Books to Finish, or Give a Second Chance

7:30 pm

Ah yes, those books that lie half-read on your shelf, discarded in a reading slump, half-read because of their format, and generally left...on the shelf.

The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana - Umberto Eco - Now this one certainly suffered from the curse of the reading slump. I first picked this up in my second year of university, a time where I was not reading a great amount, so naturally this got tossed to the side which I was distracted by other things i.e. hideous essays on The Heart of Darkness. The basic story of this book is the recovery of a bookseller after severe memory loss caused by a stroke. He navigates the world re-learning the names of objects, the people round him, and his daily rituals. I found it a really interesting look into the world of art and literature, and I'm baffled as to why I would give this up 208 pages in.

Metamorphosis and Other Stories - Franz Kafka - The diagnosis of this book being neglected is the format of the short story collection. 85 pages in I have read both 'Metamorphosis' and 'The Great Wall of China', both of which I enjoyed massively. There are only four other stories in the collection so it won't even take me a long time to finally get this read.

Labyrinths - Jorge Luis Borges - As above, but with a lot more stories left to read. Another very, very good collection that deserves my attention.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer - Patrick Suskind - This is in a very similar circumstance to the Eco text above. I got 97 pages in whilst at university, and never looked at it again, despite a very gripping storyline. Grenouille is a young man impassioned by the idea of creating the perfect scent, which he attempts to do by murdering young women. The book itself it's that long and is in a ridiculously large font, so I could probably get it read in a week if I tried.

Religion for Atheists - Alain de Botton - I find the problem with some non-fiction books, especially ones on just specific topic, is that you can't read them all in one go as it all gets a bit overwhelming. This book is one of those, despite being on a fascinating topic. Hopefully I can pick it back up where I left off and won't feel too disoriented.

253 - Geoff Ryman - This is a very recent purchase for me, and a book I've been meaning to read for ten years (no exaggeration, I've been wanting to read this since year 9 in school). However, the structure bears similar issues to the non-fiction above. The book is told in single pages, each page detailing a different person on a Tube journey. You hear about their appearance, their personality, and their thoughts at that present moment. Reading page after page of this format is challenging, hence why I've put this down ~50 pages in for the time being. Fortunately this structure means you can't really lose your place in the plot and you don't really need to remember all of the 'characters', because there are 253 of them.

Sexy Origins and Intimate Things - Charles Panati - Finally, another non-fiction, and similar to the de Botton book above. This is packed full with hilarious and very enlightening information on all things sex- and gender-related, and I've absolutely loved what I've read of it (nearing 200 pages), but it's not one you can read all in one go. Definitely a dip in and out book. No euphemisms intended.

What books do you have left sitting on your shelf, dying to be finished?

M x

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