Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The books I didn't finish in 2012

I discovered this morning that I'd read - and finished - 57 books in 2012.  That was a surprise...I thought it was only around forty.  But on top of this were the books I started and didn't finish.  There were probably a lot of these, but the ones I made quite a deal of headway with before abandoning them are the following:

Moby Dick again.  Enjoyed a good deal of what I read, but got bogged down when Melville started using the pseudo-Shakespearian style, and then listing all the information about whales that he could find.  Ahab seemed a false character too, which didn't help.  (I actually got further with this book the first time I tried to read it.)

Started Lilith (by George MacDonald) but didn't get far into it: very obscure as to what it’s saying amidst the fantasy.

Read about half of If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino.  Interesting, but it seems almost like a collection of short stories strung together with a separate narrative, and not really going anywhere much.  It was one of those books someone raved over somewhere. 

Read a chunk of a biography called Kiri (te Kanawa) – only read the bits that related to London Opera Centre, and some of what followed. 

Began Little Dorrit and got quite a way through, but bogged down a bit; it’s very slow, and the characters aren’t as great as in many of Dickens’ other books.  Thought I might finish it, but it's not calling out very loudly to me. 

Read around half of Frank Baum, Creator of Oz by Katherine M Rogers.  Interesting and detailed, but for some reason it didn't grab me enough to finish it.

Read about half of Funeral in Berlin, by Len Deighton.  Good, but it all seemed a bit dated, somehow, and not enticing enough to keep on reading when I’ve got plenty of other books on my plate.

Read about half of  The Final Act of Mr Shakespeare by Robert Winder.  An attempt to write about Shakespeare and his crew coming together to write the last, missing, historical play, but the writing isn’t strong enough, and it’s all a bit overdone, and longwinded. Sorry, Mr Winder. 

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