Books I Won't Be Reading

on Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Now that the initial panic of Cramageddon has subsided, I've done a bit of literary triage to lighten the load.

I've pretty much stuck to two rules:

1) No blockbusters. They'll be getting enough coverage come December without my input.

2) No books over 350 pages. In fact, if you decide to drop a brick in November (or have dropped a brick that I haven't yet read by November) I say a pox on you and your verbosity.

So, with my derision deflectors set to full power, here's a few of the books I've decided not to read in 2013:

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Sure, I was excited as the rest of you when I heard this was coming out. And yes, I loved The Secret History. Then I remembered The Little Friend and thought, fuck it, I'm not committing myself to 800-odd pages when you've only got a 50% strike rate.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I read Half Of A Yellow Sun. Can't be stuffed reading the other half.

The Kills by Richard House. If only it had made the Booker shortlist I wouldn't have had a choice. Indeed, I would have welcomed its company on the long haul flight back from Detroit, to give a certain symmetry to my flight across with The Luminaries. Alas, now that I do, I think I'll put it aside for a summer beach read. Then again, I don't really like the beach. Or summer.

The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates. What was this? Book number 3 for her in 2013? I can't even write shopping lists that prolifically.

Eyrie by Tim Winton. Breath was great. I can take or leave pretty much everything else of his. I imagine Eyrie will have surfing in it. Sorry if I just spoiled it for you.

The Golem and The Jinni by Helene Wecker. I actually really want to read this. It has a certain air of charm and wonder. But right now I've got golems coming out every orifice and, when the mud hardens, it's gonna hurt. Pass.

Seiobo There Below by Laszlo Krasznahorkai. It's the first book by him that I'm going to skip. My brain just can't handle the impenetrable prose or the theoretical density. And it's about flowers. Those bastards give me hayfever.

The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner. This minute's Great American Novel. Expect to see it atop many lists. Just not mine.

Triage done, let's see how I go with the rest.


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