Friday, January 20, 2017

DNF's for January: Books That Just Didn't Click

I'm not the best at admitting I have DNF's (did not finish books) every month.  My method of picking up multiple books and starting them, then setting them down (sometimes for weeks at a time) has been a part of my reading life for years.  I didn't really ever think of it as DNF but rather "moving on" to read something else with the expectation that I would eventually come back to that book and finish it.  Sometimes I do, but most times I don't. 

I think the more you read, the more you realize not every book is a good fit; it can depend on the time of year, what's going on in your life...lots of things.  Usually for me it's all about the mood I'm in and what I want to read to fit that mood.  Forcing myself to read outside of that mood usually leads to an unhappy Sue and an unfinished book.  That's the case with Homegoing. A friend loaned me her copy months ago, and I was eager to read it after hearing some really great reviews from others I know who read it.  And now, months later, I still haven't gotten past 200 pages.  I just can't bring myself to pick it up again and keep going.  Not that the story is bad; it's pretty wonderful, actually.  The writing is superb as well; I just can't focus long enough to keep reading it.  Definitely not the right time for me, so I'll reluctantly admit defeat and try again sometime in the future. For now, it's part of my DNF list.

Another book that I quickly realized was a DNF is one of my current month's picks:  The Eterna Files.  Fifty pages in, I am annoyed, confused, and very impatient.  I've read plenty of books where I've been dropped into the middle of a story, and have to figure out what's going on; there isn't any method of plot hijinks that surprises me.  But this one, for some reason, just turned me completely off.  Trying to make sense of anything has proven to be just a bit much for me, and I lack the patience to wade through it.  I'm disappointed; I had hoped to read this and the sequel.  Too much Victorian nonsense to distill into an understandable story.  Sorry The Eterna Files, but I'm putting you down permanently.  

So there you have it:  my DNF's for the past few months.  Without a doubt I'll have more.  This is no way reflects on each writer's talents; after all, the wide variety of books published speaks to our freedom from censorship, humanity's amazing talents at storytelling,  and our freedom to read whatever floats our boats.  Others have found both of these books great reads.  Carry on!


  1. It is so interesting to me how the same book can provoke such different responses. Yesterday I started The Witches by Stacy Schiff, non-fiction about the Salem witch trials. It is for a reading group but I am just not in the mood for it. I also have trouble admitting to DNFs.

    1. Funny how you mention that book. I've had it on my bookshelves for over a year and still haven't picked it up. My DNF is definitely dependent on my mood and what's going on in my life. But I have them every month.