I always have a sense of guilt when I give up on a book. There’s a feeling that I should keep pushing through it, that it has something to offer, and possibly even that if a book is boring or not my cup of tea, that it’s completely my fault and I will be a better person if I keep reading it. Lately, though, I’ve had a lot more success with pushing past those feelings and, if a book hasn’t grabbed me by the first 100 pages or so, switching to another one in my pile. Hence my relationship with “The Mechanical.”
I took 4 books on vacation and got through 2 – I really enjoyed “Bellweather Rhapsody” and made it through “The Passenger” with mild interest but not overwhelming enthusiasm. I read a lot, and my annual book goals are usually in the 40’s or 50’s (this year’s goal is 50 books and I just made it halfway). I’ve always been a fast reader. I wasn’t born with many gifts, but that is certainly one of them. However, this will never be a book blog because I’m just not a good critic. I can’t explain why I like something or get fancy with plot structure, character development, metaphors, etc. If I like it, I like it because it started a movie in my head and kept me daydreaming about it even when I was away from it.
I read more from my local library than any other source.
I have a Kindle but our electronic library site is a bit frustrating so if I can’t find a $1 or $2 book deal through any of the websites or blogs that I read, I don’t use it much except when I travel, so I don’t have to lug heavy hardcover tomes on and off planes.
I listen to a lot of books on Audible, too, but I don’t count them in my annual book count because I haven’t technically “read” them.
I picked up “The Mechanical” because it had a prominent blurb from George R.R. Martin at the top and I enjoyed the “Song of Ice and Fire” saga (as well as being a somewhat rabid fan of the HBO series). (Although it must be said that I enjoyed the later books more than the early ones.) I really tried with it and I wish that I could like it because the premise is intriguing – an alternate history of a war between the French and the Dutch, who have created a race of mechanical servants through technology and alchemy. There are all sorts of cool terms in it like Clockmaker’s Guild, Stemwinders, etc but although I tried valiantly, when I got into bed at night, looking at the cover made me want to turn the TV on instead and that’s when I know I have to move on.
I had more guilt when I moved on to a fluffernutter called “While We Were Watching Downton Abbey”, but it was just what I needed – a quick beachy read that I devoured, and then I went back to more robust material with “America’s First Daughter”. I’m almost halfway through it and am finding it fascinating, although it paints a really dubious picture of Thomas Jefferson. I’d love to hear anyone else’s thoughts on it (no spoilers though).
Any book recommendations from my small but loyal cadre of dear readers? Hope you are enjoying your summer reads. xo