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message 1: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (tracemick) | 217 comments Has anyone been in a "book slump"? For the past month or so, I've been in a book slump. I haven't been excited about much that I've read lately. I'm wondering if I need to switch genres (I have been reading a lot of nonfiction and literary fiction lately) or, if I should get my Netflix queue down instead of the TBR books. Has anyone else experienced this and what did you do about it?


message 2: by Michael (new)

Michael (mikedecshop) Tracey. I hate it when that happens.

But it's great when the opposite hits. I'm on that streak right now. I have had 4 in a row that i've really liked.


message 3: by Karen (new)

Karen | 31 comments Follow your instant, maybe you need a break. I have periods where I feel like I don't care if I ever sew again and times when that is all I do. But I always have at least one book going. When I sew I listen to audiobooks. Usually if I am not getting into a book I get rid of but occasionally I will keep it and try again later. Usually I appreciate it more then or get rid of it after a second chance. Happy holidays, Karen


message 4: by Linda (new)

Linda | 2841 comments Mod
I'm in that slump right now, but with a difference. I've been reading (and liking) The Frontiersmen by Alan Eckert, but it's not a fast read. I've been listening to The Thirteenth Tale for my book discussion. I didn't care for it when I read it over a year ago, but, for the sake of refreshing my memory and allowing second chances, I decided to try it again. My opinion hasn't changed. I dropped the Eckert to temporarily change my pace. I'm reading The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy and am moving to Carl Hiaasen's latest Star Island next. It seems to be working. Overall this has been a 3 star year rather than a 5 star year for me.

Hope that helps, Tracey.

Merry Christmas - maybe Santa will bring you something to break your slump.


message 5: by Anne (new)

Anne (am84) I get this way sometimes, too; even when I have a lengthy TBR list, for some reason nothing on it sounds appealing. What I do is just go back and re-read an old favorite, and it usually happens that inevitably once I've started one book, something new will come my way or I'll realize what I really want to be reading. I guess you could call it a cleansing of the literary palate? Good luck!


message 6: by Kevin (new)

Kevin (manchesterunited) | 56 comments Whenever I bump into a situation where I don't want to read I go shopping for books! :)

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!


message 7: by Frank (new)

Frank (wuenho) | 3 comments Switching genres might be worth a try. About 3 months ago I was in a similar situation and ended up reading science fiction (Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card) for the first time in 20 years. I really enjoyed it! This may not be you, but sometimes I end up reading too many books I feel like I should read instead of want to read. Funny thing is that after Ender's Game I've been on a literary fiction streak and haven't been albe to stand more sci-fi..

Try indulging a guilty pleasure and like Kevin said, go shopping for books! Let us know what you end up reading!


message 8: by Eve (new)

Eve (kristinjp) | 15 comments When that happens to me, I don't try to force it. I think it's just part of the natural ebb and flow of interest. Sometimes all I want to do is read and sometimes I lose interest for a little while. I find the same thing with other hobbies: I'll get into paper crafts for a while, then decide I'm more interested in polymer clay, then resin, then crochet, then back to polymer clay, then wool applique, then back to paper....

I have always found my interests to be cyclical, so I just go with the flow. If your Netflix queue is calling you, do that for a while. Books will call you again when you are ready.


message 9: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Brady (dawnallyn) | 22 comments I also switch genres. It really helps. Or sometimes I will pick up a YA novel. They tend to be short, 300 - 400 pages, and I can breeze through one and it's enough to switch gears.


message 10: by Melissa W (new)

Melissa W (melissawiebe80) | 199 comments Happens to me as well. I find it happens when I am usually getting close to the end of a book, depending on the book. What happens is that I usually am eagerly anticipating the next read. When it does happen, I try to read something that is a little quicker to get through and not so long.


message 11: by Chris (new)

Chris Stanley (christinelstanley) I too get this sometimes, and having an enormous TBR, all carefully selected does not help. When it happens I have to go for what my husband calls my "comfort-reading". Pride and Prejudice is always heavenly, sometimes I go back to my childhood and will re-read Heidi, or for a complete change get lost in some poetry.

After such indulgence I'll be looking for something fast paced and intriguing!


message 12: by Tara (new)

Tara (booksexyreview) | 33 comments It happens to everyone. My recommendation - read something light and slightly trashy. :) YA, mystery, fantasy... something that doesn't require to much thinking but is still enjoyable. Also, perhaps something a little more upbeat? I love non-fiction and literary fiction, but it can be a bit depressing at times.

Have you tried Ariana Franklin's Mistress of the Art of Death series (that's the title of the first book, by the way). Historical fiction, set in 1176. It seems Salerno was one of the few places that allowed women to attend medical school and when Henry II of England sends for a qualified doctor to do some investigating for him - he's sent Adelia Aguilar. It's a great read, suspenseful and has wonderful characters.


message 13: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (tracemick) | 217 comments This is why I love this group. Thank you for the suggestions! I've been reading a lot of YA fiction from my TBR piles. I read the first 4 books of the Pretty Little Liars series (the TV show is a shameless guilty pleasure and the books fulfill the same need). I also read Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan Rachel Cohn. It was funny and sweet and I laughed out loud. I love when that happens. :)
Thanks again to everyone. I appreciate it!


message 14: by Vanessa (last edited Jan 07, 2011 08:09AM) (new)

Vanessa | 330 comments I get slumpy during the holidays. I switched over to mysteries that I rated as not overly challenging but not a waste of time either. I read An Ice Cold Grave, Grave Secret, Death du Jour and Knots and Crosses. I tried to read another book (Slipknot) but it was kind of....bad.

I find a genre change snaps me out of it, I guess I'm trying to say.

I'm still finishing my holiday stack and then I need to dive into my book club selection but the break from work and brain power felt wonderful.


message 15: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa (nessatabby) I'm in a bit of a book slump right now so I'm glad I stumbled into this discussion.

I'll have to root around on my bookshelf to find something easy and that I've already read. Hopefully it will kick me out of this funk.


message 16: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 330 comments I know how you feel Christina. I got pushed into being a de facto leader for my book club which I really didn't want. This month I've made the selection and I haven't started the book yet. I'm still reading my mysteries trying to un-slump.


message 17: by Philip (new)

Philip (heard03) | 8 comments I've recently come through a bit of a slump, where I kept trying books I didn't like and moving on. I definitely made it out with True Grit.

Some people don't re-read much, but I like to do so. A good book is great to revisit and might be just what you need for a slump-buster. Think of a book you loved but only read one time years ago, then pick it up again and don't be surprised if you enjoy it more the second time.


message 18: by Olivia (new)

Olivia (sanchez_ranch) | 2 comments I definatly understand what you are going through. My advice is to put the books away for a bit. And when you are ready, pick out something totally new, like a comic book or graphic novel.


message 19: by cazdoll (new)

cazdoll | 20 comments I just can't pick anything at the mo that suits me.I'm going to try read an author I've never read before that sometimes helps :)


message 20: by Olivia (new)

Olivia (sanchez_ranch) | 2 comments Catherine wrote: "I just can't pick anything at the mo that suits me.I'm going to try read an author I've never read before that sometimes helps :)" yeah that could be really benificial.


message 21: by Philip (new)

Philip (heard03) | 8 comments Catherine wrote: "I just can't pick anything at the mo that suits me.I'm going to try read an author I've never read before that sometimes helps :)"

Have you ever considered Naomi Novik? His Majesty's Dragon is an outstanding book, a mixture of historical fiction and fantasy.


message 22: by Ashley FL (new)

Ashley FL | 28 comments If I am really in a slump, I read something I know will be a really easy read. An Agatha Christie, a short little romance, something like that. Usually it is just that my brain is tired, or wrapped up in other things! (and sometimes it is that I don't really want to read whatever the next thing is that I've slotted in, but can't admit that to myself)


message 23: by Usako (new)

Usako (bbmeltdown) | 5 comments I go off to watch some silly show and then find a comfy nook to read. It isn't surprising that I'll be between 3-4 books at a time.


message 24: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 279 comments I listen to old Books on the Nightstand podcasts until I find something that sparks my interest!


message 25: by cazdoll (new)

cazdoll | 20 comments Thank you for the tips Philip I do like historical fiction


message 26: by Philip (new)

Philip (heard03) | 8 comments Catherine wrote: "Thank you for the tips Philip I do like historical fiction"

Glad to help


message 27: by Trish (last edited Jan 29, 2011 06:54AM) (new)

Trish (bowedbookshelf) The news can usually get me out of a reading slump. Just pick something interesting from the headlines and pursue the topic somehow. In my case, news about North Korea led me to a favorite series I'd neglect for some time. James Church writes a mystery/spy series set in North Korea and Bamboo and Blood is the third in the series. It is unfolding just as a reading-soured book glutton might hope: I am savoring each of the last pages, wishing it wouldn't end.


message 28: by Beth (new)

Beth Knight (zazaknittycat) | 65 comments Trish, that's a great idea for getting out of a book slump. I'll have to try that next time it happens to me!


message 29: by Kokeshi (new)

Kokeshi | 42 comments A graphic novel is an excellent cure for a book slump. A good graphic novel is a completely different medium, but very often with a deep and meaningful story.


message 30: by Mark (new)

Mark | 2 comments When I hit a slump I turn to what I call 'escapist fiction.' Typically a page turner like the Jack Reacher books by Lee Child, or the alphabet mysteries by Sue Grafton. Quick, pleasant reads to get back on track.


message 31: by Tenoko1 (new)

Tenoko1 Oh oh! In one right now! So in one! But mine is that fact that there are so many things i need to do, that if I try to sit down and read, all te other things I need to be doing keep bugging me and I can't concentrate! Actually reading manga right now so that I can read something and yet still get other stuff done too. lol Manga can be a quickie, since the Count Of Monte Cristo is rather involved.


message 32: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 13 comments I was in a total book slump lately, but I think the BOTNS retreat just brought me out of it. I'm excited now about the books I picked up there and about the other stuff I'm reading and listening to also!

Usually when I'm in a slump I end up re-reading an old favorite to help get me going on reading again.


message 33: by Sara (new)

Sara (sara_catterall) Me too. It's worse because I collect a lot of books I feel I should read to understand the world of literature that much better. I start to fall back into feeling I "should" read something, and I get depressed.

I have a new coping strategy. I speed up. I stop trying to love books that are not working for me, I fling them heartlessly aside, I don't analyze my unread stacks, I grab whatever comes to hand. Grab and fling. I just tripped over Stephen King's book on writing, forgot I had it, was putting it off because I'm sick of writing books, but it turns out the first half is more like listening to stories from one of my smart crazy old working class relatives and I love it. Phew.


message 34: by Jenn (new)

Jenn (jennks) | 45 comments Ugh...I am in such a book slump and have been for a couple of months. It seems that I like nothing that I start anymore. It's really bumming me out. I need propelling plotting and meaty characters. I feel like I've read some outstanding books in the past few years and now all other books have some big shelves to fill and nothing is working for me.

Ann - if you are out there we have the same tastes - I think (Cutting for Stone, Fraction of the Whole) - could you help? I am thinking the answer is probably The Invisible Bridge, but I don't know if I want to tackle WWII right now...

Help...


message 35: by Kokeshi (new)

Kokeshi | 42 comments Jenn wrote: "Ugh...I am in such a book slump and have been for a couple of months. It seems that I like nothing that I start anymore. It's really bumming me out. I need propelling plotting and meaty characters...."

What about The Book of Negros by Lawrence Hill?


message 36: by Meredith (new)

Meredith | 11 comments Jenn wrote: "Ugh...I am in such a book slump and have been for a couple of months. It seems that I like nothing that I start anymore. It's really bumming me out. I need propelling plotting and meaty characters...."

Hi Jenn, I'm in (or hopefully was!) in a big book slump, too. (combination of working too much and, as a result, being too tired to read at night. A sad state of affairs....). I also loved Cutting For Stone and Invisible Bridge is on my list too, so maybe we have similar tastes. Last night I picked up The Tiger's Wife and although I'm only one chapter in, I'm hooked!


message 37: by Jenn (new)

Jenn (jennks) | 45 comments Thanks, Kokeshi and Meredith. Don't you just hate it when life gets in the way of your reading?
I had never heard of The Book of Negros before, but the goodreads ratings for it are impressive, so even if I don't tackle it now, it is officially on the TBR list. I was thinking Tiger Wife sounds like a good option too. Definitely up my reading alley, so I am glad you have good first impressions.


message 38: by Ann (new)

Ann (akingman) | 2097 comments Mod
Hi Jenn,
Here I am!
I would definitely suggest Invisible Bridge, BUT a caveat: I often find that finishing a truly wonderful novel actually puts me *into* a reading slump, because nothing after seems to measure up.

Kokeshi's suggestion of The Book of Negroes is a good one -- in the US it has been published with the title "No One Knows My Name." It's been on my reading list since I first heard about it from a BOTNS caller -- and many other BOTNS'ers since have recommended it. Since I trust you all completely, I'm sure that it is wonderful and may help Jenn out of her slump.

Like Mark, when I hit a slump I turn to a thriller (Lee Child, Michael Connelly etc.) or Young Adult. Sometimes a quick page turner gets me into the reading mode again.


message 39: by Jenn (new)

Jenn (jennks) | 45 comments Ann wrote: "Hi Jenn,
Here I am!
I would definitely suggest Invisible Bridge, BUT a caveat: I often find that finishing a truly wonderful novel actually puts me *into* a reading slump, because nothing after se..."


That is exactly the roots of my book slump problem - other than being busy - stellar books have set me up for disappointment in other books. I hate to blame Fraction of the Whole, but...

Do you have a thriller suggestion that isn't in a series? Last year I read Beat the Reaper and it hit the mark fantastically.


message 40: by Ann (last edited May 10, 2011 03:06PM) (new)

Ann (akingman) | 2097 comments Mod
Yes, I have a few! Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Tethered A Novel by Amy MacKinnon Tell No One by Harlan Coben


message 41: by Jenn (new)

Jenn (jennks) | 45 comments Many thanks, Ann! I think I will download Tethered to the nook tonight. Plus, add Tell No One to my wish list for the next time this problem pops up. I have read both Sharp Objects & Dark Places by Gillian Flynn and buzzed through them both. Great slump breaker suggestions.

As an added bonus parts of Dark Places take place in Kansas City - where I live - and it was fun knowing what parts of town she was referencing even when she didn't use exact names.

Which gives me a totally unrelated question/show idea - I have listened to all your podcasts multiple times, but can't remember if you guys have ever done a travel fiction show...A year or so back I read The Historian and was only lukewarm about the story, but really enjoyed how well it transported the reader to the different locations. I felt like I had traveled all over Europe from my couch and it made me want to visit places I wouldn't have even considered before. Just a thought...but totally disregard if this is old news :)


message 42: by Ann (new)

Ann (akingman) | 2097 comments Mod
Honestly, I can't remember if we did travel fiction -- but after 3 years of podcasting, we are of the mind that people will forgive us if we repeat a theme :)

Great idea, thanks!


message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

Ann wrote: "Honestly, I can't remember if we did travel fiction -- but after 3 years of podcasting, we are of the mind that people will forgive us if we repeat a theme :)

Great idea, thanks!"


I'm participating in a reading challenge whose participants' goal is to read fifty books, each one set in a different United State. There is no restriction in terms of genre or format, though I'm trying to complete as many states as I can in audiobook. It's been really interesting trying to find books that are set in certain states (e.g. Delaware) and the challenge has definitely drawn me to books I would not have otherwise considered! Participants are then asked to create and update a google map with the titles from the books they have read. I know of another challenge that asks participants to read a book, each set in a different European country and; some regional challenges as well (Irish books, South Asian books, etc.)

In fact, right now, I'm listening to THE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE MURDER (first in the Hannah Swensen series; by Joanne Fluke; narrated by Suzanne Toren) which is set in Minnesota :-)


BTW, If you're curious about the google map, this is mine: http://tiny.cc/588sy


message 44: by Ann (last edited May 11, 2011 09:41AM) (new)

Ann | 17 comments Jenn wrote: "Ugh...I am in such a book slump and have been for a couple of months. It seems that I like nothing that I start anymore. It's really bumming me out. I need propelling plotting and meaty characters...."

Hi, Jenn, this is another Ann, and I am listening to older podcasts and can't wait to read "The Book Thief", "Waiting for Columbus" , "Tethered", and "The Giant's House", all based on Ann and Michael's recommendations. I haven't read any of them yet. I did read "The Invisible Bridge", and really liked it, but it's long. I learned a lot, though.
I also want to read "The Giver" based on a podcast.
Hope you find something you like!The Book Thief The Book Thief by Markus Zusak Waiting for Columbus by Thomas Trofimuk Tethered A Novel by Amy MacKinnon The Giant's House: A Romance The Giver


message 45: by Melissa W (new)

Melissa W (melissawiebe80) | 199 comments I find that when I am when in a book slump, I just continue reading what I am reading. I know that sounds stupid, but I find that if I just continue to plow through my reads, I eventually get through it.


message 46: by Ellie (last edited May 18, 2011 04:39PM) (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) Sometimes in a book slump, I do exactly what Melissa says: just keep plowing through.

But sometimes I just close all my books & nurture my other senses: go to art museums, take lots of walks, listen to all kinds of music, maybe even (sometimes) exercise. Don't even let myself read for a day or so. Then maybe only read poetry.

Just switch everything up & over. Shake myself out so to speak.

Sometimes that works too: like taking a vacation from a vacation.


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