Sunday, May 08, 2016

Striking Out

I usually have pretty good luck with books, especially since I started blogging and reading other's blogs and scanning GoodReads for books I would like, but just this past week I had two disappointments.  Maybe I wasn't in the mood, but I read the obligatory 50 pages, and found I was completely uninterested in continuing.  And what were these duds?

At the Edge of the Orchard, by Tracy Chevalier - I've just loved all her other books I've read: Girl with the Pearl Earring, Remarkable Creatures, The Lady and the Unicorn, The Last Runaway.  But this one just fell flat--I found the couple distasteful and uninteresting and the tone just seemed grim.  I was so looking forward to this book, but the magic just wasn't there.

The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro - I liked this one slightly better, probably because it seemed like reading a Grimm's fairy tale or Germanic folk story, but again it just didn't seem to be the way I wanted to spend my time right now.  As with the other book, I've really enjoyed Ishiguro's other novels that I've read, The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go, but this one just didn't work for me.

I might revisit both at some time in the future.  Maybe I'm suffering from a surfeit of books underway (see Juggling) and just wasn't hungry for a new story.

Happy Mother's Day to all of us--those with children, those who don't, those with mothers still living, and those whose mothers have passed on.  We're all in this together!


  1. The Chevalier is full of incredibly disagreeable characters for the first bit and then there's a big shift in the story and that's when I really started to like the book. I'd definitely recommend giving it another chance.

  2. I have been swinging and missing with library books lately. At least then I don't feel like I've wasted money on a book I don't want to finish or keep.

    It sounds like you're juggling some good books :)

  3. Happy belated Mother's Day.

    My wife also likes Tracy Chevalier but has not read At the Edge of the Orchard. Even the great writers had occasional misses.

    I usually have very good luck with books too. The fifty page rule sounds like a good one.

  4. I enjoyed The Buried Giant, but it has a slow start. It is very different from his other books - and I do prefer those. I haven't read At the Edge, although I have enjoyed some of her books in the past.

  5. I have heard from others that both of these novels are passable, so I wouldn't be hard on yourself that you didn't like them. Sometimes you just have to go with what your reading mood strikes you on a given week. cheers.

  6. I hate striking out like that with books. It seems to come in waves with me...I'll go months with nothing but great reads, then I'll hit four or five in a row that either are completely disappointing, or I just can't finish. Hopefully you're not on an unlucky streak like that. :)

  7. Bummer! I usually force myself to finish whatever book I have started (which is often doing a disservice to both myself and the book), although there have been exceptions and actually Tracy Chevalier is one of them. I really liked The Girl with the Pearl Earring but DNF-ed The Blue Virgin. I haven’t tried anything from her besides those two but Remarkable Creatures sounds really good so if I try her again, that is where I will start.

    I have The Buried Giant on my shelf. I know that it is a love/hate book for many, but I still want to give it a go one of these days.

  8. I have The Buried Giant waiting to be read, I hope I can get into it.