead of waiting until some others have read and reviewed, so I have a ..."

Yes! And sometimes I jump on one that everyone loves and end up so irritated and disappointed that I want to throw it against the wall - There There was that for me last month.

or it ends up being a top read for the year - The Hate U Give in 2017.

So there is no perfect answer.


message 10: by annapi (last edited Apr 22, 2019 08:16PM) (new)

annapi | 4975 comments I tend to wait when I think there is too much hype. So far the only ones I procrastinated on that I found to be excellent and kicked myself for waiting too long were The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Help, and The Diary of a Girl by Anne Frank. Most of the time I find the books I delay on are good but I'm glad I waited.

I DNF'd Gone Girl - couldn't care about the characters and the slow pace bored me. I started The Kite Runner but have only gotten through about a quarter of it. So many still waiting for me to finally pick them up....


message 11: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (tstan) | 1195 comments Some books I want to read right away. But others, I can wait.
I read Gone Girl when it came out, and really liked it- but I’d already read Gillian Flynn’s two previous books, so I was familiar with her. So I was pre-bandwagon with that book.
But The Girl on the Train? Still haven’t read it, and probably won’t.

The Harry Potter books, though. Totally worth it. If only for the joy of reading them to my kids when they were little. (But I love the books for me, too).

One that I will read as soon as it is released here in the US, after the UK and Australian release, is Spring by Ali Smith. I already know it will be worth it, because Susie says so!

I also think that some series lose their luster- the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series lost me a long while back, like about ten years ago.

I wonder how a research study could be set up to see which books were the most hyped but the biggest disappointments...


message 12: by Meli (new)

Meli (melihooker) | 3245 comments I've been thinking about this too! In conjunction with tsundoku (Japanese word for buying more books than you can read).

I'm starting to feel kind of guilty about it. I need to take a break. I love getting buzz-worthy books but I hardly ever read them right away.

The Great Believers
My Absolute Darling - on my trim
The Witch Elm - on my trim
We Cast a Shadow
Crazy Rich Asians - on my trim
My Sister, the Serial Killer - on my trim
The Woman in the Window - on my trim
The Immortalists - on my trim

As you can see, there is a reason these need to be on my trim.
And I plan to pick up a couple others for Indie Bookstore day:
Trust Exercise
Women Talking

But I am seriously taking a break after that!

I have many classics I want to tackle as well, but I feel less guilt having those sit on my shelf. The newer ones I want to get to first for some reason because if they don't stand the test of time their relevance could wane.

As for heavily hyped books - I find that I am not particularly influenced by it in that I don't find a book to be any more or less disappointing. I have read a couple hyped books that were meh, but there were others I loved.


message 13: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8523 comments This thing about over hype really ruining a book, well I’ve been talking about that for a long time! Sometimes I try to read a book that I know was really hyped pretty damn quickly, because I know that if I don’t read it at the beginning of the curve, I’m going to be very disappointed. I already come in lower than the race to begin with. But here’s a book that was incredibly hyped up that I know ruined it for me. I didn’t even think the book was that good and everyone loved it. It’s the memory keepers daughter. At the time it was like you got a read this thing. Which I did. I probably would have liked it a lot more had it not been for the rave!


message 14: by Robin (new)

Robin A Theresa wrote: "I started musing on this while reading Kimber's review of The Night Circus. She commented on how she will often wait a long time to read some 'hot' or 'popular' book. That's definite..."

I started Kite Runner back in Dec for a challenge that I didn't finish. I pick it up now and again. Not sure why I just don't give up on it as I'm sure why of the hype. Though due to some of the content I can kind of see why it is on the banned list.


message 15: by AJ (new)

AJ Timberlake (ajtimberlake) | 825 comments I often feel this way about Young Adult literature. There's a lot of super popular books among people my age that I haven't read.

A Court of Thorns and Roses
Six of Crows
Children of Blood and Bone
Ready Player One
Illuminae
Warcross
Strange the Dreamer
The Cruel Prince
And many more

There are definitely others I have been putting off
The Bear and the Nightingale
The Final Empire
The Kite Runner
The Wife Between Us
1Q84
A Man Called Ove

I am finally reading Outlander and LOVING it


message 16: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7482 comments AJ wrote: "I often feel this way about Young Adult literature. There's a lot of super popular books among people my age that I haven't read."

I can promise you AJ that hype for Blood and Bone was well deserved-hope you get to that one soon, would love to hear your thoughts


message 17: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7482 comments Amy wrote: "This thing about over hype really ruining a book, well I’ve been talking about that for a long time! Sometimes I try to read a book that I know was really hyped pretty damn quickly, because I know ..."

MKDaughter was DNF for me-just could not get going on it


message 18: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 661 comments A few people have mentioned Wolf Hall here so I thought I'd add my unusual (for me) experience with it: I read the book and was disappointed by how dry and 'masculine' it seemed (too much hype for it to live up to?) - but then I saw the BBC tv adaptation a while later and absolutely loved it (I thought Mark Rylance was amazing) and have been vaguely thinking I should go back and give the book another chance ever since...


message 19: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8523 comments Personally, could barely get through Wolf Hall. And I’m the Historical Fictionista connausseur.


message 20: by NancyJ (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5222 comments Theresa wrote: "I started musing on this while reading Kimber's review of The Night Circus. She commented on how she will often wait a long time to read some 'hot' or 'popular' book. That's definite..."

Until this year, I've always waited a long time before getting the "Hot" books (except for a few favorite authors/series). There is inevitably a shake-off after a year or two. I know I shouldn't put too much stock in ratings at the beginning because they often drop when the hype wears off. At one point, Educated and Seven 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle had ratings of around 4.5. Educated held the high rating (and exceeded my expectations), while Evelyn has already dropped below 4.0.


message 21: by NancyJ (last edited Apr 23, 2019 10:15AM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5222 comments Amy wrote: "Personally, could barely get through Wolf Hall. And I’m the Historical Fictionista connausseur."

Nikki wrote: "A few people have mentioned Wolf Hall here so I thought I'd add my unusual (for me) experience with it: I read the book and was disappointed by how dry and 'masculine' it seemed (too much hype for ..."

I got the same impression when I tried to read the first chapter of Wolf Hall but I figured I might try again some day.

Have you read Poldark? My first impression of the writing was disappointing, but so many people love the mini-series.


message 22: by Joy D (new)

Joy D | 3433 comments I often put off reading "the hot" books. In the past year or so, I finally read:
The Fault in Our Stars, The Hunger Games, A Game of Thrones, A Court of Thorn and Roses, Ready Player One, The Night Circus, Gone Girl, My Brilliant Friend, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Some I liked and some not so much. I generally used "hyped" books as a break between books I've selected, since I am always curious to see what the fuss is all about.

The ones I will probably read at some point:
Divergent, The Wife Between Us, Outlander, Girl on the Train, An American Marriage, Wolf Hall, Go Set a Watchman, The Knife of Never Letting Go, Born a Crime, The Hate U Give


message 23: by NancyJ (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5222 comments I think we're talking about Tsundoku books here. I hope someone picks it for a tag in the future!

I see I'm not alone with Kite Runner. I've planned to read it for many years, but never even cracked it open. I can't explain why I've delayed, since I truly loved the author's Thousand Splendid Suns (though it took a lot out of me).


message 24: by NancyJ (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5222 comments AJ wrote: "I often feel this way about Young Adult literature. There's a lot of super popular books among people my age that I haven't read.

A Court of Thorns and Roses
[book:Six of Crows|234..."


I'm glad you're loving Outlander. Her research is impeccable. I love the books in America too (books 4 -). If you're a sensitive reader, just skim over the details when you get to the violent parts.

At the risk of further hyping A Man Called Ove... what are you waiting for? I don't want to call it a masterpiece, but it's just a really enjoyable and satisfying book. I know you'll like it. The movie is quieter, but very good too.


message 25: by annapi (new)

annapi | 4975 comments LOL I was just about to hype Ove to her as well, but you beat me to it!


message 26: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 6674 comments Meli wrote: "The newer ones I want to get to first for some reason because if they don't stand the test of time their relevance could wane. ."

yes, I know just what you mean. I rather fear that Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books could be one of those.


message 27: by Theresa (last edited Apr 23, 2019 12:43PM) (new)

Theresa | 6674 comments Nikki wrote: "A few people have mentioned Wolf Hall here so I thought I'd add my unusual (for me) experience with it: I read the book and was disappointed by how dry and 'masculine' it seemed (too much hype for ..."

For me the writing itself was just so bad. I did find the concept interesting, all from his POV, and I rather liked how 'lawyerly' he 'saw' things. But.... the extremely poor writing just killed it for me. I was determined to finish it - I generally do not abandon books -- but I had to take a break and then go back to it. It helps that I'm a pretty fast reader.

I still cannot believe it not only won the Booker, but its sequel did too!

As for the BBC production with Mark Rylance - that man can take any dross and make it into something rare and glowing.


message 28: by Joi (new)

Joi (missjoious) | 3809 comments Funny everyone is hyping A Man Called Ove, because I felt that it was over-hyped. I liked it, didn't love it- gave it 4 stars. However, if it wasn't for the hype, I probably wouldn't have read it at all! Both sides of the coin there.


message 29: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 6674 comments NancyJ wrote: "I know I shouldn't put too much stock in ratings at the beginning because they often drop when the hype wears off. At one point, Educated and Seven 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle had ratings of around 4.5. Educated held the high rating (and exceeded my expectations), while Evelyn has already dropped below 4.0....."

Oh, NancyJ, do I have the ratings story for you!

My GR 2018 Year in Books said that the GR highest rated book I read all year (and it still holds that distinction), with 4.62 average rating, was a Harlequin Inspired Suspense fluff read Top Secret Target - to which I gave 1 star! It was not good even for a Harlequin K-9 suspense read!

Note that during 2018 I read things like The Weight of Ink which you would think would have a higher average rating. But NOOOOOO! Makes me laugh every time I check to see if it is still rated higher than anything else I read last year.

IMHO, ratings are not helpful. (I've also read several books over the last few years that had low star ratings on GR, yet I rated it high.)


message 30: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 6674 comments Amy wrote: "Personally, could barely get through Wolf Hall. And I’m the Historical Fictionista connausseur."

You are indeed!


message 31: by Theresa (last edited Apr 23, 2019 12:44PM) (new)

Theresa | 6674 comments annapi wrote: "LOL I was just about to hype Ove to her as well, but you beat me to it!"

I'm with AJ on A Man Called Ove, only one step further - don't own it and it is not on my TBR. Never appealed to me although I did become sufficiently curious about it to check NYPL ebooks to see if I could borrow it. Guess what? It's not available in ebook from NYPL! I actually recommended the library buy it in ebook. So far, that request (as just about every other one) has been ignored ... going on a year now. NYPL does have it in audiobook - but I do not like audiobooks as a general rule. How can NYPL not have the ebook of a book that has been so incredibly popular (and isn't there a movie coming out based on it? Or out?)

It has now become a matter of principal: I only want to read it if I can borrow it from NYPL in ebook format. I'm not buying it or listening to it in audiobook, nor am I going to try to borrow a print copy. NYPL should have the ebook available.

So there!


message 32: by Joi (new)

Joi (missjoious) | 3809 comments I have a hard time believing NYPL has no ebook of A Man Called Ove at NYPL- it is SO POPULAR and SO HYPED. Maybe it has a waitlist a million people long? I don't know, lol.

Yes, there was a Swedish movie made that came out a few years ago of the book as well. There also been talks of Tom Hanks being attached to an American version, but I don't think anything has happened with that so far.


message 33: by annapi (last edited Apr 23, 2019 12:52PM) (new)

annapi | 4975 comments The Swedish movie was great! It came out in limited release at a nearby small theater, and we took the kids to see it. They enjoyed it too. I particularly enjoyed the actress who played Parvaneh.


message 34: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 6674 comments Joi wrote: "I have a hard time believing NYPL has no ebook of A Man Called Ove at NYPL- it is SO POPULAR and SO HYPED. Maybe it has a waitlist a million people long? I don't know, lol.

Yes, t..."


Just checked NYPL again - only audiobook. And there is no NYPL waitlist for the ebook as they don't have a copy or have one on order.

A friend thinks it's a publisher issue - something with only a limited number of licenses being 'sold' for ebook. I'm not sure I buy that theory when we are talking NYPL system.


message 35: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2323 comments I adored the writing style in Wolf Hall! It took me a while to get into the rhythm because it was so weird (present tense but third person not first person - bizarre!) but it was such a clever way to put you right in Cromwell’s head in the moment while at the same time making it feel objective and historical. Tiring to read, though, so the book felt longer than it was. I’m pretty much a solo fan of the thing round here though 😁

I have so many neglected books on my shelves and yet I continue to buy. (Tsundoku is right,
sigh). Yesterday’s acquisition was a volume of Louis de Bernieres’ short stories (‘Labels and Other Stories’). I’ve been looking for ‘Labels’ for ages after I gave my original copy to someone and didn’t get it back. I heard him read it at a Writer’s Week gig years ago and the audience was all in fits of laughter. It was great to giggle my way through it again yesterday afternoon. I hope the others are as good.


message 36: by AJ (new)

AJ Timberlake (ajtimberlake) | 825 comments I haven’t read A Man Called Ove because I didnt find My Grandmother to be as amazing as people said it was - gave it 3 stars. I was enjoying Beartown but the rape scene got to me and I haven’t picked it up since.


message 37: by annapi (new)

annapi | 4975 comments AJ wrote: "I haven’t read A Man Called Ove because I didnt find My Grandmother to be as amazing as people said it was - gave it 3 stars. I was enjoying Beartown but the rape scene got to me and I haven’t pick..."

Beartown and Us Against You are Backman's darkest, and the other books are pretty light in comparison and more feel-good. Grandmother I wouldn't have called amazing, but I thought it was good. Ove is still my favorite, so give it a try!


message 38: by Meli (new)

Meli (melihooker) | 3245 comments annapi wrote: "AJ wrote: "I haven’t read A Man Called Ove because I didnt find My Grandmother to be as amazing as people said it was - gave it 3 stars. I was enjoying Beartown but the rape scene got to me and I h..."

I'm in the same boat on A Man Called Ove because I like the dark stuff, not sure I will like his lighter stuff, but I will give it a try... someday.


message 39: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 8331 comments I almost never read new books. I never pay attention to what's coming out new.

I have 600+ books on my tbr and pick based on various monthly challenges. When I have multiple options, I usually go for the ones that have been on my tbr the longest.

It was only since a new co-worker convinced me to join NetGalley that I started reading some new books, but I have to be careful not to request too many because it would take me too long to get to them, when I'm reading for my month challenges as a priority.


message 40: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 8331 comments Joi wrote: "Funny everyone is hyping A Man Called Ove, because I felt that it was over-hyped. I liked it, didn't love it- gave it 4 stars. However, if it wasn't for the hype, I probably wouldn'..."

Agreed! I think I gave 3.5 stars (good).


message 41: by Shelly (new)

Shelly | 557 comments So many books, so little time!
I very rarely buy books and rely on the library. Which means that I often have to wait a while for really popular books. I can't predict when they are going to be available either, so I tend to wait until they are less in demand. I do read a good deal of contemporary fiction, so usually I am at least a year or 2 behind publication.

I liked A Man Called Ove but gave Beartown 5 stars.
I hated Wolf Hall but forced myself to finish it.

This month, thanks to the history tag, I read two classics that I probably should have read (or been assigned to read 50 years ago!
The Diary of a Young Girl
All Quiet on the Western Front
They were both wonderful.


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