A collection of spoiler-free reviews of the books and articles I read. I read a lot, and particularly enjoy 20th century history, graphic novels and graphic memoirs, contemporary literary fiction and the occasional bit of fantasy and horror.
I also share a list of the books I abandon without finishing, although I try not to be too negative. Books I hate might well be books other people love, and there’s enough hate on the internet without me adding to the pile.
As someone who loves to read, I own surprisingly few books. Part of this is practical. I love physical paper books but they take up space and when you live in an apartment space is at a premium. Another part of it is financial; new books are expensive (I don’t see Amazon as an option). The third reason though is the most important reason for me, and that is that I find by ‘owning’ a book I have paid full price for, I feel compelled to complete it cover to cover and then hang on to it even if I don’t like it. I have wasted months of good reading time trying to force myself through books I don’t enjoy, half a page at a time. The reason I have read fifty books and counting this year is because I have almost exclusively been reading library books. They’re ‘mine’ for four weeks at a time, and if I don’t like something, I simply return it unread. It’s been liberating.
September has been a frustrating month in books, but a good month in non-fiction articles. I’ve abandoned two novels and stubbornly completed two others even though I promised myself at the start of this year that I would freely abandon bad books. There are so many good books out there and not enough hours in a day to read them all, so I really shouldn’t be wasting my time on books I don’t love, but there we go. Old habits die hard.