Top Ten Tuesday: The Most Recent Books I Did Not Finish

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A photo of scrabble tiles against a salmon background. The tiles have been arranged to spell out the words “yes” and “no.”When Jana released the summer topics for Top Ten Tuesday, she suggested we include reasons why we didn’t finish the books in this week’s list if we can do so kindly.

I’m going to take her up on that idea, but please don’t let me stop you from checking these titles out for yourself if you’re interested in them.

My literary pet peeves and dislikes might be exactly what you look for in a story and vice versa. Everyone is different, after all, and all of these books had good bones so to speak. I wouldn’t have included them this week if I thought otherwise!

Book cover for Pageboy by Elliot Page. Image on cover is a photo of Mr. Page wearing a white tank top and a pair of blue jeans. He is sitting in a room with a red wall and staring ahead at the camera with a serious expression on his face.

Pageboy by Elliot Page
Why I Stopped Reading It: While I liked Mr. Page’s writing style and was quite interested in his story, I struggled to adjust to how non-linearly he wrote this memoir and how many details about his sex life were included. It is totally fine for people who enjoy that topic to discuss about it amongst themselves so long as all of their sexual partners have consented to it, by the way! I’m simply bored by such talk and would have much rather read something that was written chronologically and focused on the author’s many professional accomplishments instead.
Book cover for The Annual Migration of Clouds by Premee Mohamed. Image on cover shows a drawing of a grey and white bird that has a green fungus of some sort growing on it’s feathers and body.
Why I Stopped Reading It: I enjoyed the science fiction elements of the first few chapters, but the literary fiction elements of it were too slow and meandering for my tastes. I generally prefer stronger plot and character development than what was featured here, but I can also see how this could be a great introduction to science fiction for people who love more ambiguous writing styles.
Book cover for Wonder Drug: The Secret History of Thalidomide in America and Its Hidden Victims by Jennifer Vanderbes. Image on cover is a black and white photo of a white toddler who is wearing a white dress and placing blocks into the correct holes in a wooden sorting toy. The little girl does not have arms due to prenatal exposure to thalidomide.
Why I Stopped Reading It: There wasn’t much here that I hadn’t already read elsewhere, although it could be a great read for people who aren’t already aware of the tragic, unintended consequences of thalidomide on embryos and fetuses.
Book cover for Such Kindness by Andre Dubus III. Image on cover shows a photo of a bald old man walking gingerly down an otherwise deserted road on a partly cloudy winter day.
Such Kindness by Andre Dubus III
Why I Stopped Reading It: The main character had been in constant, severe pain since a work accident a decade ago that destroyed his health, marriage, finances, ability to work, and more.  One reviewer said the storyline remained dark and depressing for the first hundred pages before it improved. I read a little past that point but then could not take any more of his suffering. It was too much for me.
Book cover for Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Image on cover shows the eyes of a woman who is deeply frightened. There is a red shade to the image that makes it seem even scarier because everything is washed in red, and that made me think of blood.
Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Why I Stopped Reading It: It was too scary. My brain needs calmer stuff at the moment.


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72 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: The Most Recent Books I Did Not Finish

  1. It’s always a bummer when a book doesn’t work for readers, but I think there is good in DNF-ing books because, well, there’s just too many good ones out there. 🙂

  2. I’m waiting for the audiobook edition of Pageboy from the library. I hope I like it.

  3. The fact that you had to stop reading Silver Nitrate because it was too scary makes me want to read it even more. 😅 Different strokes and all that, I suppose.

    Thanks for letting us know about Pageboy. I was interested in his story but not too keen on all the sexual content, so I’ll probably avoid that.

    My TTT:

  4. Athena @Onereadingnurse

    Lol yes, no thanks to a stranger’s sex life details! Thanks for dropping by my post!

  5. Ooooh, thank you for the warning about Silver Nitrate! I enjoyed the author’s Mexican Gothic, but it was nearly too scary for me. Anything more intense and I think I wouldn’t have finished it.

    I also prefer memoirs that are more linear. Good to know that this one isn’t. And Premee Mohamed seems to write in that crossover SFF/lit fic space on a regular basis. I read And What Can We Offer You Tonight but was indifferent toward the style, so that’s probably going to be the only thing of hers I read.

    My TTT:

  6. I keep hearing good things about Pageboy, but it doesn’t sound like somethig that would appeal to me either. Wonder Drug sounds interesting, although I don’t tend to read much non-fiction these days.

  7. That is good information to know before starting Page Boy.

  8. Andi

    It’s such a bummer when a book doesn’t work out especially if you were looking forward to it.

  9. I was going to read or listen to Pageboy, but I am not want to want details about their sexual encounters. I close books because they are too explicit, so I think I will pass on it now. Thanks for the heads up Lydia. I like your reasoning, they all sound like ones that might get me to DNF as well.

  10. I was considering listening to Pageboy, but it’s good to know what to expect!

  11. I love that you included reasons, because your bit about Silver Nitrate actually makes me more tempted to pick it up! Love that!

  12. I haven’t read any of your books listed and don’t really think anyone appeals to me. Love how diverse people can love different books!

    Elza Reads

  13. I hope you’re able to come back to SILVER NITRATE at some point!

  14. Lydia, great list as usual! I’m waffling on Silver Nitrate because I was worried it would be too scary, and thanks for noting that, because I’m taking it off my TBR. I’m a huge chicken and probably can’t handle that book.

  15. This actually makes me want to pick up Silver Nitrate more, haha.

  16. I liked Page in Juno, but that’s about it. Don’t know that I’ve seen `em in anything else. I don’t really do DNFs that much, so I went with Kindle previews this week.

  17. Silver Nitrate… everything by that author looks interesting to me but just haven’t tried them yet…

  18. Hmmm…The annual Migration of Clouds was recently recommended to me, I think I will skip it.

  19. I do not read horror or scary books so I definitely don’t think Silver Nitrate would be for me! I’m not sure if I should try any of their other books though.

  20. Unrelenting dark and depressing storylines are so difficult for me!

  21. I have Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia on my TBR list. Sounds like something to read around Halloween.

  22. Silvia Moreno-Garcia had cool stories, but same, I’m not in the mood for nitrate, maybe in autumn

  23. I’ve never heard of any of these, but some of them do sound interesting. WONDER DRUG is one I might pick up since I don’t know anything about that topic.

    Happy TTT!


  24. Oh no, I’ve heard this about Pageboy A LOT and I was so excited to read it too!

  25. Good reasons to stop. You know your own limits.

  26. I might have to read Silver Nitrate if it’s as scary as you say! I loved Mexican Gothic but I didn’t feel like checking out Silver Nitrate when I heard about it.

  27. I would also stop reading books for the same reason you didn’t finish these. It’s hard to DNF a book, but sometimes necessary. Have a great week!

  28. Jo

    I love that there are so many books out there that there’s something for everyone and something you loved might not be for someone else and vice versa, though I will admit, I am ever the optimist when it comes to books and often push through when I really should put them down because I keep hoping they’ll get better.

  29. Ooh, I didn’t know Page had a memoir! Looks interesting. Even though I do enjoy Moreno-Garcia’s writing, Silver Nitrate sadly does look way too scary for me and I don’t even know what it’s about 😂 Great list, Lydia!

  30. I’m only familiar with Pageboy from your list this week, I’ve not read it, just heard of it ton Booktube though I’ve not actually checked out the description or anything. Happy reading! My TTT

  31. vidya

    while i try not to DNF a book (and most often DNF for lack of time or because of other priorities), i would definitely dnf for many of the reasons you have here..
    thanks for visiting my ttt

  32. My book reviews focus on the style of writing with a bit of my opinion mixed in because other people might like what I wasn’t so keen on.

    An interesting list.

    Have a great week!

  33. Your reasons make sense! I saw Silver Nitrate in the horror section when I went to the bookstore last week, I don’t think I’d be able to pick it up if it was that scary

  34. All great reasons to put down a book!

  35. I think all of your reasons for DNFing each of these makes perfect sense.

  36. RS

    I can’t stand non-linear memoirs or excessive details on people’s sex lives either…Pageboy was already low priority for me and now it’s even lower. Although I love the “too scary” reason…interest, INCREASED!

    All very interesting and understandable reasons for DNFing, though. Great post.

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