Day 29: Five books that I really should like (but I just don’t)

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Did you read that? DAY FRIGGING 29! I’m so so so so close!

But that doesn’t mean it’s getting any easier.

Today’s title is supposed to be ‘five weird things that you like’ but I just wasn’t inspired by that. I feel like whoever wrote this 30 Day Writing Challenge was starting to run out of ideas now. I mean no offense to them – I’ve enjoyed it a lot for the most part – but five weird things you like? What am I supposed to do with that?

I don’t know, maybe it’s not the calibre of the prompts that’s the problem, maybe it’s my motivation. I’m so close to the end but I’ve still got this obstacle to get past.

Also, I’m really missing writing about books. For the past month that I’ve been doing this there just hasn’t been time. My plan was to think of ‘five weird books that you like’ – books that I really enjoyed but have terrible ratings on GoodReads. But it turns out there weren’t very many of them. My tastes are too mainstream it seems.

So I’m using some artistic license and changing this prompt to be ‘five weird things that you don’t like,’ or, more specifically, ‘five books that you really feel you should like but you just didn’t get it.’

  1. Charles Dickens

The person who can get through a chapter of Charles Dickens without their eyes glazing over is a better person than I am. The stories he’s telling are good but there’s more wandering off the point description than I can bear.

  1. Emma – Jane Austen

Emma was Jane Austen’s favourite heroine so I really really wanted to like this as much as, if not more than, all her others. But I just can’t. For one thing I don’t feel it’s aged very well. A lot of the values in it, particularly towards Harriet Smith, come across as jarringly old-fashioned. And Emma herself is just annoying. Like a whiny teenage. I’m sorry, Jane, but you were wrong. Give me Marianne Dashwood any day. At least she was ridiculous in a loveable way.

  1. Amsterdam – Ian McEwan

I wasn’t sure whether to include this as it does actually have a reasonably low rating on GoodReads but on the other hand it did win The Booker Prize. I went into it with really high expectations having just finished back to back readings of Sweet Tooth, Saturday and On Chesil Beach (all of which I loved). And although for the first third I was actually really enjoying it, by the end the characters were detestable and the conclusion was just farcical.

  1. Agatha Christie

There was something so appealing about the thought of reading Agatha Christie. I imagined myself curled up in front of a fire on a stormy night getting sucked into an old fashioned murder mystery. But when I actually got round to reading her I thought it was contrived and faintly stupid. I’m going to read And Then There Were None before I write here off entirely because that’s supposed to have one of the greatest twists ever but I don’t have great hopes.

  1. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

Again, a book that I don’t think has aged very well. In the film the relationship between Frodo and Sam was my favourite part but in the books Frodo treats Sam decidedly like a servant. And there were so many sections where I just didn’t have a clue what was going on – like with the Barrow Wights and Tom Bombadil. Who were they? What did they want? Why were they there? Unlike JK Rowling where every plot device is introduced early on a lot of the things in LOTR felt like they were invented just to move the story on (like the Sonic Screwdriver in Doctor Who – another thing I just cannot get on board with). I can’t hate the LOTR books too much though because without them we wouldn’t have the films. And I love the films.

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14 thoughts on “Day 29: Five books that I really should like (but I just don’t)

  1. Weirdly, I am often disappointed by novels which focus on a love of books e.g. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, The Shadow in the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon,The Investigation by Jung-Myung Lee…I feel I ought to love books *about* loving books but I rarely do – it must be something that is hard to convey in writing!

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  2. OMG a couple coworkers and I just tried to do like, a joint reading book club kinda thing for Emma, and I just could not do it. The others loved it and I couldn’t get into it at all so I just gave up. I thought it was just me.

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      1. Exactly! H’es just one of the few random characters in the book. I don’t know about you but I don’t like The Hobbit (book) either. Though I would love it but no, I didn’t reading it.

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  3. Hi Lizzy! You know, I meant to ask you something about McEwan…
    The thing is, I read atonement and I really loved it. It was my first McEwan book. Then, since I wanted to feel again the sensations that book gave me, I had the misfortune to read the cement garden. Maybe the worst book I’ve ever read! That’s why I stopped reading McEwan, and I was wondering, since I understand you’re a fan, which of his books you think is worth reading:) I could try again…:) Thanks!

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    1. Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply! Useless of me, I know! I haven’t read Cement Garden yet bu it was on my list so a pity to hear your thoughts. I know that’s it’s completely different though, very macabre.

      I’d definitely recommend Saturday, that comes a close second behind Atonement for me. Or On Chesil Beach is engrossing and atmospheric withough being too long. And probably the most similar to Atonemnet. Avoid Solar and Amsterdam at all costs though!

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