Tuesday, September 5, 2017

*Top Ten Tuesday* Books I Struggled to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Joood - Hooligan of Platypire reviews bossed me into doing this, so I guess this is a thing I do now. 

This weeks theme is books I struggled to get through. I've mentioned before that I have very eclectic taste in books, and I read in most genres pretty regularly. But even I have a hard time getting into some books, most notably The Hobbit which is one of only two books that I have officially DNF'd. So here is a list of other books that I found it somewhat difficult to get through.

1: The Witchwood Crown by Tad Williams - This book is high fantasy and over 700 pages long. Add to that the fact that I was reading it on my phone in a format where I could not enlarge the font and it was really slow going. I decided to just sacrifice an audible credit to get the audiobook so I could finish the book (I'm still got about 28 hours of listening to go before I'm done, and that's at 1.5 speed).

2: The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett - This is science fiction and while the storyline was intriguing and got off to a good start, it dragged a lot in the middle with not much action or really anything else going on. I had to really force myself to keep reading to finish it before my loan expired.

3: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George - This book really let me down. I was expecting a grand slam based on the title and book description, but I had to force myself to finish it because I didn't really care what happened to any of the characters.

4: Californium by R. Dean Johnson - This is a recent past historical fiction, and admittedly part of my problem is that I thought it was set about ten years before it is (which is an era I find more fascinating to begin with). I just really struggled to connect with the characters in any meaningful way.

5: Hustling Hitler: The Jewish Vaudevillian Who Fooled the Fuhrer by Walter Shapiro - If you follow me at all, you should know by now that WWII era books are my ultimate weakness. The idea of reading a story about a Jewish man who pulled one over on Hitler really appealed to me. Sadly, this book was an in depth look into the life of Freeman Bernstein (the Jewish man who hustled Hitler), and spent very little time talking about that particular hustle. The only thing that kept me reading was the promise of that tale.

6: Bright Lines by Tanwi Nandini Islam - This is diverse women's fiction and I was really excited to read it. Unfortunately I didn't feel welcomed into the story and feeling like such an outsider made it harder for me to empathize with the characters, which made finishing this book a struggle.

7: The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim - This is historical fiction. I did not know it was historical fiction when I started reading it, and it wasn't entirely clear that it was historical fiction from the context of the story. That was a large part of my problem with getting through this book, but it got off to such a bad start for me that making it to the end was a challenge.

8: The Good Soldiers by David Finkel - This book is about my husband's unit during his first deployment to Iraq. That wasn't exactly a pleasant time in my life to begin with and seeing things from this perspective didn't make those memories any better for me. I actually couldn't even bring myself to try read this book until my husband was out of the Army (a little over four years after this was published). And it's a great book, but it was a hard book for me to read.

9: On the Road by Jack Kerouac - I know this book is supposed to be like classic American literature and people just rave about it, but the entire book seemed completely pointless to me. I'm not a quitter though, so I forced myself to finish it.

10: Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand - This is one of those rare occasions where the movie was better than the book because they are like two different stories. The book focuses a lot on horse racing and what goes on behind the scenes, and if you're an equestrian, you'll probably find it absolutely fascinating. I'm not an equestrian so it was a struggle for me.

With the exception of the last three books (and The Little Paris Bookshop, although I was reading that for review so it still had an implied deadline) these are all books that I received through Penguin's First to Read program, so it's entirely possible that part of the reason why the books felt like a struggle is because I had deadlines for reading them. Because of that, I couldn't put the books aside when they just weren't what I was looking for in favor of something more appealing at the moment like I usually do (I don't have 30 books started right now for nothing). If I'd had all the time in the world to read these books, I might not have struggled so much. - Katie

*If you're stopping by from the TTT link-up, please be sure to leave a link to your post so I can check out your post too.*


  1. I'm sorry these weren't better for you. I haven't read any on your list (although I did read The Hobbit which you mention),but a few are on my TBR pile already. The Enchanted April, The Little Paris Bookshop, and The Space Between Stars in particular. I know you aren't alone in your opinion of The Little Paris Bookshop. I haven't heard too much about the others.

    I hope you have a great rest of the week!

  2. Sorry you didn't enjoy these! I have read The Enchanted April and I thought it was good, but I can see how it wouldn't be for everyone. Here is my Top Ten Tuesday.

  3. I haven't read Enchanted April, but say the movie that came out decades ago and loved the movie. I've always wanted to read the novel.

    Here's a link to my TTT post this week:

  4. Hi! I really didn't care for On the Road either :) I was bored haha.
    My TTT