I’ve talked about being a mood reader before and why sometimes it makes picking out books and reading them to be a chore. I noticed that in the last few months I’d been really struggling to
1) pick out a book that sounded interesting
2) enjoy the book that I picked
3) made strong progress or even finish the book
That’s not to say I haven’t read great books in the last few months; I’ve given plenty of them four or five star ratings. But in the midst of the highly-rated reviews, I find myself frustrated with my options for new books (despite having 40+ in my physical library and 400+ in ebooks). I oftentimes will pick out a book that’s been on my tbr for literal years, and after reading the first 20 pages, I realize I’m just not interested in it anymore. That doesn’t mean I won’t go back to the book at some point; it just means not right now.
When I was cleaning my house over the weekend, I found barely-started books strewn all over the house. They were ones I’d attempted, gotten only a few pages into (here is an angle from the top of the books to see how far I truly didn’t get), and put down with the promise of coming back to them, which I obviously never did. I was talking to my husband about them, and how frustrating being a mood reader can be sometimes. He suggested maybe picking a different genre to read, and that’s when I pointed out that every single book I’d abandoned in the last few months was a different genre. And that’s when I realized I have a slight problem.
–>> The first book is Different Seasons by Stephen King. I bought this book years ago because it covers my favorite King stories (Rita Hayworth/Shawshank Redemption, The Body/Stand by Me). I’m not a huge fan of short stories, because I know only certain ones will interest me, but I figured I should attempt to read them all. I never even got beyond the first story before I set it down, simply because I wasn’t in the mood for King. At this point I’m familiar with King’s writing style, and when I picked this up I just wasn’t mentally prepared for the long, drawn-out descriptions, the italicized whispers (iykyk), the gruesome background stories of even the minor characters. Sometimes that’s exactly what I want when I read, but about twice a year I really feel the need to scratch the Stephen King itch, and I’d already done that this year.
Will I pick this up eventually? Yes, but it’ll probably take me months to finish.
–>> The second book is Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. One of my coworkers borrowed it to me because she loves it, and despite the high rating on Goodreads (4.26, honestly impressive!), I just could not get into it. I found Eleanor insufferable for the first 20 pages and couldn’t imagine how I would get through the entire book. I know she ~changes~ and that’s the point of the story, but when the main character bothers you right from the get go, you know it’s going to be trouble.
Will I try reading this again? Maybe? I’m leaning closer to a no but feel obligated because a friend suggested it.
–>> Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett is a nonfiction memoir of the lead singer of The Airborne Toxic Event who was raised in a cult and how leaving it shaped his life. I received this free ARC from Celadon Books and was immediately excited by the premise. However, I almost never read nonfiction, and as a result, I just didn’t want to read this.
Will I come back to this book? Absolutely! It’s right up my alley despite not being my favorite genre, and I know it has high ratings for a reason.
–>> I picked up All This I Will Give to You by Dolores Redondo because I wanted to be completely swept up in a massive thriller. This is a whopping 490 pages, it takes place in Spain, and the main characters are LGBT. How romantic and perfect. Honestly, it checked every single box for me, but I only read the first chapter before setting it down again because I discovered I, in fact, was not in the mood for any of that.
Will I give this another shot? 100000% yes. I cannot wait to devour this, to snuggle up under the covers and not leave until my heart is broken and I’m packing my bags to move to Spain (apparently I have high expectations for this book).
–>> I bought Visitation Street by Ivy Pochoda at a library book sale because the premise sounded interesting, and at the time I was deeply invested into reading every thriller I could get my hands on. After starting (an immediately stopping) this, I wondered if maybe it’s just not the book for me. It’s a common trope of two girls who go out one night and one of them mysteriously never comes home. I’m also a bit of a ratings snob, and usually I don’t read anything under a 3.5 rating. This is below that (3.43), and the general consensus seems to be that it’s okay but not anything to write home about.
Will I come back to this books? Maybe, but I won’t be mad at myself if I decide not to, either.
–>> The first time I started Under the Dome by Stephen King was roughly five years ago. I began it over summer break and was loving it, but decided to take a break because my upcoming semester was going to be overwhelming enough without a 1000+ page book on my plate. And then, because of my fear of big books, I never touched it again. This book is very new King, which means it’s missing a lot of the common tropes of his writing in the early days. I know I enjoyed it a lot, and it would be interesting to read and then watch the show to compare it to.
Will I pick this up again? Sure! Eventually…maybe…someday. It’s really the fear of big books that keeps me from taking it off my shelf. Maybe reading it as an ebook would make me feel less overwhelmed.
This isn’t all the books I’ve put back on my shelves, although some of them wind up getting donated or resold because I know I won’t ever read them. I also decided not to include any ebooks in this list, because I’m notorious for picking a book on my Kindle, falling asleep within the first two pages, and then never touching that book again. But we won’t talk about that.