Sometimes it’s hard to find the right novel to read and recently I have started several, only to put them back on the shelves after reading a few pages. It’s not that the books aren’t good, it’s just that they haven’t been the right books for me at that moment. I haven’t abandoned these books, as I’m sure at another time they could be the right books.
The books I’ve started include these (and there were several others too):
- The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood, described on the back cover as seething ‘with imagination, inventiveness and intelligence’ (Sunday Times). That’s as may be, but it’s written in the present tense, which I’m not keen on – another time and I may not even notice, after all I like other books by her that I’ve read.
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I’ve read more than a few pages of this, 87 to be precise, but it has nearly 800 pages. I thought when I started it that it was going to be one I could get really engrossed in, but then the story seemed to get swamped in too much detail, too much description and I wanted it to get a move on. So, I stopped reading.
- The Snow Geese by William Fiennes – a book about natural history, poetically written about leaving and homing, belonging and wandering. But again the detail was just too much for me – I needed something with more bite, more action, more cohesion. Another time I can tell this book could be the one for me, but the time and my mood weren’t right.
I like to read more than one book at a time but sometimes one book will grab me more than others and I leave them to finish it. That happened last week. I was reading and enjoying The Joyous Invasions by Theodore Sturgeon, three science fiction stories from the 1950s. The first story is To Marry Medusa, in which a down-and-out is taken over by a seeding of the Medusa, from outer space. But I was also reading The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves and had got to the point where I just had to know what happened next and who the murderer was, so The Joyous Invasions had to go on the back burner for a while.
This is why I can’t plan what I’m going to read and why I’m finding it difficult to stick to reading just from my own unread books. I think I’m going to stop doing the Triple Dog Dare Challenge mainly because I’ve borrowed some books from the library this week that I really want to start soon. I ‘have’ to borrow library books to make sure that the library service keeps the mobile library running! If there aren’t enough borrowers it will be cut.