Books I Tried to Read This Summer #Fail

As much as I love writing about the books I’ve been reading as part of the To Be Read (TBR) challenge this year, it suddenly occured to me that I should also write about some of the books I tried to read and why I stopped reading them.

I know, as with many things, some people may disagree and tell me that these books are great and I should give them a chance but I have tried them. I gave them a chance. In all cases, I wanted to like them (which is why I was reading them to start with!) but, for me, they just didn’t work. And, as I have lots of things I want to read, I cast them aside.
So here are the books this summer that I’ve tried to read.

1. Running with Scissors by August Burroughs

The reviews on the back keep saying he’s funny. I get dark humour (in fact, I practice is regularly) but I didn’t find any humour in this book. And, by the same token, I have no problem with weird (or weird books for that matter). I found this book, however, to just be odd. And not in a good way. In a “that’s so bizarre and I have no clue what you are talking about” way. So I decided to move on. I don’t think I’ll be watching the movie anytime soon either (especially since the book is usually better than the movie!).

2. Everlost by Neal Shusterman

I like Young Adult books and I also like books that examine the afterlife (one of my favourite books is Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin which is also a YA book and deals with this issue as well). For that reason, along with the fact that I really liked Bruiser by Shusterman (as I told you last month), I was pretty excited to to read Everlost.

I hate to say it, but this book was boring to me. I think that part of it is that I found the opening of the book to be long-winded. I also found the writing and the characters to be too young for me. While perhaps I should have given the book more time to see if I liked it more as the story developed, I decided to put it aside. From my initial impressions of the first few chapters, I think it would be more of a tween book than a Young Adult book.

I know many people enjoyed it (as it won tonnes of awards) but it simply wasn’t for me.

3. Baseball Has Done It by Jackie Robinson

This book is another one I was really looking forward to reading. I think Jackie Robinson was an amazing man and he did so much to bring equity to professional sports. His story is legendary and inspiring, so I thought that this book on the subject would be a great read. The introduction of this reprinted book (it was first released in 1964) is written by Spike Lee, who I also think is a very interesting character.

Sadly, however, Baseball Has Done It just failed to keep my attention. I think that part of the problem for me is that I’ve read a lot about Jackie Robinson and race relations in the United States during this time period so I wasn’t learning anything new as I was reading. As well, it is obvious why Jackie Robinson was an athlete and not a professional writer. While I appreciate the sentiments behind this book, and the subject matter (and, as I said before, Jackie Robinson himself!), I could read this book.

4. The final book that I couldn’t get into was Can’t Get There From Here by Todd Strasser. Like Everlost, I’d read another book by this author (that I’ll be sharing with you soon) and that, combined with the subject matter (homeless youth, told from the point of view of one of the youths) would really engage me.

It didn’t. I didn’t find it engaging or interesting at all. It was too bad because I thought this book had a lot of potential.

So, these are some of my summer reading fails. If you’ve read one of these books and absolutely loved it, leave me a note and let me know why this book was so appealing. I think it is great to hear other people’s points of view!

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3 Responses to Books I Tried to Read This Summer #Fail

  1. stacey dempsey says:

    thanks , you see alot of reveiws on blogs raving about this book or that, but it is nice to hear about the ones that people didnt like to and why , I found this post interesting even though I havent read any of these , and I always see for myself if it is a book I want to read so I dont think it would deter anyone who really wanted to read something, so I think these types of reviews are good too

  2. Elva Roberts says:

    September 8-I think I have some idea of where you are coming from. I have tried books that were “successes” and could not find any merit in them. Others recommended books and, sometimes, I just could not get interested. In a few lucky cases, a certain author has been recommended and I have been delighted to find that it gripped my attention to the last page.
    I think our reading ‘palate’ is somewhat like our food palate. Some people just don’t have the same ‘ taste’ for some books as others do and it is mostly a matter of personal preference. Luckily, if it is a library card, this testing out of new (to us) authors is not too hard on one’s wallet.-el03ro

  3. Soozle says:

    I also tried reading Running with Scissors (and a few other books by Augusten Burroughs) and just could not get into it.. I am not sure WHAT it was, but your description of it being ‘odd’ is right.. It just didn’t sit well with me… Fail in my mind too!

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