Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Just Can't Get Into 'Em

There are always books that are difficult to get into, but if you hang on, they begin to pull you in eventually. But then there are those that just never do - pull you in, that is. And there are too many...WAY too many...books to be read to take the time to read a book that just doesn't do it for you.

Some books I've completed an entire, separate entry for, others follow.  But for the sake of remembering, a list follows

These I returned to the library unfinished, couldn't get into them at the moment, but I'd really like to try them again at a later date:

Nye, Naomi Shihab - The Turtle of Oman
Pinkney, Andrea Davis - The Red Pencil


Antieau, Kim - Church of the Old Mermaids (no notes about why) Ad
Arsenault, Emily - Broken Teaglass (below) Ad
Berry, Steve - Venetial Betrayal, A Novel (below) Ad
Berry, Steve - The Columbus Affair (no notes about why) Ad
Black, Elizabeth - The Drowing House (below) Ad
Boyle, T. C. - When the Killing's Done (below) Ad
Bray, Libba - Beauty Queens (below) YA
Bray, Libba - The Diviners (no notes about why) YA
Caldwell, Ian & Dustin Thomasin - The Rule of Four (below) Ad
..........The Fifth Gospel, read over halfway.... Adult mystery from history
Chada, Sarwat - Devil's Kiss (below) YA
Colfer, Chris - Struck by Lightning; The Carson Phillips Journal (no notes about why) YA
Fay, Kim - Map of Lost Memories (below)
Frost, Helen - SALT  Story of Friendship in a Time of War (no notes about why) MidGrades
Frost, Mark - Alliance (#2 The Paladin Prophecy) YA
Groff, Lauren - Arcardia (below) Ad
Grove, S. E. - The Glass Sentence (Mapmakers Trilogy #1) YA
Hanagan, Katherine - True, (...sort of) (below) MidGrades
Hannah, Kristin - True Colors (below) Ad
Holmes, Sara Lewis - Operation Yes (below) MidGrades
Hopkins, Ellen - Triangle (no notes about why)
Horn,, T\Dara - Guide for the Perplexed, A Ad
Howe, Katherine - The House of Velvet and Glass (below) Ad
Johansen, Iris & Roy Johansen - Storm Cycle (below) Ad
Kearsley, Suzanne - The Winter Sea (below) Ad
Keller, Julia - A Killing in the Hills (no notes about why) Ad
Koontz, Dean - The Good Guy (below) Ad
Korman, Gordon - 39 Clues Bk 2: One False Note (below) Mid Grades
Lancet, Barry - Japantown Ad
Leigh, Melinda - Midnight Express Ad
Lenhard, Elizabeth - Chicks With Sticks; It's a Purl Thing (below) YA
Lippman, Laura - Charm City (below) Ad
Lowell, Elizabeth - Dangerous Refuge (no notes about why) Ad
McMahon, Jennifer - The Winter People (no notes about why) Ad
Meissner, Sue - White Picket Fences (below) Ad
Messner, Kate - Wake Up Missing (below) MidGrades? YA?
Morton, Kate - The Secret Keeper (no notes about why)
Mosse, Kate - Sepulchre Ad
Neville, Katherine - The Eight (below) Ad
Parkhurst, Carolyn - Lost and Found (below) Ad
Pavone, Chris - The Expats (below) Ad
Payne, Holly - The Virgin's Knot (below) Ad
Perry, Marta - Murder in Plain Sight (no notes about why) Ad
Picoult, Jodi - Between the Lines (below) Ad
Riggs, Ransom - Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (below) Ad
Scott, Michael - The Thirteen Hallows (no notes about why) Ad
Segrave, Elizabeth - Memoria (no notes about why) Ad
Slaughter, Karin - Unseen (Will Trent #7) (no notes about why) Ad
Spencer-Fleming, Julia - Through the Evil Days Ad
Stead, Rebecca _ Liar and Spy (no notes about why) MidGr/YA?
Stickell, Lois - In the Territory of Lies (no notes about why) Ad
Stewart, Trenton Lee - The Mysterious Benedict Society (no notes about why) MidGrades
Stiefvetter, Maggie - The Raven Boys (no notes about why) YA
Wood, Monica - When We Were the Kennedys; A Memoir from Mexico, Maine (no notes about why) Ad

Operation Yes
Sara Lewis Holmes
Published: 2009
Middle Rdr.
1-3-10 (boy that 10 looks strange....)

I got to page 70 in this Cybil shortlist title, but it just didn't engage me. 6th graders on an Air Force base in NC, an artistic teacher who enjoys acting & drama - think I'll just go on to another title, since after 70 pages I wasn't looking forward to any more reading.....
Devil's Kiss
Sarwat Chadda
Published: 2009

This is about contemporary "Knight's Templar", but the first 70 pages are full of vampires and mean ghosts and eerie legacies that just seem like everything the author could think of to throw down into a narrative. I have a pile to read, so have decided to abandon this. It's not the "real" Knight's Templar, which is what I was hoping for.....

The Virgin's Knot
Holly Payne
Published: 2002

The cover and title intrigued me. I started the book, got a bit in, put it aside. Then I found a cassette of it at Bookman's. I started to listen to it while knitting, starting from the beginning, so I'd remember everything. I went a lot farther, well into the second cassette, but again, put it aside. Not that it was uninteresting, just couldn't get into it. Maybe someday, as it wasn't awful....

The Eight
Katherine Neville
Previously published quite a few years ago.....

I had this sitting on my shelf in Maine for ages. I can still see it sitting there. I always wanted to read it, and now Katherine Neville has come out with a sequel. An acquaintance from school, Meme, who loves the same kinds of mysteries that I do, just finished it and lent it to me. I spent two weeks getting to page 107 (of 598! ! !) and it just didn't engage me at all. It flips back and forth between 1700's France and 1970 NYC, with a lot of chess talk thrown in - and I decided I couldn't care less. I moved on to Robert Crais, and it was a great decision!

Charm City
by Laura Lippman
Audio Book

I've heard of the Tess Monahan series, but I listened well into the second cd and found I didn't want to press the button to turn it on. I just was not taken at all with the protagonist. I'm not sure it was really easy to return it to the library!

The Rule of Four
by Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomason
Published: 2005

I bought the book when it first came out, read about 50 pages, and put it aside. Recently I borrowed the book from the library and have listened to at least three discs. Nope. I'm gonna give up on it.

Venetian Betrayal, A Novel
by Steve Berry
Published: December, 2007

I very much enjoyed the first Cotton Malone book, The Templar Legacy, then tried listening to another, where he gets together with his wife to find his missing son and all they do is bicker, bicker, bicker. Couldn't take it. So I tried this one, and it's hard to listen to: one, because I don't care for the reader, Scott Brick, and two, it skips around like crazy and is difficult to keep track of by just listening and not being able to flip back through the pages. Not worth it. It's going back to the library.

39 Clues Book 2: One False Note
by Gordon Korman
Okay, I read half of The 39 Clues Book 2, One False Note. Nobody trusts anybody. I don't like a single character. I've made the big decision to not read this series. Why spend all that time when I just don't like it?

White Picket Fences
by Susan Meissner
I got about halfway through White Picket Fences, a Novel (Susan Meissner), and have decided to put it aside, too. The premise of the book really attracted me - a Holocaust connection to an "average" contemporary American family, and a mystery related to the 16 year old son, who happens to be a pretty decent filmmaker. A niece who's father has disappeared somewhere in Poland. And a Tucson connection. It was sooooo slow, though. So why bother?

Chicks With Sticks, It's a Purl Thing
by Elizabeth Lenhard.
Got to page 100 in this one, but found myself making choices to wash the dishes instead of reading -- that should have clued me in immediately that I had to pick up another book instead. Every book is not going to pull in every reader, right?

The Good Guy
by Dean Koontz
I listened to the first 2 1/2 discs on my way from Maine to Massachusetts.  I really like the premise....that a young man having a drink at his friend's bar is given an enevelope with ten thousand dollars and the picture of a woman.  He realizes he is being mistaken for a hit man.  But soon he has the woman by his side and the real killer after him.  Not bad.  BUT, the narrative goes back and forth between the good guy and the bad guy....who's a really sadistic, violent man.  I'm just not in the mood to get into this guys head, it depressed me and I decided I have too many books to read to spend a week or more of driving time listening to this.  Yay, me, finally a decisive decision!

True (...sort of)
Katherine Hannigan
Delly is a little girl that constantly gets in trouble and doesn't understand why.  She makes up long complicated combinations of words (there's a three-page glossary at the back of the book).  Short chapters. Just didn't do it for me, couldn't get into it.  Perhaps I have too many other books that really interest me sitting on the table, calling my name.....

Beauty Queens
Libba Bray
A plane full of Miss Teen Dream beauty pageanteers crashes on a deserrt island.  There are 12 survivors.  This is a satire....and it's gotten wonderful's probably wonderful......but after three chapters I just couldn't go on.  There's too many others out there that I REALLY want to read.....

The Winter Sea
Susanna Kearsley

I've started this twice.  Got to p. 48 the first time, then had to return it to the library.  Got it again.  It's taken me a week to get to p. 92.  Chapters flip from current time to historical times, set in Scotland.  Love that part of it.  The contemporary setting is just going too slowly!

When the Killing's Done
T. C. Boyle

I listened to the first three cds - at least four hours.  It's gorgeous, beautiful writing, but the story drags.  Incredible description - but too much of it for me.  The first hour and a half was about a sinking boat, the second about and environmentalist's speech, the third about an animal rights activist's mischief.  The setting, the Channel Islands off southern  California's coast is great -- just waaaaay toooooo dragged out.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Ransom Riggs

Everyone's been talking about this book, and I've seen the cover everywhere.  So I waited on the reserve list.  I've tried and tried to get into it - I'mm all the way up to pg. 119, but it's due at the library and I don't want to read it, so I'm going to return it.  Maybe the story's about to get good, but it sure hasn't grabbed me - even a bit - so far.

True Colors
Kristin Hannah

I listened to two of the 12 unabridged cds.  It reminded me tremendously of The Weird Sister,s which I read recently, and I really disliked two of the characters, hated the decisions they made, and found myself constantly rolling my eyes.  So I decided...what the heck.  You don't have to finish this!  Both Laura and Heather enjoy this author a lot, but she's not for least that's what this book told me.

Lauren Groff

I got to page 49 (out of 289).  It had great reviews, but I found it boring.  Bit, a young boy, lives with his withdrawn mother, Hannah, and his father, Abe, at a commune.  The leader, a guy named Handy, has a band that keeps the monies coming in.

The Expats
Chris Pavone
2012, Crown Pub, NY

I read to page 131 out of 327 pages, then had to return it to the library because there was a waiting list for it.  I didn't mind returning it, it wasn't grabbing me at all, not in the slightest, didn't like any of the characters.  However, I've downloaded it onto my phone just in case I ever get tempted to finish it.....

Between the Lines
Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer
2012 Recorded Books

Three points-of-view, the teenaged girl reading the fairy tale, Oliver, the protagonist of the fairy tale, and the fairy tale itself.  I'm just not a fair tale person.  I listened to 3 of the 7 cds and gave it up.  There were different readers, too, but I decided I just wasn't into it.

Broken Teaglass
Emily Arsenault
2009, Delacorte Press

I read 151 out of 370 pgs.  They were B-O-R-I-N-G.  I really wanted to like it.  Bill Webb, and his coworker Mona, find enticing references in dictionary citations at the dictionary company where they work in New England.  Good quote:  "How did a guy like me end up in a place like this?"

The House of Velvet and Glass
Katherine Howe
2012, Hyperion Books

I enjoyed The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, Howe's previous book.  But none of the major points of this book interested me - the Titani, 1915 Boston society, or seances.  The first disc seemed to go on and on and reality it was over an hour, but seemed like three or four.  Too many books in the pile -  even the reader's voice bugged me -  it was too little-girly.

Lost and Found
Carolyn Parkhurst
2006, Hachette Audio
read by Blair Brown

Well, I listened well into the 4th tape (out of 8).  It was entertaining, but not enthralling and I have a lot I never seemed to be in the mood.  It was a take off of  the TV show The Amazing Race, which I don't enjoy at all, so I decided to go on to another book

Storm Cycle
Iris Johansen & Roy Johansen
2009, St. Martin's Press

In the middle of the third disc I decided that I really ddidn't like the protagonist - at all- and was groaning or rolling my eyes at all her responses to life.  I would turn it off and drive along in silence before I realized that I didn't want to waste my time reading (listening) any further.

The Drowning House
Elizabeth Black
2013, Random House

Another book that I just couldn't get into.  I read the first few chapters, put it aside, then began again.  At the same point in the second reading, I decided to go on to another book in my huge pile that was beckoning.

Wake Up Missing
Kate Messner

Okay, read about 60 pages.  It was slow, didn't pull me in.  I let it be for about week and could barely remember what had happened after the first chapter, so skimmed it before starting again, and decided I didn't want to.  Maybe another time?

Through the Evil Days
(Rev. Clare Ferguson & Russ VanAlstyne #8

I guess I should have read these in order, but the first books in the series were totally unavailable (or extinct) in audio, so I jumped into #8. I made it through almost the first two cds. Too many bigoted church people. Too much talk about church and church-related "stuff." And one of the most unlikable protagonists I've encountered in a while (Russ). Totally negative, pissed about his new wife's pregnancy, temper easily triggered. I spent a 35-minute ride without even turning it on - that's when I decided I didn't like it and didn't want to listen to another word. (In those 50 pages, it seemed the mystery was barely even mentioned!)

Map of Lost Memories
Kim Fay
     Ok, ok, I just don't care!  Don't like the main characters, the se Asia steeing doesen't thrill me, nor does the 1920s time period.  I've listened to over 1/3 of the bvook, but I'm not going to finish.  Don't wanna.  Big sigh.....

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