Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Thing About Books

I think I read a lot. I challenge myself to read a book a week - averaged out over the year - with one book a month being non-fiction, again averaged out over a year. I recently finished Jonathan Tropper's, This Is Where I Leave You. I loved it, laughed so much through it, and I could identify with so much of the odd family humour even though my family is not anything close to any of the characters in the book (hi Mom!).

The thing is that the book I picked up after this wonderful one was, IMHO, anything but. The characters and story line were ridiculously predictable, the American author had located her story in England and was trying to write dialogue in the local dialects and I thought it was terrible. I wondered if I felt it was so awful because the one I had read just before it was, IMHO, so incredible. Was it a case of comparison, could I have enjoyed this second book more, or at all, if I had just finished a book I considered to be so-so? I rarely put a book down unfinished but I returned it to the library today, all but the first 70 pages unread.

Do you plod through what you consider to be awful books because once you start one you feel the need to finish it? I used to. There are so many great, great books to read, I figure why spend my time on ones I don't click with? Do you have any good reads to recommend?


oreneta said...

I loved La Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, a very different type of read, but an EXCELLENT book. I've got a list on my blog....There is another author who writes similar types of funny books to the one you quoted, I am struggling to think of his name, if I come up with it, I'll put it up.

Kim Mailhot said...

Life is too short to waste your precious reading time in a book that you are simply not enjoying in some way, I think !
I read two pieces of fiction that I quite enjoyed over the week at the beach. One was The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker (http://www.amazon.com/Little-Giant-Aberdeen-County/dp/0446194220/ref=tmm_pap_title_0). By the end of the book, I really loved the heroine Truly.
The second one was The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman (http://www.amazon.com/Story-Sisters-Novel-Alice-Hoffman/dp/0307405966/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1280883407&sr=1-1-spell). I love her books and the bits of magic, both dark and light, that she throws into each one. This one was a bit heavy in some ways but captured my imagination. Being one of three sisters, I could relate to the sister relationships on a variety of levels too.
That's whats being read in this neck of the woods.
Here's to a good book, Baby!

oreneta said...

Carl Hiaasen, that's the guy, they are set in South Florida and are cynical and funny, I think I enjoyed Sick Puppy best, but I could be wrong.