21 February 2017

2016 abandoned books

These are the books I started in 2016, but decided not to finish. Most of them ended up going to a local Little Free Library, in hopes someone else might enjoy them more than I did.


Rebecca Wells, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. NY: Harper Collins, 1996.

I just can’t make myself care about a group of over-privileged Southern Belles.


Moritz Thomsen, The Saddest Pleasure. St. Albans: Sumach Press, 1991.

This looks like a wonderful book, but I’m never going to read a South American travelogue.


Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1965.

I’ve read enough overly-wordful, canonical 19th century English literature.


Jean Genet, The Thief’s Journal. NY: Grove, 1964.

A rich, meditative prose recollection of life as a young gay man in 1930s Europe, this sadly beautiful memoir simply doesn’t hold my attention. I recognize my loss.


Dorothy Allison, Bastard out of Carolina. NY: Plume, 1993.

A 1992 National Book Award finalist, with a dirty word in the title, should be really good. Richly descriptive, leisurely, and slow to develop, this leaves a bad taste every time I try it, so I stopped trying.

Josephine Humphreys, Rich in Love. NY: Penguin, 1988.

Another highly regarded contemporary Southern female narrative voice, another story that I can’t keep reading. Beginning to wonder if I might dislike the genre, an hypothesis that may not require additional testing.


Zbigniew Herbert, Still Life with a Bridle. Hopewell, NJ: Ecco, 1991.

A collection of essays focused on the art of seventeenth century Holland from the Polish poet.


Yann Martel, Life of Pi. NY: Harcourt, 2001.

I read sixteen chapters of this when I got it, and I haven’t picked it up since.


Elaine Harger, Which Side Are You On? Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2016.

Subtitled ‘Seven Social Responsibility Debates in American Librarianship, 1990-2015’, this well-researched presentation of the discussions within the American Library Association leadership councils is exactly as interesting as it sounds.


John Updike, The Witches of Eastwick. NYU: Knopf, 1984.

I remembered liking this as a movie with Jack Nickolson and Cher, and hoped that would carry over to the book since I’ve yet to start one by Updike I could finish. I may have mis-remembered the movie.