Reading in 2015: What I Didn’t Like

This is my least favorite thing to contemplate when I look back over a list of books I’ve read in any given year: Which books didn’t I like? Why didn’t I like them?

The first question is easier to answer than the second. While I can say in general that I didn’t like a book because I didn’t find it interesting, “interesting” can mean a variety of things. Mostly, my dislikes tend to center around an inability to connect with the main character (this isn’t an issue of “likability”) and/or plot points that aren’t compelling.

The four books I’ve listed below are ones that received rave reviews from other readers and professional reviewers. The novels didn’t appeal to me. (Note that I’m not making a judgement that these are “bad” books.)

One of the big books of the year, I couldn’t wait to sit down with this. The first indication things weren’t going well for me as a reader: I had to keep turning back to the flyleaf to remind myself who each character was. I read a few chapters, but nothing drew me in. I skimmed a bit more. Still nothing. I didn’t finish.

I had pretty much the same reaction to this book, though here I didn’t get beyond the first chapter. Unlike with A Little Life, though, I do think about giving this one another try. Maybe I picked it up when I was too distracted with other things. Maybe.

There was something about the tone or voice here that didn’t set well with me. I certainly didn’t hate it; it left me rather cold.

I couldn’t develop any kind of connection with the main character or with the plot. I didn’t finish reading it.

2016 reading has started off on a couple of high notes. So stay tuned, this time next year.