The Sunday Salon – Looking Back on DNFs

In October, I gave up on two books.  That’s odd for me considering I try not to toss books in the DNF pile so easily.  Looking over my list, I was happy to see that up to this point in the year, I had only stopped reading three books.  Now, I’ve ended up at five, still not a large number but a slightly higher one than last year.  Here’s the list:

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

The Greenlanders by Jane Smiley

Kings of the Earth by Jon Clinch

The Clouds Beneath the Sun by Mackenzie Ford

Fire in the East by Harry Sidebottom

I had trouble with the stream of conscience type writing in White is for Witching.  I read some great reviews of this one and was sure I was going to love it but the writing didn’t appeal; I’ve never enjoyed this particular writing style.  I won’t be going back to this one.

The Greenlanders was dense.  The descriptions were lengthy, the names crazy, and I felt I should have been taking notes to figure out which Sven was being talked about.  I adore Viking stories, and while this one was different than I expected it to be, I plan to go back to it at some point.

While browsing the new arrivals shelf at the library, I came across Kings of the Earth.  It looked interesting — a death, family drama — but after the first chapter, I couldn’t go on.  It was too depressing, some of the characters were creepy, and I didn’t want any of them to spend time in my head.  I won’t be going back.

The Clouds Beneath the Sun. I talked about this book in this post if you’re interested.

Finally, Fire in the East.  I picked this up yesterday afternoon and was excited because ancient Rome is always a setting I love.  What stopped me?  The language.  I wasn’t expecting, “Halt, who goes there?” type of stuff but this was so far off that I started to get annoyed in the prologue.  Now, I have nothing against cursing.  You should hear me when I drive in the city, I could make a sailor blush, but the use of a particular four letter word that rhymes with duck at least once on every page in the prologue floored me.  Not because of the word itself but because I don’t think it was in wide use in 238 AD.  I didn’t google that so I could be wrong but it was so out of place that I began skimming to see where and how it was being used.  I put the book down and picked up another.

On another topic, I had a good week of reading last week.  I finished A College of Magics by Caroline Stevermer, Chasing the Night by Iris Johansen, caught up with The Historian read along, and picked up The Burning Times by Jeanne Kalogridis.

Enjoy your Sunday.  I’m off to do some reading.


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