A Few Books I Couldn’t Finish

Amanda

I really try to finish every book I start, but I’m also trying to be ok with letting go when I just don’t attach to a book.  Here are a few books I’ve started recently but I decided to put down.  I’m not afraid to try again if you’ve read either and can convince me to give them another chance!

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Some Other Town, Elizabeth Collison

Paperback, 288 pages

Published February 24th 2015 by Harper Perennial

Source: e-ARC from Edelweiss

From Goodreads…

Margaret Lydia Benning lives adrift in the same Midwest town where she went to college. By day, she works at a low-level job for the Project, a university-sponsored educational publisher housed in a former sanatorium. There she shares the fourth floor with a squadron of eccentric editors and a resident ghost from the screamers’ wing. At night, Margaret returns to her small house on Mott Street, resigned to the disturbing overtures of her strange neighbor, Mrs. Eberline.

Emotionally sleepwalking through the days is no way to lead a life. But then Margaret meets Ben Adams, a visiting professor of art at the university. Despite the odds—and their best intentions—Margaret and her professor become lovers, and she glimpses a future she had never before imagined. For the first time, she has hope…until Ben inexplicably vanishes. In the wake of his disappearance, Margaret sets out to find him. Her journey will force her to question everything she believes to be true.

Quit at 24%.  This is a book of alternating perspectives from Margaret and a man who I assume is the missing Ben.  Margaret and Ben have broken up and she hasn’t heard from him since.   Not atypical right?  Margaret believes he just hasn’t called because he is angry, but her neighbor convinces her that something is wrong and they have to find him.  When I read the synopsis for Some Other Town I was so excited to read it and to try to find out what happened to Ben.  At this point, I just don’t care if really he disappeared.  Ben appears to be living on a farm keeping geese-why is he talking to geese?  Again, I don’t care.  There’s a very whimsical quality to the writing and maybe that’s why I couldn’t connect.  When I decided to give up it seemed to me like Margaret was disconnecting herself from reality.  It was getting too strange for me inside her head.

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Woman with a Gun, Phillip Margolin

Hardcover, 320 pages

Published December 2nd 2014 by Harper

Visiting an art museum displaying a retrospective of acclaimed photographer Kathy Moran’s work, aspiring novelist Stacey Kim is stunned by the photo at the center of the show—the famous “Woman with a Gun,” which won a Pulitzer Prize and launched the photographer’s career. Shot from behind, the enigmatic black and white image is a picture of a woman in a wedding dress, standing on the shore at night, facing the sea. Behind her back, she holds a six-shooter.

The image captures Stacey’s imagination, raising a host of compelling questions. Has the woman killed her husband on their wedding night? Is she going to commit suicide? Is she waiting for someone she plans to kill? Obsessed with finding answers, Stacey discovers that the woman in the photograph is Megan Cahill, suspected of killing her husband, millionaire Raymond Cahill, with the six-shooter on their wedding night. But the murder was never solved.

Drawn deeper into the case, Stacey finds that everyone involved has a different opinion of Megan’s culpability. But the one person who may know the whole story—Kathy Moran—isn’t talking. Stacey must find a way to get to the reclusive photographer or the truth may never see the light of day.

Quit at 22%.  How cool is this cover?   The photo and the premise definitely made me want to know what this woman was doing with the gun.  The book begins in aftermath of murder and then eventually moves to the future with the shooting left unsolved.  Unfortunately I didn’t make it that far.  I felt like the dialog was stilted between the parties investigating the murder and kind of forced.  It seemed to me the story was being told to me, not actively unfolding and I just wasn’t feeling drawn in.  Those flocking to the murder suspect felt flat and predictable and I’m calling this one done as well.

Thank you to Harper, Harper Perennial and Edelweiss for these advance copies in exchange for an honest opinion.

How long do you give a book you don’t like?  Hopefully my next read is a better pick for me!

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5 Comments

  1. Hi there! Discovered your blog through Shannon’s post and am very glad I did. Love the name, by the way. I hear you on this issue. I used to be a “complete or die” reader, avoiding that terrible feeling of leaving something unfinished. But as I get older and realize my time is more precious and I’m not going to outlive the books I want to read, I’ve become better at letting go. That being said I haven’t done it in a while. I do also subscribe to the “speed read” method on occasion, particularly when a book doesn’t really interest me but I still want to know what the hell was going on in the end. I’ve not read either of the books you’ve posted here, so am of no help, but I will wish you better luck with the next on your list!

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