Books I’ve Paused On Lately

Published by The Connected Reader on

It wasn't for me, but it might be for you

On Bookstagram lately, I’ve seen more discussion of writing critical book reviews and why many book reviewers don’t do it. One of my favorite book people, Traci, from @thestackspod, opened a discussion about this. I shared that I don’t generally write critical book reviews because I don’t finish books that I don’t like. If you are seeing a book on my recap lists, I finished it – which means to me, it was at least “good”. 

But Traci pushed me on this, saying it might be interesting to hear about the books I don’t finish. 

I had never thought about that.

I pause on books all the time now. It’s part of how I keep my reading momentum. But it never occurred to me to share the books I paused on. And not in a “this was terrible, stay away from it” way, but in a “Marie Kondo-esque, thank you for service, this is no longer for me but may be great for someone else” kind of way.

So, I’ve decided, from time to time, I will do a post that is just that.

These Books Didn’t Work For Me Recently, But They Might Be Great For You

The Eigth Detective by Alex Pavesi

The Eighth Detective by Alex Pavesi

Print   Audio

This is a structurally fascinating book. (I’ve been reading a lot of those lately.) It is about a reclusive professor of mathematics who calculated the “rules of murder” and wrote a crime fiction book about them. The book is being re-published and the book editor seeks out the professor and engages in conversations with him about the work. The reader gets one of the crime fiction stories from the professor’s book, followed by the editor and the professor discussing it; I got about halfway through and it was going in a creepy and suspenseful direction, but I paused it for two reasons: 1.I struggle with short story collections – it is a me problem, not a short story problem – and while the structure was unique, I found it disjointed and taking awhile to hit the payoff and 2. I just wasn’t feeling the creepy suspense about what was going to happen between the professor and the editor. This makes sense because I am not generally a thriller/suspense reader. 

This might be for you if: You enjoy the way mysteries are crafted and like reading thriller/suspense, or if books with unique structure are your jam and you tolerate thriller/suspense.

You Are Here by Karin Lin-Greenberg

You Are Here by Karin Lin-Greenberg

Print   Audio

I listened to about 15% of this and paused because I found the audiobook narrator difficult to listen to. The book includes a collection of characters from young children to elderly adults, all connected by a local mall that is on the verge of closing, and I found the different voices the narrator did, especially for the children and the older adults to be a bit grating on the ears. I would pick this one up sometime in print because I found the community of characters engaging.

This might be for you if: You enjoy stories of found family and people brought together by a shared circumstance, though I highly recommend reading it in print unless you have a higher tolerance for audiobook narration than I do.

The Lonely Hearts Book Club by Lucy Gilmore

The Lonely Hearts Book Club by Lucy Gilmore

Print   Audio

I listened to about a third of this and paused it because another audiobook I was waiting for from the library became available. It is about a young-ish woman who is a librarian. The most important relationship in her life was with her sister, who died when she was still young. She has parents and a fiance who are … not great – and she’s sort of just floating through life. She connects with a grumpy older man who frequents the library and it seemed like a found family situation was going to start to form. For me, it was one of those books that was fine in the background, but the characters weren’t jumping off the page; it was missing a spark that I can’t quite articulate.

This might be for you if: You enjoy found family and can handle a little heaviness, you need a palate cleanser audiobook to listen to in the background of a walk or drive or tasks around the house (nothing wrong with this, it is one of my favorite things about audiobooks!) – or if you are waiting on another audiobook from the library.

The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik

The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik

Print   Audio

This is the third book in a young adult fantasy series. I read the first book in print and thought it was good, listened to the second book and really liked it, and got about a third into this audiobook. The main character is a sorceress who attended a school for magical children that I can only say is an upside down world Hogwarts – dark and grimy, as opposed to hopeful and shiny. The first two books set up the big event that happens at the end of the second book, and I found this third book to move too slowly for me.

This might be for you if: You enjoy young adult fantasy with a twist and a main character with a unique voice – and you don’t mind a slow burn.

Drama Free: A Guide To Managing Unhealthy Family Relationships by Nedra Tawaab

Drama Free: A Guide to Managing Unhealthy Family Relationships by Nedra Glover Tawwab

Print   Audio

This book is great. I worked slowly through it, which is often how I like to read nonfiction, and made it a few chapters in before returning it to the library. It didn’t work for me as a library book because it wasn’t something I could sit and consume until it was finished. It was one of those books I need to own so it can sit on my bedside table and I can work through as I feel ready to.

This might be for you if: You want to supplement therapy or if you need some additional comfort and guidance as you navigate family relationships; recommend purchasing it unless you are someone who can process non-fiction quickly.

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Categories: Book Lists


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