Left at the Altar: We Just Can’t Seem to Commit (To Reading These Books)

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.We fully intend to read these books…at some point. But you know how it is. The grass is always greener, someone’s food is always tastier, and the book in front of us is much more appealing than the one we already have. So unfortunately these (hopefully) lovely stories have been left to their own devices upon our shelves, be they virtual or physical.

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you courtesy of That Artsy Reader Girl.




Left at the Altar: We Just Can’t Seem to Commit

(To Reading These Books)

Lost Souls by Seth Patrick – I’m afraid, okay? Reviver was excellent! Creepy, well-written, with a main character that reminded me of my favorite Doctor. So, naturally, in my mind there’s no way that Lost Souls, the second in the trilogy, can’t keep up. And I’d rather just not read it at all than read it and be disappointed.

The Resort by Bentley Little – I, Lilyn, have a confession to make. I’m a horror fan who has, somehow, managed to never get around to reading Bentley Little. I know, I know. Its horrible. Almost as bad as me not liking Stephen King’s books. I’m just a heathen, aren’t I? Though, seriously, at this point I feel like I’m going to be disappointed after hearing how much people talk about him!

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – In reality, I’d probably love this book. I mean, I added it to my TBR for a reason. But… but.. I just don’t know. Can anything by him top Hitchhiker’s Guide? Have I read peak Douglas Adams and should just stop there? These are the questions that would theoretically keep me up at night if I didn’t have actual real-life concerns and insomnia.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess – Honestly? This book intimidates me. I’ve heard it’s a must-read so many times, but then I’ve also heard about the made-up language and the sheer amount of disgusting violence in it, and… Yeah, I just don’t know that I could read it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like head-splodey violence as much as the next girl, but if this gets into rape and stuff, that ain’t my shtick.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ry Bradbury (GK) – I have tried this book so many times and I just can’t seem to get past the third page before getting distracted by a shiny.

Asylum by Madeleine Roux – I feel like I should read it having both the e-book and a physical copy (and the novellas) but my interest in it has waned a bit. I keep looking at it to read but then I’m like “What about this one here?”

Book cover for Asylum

Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King – While I haven’t enjoyed his more recent novels I do still enjoy his short fiction so I think I would really like it. Hopefully. And I’ll probably read it one of these days if it will ever go on sale, that is…

Odd Hours (Odd Thomas #4) by Dean Koontz – I’m iffy on Koontz in general. His books always seem to have a tendency to just…end. I really loved the Odd Thomas series, however but I’m suffering from series fear. I don’t want to see Odd turned into some cynical, rude asshat (hopefully not!) because he’s a character I like very much. I’m just stuck at that point in a series where they either plateau, get even better or tank completely and I’m dithering on continuing. Plus, I’m thinking the series can end only one way and that’s with him rejoining his beloved Stormy…

Spiral (Ring #2) by Koji Suzuki – I have been reluctant to read it just because I don’t think Mr. Suzuki’s novels are treated very well. The two that I have read seem to e very direct translations with no attempt to smooth out the language so it makes for some very stiff reading.

Providence by Alan Moore – It seems like it would have everything that I would like and I know that Alan Moore is a talented writer. But, I have a confession to make. I have a very hard time getting into graphic novels and manga. Which is a shame because there are a lot that I’d like to read but sometimes just the sheer amount in a series is daunting. Especially when you’re factoring in $3.99 (kindle price) for eight different graphic novels in a series. Yeah, I’m a cheap-ass.

Well, there you have it. The books we’ve left at the altar, so to speak. Sometimes we flirt with fiction, but we just can’t commit, even for a one nighter on the bookstand. We’d say we’re sorry, but honestly? We’re not. Too many books, not enough time! Maybe we’ll get around to these some day. But today is not that day.

What about you? What are your top three books you’ve left at the altar?

14 thoughts on “Left at the Altar: We Just Can’t Seem to Commit (To Reading These Books)

  1. My three bridesmaids-never-a-bride books all relate to authors whose works I’ve tried once . . . and then couldn’t get any further. Chronologically:

    1. The collected Works of Algernon Blackwood — classic author, I’ve enjoyed a few of his stories that I’ve read, but I can’t seem to get started on this. Maybe because it’s an e-book, too, which means I have to read it on my PC.

    2. Almost anything by Octavia Butler — I read “Parable of the Sower,” meh, and that stopped me. Read the graphic novel adaptation of “Kindred,” liked it better, but it still hasn’t got me back to Butler yet. Maybe the actual text of “Kindred,” or one of her other works may yet do the trick.

    3. Shadow of Night, by Deborah Harkness — Read “A Discovery of Witches,” was annoyed by its ending, figured I should plow onto the next book, which at least promised to take us to Harkness’s are of expertise as a historian. And there it sits on my shelf, several years later.

      1. I first ran into Blackwood with “The Willows,” which is a suitably creepy short story. People also usually cite “The Wendigo,” another of his short stories, as a classic. And several stories utilize a character named John Silence, sometimes described as fiction’s first occult detective.
        And yet, knowing all this, I still make no progress on the volume I’ve got!

        1. I love classic horror and can usually take a fair amount of description but ye gads, Blackwood takes the cake, I believe. I do like the John Silence stories a bit better but again, they’re quite drawn out.

          1. Maybe that’s why I haven’t gotten very far with Blackwood. Still, I’ve almost finished reading the five volumes(!) of collected fantasy stories written by Clark Ashton Smith (one of Lovecraft’s peers), and he lays on the description pretty thickly, too . . . to the point some editors rejected his stories saying their readers would need an unabridged dictionary to get through them.

              1. Now, now, it’s not bad as all that, though, yes, Smith could be wordy, and the collected fantasies series includes several stories best left to the pulps.

                But here’s a way to tackle Smith, just for fun: the first episode of season 3 of “Night Gallery” features “Return of the Sorcerer,” adapted from a CAS story, with Vincent Price hamming it up, along with a bewildered looking Bill Bixby and Tisha Sterling as the distinctly non-Smith femme fatale.

                IF you should ever want to dip your toe in just a wee bit, for humor try “The Weird of Avoosl Wuthoqquan” (8 pages in the collected fantasies) for light-hearted horror-fantasy, “A Rendezvous in Averoigne” (12 pages), and for dark fantasy, “The Dark Eidolon” (22 pages).

            1. There were two Blackwood stories that I liked a lot ‘The Man Whom the Trees Loved’ (which put my son to sleep, lol) and one of the Silence stories ‘Ancient Sorceries’. I’ve always been a bit daunted by Smith because I knew that he did poetry and my interest in poetry is very, very limited. I’ll have to give his short fiction a go.

              It does seem strange that it seems to just depend on the writer, doesn’t it? Some writers I have no problems with long, drawn-out sentences and others, even short, decisive sentences leave me…meh. Bierce was one I teeter back and forth on.

              1. Maybe I’ll start with one of those Blackwood stories, instead of trying to read the volume through, especially as it starts with novels.

                Smith’s poetry only occasionally turns up in the introductions to some of his stories. Although Farnsworth Wright often called Smith’s stories prose poems, this is really because they lacked what Wright called plot: manly men rescuing Barbie doll women. Ironically, Smith had to tone down some of his stories for excessively erotic language! Yeah, this ain’t Lovecraft territory when it comes to women: read the restored/unexpurgated version of “Mother of Toads,” and you’ll see.

                1. I will have to give Smith a try. As a side note Lovecraft nicknamed him Klarkash-ton so that’s always how I see his name, lol.

                  I tried listening to The Willows but kept zoning out due to the over-description. It’s kind of funny. i looked up a lot of classic horror readings on Audible but some of the Youtube readers are so much better. I’ve found some great Lovecraft readings on there. There’s a particularly good Dunwich Horror reading.

  2. I have read quite a few Bentley Little books but that was years ago so off the top of my head, all I can remember is The Mailman. I’ve also read that King book and really liked it but I’m a King fan so there’s no surprise there. Skip Asylum. I read the first one and never went back. I hope to start the Odd Thomas series this year but I have to admit, I saw the movie (which I thought was kind of bad) but loved Anton Yelchin and am so sad he has passed that it’s made me put off watching the movies.

    1. I didn’t care for the movie much, either. Anton Yelchin did make a very good Odd but the rest of the movie was pretty blargh. Especially Stormy’s character. She’s much more likable in the book. All of the characters are much better in the book but for her to be such an important part of his life they really tanked her character. Part of why I haven’t gone on is in a later book I saw someone say that Odd starts packing heat as though it’s no biggie. Although, if you’ve seen the movie the ending won’t be much of a surprise.

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