In the past couple months, I’ve started several different books… and they’re still sitting unfinished. At this point, I’ve given up on all of them. However, due to the recent scarcity of posts on this blog, I figured I might as well make a round up post of all my recent DNFs.
I picked up Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson because I decided to try and break out of my funk by reading some epic fantasy. Gardens of the Moon may have been too epic. The set up is extremely complex, and I relied heavily on the glossary and extensive character list. However, just when I was starting to connect to a set of characters, it would switch to a completely different group! Around page three hundred, I realized that I wasn’t getting any enjoyment from it. No matter what the final pay off might be, if I’m having to slog through three hundred more pages for it, then I should find another book.
The Martian by Andy Weir was my most recent audio book, and I was over the half way point before I quit listening. The Martian wasn’t bad, and I can see why people like it, but it’s not the book for me. The problem with survivor stories, is that I assume the protagonist will survive, which leaves the drive as being how the protagonist survives. Only, I don’t care much about the how in this instance. It’s a lot of science that I’m not really into, and I don’t like the characters enough to stay involve.
I attempted to read Sheepfarmer’s Daughter by Elizabeth Moon back in December and quit around page eighty. It’s the first book in the Paksenarrion trilogy, and I’d been wanting to read it since hearing about the heroine. However, I had a number of problems getting into it. The world building feels almost exactly like a Dungeons and Dragons game, and the narrative feels very disconnected from the thoughts and emotions of the characters. The writing is very brief and sometimes choppy. It feels almost like a summery of events instead of a narration of what happened. Also, the only major event of the first fifty pages was an attempted rape, which didn’t inspire me to keep reading.
Also in December, I read the beginning of When They Severed Earth From Sky: How the Human Mind Shapes Myth by Elizabeth Wayland Barber and Paul T. Barber. What I read was actually really interesting. The thesis of the book is that myths were originally used to encode and transmit real information. For example, the Klamath tribe’s origin story for Oregon’s Crater Lake matches how geologists say it happened – even though the lake was created nearly eight thousand years ago. However, I generally seem to have trouble getting into non-fiction books, and this one’s suffered as a result.
Luckily, I’ve been reading Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway and have gotten into it. There’s only around a hundred pages left, so it shouldn’t be too long until there’s another real review up on here.