Books With Spines: The Good Books You Never Finished

Apr 25, 2016 |  NAS

Font Size  


Books With Spines: The Good Books You Never Finished

Apr 25, 2016 | 


Gentle readers, you have given us a lovely assortment of books with Shakespearian Titles, both real and hypothetical—an embarrassment of riches. (Not a Shakespearian phrase!-- Léonor Jean Christine Soulas d'Allainval’s L'Embarras des richesses (1726) is the responsible party, says Wikipedia.) Please click here to see the list of Shakespearian Titles that you recommended.  

Speaking of embarrassment, this week we want you to share in our shamefacedness. We have to confess that we don’t finish every good book we start, and we have left some good books half-finished for a very long time indeed. Would you share with us The Good Books You Never Finished? Would you say why you left them unfinished? And have you ever recommended these books to someone else? In this case, we will not mention any names of people who help us write this list!

On our part … one of us never finished Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, because it told her more about whales than she really wanted to know. Another of us has not finished Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter, because it was an endless romance novel that the medieval Norwegian background failed to make interesting. Another of us put down John Barth’s The Sot-Weed Factor because the pastiche of seventeenth-century English dialogue was really bad and annoying. One of us shelved John Steinbeck’s East of Eden because the deep evil in Cathy was too dark to stomach at the time. And although NAS’s Fearless Leader has done the Long March through Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, some of us actually prefer well-written novels to shaggy-dog jokes, and would read Jane Austen a thousand times before we would finish Sterne once.

Which good books have you never finished? Why not? Please tell us by the afternoon of Friday, April 29!


Image Credit: Juliana Dacoregio, cropped.