Sunday, June 20, 2010

Top 5 titles I cannot bring myself to ever finish (for reasons logical and nonsensical)

List by Tosca

"It's never over till it's over."
- Proverb

Some books become your best friends. So much so that the thought of them ending is more than enough to cause a twinge of pain and panic. Then there are the books that are mind numbing and sleep inducing and you'd give anything to try to finish chapter one, nevermind the whole book. Oh yes, I went there! Here's my list of books I can't bring myself to finish for both good and bad reasons ;) Do you have a list like this? We'd love to hear from you! Simply leave your own version as a comment.

The Da Vinci code / Dan Brown
While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, a baffling cipher found near the body. As Langdon and a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci - clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter. The stakes are raised when Langdon uncovers a startling link. The late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion - an actual secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci, among others. Langdon suspects they are on the hunt for a breathtaking historical secret, one that has proven through the centuries to be as enlightening as it is dangerous. In a frantic race through Paris, and beyond, Langdon and Neveu find themselves matching wits with a faceless powerbroker who appears to anticipate their every move. Unless they can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle, the Priory's secret - and an explosive ancient truth - will be lost forever.

Tosca's note: B-O-R-I-N-G. I swear this book became my 'go to sleep' bedside book. If I couldn't rest then I'd yank this out and read it. Sure enough, two paragraphs in I'd be fast asleep. Never got past chapter 1 and I had it out for 2 months *winces* I did enjoy the movie, though. In fact, I've found that those who liked the book detested the movie and vice versa.

Eclipse [book 3 in the Twilight series] / Stephenie Meyer
As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob - knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?

Tosca's note: Oohh I'm not a fan of the Twilight series. I've read books 1 & 2 and the first few pages of book 3 and then given up. I'm usually a stickler for reading books before watching their movie adaptations but this is definitely one I'm going to pass over. Bella's whole co-dependency vibe is not my cup of tea.

Beyond reach [book 6 in the Grant County series] / Karin Slaughter
Sara Linton resident medical examiner/pediatrician in Grant County, Georgia, has plenty of hardship to deal with, including defending herself in a heartbreaking malpractice suit. So when her husband, Police chief Jeffery Tolliver, learns that his friend and coworker detective Lena Adams has been arrested for murder and needs Saras help, she is not sure she can handle the pressure of it all. But soon Sara and Jeffery are sifting through evidence, peeling back the layers of a mystery that grows darker by the day until an intricate web of betrayal and vengeance begins to unravel. And suddenly the lives of Sara, Lena, and Jeffery are hanging by the slenderest of threads.

OMG! What the heck was going on in Karin Slaughter's mind with this novel? Since Slaughter's debut (btw is that her real name because if it is it's fantastic and if it's not then it's a cheap marketing ploy that works really well) 'Blindsighted' I've followed every Grant County novel with almost fanatical devotion. Until this one! And it's my own darn fault. I'm an inveterate 'last page reader' and if any book was going to cure me of it then it would have been this book. Seriously, I read the ending *SPOILER ALERT AHEAD* saw that Jeffrey got blown up - WHAT THE HECK?! - and then, predictably enough, was shocked and teary eyed and then closed the book and refused to read it in its entirety. I liked Jeffrey Tolliver (literary crush, thing) and, now, I don't want to pick up that book ever again. It's my own fault for reading the ending first but wow, way to kill a buzz *sigh*

Inspector Morse : the remorseful day [DVD] / starring John Thaw & Kevin Whatley
Super sleuth, Inspector Morse has an ear for music, a taste for beer, and a nose for crime. He sets out with Sergeant Lewis to solve each intriguing case.

I'm a diehard Morse fan from way back and I was stoked to find that Manukau Libraries holds a copy of every single episode starring the very brilliant John Thaw. I worked my way through all of them and then got to the last one, figured out what was going on in the first few minutes, promptly burst into tears because it was so gosh darn sad and switched it off. Then I chucked the remote at the tv screen *wails* I'm not ready for it to end! EVER grr. One day, maybe, I will be but oohh I'm not convinced.

Curtain: Poirot's last case / Agatha Christie
Arthritic and immobilized, Hercule Poirot takes up his last case, relying on old friend Captain Hastings to be his eyes and ears as he hunts down the slipperiest criminal of his career.

Tosca's note: Hercule Poirot is my idol for the simple reason that he was all about symmetry and order. Having grown up in a household of 6 other siblings this was bliss. I started collecting Christie's novels from as early as 9 or 10 and, over time, lost copies. A few years ago an aunt gave me hardback copies of almost every book in the series, making it possibly one of the best birthday presents I ever received. I cannot bring myself to finish the last Poirot novel because I'm not ready for my lifelong love affair with Poirot to end just yet. Maybe, one day, I'll be ready to but I really don't think so.

Hmm, I've just realised, looking at these titles, that they're all crime.


Anonymous said...

It's the Hobbit for me. I'm fine with Lord of the Rings, but omg cannot get through the Hobbit. I kept trying though - I read the beginning so often I had it memorised. In this instance, I am lazily awaiting the movie version so that I can say I've finished it in some form or another :D

- Julia

catatonia said...

Hi de hi Julia - omg I totally agree! I could quite happily have skipped the Hobbit but my mum made me read it. It's 1 of 4 books she forced me to read (the other 3 were LOTR ugh) and I detested every bit of them. Also, LOTR. She made me read those, too, and egad I'm still not a fan. The movies were good but by the end of the last one I was hoping someone would push Frodo into the volcano. I know - I'm terrible!

Anonymous said...

Here's something to look forward to when our collections are shared then: - the speedy way to recap the classics!

Emily said...

I read the first three books in the Grant County series by Karin Slaughter, and then got stuck on the fourth "Indelible". Whether it was the mood I was in or it truly wasn't as good as the first three, I'm not sure, but I never finished it.
I did however meet Karin Slaughter when she came to NZ a few years back and that is her real name :)

catatonia said...

Dear Anonymous - I WANT! I was reading an excerpt of it online last week and thinking, 'Oohh, woe is me :( Why do we not have it now? I gotta see it, smell it, need it, read it.' Or, you know, I could suggest it for a purchase LOL

@Emily - I start to cringe when authors become formulaic and I'm glad to say I haven't found slaughters work to be that. You know whose crime series I really enjoy? P. J. Tracy - awesome! You met La Slaughter? No way! Envious :)

Emily said...

Yep - I met Karin Slaughter and Kathy Reichs in the space of a few weeks :o)