To make the cut for this post, I chose books that I had literally picked up and put back down and then picked up again.
The Book Thief
Yes, The Book Thief. Sorry. I can hear your gasps of horror. I tried this book at least three times before finally deciding to read the whole thing. And, of course, I loved it when I did. But it was something about the voice, about Death as narrator, that just hit me the wrong way time after time. You, my fellow readers, kept urging me on. Thank you.
John Green books
I gave up on John Green books after reading my first, Paper Towns. It was just...well, meh. I didn't see the John Green all my fellow bloggers were raving about. Then I read Fault in Our Stars. And it blew me away. Okay, John Green, apologies.
King of the Wind
My fourth grade teacher read King of the wind. And Misty of Chincoteague. And Sea Star. And everything else Marguerite Henry every wrote. Everything horse-ish that year. And I wasn't a Horse Girl. And then I decided to read all the Newbery winners. I put off King of the Wind as long as I could. What a surprise....a fabulous story. It must have been Horse Book Overload, I suppose.
Edith Wharton books
Our bookgroup decided to read Edith Wharton last month. When I was trying to choose one to read, I read review after review lambasting poor Edith. I almost put down House of Mirth before I really got into it, but then I read one more review and I read on. So glad I did.
We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow
We Will Be Killed With Our Families
Who really wants to read about a massacre in Africa? I'd heard such good things about this book that I obtained a copy. Over the years I'd read a page or two and then put it down. Too troubling, I thought. Finally I resolved to read it or give it away. Whew. Not a happy read, but one I'm very glad I finished.
Haruki Murakami's Underground
I'm a big fan of Murakami's fiction. I got a copy of this book in a Bookcrossing trade years and years ago. I read a bit and put it down. I read a little more and put it down. Finally decided to read the whole thing during a Readathon in the middle of the night after reading for hours and hours. Let me say that again, with emphasis: "Finally decided to read the whole thing during a Readathon in the middle of the night after reading for hours and hours." Do you see anything wrong with this strategy? Do you see why I did not like this book after forcing myself to read it during the middle of the night, tired and restless? Yes, I think you do.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
This has to be my favorite story of Book I Almost Put Down But Didn't. I ran across a copy of this book in a cabin, left behind by a tourist, when I was working in Yellowstone Park in the summer of 1975. I read a few pages, was bored, and left it for someone else to find. Zoom forward to the fall of the same year. Now I'm taking Educational Philosophy in college and guess which book is the only book on the required reading list? Yes, ZAMM. Crazy, huh? This time I bought it and started reading it and couldn't put it down. Oddly, the class didn't make because of enrollment, but I read the book anyway. And reread it. And reread it. And recommended it and recommended it and recommended it. All to no avail. I've never had one person thank me for recommending it to them. Very strange.
Heart of Darkness
Assigned reading in high school. Read a few pages. Hated it. Read a few more. Loathed it. Read more. Continued to despise. Read to completion, desperately wanting to put it down, but didn't. Final assessment: Abhor completely.
War and Peace
I resolved to read WP last year. I read twenty pages. Nothing. Twenty more. Nothing. A hundred. Still nothing. I decided to give up. One of the few books that I have put down that I feel in my heart I should try again. I probably will. One day.
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