Ten Books NOT Read

‘Tis the season for end-of-year reading lists. They’re fun for comparison and contrast. But this was the only books-not-read list I saw (via Pages Turned), and I found it so funny I am compelled to follow suit. I could come up with any number of unread books. Instead, I’ll just note the obvious ones.

1. Ines of My Soul by Isabel Allende. Bought (breaking my new I’m-only-buying-books-that-I’ve read-and-loved vow) on sale at Target after a friend invited me to see Allende speak. I read the first 50 pages, then stopped because I found out my friend was reading Zorro. I started Zorro (from library), took forever to finish it because I didn’t love it, then returned Ines.

2. Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty. I re-read the first two books in her trilogy, and didn’t like them as well as I remembered. I had to finish Middlesex for my book group, so I returned this to the library unread, since I couldn’t muster any excitment to read it.

3. Rash by Pete Hautman. I like Hautman’s books a lot. The Prop was one of my favorite books of last year. But Rash came in at the library in the midst of my summer reading challenge, and I could either read it, or the books on my shelf that I’d set as my goal, so I returned it unread.

4. One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson and 5. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marish Pessl. I was still slogging through Zorro when these came into the library at the same time. I knew I’d never have time to re-read Case Histories before OGT was due, and I had no idea that STiCP was so long. I returned them promptly to the library so someone else could get them quickly.

6. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert; 7. Not Buying It by Judith Levine; and 8. The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susannah Clarke. I put these in my library queue before I made my young-adult-centered reading list for the summer. I knew I could either read them, or the books I’d set for myself. I gritted my teeth, and deleted them from my queue. I still want to read the first two, but my enthusiasm for the Clarke book has dimmed in the meantime.

9. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and 10. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. I wanted to read these in the aftermath of my re-reading of Jane Eyre. Again, I knew if I did, I wouldn’t complete my summer reading list. I put them off for later, and never got to them.

And finally, because every list of 10 should have an 11. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien. Because anytime I say to my husband that I don’t know what to read next, he says, “You know, there’s this great book…” Both he and I know that I’ll probably never read it. I’d have to go back and start the trilogy again from the beginning. I think I came to these books too late in life to love them.

Books recommended by my husband that I don’t read, though, and vice versa, is another topic, for another day.

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