Ugh, guys. I am in such a rut. Not my usual sort of rut (creative, romantic, professional, existential, homicidal, etc etc) but the absolute WORST kind of rut known to man… the loathed and dreaded reading rut. I’m blaming stupid, seeming-to-move-backward Mercury, which is retrograde right now. Stupid tiny, fast, extreme-weather-having, heavily-cratered planet.
So the sad fact is that I am without a book to review for you this week. A string of DNFs (it means ‘did not finish,’ Mom) have left me feeling rather disheartened. I kind of just want to burn the TBR pile (‘to be read’ pile, Mom, jeezus) and hurl myself into Tolkien for a self-indulgent re-read. My Goodreads challenge will suffer. The looming biblio-Big Brother already judges me for my multitude of reading sins – book adultery, DNFs, way too much smut – so what the hell, might as well add indulgent re-reads to the list, right? TO THE TOLKIEN!
I know you want to know. Should I tell you? Hmmm, maybe I shouldn’t. It’s not really professional… OKAY FINE you twisted my arm, I’ll dish the dirt. The books I DID NOT FINISH were: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and The Magicians by Lev Grossman. Why? The first was unoriginal, the second I wasn’t interested in (seriously, you guys, THIS was what you were all freaking out about?) and the last I hated hated HATED. So bloody slow. So joyless. So studied and tedious and careful. I don’t want to see how hard you’re trying, mate. I’m not talking about difficult books – some of the best books are difficult books, aren’t they (cough TOLSTOY cough). I’m talking about the actual writing, the construction and word choice and hundreds of other things, nameable and otherwise, that all fit together in that amazing, magical puzzle to create the Book. Your writing should always seem like it took as much effort as blinking, even if you slaved over a single sentence for 32.5 hours before deciding to change one word and then scrapping the whole thing and writing something else and then going back to that first one after all. Writing should seem easy. If it doesn’t, no one will want to read it. Or at least, this lady won’t.
Ugh. I *hate* not finishing a book. I hardly ever do it, since I’m as stubborn as stone, but when I actually dread picking up a book because I find it formulaic or boring or outright repulsive, I have to remind myself that there aren’t any Reading Police lurking in the shadow of my bookshelf, waiting to haul me in for the crime of Failure to Finish a Well-Reviewed Book. Everyone knows there’s no such thing as Book Police.
Only Library Cops.
Mr. Bookman. Hero.
Until next week, you freaky cats. I hope you like hobbits because that’s what I’ll be Tolkien about.