Thursday, July 1, 2010

You Want to Love a Book - but Don't

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about (mostly) books and reading. This weeks pondering:
Name a book or author that you truly wanted to love but left you disappointed. (And, of course, explain why.)
Musing Monday's this week was about hyped-up books and I feel that this post ties in with my response to that rather well.

There's a little book called The Help by Katryn Stockett that seemingly everyone loves. Yes, I say 'little' facetiously because this is one of those books that it seems everyone is talking about. There are so many reviews of the book and every one I've read or heard is full of glowing praise. My friend G loves this book. She went out and bought it after having checked it out from the library to read. She bought it 'just to have it on her shelf'. The thing is - I completely understand the desire to have a book you love so much. Often, G and I have very similar taste in books but not this time. I have tried to read The Help twice and can not get into this book. I want to like this book but I find the thrashing of the English language in the beginning of the book absolutely annoying! I understand that Stockett is writing the way her character most likely would have spoken at the time - I get that but still it grates on my nerves.

This is a perfect example of why I generally try to stay away from reviews. I had super high expectations for The Help and twice have started it and taken it back to the library. Maybe it just hasn't been the right time for me and this book. That's happened to me before. I tried to read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society twice and was bored silly. Then I tried a third time and completely fell in love with the book. I honestly believe a book has to be read at the right time in a persons life - but that's a post for another time.


  1. You must be glad now that you gave that book a third chance, what made you decide to pick it up again after two failed attempts?

  2. I really agree about a book needing to be read at just the right time. I had that experience with Pride and Prejudice. Read it for the first time in high school and was bored to death. Gave it another read a few years later, and absolutely loved it - it's still one of my favorites. So I think sometimes it's good to give books a second, and even a third chance.

    My BTT: Disappointment

  3. A book definitely needs to be read at the right time. I haven't read the Help but have considered it. You won't enjoy Push, as that was written the same way but in my mind added to the genuine feel of the book.

    My BTT

  4. I think you're right about a book needing to be read at the right time. Definitely. Sometimes when I read a book I know that it's just not the right time for me to read it and put it back. I hate it when that happens though. It makes me feel like I've failed in some way.

    Some books just need to ferment on the shelf for a bit before they get read. I know that I'd enjoy some books more now then I would have in the past.

  5. I don't think I'll ever want to try to re-read my bad reads again. I do have a stack of "abondoned until later" reads; but that's different -- falling into the "reading at the right time" category. I've just become acquainted with audiobooks. The Help appeared on several recommendation lists for audiobook newbies. Do you think you'd try listening to the book?

  6. Something I'm not sure I told you Sheri... I "listened" to this one, and then went out and bought it. I've since loaned my copy to 3 people (who, yes, loved it). For me, it was actually the "thrashing of the English language" as read by the narrators (it had 3 different women reading) that truly made me love it. Even though every time I'd turn off my ipod, I'd suddenly find myself talking to my kids in a Southern drawl. lol There was also an author interview included with the audiobook, and Kathryn Stockett speaks exactly like the narration (and the way the book is written) :) Take some time, and give it another shot. If I know you at all, I KNOW you will end up loving it. :)