what i’m not reading

Here’s the thing about bookhopping — sometimes books go unfinished.  Not intentionally, necessarily, but it’s an inevitable side effect of trying to juggle too many books at once.  In the last year or so, there have been a handful of books I’ve started, with every intention of completing, that are now sitting somewhere in the house with a page marked:

Atonement, by IanMcEwan – I’d heard great things about this book, so when the movie was about to come out, I decided the time had come to read it before either seeing or hearing about the movie ruined it for me.  McEwan’s an excellent writer, but halfway in, I knew I wasn’t going to like the way this ended.  So I stopped.  I didn’t necessarily mean to stop for good, but I haven’t had the inclination to pick it back up yet.  I intend to.  You know, when I get the time. 

The American Plague, by Molly Caldwell Crosby — With my husband in the health care field, there are a lot of health-related books in our house.   I’m generally more inclined toward fiction and memoirs, but this one, about yellow fever, caught my attention one day when I was in his office (probably because I’d just read Fever, 1793).  So I picked it up and read about 10 pages, and then wandered off to do something else.  And I’ve done the same thing a few times since.  The book shifts between the human interest aspect of the epidemic, and the technical description of the disease.  The human interest details keep bringing me back; the technical side of things is what has me wandering away.  I’m now 30 or 40 pages into the book; I figure if it ever holds my interest for long enough to take it out of the room, I’ll probably finish it. 

The Golden Compass, by Phillip Pullman — I’ve heard amazing things about this book.  And I was even mildly interested in the parts of the movie adaptation I saw.  But I just couldn’t get into it.  My guess is that seeing some of the movie first (which I generally try to avoid, but wasn’t able to in this case) made me feel like things should be moving faster than they are — that combined with high expectations may explain my lack of enthusiasm.  I haven’t given up on it, but again, I feel in no hurry to rush back to it. 

Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen — I have no idea why I stopped reading this.  Nor why I haven’t started again.  I left it somewhere in the middle, and while it’s certainly not on track to become my favorite Austen novel, I was thoroughly enjoying it.  I guess I just got sidetracked.  And stayed sidetracked.  But it’s been hanging out in my work bag for months now (as has The Golden Compass, for that matter) just waiting for the right moment to be picked up again.

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~ by Molly on January 21, 2009.

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