Admit it. You have one. You must have one. A book that you just couldn’t finish. A book that you just didn’t like. And you’re not going to apologize for it anymore.
Author Brendan Halpin couldn’t get through A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. I could not, for the life of me, finish John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany. (God, I hated the ALL CAPS DIALOGUE. IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE ALL CLEVER AND CHARACTER-DEVELOPMENTY BUT IT WAS JUST ANNOYING.) And I’m still bitter that my former book club insisted a few years ago that we read Augusten Burrough’s Running With Scissors and then Wicked by Gregory Maguire and that I wasted my money on both books, which I couldn’t even force myself to finish despite paying full price for both of them. Grrrr. (I may have to go read a good book right now to make myself feel better.)
Then there are the books that I’ve tried to finish but just…haven’t. Not yet, at any rate. I’m really going to read all of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov this year, I promise. This really is the year.
And of course, there are the books that everyone else loooooved but I just didn’t get or couldn’t get into or didn’t even want to try. I didn’t even pick up The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. My Ivy League-educated husband actually really liked it, which did make me reconsider briefly. But I still didn’t read it. I balked at reading Freakonomics, but ultimately gave in (and was glad I did, actually). And I know my dear friend Dave believes (and can persuasively argue) that Herman Melville’s Moby Dick is not only one of the greatest novels ever written but one of the funniest too. But I will have to take his word for it.