This list is predominantly made up of books that I tried to read, but for one reason or another, could not finish or continue. There’re a bunch of them, and it’s not to say the books themselves were bad, I guess, but I figured I need a public venue to showcase this sort of thing. Also, writing out the titles might inspire me to try again…
The Lord of the Rings — Blasphemy, especially for a fantasy writer, I know. I tried it when I was younger and couldn’t get past one of the earlier morasses of description. Something about the family history and significance of a chair is about when I closed it up thinking “Maybe later.”
As of the last week of February, I have re-begun the Lord of the Rings. Then, as of the end of the first week of April, I found it too much of a chore, and have set it down for now in favor of a book I’m actually excited to read.
The Silmarillion — Despite a trusted associate’s praise for this, it’s been years since my first/last attempt.
Moby Dick — Similar reason. I found it virtually unintelligible, but again, this was back when I was a teenager. My father once told me that that book (which, as an avid reader, he knew well), was the one that killed my older brother’s reading career. To date, I’ve heard of my brother reading approximately two books in these last 10-15 years, and I suppose Moby Dick is a fitting piece to do that.
Children of Dune — Another sin. While I have nearly-unending praise for Dune, I liked it better as a standalone. I’ve read reviews about how the series progressively deteriorates, and after finishing Dune Messiah and giving Children of Dune the old college try, I’ve decided those reviews were correct.
The Wheel of Time — Heard a lot, tried it, really didn’t get that far. Too much felt overdone, or even too Y.A.; though I realize that some of the themes as seen in this might have been an early appearance, perhaps one day I’ll get back into it.
Swords Against Darkness — I came across this title on some “10 Fantasy Books You Must Read” list somewhere, got an old copy from Amazon, and actually enjoyed it. I didn’t finish it on account of … I don’t know. Putting it down and forgetting to pick it back up. It’s here now, staring at me from beside my bed.
Franz Kafka – The Castle — this book I too have, and sits next to my bed. I cracked it open once and really did like it, but the aged style and pace might have turned me off from begging too deep into it when I had other books at hand. I do, however, have some respect for Kafka (the Metamorphosis being one of my all-time favorite short stories), and reserve curiosity for what else the man has concocted.
The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1) — Having gone on a slight Stephen King kick, I decided to see what I’ve heard was called a fantasy work by him. One day I’ll try again…
Watership Down — I’ve watched the old 70s cartoon, I’ve even listened to a BBC audiodrama – which turned to be essentially the cartoon without visuals. I’ve been told the original work is quite different, and have been meaning to find out the differences myself.
Magic: The Gathering: — There are dozens of these, some of which I’ve had on the back of my mind for years. The Kamigawa and Ravnica cycles (3 books each, as is their tradition) stand out in my memory the most, but there was also The Brothers War and The Thran that, among other things, happened to be hugely influential. More books, from more settings, by more authors – these are things I will read.
The Prince — by Machievelli. The term machievellian has always had a bitter taste in my mouth, translating all too hastily to selfish, deceitful, and shrewd, in my mind. I hope to read this manuscript and develop a more educated opinion on this topic.
There are more, and I’ll add them as I remember them. Perhaps in the future, there will also be “Books I read in high school English but can’t remember at all” section, you know, like Lord of the Flies and To Kill A Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye.