There are many types of readers, but I feel like there is one aspect of reading where people fall in one of two categories:

Those who finish books, no matter what, regardless of whether they like them,
those who don’t.

California - 2

I used to be the type of person who powered through a novel even when I was not enjoying it. I cannot tell you how many mediocre books I finished despite feeling lukewarm or even hating them. I’ve been not-so-actively trying to break myself out of that habit. Honestly, it’s been due to the fact that I simply have less time and not enough time to read the books I want to read, never mind finish the books I don’t want to read.

So it seems like the books that I did not finish in 2015 deserve a preface: I did not dislike them. In fact, I greatly liked them. Sometimes even the books we don’t don’t get the proper treatment by the people who love them.

California by Edan Lepucki

During one of my evening walks this summer, I started California on audiobook and was immediately intrigued by the pseduo-dystopia. Set in the near future, the characters find themselves in a world full of mystery, questions, and a lingering sense of hopelessness.

While I enjoyed the first couple of chapters immensely, I stopped listening to the audiobook – and I think that has to do more with the medium than the book itself. I love audiobooks but I find it easier to listen to some genres than others. Subconsciously, I think I wanted to read this book the old fashioned way – on paper.

The Leftovers - Books Left in 2015.jpg

IQ84 by Haruki Murakami

This spring I was slowly making my way through this behemoth of a book when disaster struck: my water bottle spilled inside my bag and soaked the entire book. The book I had been reading for weeks during my commute was suddenly out of commission. So I left it to dry for a few days and that’s all it took to leave behind. IQ84 is definitely a book I’d like to get back, but it will require flipping back and reorienting myself back into that world.

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

It truly upsets me that I didn’t finish this book because I was enamored with it and with it’s author. Malala’s memoir was a delight and I loved every moment I spent with it. The youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize did not let attempted assassination by the Taliban could stop her from speaking about what she believes in-education for women. How many people would have that type of courage? There are few people as inspiring, strong, and honest as Malala Yousafzai.  I will be finishing this book asap.

Coyotes by Ken Arkind

This was a poetry book that I borrowed from a friend (Katie, if you’re reading, I promise to return this soon). I really liked the poetry – it was more gritty and less beautiful than the poetry I usually read. There is a desert-like quality to the poems; a beautiful mirage in this wasteland we call life. I’d love to get back into this collection and finally finish it (oh, and return it to its rightful owner).

*         *        *

What books did you leave in 2015? What reason did you stop reading them? Do you plan on returning to them in 2016?


3 thoughts on “The Leftovers: The Books I Left in 2015

  1. OOF I started 1Q84 in January of last year and didn’t finally finish it until after Christmas in December. I hate to let books go unfinished but this year I plan to only read what I really want and love.

  2. I do try and persevere with books as I know that if I put something down for more than a few days, I usually won’t pick it up again. I couldn’t finish Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell a few years ago and I skimmed the end of The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro – both books were just too weird for my taste.

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