The other night, I purposefully started three new books. I think I might have a problem. (This puts my "actively reading" list at 6. I think. Unless you count the books I have on my iPod. Well, I suppose that just puts the list to 7.)
I suppose I should back up and say I've been struggling with some of the books I've been picking up to read. I'm currently/actively reading Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende. I know it has an Oprah book club sticker on it, but the summary on the back sounded really good! Don't judge me!
But the more I read, the less I care. Parts of the story are beautifully done and are interesting. Other parts...just feel like filler. Possibly because they are. I'm not a writer, but I think even if things are filler, they shouldn't feel like it to the reader.
Take Tolkien. (Or honestly, almost any author you love. Or pick a story you love. Or a movie you love. I think this works on anything story-like.) In Lord of the Rings, you have 23407 story line happening at any given time, but the BIG story is this: Frodo has the ring and it needs to get to Mount Doom. Does Tolkien plop Frodo, Sam & the Fellowship by the Gates of Mordor and say, "Good luck!"? Does he make it an easy journey? No. No he doesn't. He gives them trials and troubles, but good times too. And stuff you think might be filler (possibly for instance, Faramir) actually has a purpose in the BIG STORY.
Daughter of Fortune is not full of Tolkien's kind of "filler"; it is full of the bad kind of filler. The kind that maybe sorta tells you something about the character, and maybe if/when I finish, I will find that it was important to the BIG STORY. But right now, it feels tedious and a little bit boring. I'm not sure I'll finish this book honestly. I have invested a lot of time in it and I'm not even half way through.
"But wait," you say. "Didn't you just start three more books? What are they? What else have you been reading?"
You didn't ask those things? Too bad.
I'm pulling out my Jane Austen again. I am tired of reading/trying to read Persuasion. I don't like the story. I don't like the characters. I understand that it is probably a commentary on letting people make their own decisions when it comes to love and relationships, but I just can't do it right now. I will say that I do like Wentworth's letter at the end. That didn't quite make the book worth it, but it was a huge asset to the bool. Rachel started reading Northanger Abbey so I decided to read it too. So far, so good. I will say it is much different from Persuasion. I wonder if the fact that Persuasion was Jane's last book makes a difference in the writing. (I believe she died shortly after finishing it so maybe she didn't get to edit it the same way she edited her other novels? Whatever.)
I picked up The Man Who Loved Books Too Much completely by accident. I was shelf-reading at work. I saw the long title squished on the spine and thought, "Hmm...this sounds like JUST the kind of book I would like." And that is how it found its way home with me. Totally by accident. It has a kind of Mr. Penumbra's 24hour Bookstore feel to it, so I'm pretty excited about this one.
I know absolutely nothing about A Treacherous Paradise except that the cover is cool and the story sounds like it should end poorly. Except. See, the story goes to a lot of dark places so the ending has to be good, right? The whole thing about the good ending happily and the bad ending unhappily. Right? Ha. Right. I'll keep you posted.
And if you are following me on GoodReads you will see I read The Fault in Our Stars in a single day. There was much crying but let me tell you. Such. A. Good. Read. I have said it already, but that John Green fellow has a gift. He can put human emotions into readable words that don't feel fake or put on. Bonus? He's funny. I want to write like him when I grow up. If that never happens, I still wanna keep reading his books. Even if they make me cry like a baby.
That has been my reading life over the last few weeks. I think because I'm having such a hard time with Daughter of Fortune, I have become a little wary of other books. Because of that, I have been slowing down on my reading. TFioS has kind of jump started my love of reading again so prepare for the last leg of the book challenge race for 2013!