Life is too short to force yourself to read books you’re not enjoying at all until the very end. Although I sometimes persevere to the last page of books I’m not really liking as much as I expecting to, I only do so when I sincerely hope that they will get better or the ending will surprise me. I hadn’t DNF’d 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’ve 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 neither. 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 having a glimpse 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