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  • Writer's pictureEmily

Some good DNFs

When I was young, I would never put a book down without finishing it. I once spent four months plowing through Martin Chuzzlewit when I was trying to read all the Dickens I hadn't read in the 200th anniversary of his birth. (Other people were planning to read all of his work, but I was lazy and gave myself a pass for anything I hadn't already read, and then I chocked on Hard Times and quit. Anyway...) I have in the time since then become a champion giver-upper of books that I'm not into. If I ever wonder if I'm DNF'ing too many books, I look at my TBR list and move on. I have more books on there than I could get through in ten years, probably, even if I wasn't constantly putting new books on the list. CONSTANTLY.

I was recently scrolling through my reading log and saw some titles that I'd marked DNF that I thought weren't bad books at all, just not to my taste, and since other people might like to hear about them, here they are.

I didn't like these books, but I think that other people might:

This has Regency explainers and trivia about Austen's books. I read about three chapters, but I wasn't getting into it. The explainers were things that I'd figured out over about 25 years of reading Austen and reading about her work. This would have been great to read before I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time, going in blind because it wasn't so ubiquitous back then, and I managed not get 1/3 of the humor. (It was still a good book; I was just so shocked when Elizabeth didn't get mad when her aunt told her not to marry poor Wickham).

Blake, Olivie- The Atlas Six

This is fantasy and written for adults, but I think that it reads like YA. Since lots of people LOVE reading YA fantasy, I think many people will really like this. I gave it a good try, sticking with it for about a third. Then I decided to cheat and cut to the end. There was a character that hadn't even come up in the part I had read (which might have been closer to half, I can't remember). I considered going back to find out about this new person, and it got on my nerves, so I knew it was time to stop. The precocious special people in this are just out of college to a few years out in this, instead of being between middle school and high school.

Baker, Jo- The Body Lies

I might try this one again someday. I got this because I loved Jo Baker's Longbourn so much- but I wasn't being unfair; I knew that this was a completely different kind of book. It's suspenseful, the main character is teaching writing, she's just moved into a remote house. So, it's checking every box. I think it started too slow for me. Also, the main character was really being overloaded at work, and I was feeling her stress too much. Actually, now that I think of it, it was more that than everything else. One interesting thing, the thing that makes me want to try it again someday, is that a discussion was starting up in her writing class about how violence against women is portrayed in books, and that is something that I'm really interested in. The main character is a victim of a crime, and I think it could be a really good treatment of that subject. So this may come off my DNF list someday. If the world ever gets less stressful.

I just didn't know that this was a coming-of-age story. I only wanted to read it because of the title, and hadn't read the back. I love a ghost story, but I don't like coming-of-age. I know that lots of other people do. If someone in adulthood looking back at that one summer where it all began is your thing, you should try this book.

If any of these sound like your cup of tea, I hope you'll try them. :)

Happy reading!

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