Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Reader's remorse

I seem to be experiencing "reader's remorse" a lot lately. The books I choose to read seem so inviting and hold so much promise before I open them. The book jackets are attractive. The blurbs and excerpts are interesting. All together in a fat stack my selected reading material beckons me to drop everything mundane and experience the pleasures of vicarious living in their imaginary settings.

Then I read one and it is flat, with dull characters, uninteresting action, and nothing that compels me to recommend it to anyone else. So I read another one, and it also fails to delight or motivate me. Alternating fiction with non-fiction fails to get me going. Either my choices are lousy this year, or I'm at a different place in life. (It's probably a combination of both.)

The most recent fiction book I read was Dark Tort by Diane Mott Davidson. I've read other mysteries in this series and found them to be at least mildly enjoyable. This one was disappointing. It wasn't a mind puzzle, like most good mysteries, and the author didn't put out many clues or hints for her readers (or her sleuth, for that matter).
The recipes included, for the most part, weren't ones I would make for my family. The best thing about this book was that I could read it while sitting on the beach at the lake and do the "mommy scan" counting children's heads in the water frequently and not lose my place. I could also knit and watch Chicken Little while reading this mystery. That's not really very high praise for a book...

Now I'm reading Joe Kane's Running the Amazon. It's not as gripping as I'd hoped it would be. Accounts of polar expeditions, mountain climbing treks, and continental exploration are almost always a part of my summer reading, and I can't think of many I've read that I haven't wanted to reread. This one will be a one-time read. I'm one-third of the way through this book and I'm still waiting for my magical carpet ride to get me there. I'm not on the expedition. I'm able to knit while I read this book. Mr. Kane dutifully chronicles his team's trip from (what they presume to be) the source of the Amazon to the Atlantic, commenting on the various team members and how they relate to one another and the South Americans they meet, but I'm not there. He hasn't brought me along, and I really want to be there as I read this book.

I think I'll ask my library if they can get this book for me to try next.



Blogger Jeannine said...

I know what you mean about being disappointed in books. I've been very disappointed lately in almost everything I've been reading out loud to the two middle boys. I don't know what's wrong. Some were books I enjoyed reading to the oldest two when they were younger but for whatever reason I'm not enjoying them this time around.

I'm waiting for this book to come from my library:
Julie and Julia : 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen.

I am also enjoying the Molly Murphy series by Rhys Bowen. I'm almost halfway through the second one.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Jennie C. said...

It's hard to find a good book. I avoid popular authors like the plague, especially if their books are prone to becoming movies. I've been reading classics this summer, and enjoying them mightily. I'm just finishing "Eight Cousins" by Loisa May Alcott (a childrens book) and I've got Pride and Prejudice waiting in the wings.

7:19 AM  

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