The DNF Book Tag

This month I’ve DNFed two books in a row! So, when I stumbled across the DNF book tag on Fatma’s blog, The Book Place, a couple of days ago, I immediately decided to do it as soon as possible. It was originally created by Gunpowder, Fiction & Plot on YouTube and, as the name indicates, it is all about the reasoning behind deciding not to finish books.

 

  1. Do you DNF?

Yes! Not that many years ago, I would force myself to finish books I was not enjoying, but then I started asking myself ‘what is the point?’. There are so many books I want to read, it’s better to give up on books I’m not liking and to pick up another one that may become a favourite.

 

  1. If you do DNF, does it count for your finished books for the month?

That has never happened, because I tend to decide not to finish books relatively early on. In theory, I would only count them as read and rate them with 1 star if I had DNFed them almost near the end. Continue reading

Most Disappointing Books of 2018

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we liked all the books that we read? Unfortunately, that is not the case. A book will end up being disappointing sooner or later, either because it was not what we had expected or it didn’t live up to its initial promise. In 2018, I rated three books with 2 stars and didn’t finish other two. For the first time, I’m also mentioning the books that I didn’t read until the end on my most disappointing books of the year, since that is a genuine sign of lack of enjoyment.

 

Panorama by Dusan Sarotar

The narrator of Panorama is a writer from Slovenia who travelled around Europe and spoke with immigrants from various countries of origin. Sadly, it is unnecessarily confusing, and I found it almost impossible to retain information. The characters are forgettable and the writing style excruciating.

 

A Sibila by Agustina Bessa-Luís

This book by the Portuguese writer Agustina Bessa-Luís revolves around Quina, whose characteristics are enumerated by the narrator but never truly shown in practice. The characters are not well developed and the writing style feels forced. To make things worse, nothing particularly remarkable happens plot-wise. Continue reading

Books I Recently Didn’t Finish

Life is too short to force ourselves to read books we’re not enjoying at all until the very end. Although I sometimes persevere to the last page of a book I’m not really liking as much as I was expecting to, I only do so when I sincerely hope that it will get better or the ending will surprise me. I hadn’t DNFed a book in quite some time, probably years. But this month I already didn’t finish two: The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell and The Castle of Crossed Destinies by Italo Calvino.

I’d had The Road to Wigan Pier (more precisely the Portuguese translation titled O Caminho para Wigan Pier) on my shelves for quite some time, and to be honest I was not that excited about it. I didn’t choose it myself. It was an offer from a bookshop for buying a certain number of books there. As I was trying to read more non-fiction in November, I decided to finally pick it up. But the writing style was not grabbing my attention, and I wasn’t that interested in the subject being covered either. The book delves into the life of the English working class in the 1930s, which could be a fascinating topic if the first pages focused on just a couple of specific people and were more insightful.

The other book I didn’t finish this month, The Castle of the Crossed Destinies, is a collection of short stories based on interpretations of tarot cards. I was expecting the stories to feature characters based on the cards’ drawings, but I thought the plot would be taken a bit further. However, after reading the first two stories and flicking through the others, it felt like we were just being presented with possible meanings for the cards being picked up by random people at a hostel, which used to be a castle, instead of being told a proper story. Continue reading