Books I (Probably) Won’t Finish

You know the feeling: somewhere along the line, you end up not being able to finish a book you started, whether because of other obligations or because the book was not what you were expecting. Do you ever go back and finish those books, or are they just done for the rest of your life? This is a list of five books that I’ve started in the past few years that I put down and never picked up again.

  1. Anna KareninaThis is a book that was assigned reading for my AP Literature class my senior year of high school. I had people say it was a great book, and I had people say it was a trash book, but let me tell you that I never finished this book, so I can’t have an opinion on it. It didn’t capture my attention and the Russian aristocracy just didn’t mesh with me. However, I did read the ending only because my classmates talked about her throwing herself under a train. I thought it would be much more dramatic than it actually was. If you blink, you’ll miss it.
  2.  The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern CrimeI bought this book from Thriftbooks back in 2015, and I started reading it. It was very interesting, in the beginning, but the longer it went on, the more I was hoping for more information. There’s a lot of fact-spitting, but not a lot of in-depth explanations of what was going on. I want details! I want all of the gory details!
  3. Bellman & Black: A Ghost StoryI bought this book off the clearance tables at Books-a-Million because it looked interesting. I could barely get three chapters into it before I set it down and never picked it back up. It’s just boring. You’ve got the stereotypical incredibly-virile-male who has sex (and probably rapes) the majority of the young girls/women in the village, who I guess will eventually become the person who the main story revolves around, but I could not care less. It was yawn-worthy, honestly. I could not rustle up even the slightest amount of care towards the protagonist, and supposedly we’re going to feel sorry for him later on in the story, but I just couldn’t get past the beginning chapters.
  4. Thunderstruck. I absolutely love Erik Larson’s other books, The Devil in the White City and In the Garden of Beasts (although please note that they’re more historical fiction than historical fact, because he’s piecing everything together from diaries and notebooks and the like). I just couldn’t get into Thunderstruck. The premise behind it sounds incredibly exciting, but it falls flat, at least for me. Maybe one day I’ll be able to pick this back up, but considering it’s been sitting on my bookshelf, unfinished, since 2015, maybe it’s time to just give up on it. It doesn’t have the pace or the urgency that the other books seem to have, maybe. It feels much more disjointed than the others, too.
  5. Mary Queen of Scotland and the IslesThis is yet another book from Thriftbooks. I read Elizabeth I by the same author (found on the clearance table in BAM), then I found The Autobiography of Henry VIII : With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers on Thriftbooks and bought both it and Mary at the same time. I absolutely devoured Elizabeth and Henry VIII, but when it came to Mary… I read about forty or fifty pages and set it to the side, never to open it again. Maybe 2015 just wasn’t a good year for me to order things from Thriftbooks, because that’s three different books (from three different orders that year) that got the ax. Margaret George is a fantastic historical fiction author; I just wish I could’ve gotten into Mary as much as I did the other two.

Will I ever finish these books? Time will tell. But for now, I have no plans to go back to them. Maybe one day.

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