Thursday, November 10, 2011

Not my cup of tea

That picture looks nice doesn't it? I guess, but I don't even like tea. I had a brief flirtation with coffee in college, but that was simply to keep me awake during early exams. Where am I going with this? Lately I had a few books that weren't my cup of tea. I don't even know where that expression came from, but it fits perfectly with how I felt about a few books lately.

Alison Wonderland by Helen Smith and The Shattering by Karen Healey have left me a little stumped. I go into every book believing I'm going to love it. Perhaps that's a little misguided because no one can possibly love everything. But I love books, and it takes a lot for me not to like something. Lately I've given some books a little too much leeway. My rule of thumb in the past has been give a book 50-60 pages before giving up. But I have fallen into back into a habit of reading books I don't like. I'm forcing myself to finish books I truly can't stand.

Where books are concerned, I have a problem with being ruthless. I'll put the book aside, and start reading another. I'll focus my attention on other books because they have a fixed date for the review. By the time I go back to the book that wasn't my cup of tea it feels like torture.

You might have noticed that after nearly two months, I'm still reading When She Woke by Hillary Jordan. Now this isn't a bad book, I actually like it. I've just made the mistake of putting other books ahead of it. Kind of like what I did with Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson. I prioritize as best I can, but some things just fall through the cracks.

Which brings me to The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory. I wanted to like this one too because I love historical fiction. The cover was bright and inviting. I read the pitch e-mail, and I thought I want to know what this person is about. But as we all know looks can be deceiving. The opportunities to read books by big-time authors don't come along often. Perhaps I left myself get blinded by that.

I had to give up on The Lady of The Rivers, it just wasn't my cup of tea. I wanted to like it. The opening deals with Joan of Arc being burned at the stake. I was intrigued by that. The young girl in the book, Jacquetta was friends with Joan of Arc. Jacquetta even predicts her death. I thought this is great, where will this lead? The impressionable Jacquetta marries a much older man. He doesn't love her he just wants to use her gifts. After a while I wasn't looking forward to what was on the next page. I put it aside and started Chosen by Chandra Hoffman, a book that I am looking forward to turning the pages. I'm engrossed in that book, I want to know what happens. I hoped that taking a break from The Lady of The Rivers would give me a deeper appreciation for it.

Not the case. It just wasn't my cup of tea.

(By the way I hope what I'm saying is making sense!)

I had to put it down. I feel bad about that. Someone sent me a book and I should have finished it. I've fallen back into the mentality I had when I first started blogging. "YOU HAVE TO FINISH EVERYTHING." That just isn't true. Look at newspapers, I also happen to work at one. Some books sit on shelves for weeks, months, years untouched. Only a select few get actual coverage in the paper. I'm not a professional book reviewer or columnist, but perhaps I should adopt their attitude. I don't have to like everything, review everything or even finish everything because their just not my cup of tea!!

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