A modified WWW Wednesdays update and a question for you

WWW Wednesdays

I’ve doing a shorter version of my WWW Wednesdays update because I need the time to catch up on work projects. But I have also a very BIG question for you, so scroll down and let me know what you think.

My bookshelf

Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese– What I’m currently reading
Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese. If you read this book and loved it, please help me out. If you didn’t read this book but have found yourself in a similar situation I am now, I’d love your advice too. So here’s the deal about this book:
1) I like the story and I’m curious to see how it develops.
2) I can’t stand the writing style. As in, it’s ATROCIOUS! Way too many characters, none of them developed well. Way too many details about their past lives, with no obvious relevancy to the present. Way to many words to describe any scene, medical or not. Way too much bouncing around between the past and present, and one character’s life to another. I honestly don’t understand how a publisher would allow such novel to be published without skimming it with a huge scalpel (pun intended). This book could be half its size and still be too long. I’ve been reading it for almost a week and I’m barely a quarter into it. I want to know what happens in this book, but I don’t think I have the patience to find out. Maybe I can just read the synopsis somewhere. Is this book way overrated, like The Alchemist by Pablo Coelho (that was some excruciating reading too!).

Have you ever dropped a novel while in the middle of it? I don’t do it very often but I think this is one of these times I should. Help me!

– What I recently finished reading
The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. What an interesting book! I don’t think I’ve read a book by an Indian author about life in America as well as in India. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is a very poetic writer and it definitely gives a unique style to her book. I’m not a big poetry fan, so that style lost me a bit but I stuck with the book for the story. It reminded me of the movie Chocolat, where Juliette Binoche makes specific chocolates to help people in the village, unbeknownst to them. Tilo, the main character, is torn between using her powers to help all kinds of people, and her cultural strings that require her to only help Indian people and under specific rules. It felt good to read something different from what I usually read (ah, the stretching of the mind!).

– What I think I’ll read next
Killing Floor by Lee Child, the first of the Jack Reacher series. I have other books to read also, but I think I’ll need a faster pace book after I’m done with  Cutting For Stone (that’s if I ever finish it).

That’s it for today!

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26 responses to “A modified WWW Wednesdays update and a question for you

  1. Yeah, just read a synopsis. That would be better than my mumbled retelling of what I remember from it. I know I was ticked with the one twin (and names never stick with me) because he betrays his brother and takes the girl he loves and doesn’t really think anything of it. Just a one night stand that left me irritated because the other twin loved her so much. Anyway, it was a long-winded novel, although I liked it for the different settings that were new to me. And I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t like the Alchemist (that one bored me to tears). Moby Dick was excruciating as well, but my 2nd daughter wanted me to finish it so she could compare notes (I should have skipped the 400 pages in the middle; they were useless).

    • After reading the negative reviews on Amazon, I feel I’m not alone in my poor opinion of this book. I think I gave it enough time by reading a quarter of it and it’s not worth my time to go on. I’m glad you didn’t like The Alchemist either. Even my six-year old can write better than that. I was shocked it was not only published but that people love that junk! As for Moby Dick, what a bummer. I’ve always wanted to read the book, but now I think I’ll scratch it off my list of classics to read. I’d rather watch the movie with Gregory Peck instead.

      • Moby Dick did have some amazing parts to it. Sadly, they were in the first few chapters and the last couple chapters. Between that, it was slow, slow, slow and too much information about whales and whaling. Ugh.

      • Well, if you ever want to read a book about nothing, go for The Old Man and The Sea. Zzzzzzzz….

  2. Well, based on what you’ve said, I doubt I’ll read it now. Those types of things frustrate me when I’m reading. I’ve gotten more comfortable with not completing a book, though I still feel a bit guilty as if I should see it through. But when you think about it, it’s not worth wasting one’s time when there are so many other good things to read.

    I just started Plum Island by Nelson DeMille. A murder of two biological scientists forces an injured NYPD cop to act as a consultant to the small town cops. Really good so far, but his sexist descriptions of women are getting on my nerves. Describing a woman’s breasts as balloons under a shirt or calling a waitress Nordic-track ass is not the way to endear female readers.

    • Wow, again you wonder how a publisher wouldn’t ask this writer to tone things down before going to press. I bet a woman writer doing the opposite would get scolded for making such sexist comments…

      I’ve been reading the 1-star comments on Amazon for Cutting for Stone. Just like The Alchemist and Fifty Shades, people either really love the book or they wonder what the heck is wrong with people for liking that garbage. Such polarized reviews are usually not a good sign for any book. I think my time is too precious to continue with this book. And no, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who likes good writing.

  3. I never used to give up on books, but have been more often lately because there’s not enough time and I’d rather spend that time on something better. It actually feels good to give up on some books, like a protest. I think I’ll steer clear of this one too – it sounds a little too much like The Brothers Karamazov with all the confusing names – thanks for the warning!

    • Plenty of people liked this book, but honestly I have no idea why. When I can’t get into a book, I like to read the low reviews and figure out if I’m the only one. It looks like there are plenty of people like me, so I don’t feel bad about rating this book poorly. After all, we’re all entitled to our personal opinion!

  4. Catherine Johnson

    I’ve put down lots of books less than half way, lose the guilt ;)
    Can’t wait to check out The Mistress of Spices and I love Joanne Harris books.

    • Since you love poetry, I think you’ll enjoy The Mistress of Spices. I really like the characters and what happened to them. I actually cared about them, unlike the characters in Cutting for Stone. You’re right, I shouldn’t feel guilty about putting it down. I gave it plenty of opportunity to become better.

      I didn’t realize Chocolat was a book first. I think I’ll put it on my to-read list. Thanks for the recommendation!

  5. If a book doesn’t grab me . . . if I’m not enjoying turning the pages . . . I stop turning them and find a better book.

    Life is too short to wade through bad books.

  6. I, too, tried to read Cutting for Stone and finally put it down. There was a time when I would just finish a book whether I liked it or now. But now, I just stop and don’t look back. Maybe you should just put it down and start a new book! :)

  7. I recently picked up The Garden of Eden by Hemingway and thought it was terrible. Then I went over to GoodReads and found all of these people who loved it. Either I am wrong or they are delusional. Sometimes you just have to put down a book and move on when it does not speak to you.

  8. I used to just suffer through a book just to finish it, but my wife has persuaded me that life is too short to spend time with a book you don’t like. So now if i’ve made it halfway through and dont like the book I will sometimes just skim through to see what happens.

    • I do skim through some books if I really want to know the ending but find the storytelling boring. I simply put this one unfinished back on the shelf, waiting for a library run. I just couldn’t put myself through the whole book. I used to be a lot more impatient with books in my young age. Today, I try to give them a fair chance and this one had it and still lost. :-)

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