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September 5: Ten Books I Struggled to Get Into But Ended Up Loving or Ten Books That Were A Chore To Get Through or Ten Books I’ve Most Recently Put Down (the theme is…books you had a hard time with…tweak it how ever you need)

I’m quite particular about the books I read, which cuts down on the failures, so I’m splitting this between DNFs and Struggles.


  1. Hue 1968; Mark Bowden. Too dry. The writing didn’t engage me, so I put it down.

2. Seven Dreams; Charlotte English. The characters felt flat, and the plot failed to catch my attention.

3. The Shape of Bones; Daniel Galera. Disjointed, with a narrative so confusing I couldn’t quite tell what was going on for some time.

4. Empire Ascendant; Cameron Hurley. The first book was dark, and this book proved to be darker.

5. Jitterbug Perfume; Tom Robbins. I found the prose overwrought, and everything that was meant to be funny didn’t amuse me.


6. The Library of Fate; Khorana Aditi. Loved the idea, but there were too many weaknesses in character development, plot, and pacing.

7. The Massacre of Mankind; Stephen Baxter. A sequel to War of the Worlds that didn’t feel like it really added anything.

8. All the Sounds of Fear; Harlan Ellison. A collection of dark, sometimes hopeless sci fi tales, I had to spread this out among other reading. Haunting, but interesting.

9. Heartburn; Nora Ephron. I got the audio book pretty much because Meryl Streep voiced it, and she did a good enough job to keep me going.

10. The Leopard; Jo Nesbo. This is the eighth book in the series, but each one is a slog, driven by the well-written mystery, and slowed by the terrible characters.


About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

14 responses »

  1. Marcia says:

    Look like I can skip adding these to my towering TBR pile. They all sound like things I’d probably not enjoy, either. And with my severely limited reading time, I don’t mess with anything that doesn’t pull me right in. Besides, I got the new Toby Daye book yesterday, and that will definitely be the next thing I start. Can’t wait for more Toby and Tybalt. 🙂

  2. Dawlyn: We just got Library of Fates in a subscription box and it’s annotated by the author. I’m interested to see how I like it!

  3. FranL says:

    I haven’t read any of those and I’m not in a rush to! I do like Nora Ephron, so I’ll probably give Heartburn a try at some point.
    I did ten that I’m ultimately glad I struggled through:

  4. So, I’ve been contemplating reading The Library of Fates, but haven’t because of the description I’ve been in no rush to give it a go. Even the description made me think it would be a bit of a slog. I will definitely agree with you as far as Nesbo is concerned. Harry Hole is such a tragic character and he’s not pitted against anyone with any real redeeming qualities (including the good guys). I want to read his middle-grade series, Doctor Proctor.
    My Top Ten Tuesday

    • If poor character development, an oddly compressed plot with lots of summarizing, and/or highly convenient last minute saves annoy you, skip Library of Fates.
      I’ve read a couple of the Doctor Proctor books. They’re silly and funny. 🙂

  5. beckmank says:

    I haven’t read any of these! I’ve been meaning to try Jo Nesbo though. Now I’m not so sure? 🙂

  6. I haven’t read any of these books myself but I do have Library of Fates on my to-read list. I’m sorry to hear that was one you struggled with though.
    Great list for this week. 🙂

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