Top Ten Books I Started But Didn’t Finish in 2017
- Arundhati Roy – The God of Small Things. I read the first ten pages of this in bed, thought, “This is amazing,” but then I got hungry and went to get a snack, and forgot to keep reading. Six months later I picked it up again, read the first ten pages, loved them, but, well, I got hungry again.
- Haruki Murakami – 1Q84. Who am I kidding?
- Junot Diaz – The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I actually finished this book, but I skipped the part about the grandfather, because I knew it was going to be sad, and I don’t really like it when sad things happen in books.
- Philip Pullman – The Book of Dust. I’m going to finish this one. Probably.
- Robert Musil – The Man Without Qualities. I try to read this every year. I love it.
- W.G. Sebald – Austerlitz. Beautifully written but profoundly boring. I got pretty far but then I got the feeling that sad things were going to happen.
- Mary McAuliffe – When Paris Sizzled. I should have known better than to get a book about real things that happened to real people. I can’t even watch a documentary without getting nervous.
- Daniel C. Dennett – From Bacteria to Bach: The Evolution of Minds. This guy had an ax to grind, because he wrote a book a while back called “Consciousness Explained” that every philosopher now refers to as “Consciousness Ignored.” I think he and David Chalmers are basically not talking about the same thing.
Farid Ud-Din Attar – The Conference of the Birds. I’m not even sure why I got this, honestly.
- Ezra Pound – The Cantos. I thought this would be much better than it was. The poems are not very good, and the only point I came away with was that Pound hates usury, which is a funny thing to hate if you’re not living in the Middle Ages. I feel good about not finishing this book.