Occasionally I sift through the half-read books I have been sent to read and review. These are the ones that didn’t get dragged around town with me, or passed along to a friend. These are the ones that I kept by the bedside, promising myself I would go back to finish. But I haven’t, for one reason or another. Time is always one those poor excuses but there is something else. I didn’t really try to make the time either. Something about these books just didn’t grab me and demand that I devour them. I can’t (and don’t) say that they are bad. Maybe I just didn’t meet them at the right time in my life. I always feel a bit blasphemous admitting that I didn’t “get into” a book, so I hope my readers will forgive me.
For that reason, I give them a fair but incomplete (and brief) look here, with my apologies.
ANGELMAKER by Nick Harkaway
I think it was the sheer density of this one that got to me. Complicated and intense, it requires complete concentration and good chunk of time to get into the steampunkish world that Harkaway is creating. What I read, I liked, but I was slightly overwhelmed. I plan to revisit it.
MR. FOX by Helen Oyeyemi
I made it past the halfway point with this one. In this case, I felt left behind by some of the magical realism. I’m a fairly astute reader but I was always feeling like a missed something — and not in the good way. Oyeyemi has an interesting way of storytelling and readers who enjoy engaging multiple dimensions at once will enjoy.
This is a collection of unusual short stories, really. Each is a “fake” document. These include a letter of complaint, an instruction manual, a works cited page, tweets from Chaucer and more. While some are amusing and insightful, the books more often than not veers off into hipster-land (aka an Urban Outfitters). I read about three quarters of it, skimming the more lackluster items.