Top Ten Books I Had Trouble Finishing (For Reasons Other than Writing Style)

This is a rendition of Top Ten Tuesday (and a Day) by the thebrokeandthebookish.wordpress.com. This week was the top 10 books you had trouble finishing. This post took me the extra day because I had to figure out how to do this without giving free publicity to the most dreadfully written books I’ve read. In the end, I managed to remember the books that kept me pausing or agitated while finishing them for reasons other than poor writing. Here we go:

Top Ten Books I Had Trouble Finishing (For Reasons Other than Writing Style)

1. “The Virgin’s Lover” by Philippa Gregory
-I hated her characterization of Elizabeth and the motivations she gave certain others never even actually made sense! Agh!

2. “The Wings of a Falcon” by Cynthia Voigt
-After spending hundreds of pages inside the main character’s head suddenly she shunted me into his best friend’s head for the last bit! I am still up set about this. Head-Shunting is uncool!

3. “The Man in the Iron Mask” by Alexandre Dumas
-Nothing had prepared me for this to be the book where his famous musketeers die! No one had told me that! It was deeply upsetting to go in unaware.

4. “Morte D’Arthur” by Sir Thomas Malory
-My issue here is that all of its tales are just jumbled all together without noting that by including similar tales of the same people or slightly different versions of events, when one tries to read it as a story it comes out incredibly contradictory and dense.

5. “Tell me if the Lovers are Losers” by Cynthia Voigt
-This one I did find just too….heavy-toned, I think, and I stopped reading it for about a month before finishing.

6. “Justine” by Lawrence Durrell
-This book is fascinating and I actually love it, but the reading experience was very hard!

7. “The Bible According to Mark Twain” by Mark Twain
-I absolutely adore this, and had to own it, but it takes a lot of brain power and can prove very troubling.

These last three I’m having such trouble with I’ve yet to finish.

8. “Don Quixote” by Cervantes
-It’s just so long. And also angering when thought about too much.

9. The “Temeraire” series by Naomi Novik
-I had to stop after the 5th one because of the disrespect shown in replacing the real Duke of Wellington with a fictional character when other historical personages had been left alone.

10. Proust. Why are you so dense and hard to get into, Proust? Once in the groove you were interesting…

And so ends this week’s reading confessions. Have you any?

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. MF
    Oct 01, 2014 @ 21:52:30

    I like this analysis, not because it helps me avoid lousy or overly-dense books (though that is nice too), but because it got me thinking about why I don’t finish a book (or barely finish), and how that type of analysis and critique can aid my own writing. By knowing what I don’t like, or find very difficult to digest, will help me shape my writing to avoid similar pitfalls. As useful as a list of writers I wish to emulate.

    Reply

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