Any reader worth her weight in complimentary bookmarks knows that, as we chase after each new, highly anticipated release, there will be disappointments. Some books will go unread. And while there are those of us who feel a bit guilty about that, it's worth noting that sometimes it's just not our fault. Buzz and critical acclaim can't dictate what the heart wants, and what the heart doesn't want will be left on the top of the bookshelf, gathering dust next to a copy of Infinite Jest. Goodreads (which is just Facebook for book geeks) published a list today of the five most abandoned books among its members. All of them were supposed to be great, but here's why you probably didn't finish them:
It Wasn't "Harry Potter:
One could argue that the Harry Potter books are an impossible series to top. Maybe we should all be happy that J.K. Rowling decided to write anything after sending Albus Severus off to Hogwarts. But she did, and both critics and Potterheads alike were underwhelmed by The Casual Vacancy. When the book was released last September, Michiko Kakutani at The New York Times called the book "clichéd," "banal," "disappointing," and "dull." Also:
There is no magic in this book — in terms of wizarding or in terms of narrative sorcery. Instead, this novel for adults is filled with a variety of people like Harry’s aunt and uncle, Petunia and Vernon Dursley: self-absorbed, small-minded, snobbish and judgmental folks, whose stories neither engage nor transport us.