You Don’t Have to Finish Every Book You Start to Read

For example, I didn’t have to finish Paul Nagel’s “The Adams Women”.  I very much enjoyed his biography of John Quincy Adams, and thought that this book would complement the first.  And it probably did.  And I have nothing critical to say about it.  It’s just that I realized after 50 or so pages that I really didn’t care about Abigail Adams and her sisters and their husbands and their children and their financial problems and their intelligence and their abilities.  I don’t begrudge them any of that, and reading about life in Quincy and Haverhill Mass in those days was certainly of interesting.  But their stories and this book just weren’t for me.  So, it’s OK that I didn’t finish it.  Right?

I then went to a well received “young adult’ (?) novel that adults of all ages seem to be enjoying, Neil Gaiman’s “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”, which turned out (I think) not to be so much a mystery as a fable, and I don’t think I like your typical fable.  I was about 1/3 of the way through this short book, when I realized that I just felt I was wasting my time and that nothing of interest would come of this story (at least nothing of interest to me).  So, I think that it’s OK that I didn’t finish this one, either.

I am no on to reading a collection of five short stories, published under the title “Einstein’s Monsters” by Martin Amis.  I am about 1/3 through this book, and I think I will read it all the way to the end.


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