We all have one: our own personal list of reading shame. It might be books we’ve never read that we think we should have, or maybe universally acclaimed books that we’re a bit ashamed to admit we actually hated. For me, my list of shame comprises those books that have been sitting on my shelves literally for years, the initial rush of enthusiasm I doubtless felt at the moment of purchase having long since evaporated. I will read them – indeed I must read them as I’ve never yet got rid of a book without at least trying it. Plus most of them are novels I’m pretty sure I will enjoy once I’ve started them. So what are they? And why exactly have they ended up in the pitiful position of being on my list of shame? Time for a bit of soul-searching and self-analysis of the booky kind…
“The Lacuna” by Barbara Kingsolver Date purchased: 2010
I vaguely remember there being quite a bit of chatter surrounding this when it came out and I decided to give the author a try. Yet whenever I go to pick it up I end up putting it back and I’m not sure why. It’s possibly because I, like most people I expect, choose my next read according to my mood and since I have absolutely no clue what to expect from this novel I also have no clue as to whether it’s going to appeal to my current mind-set, whatever that may be. Also, and this is going to sound dreadful, but the more I look at it the more I get the feeling it looks a bit….dull. Barbara Kingsolver fans, I stand ready to be contradicted!
“Fall of Giants” by Ken Follett Date purchased: 2011
Until I started writing this blog post I had no idea this novel had been out so long! (Even more shameful than I thought then.) However, I do have a very valid excuse for putting this one off: it’s huge! I adored the equally epic “Pillars of the Earth” and “World without End” but both of those took me months to get through, and quite honestly I haven’t been able to face any book since that I know is going to take up so much of my time…
“Care of Wooden Floors” by Will Wiles Date purchased: 2012
Picking this up and looking at it again for blog inspiration purposes has actually awakened a strong desire to read it, so maybe it can be crossed off the list of shame before too long. I remember when this novel was released I got the sense it was going to be a slightly surreal escapade, possibly in the vein of Paul Auster or Magnus Mills. The only problem was I’d read a lot of that kind of novel and I think I felt I’d reached saturation point. But it’s been a while since I first ventured into that genre so maybe it’s time to revisit.
“Winter in Madrid” by C J Sansom Date purchased: 2009 (approximately!)
This poor book has been untouched for so many years I feel quite sorry for it! Unfortunately in between buying it and the point when I may in normal circumstances have started reading it, someone lent me “Dissolution” by the same author – and the rest is history. Any regular visitors to my blog will know how much I LOVE the Shardlake series, and I have been constantly afraid that his other books just won’t measure up; as a consequence I’ve never dared try them in case of disappointment.
There are more I could share with you but I don’t want to tarnish my reputation completely! I would love to know which books would appear on your list; or maybe you’re extremely diligent with your reading and don’t leave books languishing as I do! If you’ve read any of the novels on my list and enjoyed them, why not share the love and tell me why I need to read them right now. Until next time…