Saturday, January 21, 2012

Abandonment Issues

Abandoned Russian Cannon
This is a semi-regular feature where I enter the confessional to tell you about the books I didn't finish.  You knew that, right?  You don't have to finish everything you start to read?  You can decide a book just isn't for you and then not read it and nothing bad happensSeriously.  This was a big revelation for me, although I probably should've guessed the first time that I threw a Jane Austen novel against the wall and an army of Jane Austen fans didn't appear outside my dorm room with torches waiting to take me out of there for suitable, but polite, hanging.  I didn't throw any of these against the wall, but here's what just hasn't worked for me lately:

Glock:  The Rise of America's Gun by Paul M. Barrett.  I often like this sort of thing, but for some reason this book didn't work for me.  There was something vaguely dry and academic about the writing that didn't appeal - the musty scent of mothballs mixed with Great Great Aunt Twyla's lavendar sachets (poor thing, she never did find a husband).

Wayward Saints by Susie Roche.  I have this thing where I want to read and like novels written by musicians about what it's like to have been really cool and then aged into oblivion or playing the bar at the Holiday Inn out by the highway.  Somehow, this never works out for me.

The Winter Palace:  A Novel of Catherine the Great by Eva Stachniak.  Of Catherine the Great?  Not so much.  I really wanted to read about Catherine the Great, but that's only tangential to this novel.  The "real" storyline with the spy just didn't work for me.  So much intrigue seen at so much distance.  The glory, the fashions, the jewelry, the hiding in the linen closet ...  Just not for me.

That's it for now.  Remember, this is just one persnickety reader's opinion.  Your mileage may vary.

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