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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Books I Struggle to Review

From time to time, there are books that I struggle to finish reading. Usually, I can get through them without a problem. Friday, I tried so hard to get through a book, but I simply couldn't do it. As a result, I told the publisher I refused to post a review without being able to read the entire thing.

It is food for thought, however, I read hundreds of books per year and plenty of articles as an editor for online websites. I read all the time, so it takes a lot for me to not finish something. Yet, in this case, the book received incredible praise from reviewers. It makes me wonder why I couldn't get through it.

Years ago, I sat down to read a book that was a few months from being published. I adored the book and couldn't stop raving about it. Meanwhile, I saw lots of reviews from people and had lots of comments from even more who felt it was contrived.  That book, The Lovely Bones, went on to become one of my favorite books of all times. The movie wasn't my favorite, but oh well.

Another book I've loved that others hate, To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition. I kept my high school copy and reread it yearly. My English teacher was so delighted to have a student really connect with a book that he told me not to worry about giving it back, he'd happy replace it knowing he inspired a student to read a classic. The same is true of Earth Abides. We read that book the same year and often reread it. Yet, I talk to many friends and acquaintances who think those books stink and can't understand why I return to them time and time again.

Does anyone out there have this book? If so, I'd love to hear from readers who did love the book and see if I can figure out what made me dislike it so much. I can't be the subject matter, I have no problem with same-sex relationships. That leaves me to think it was the time period, but then I was born in the 1970s, so you'd think I'd like the trip back in time...

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