#amreading 2: Books That Have Gone to the DNF Zone

Hello, everyone! I hope you all are doing well.
Today, I am going to be talking about the books that have gone to the DNF zone.

First and foremost, I am not a kind of reader who easily gives up on a book; once I start reading, I generally strive to stick with it and finish it.

Sadly, however, there have been some books that wound up in the DNF zone and I want to talk a little bit about them and why.

First up, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. 

The Alchemist

I remember picking this up about three and half years ago. Almost everyone around me was reading this book and raving about it back then and I thought I would give it a go and see if I’d like it as much as everyone did.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t quite remember exactly where I left off. But I do remember feeling mentally exhausted and fed up with the litany of misadventures and setbacks the protagonist faces.

My taste in reading was, I assume, quite different from what it is now; I would prefer uplifting, feel-good type of books with happy endings to dark, heavy and thought-provoking books.

Like I mentioned, I just couldn’t stand the mishaps that happen to the protagonist, in particular, when the boy faces what I perceived a life-and-death situation in the middle of a desert (if my memory isn’t cloudy), I was like, “No, I can’t take this any more. This is way too much for me to take. No, I don’t wanna see this boy suffering any more!”
And then I put it down and have never picked up again ever since.

It’s been more than 3 years now and I might as well give this book a second chance now that my taste in books has changed significantly.
THAT SAID, honestly, I’m not inclined to as much. This book might end up staying in the DNF zone. We’ll see about that.

 

Next we have A French Girl in New York by Anna Adams.

A french girl in NY

I picked up this book when Japan Amazon launched the biggest ever sales campaign back in 2013.
An incredible number of titles, even by super-famous authors’, were offered for free only the specific day and everyone I know went into a shopping frenzy.
That was where I got this book for a song; the pretty cover definitely had me smitten.

However, this book failed to grab me – I didn’t get to connect with the heroine at all, I even came to hate the whole plot.
It’s about a French girl in a Cinderella-ish situation, being neglected and condemned to live in the basement of the house – a complete pigsty. One day, she goes on a school trip to Paris or somewhere and gets spotted by a music director or promoter or something and then gets shot to stardom.
My normal self wouldn’t mind this plot at all, but I didn’t like the writing AT ALL. It felt overly sugary and over the top. It even felt cliché and made me cringe. It was definitely not my taste and I put it down.

This book seems to have gleaned a lot of high reviews, so obviously the fault lies with me and other readers seem to enjoy the story.
I’m not even sure if I would pick up this book ever again, but I’m afraid it’s highly-unlikely.

If you have read this book, definitely let me know your thoughts. It might prompt me to pick this up again 🙂

 

The last book that went to the DNF zone is The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.

The picture of dorian gray

I had been reading this book until yesterday, picking it up right after Lord of the Flies. I was totally in the mood for another Classics and I was super pumped to read this book.

That said, sadly enough, I didn’t get to wrap my head around Lord Henry’s perspective and Dorian’s emotional process. It baffled me and got me stumped.

I’m afraid it was partly because of the writing style. It’s indeed mellifluous and has got some CLASS to it, but I also found it a bit discombabulating and not straight-forward enough, at least for me.

I love the idea of the portrait getting older and uglier reflecting Dorian’s conscience while Dorian himself stays young and beautiful. Trust me, I liked the plot itself, yet the descriptions of Dorian’s perspective and emotional process seemed a bit difficult for me to digest and I eventually gave up, thinking that forcing myself to plug away at this book any further could throw me into a massive reading slump. And I didn’t want that, absolutely NOT.
Thus and thus, this book has gone to the DNF zone.

Like I said, I do adore the plot itself, so I’ll definitely come back to this book after a while after honing my reading skills as well as broading my perspective.

Currently, I’m reading On the Beach by Nevil Shute and I’m liking it so far.
I seriously hope it doesn’t end up in the DNF zone, if it does, I don’t know what to do lol

Anyways, that’s it for today.
Thanks for reading as always, I hope you have a wonderful reading week 😀

#amreading 1: Classics!

As I gushed in my Classic Book Haul post, I’m so into Classics right now.

I haven’t written a post yet, but I did read two Classics last week;

  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

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Fahrenheit 451

Man, I can’t tell you enough how much I loved them both!

To be perfectly honest, both of them threw me off a little bit; in particular, I had a hard time following rather cryptic discourse between Beatty and Montag in Fahrenheit 451.
Everything Beatty says in the book sounded like a riddle to me; I didn’t get to see what he was talking about. I even wonder how Montag could be satisfied with Beatty’s answers. They didn’t make any sense to me to be honest –  It seemed that he was just parrying Montag’s questions by making such riddle-like remarks.

That said, I must admit that I found his writing very intense and gorgeous.
His prose is so poetic and lyrical, yet definitely has something that grabbed me. Although I strove so hard to decipher the sentences or paragraphs to see whether it was about what was actually going on or something in Montag’s imagination, I couldn’t put the book down.

I’ve posted a quick review on Goodreads, so if you’re interested, please go check that out 🙂

Now on to Crime and Punishment; Gosh, THAT BOOK!

The first 100 pages or so was really gripping and entertaining, I even sympathized with Raskolnikov and fretted about the devoid of an axe – I was like, “Oh, darn! No axe? What is he going to do?”
At that moment, I couldn’t believe myself for being anxious to get ahold of the important tool for his ‘plan.’  Seriously, what was I thinking?? 
I think it goes to show how superb either the translation done by David McDuff or Dostoyevsky’s writing is. It was really riveting and I really enjoyed reading that part.

I must say that I felt it slowed a bit in the middle (or it may have been a fault on my part),  but from the last few chapters through the ending, I was completely enthralled by the development. In particular, the moment when Raskolnikov is hit by an inexplicable feeling or awe and kneels down and kisses to the ground, it struck me in the feels – I found it incredibly therapeutic and purgatorial. So stunning, so beautiful. I was completely sold.

It is amazing how the tone of the story significantly changes in the epilogue – the undertone of the writing changes DRAMATICALLY changes like a heavy fog finally clears up.
Again, it was just amazing and brilliant.

There are still a lot of things I find I need to work on (the philosophical ideas in particular), and it’s indeed a long story, but I am so glad that I got to the end. I quite enjoyed it.

 

And now, what am I reading now, you might ask?

I’m currently reading Wuthering Heights by  Emily Brontë.  My very first Emily Brontë, believe it or not.

It hadn’t even been on my radar until I watched a video by my favorite BookTuber, but when I saw him brandishing the book (Vintage Classic Edition with a stunning cover), I thought I would like to give it a try.

According to what I’ve heard, it can be a hit and miss; some absolutely adore it and some absolutely hate it.
That said, it won’t do me any harm to give it a go, will it? 😀
Gladly, being on page 85, I’m really liking it. I really hope that I’ll continue to like it till the end!

Oh, I forgot to mention – I’ve recently joined a Goodreads Book Group.
Being a non-native, I may be quite slow at reading, but I hope that I get to read as many books featured in the group as possible and take part in the group activities!
If you’re already a member, do hit me up at Goodreads, it’s going to be so much fun!

All right, that’s about it for now; let me know in the comments what you have been reading.
Thanks for reading as always!