Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spring Cleaning ~ Unhaul Some Books!

It’s April, and you know what that means? SPRING CLEANING. That’s right! Time to get some of these dusty books off my damn shelves, especially considering it’s income tax season and I have just enough left over to go ham ‘n’ cheese at Barnes and Nobles (speaking of which, I have an extra 20% off coupon I need to redeem soon).  I've come up with several books I need to unhaul and send packing to my local public library’s used bookstore. Some are books I bought as recently as last summer, and some I bought earlier this year. Some I've read and just kind of held on to just in case. And some I've barely cracked the spine, but for whatever reason decided to pass. So let me share them with you before I send them packing, along with just a little tidbit concerning why I'm passing on these books.  If you've read any, let me know whether or not it's a mistake for me to pass them up.

(1) Touch the Dark by Karen Chance. This is the first book in Chance's Cassandra Palmer series. Oh yeah, and it’s urban fantasy. Anyway, Cassandra Palmer is a clairvoyant and clairaudient. Or simply put, she can see the future and communicate with spirits. Naturally, the dead and undead are drawn to her. And that, considering this is urban fantasy, would include vampires.

I started reading this series long ago–back in my Atlanta days. It came during a period where I was starting to get into urban fantasy. Unfortunately, this series didn't make the grade, and I decided to pass on it until recently. A fellow Booktube friend suggested I give the series another go. Sadly, the book has been sitting on my shelf for almost a year now. Yikes!

(2) On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee. Those who keep up with me know that I was in a Chang-Rae Lee phase earlier this year. After reading The Surrendered my interest in Lee revived, years after I was initially introduced to him via his novel Native Speaker. And while I was drawn deep into the bleakness of The Surrendered, I was sucked completely out of On Such a Full Sea. And when I say out–I mean out.

On Such a Full Sea had two running problems that conflicted me. One, it’s told through the first-person plural; two, the main protagonist was about as boring, emotionless and stale as… well… you think of something creative to add there. Nonetheless, it’s just not that necessary for me to try to trudge my way through it. The concept alone would’ve probably saved it, as it’s a dystopian novel with an interesting set up concerning Chinese labor in the far future.  Still, that just wasn't enough without a strong protagonist present to carry me through.

(3) Control by Kang. I'll link my review from last year HERE. Nonetheless, in essences, I’m really not that good with YA novels. While I kinda-sorta wanted to see what happens in Kang's second book, had it came out closer to my completing Control, I probably would've stuck around. However, this is one of those cases where it’s just not that deep to keep up with.  Then again, a small part of me wants to give the second book a go just to see what happens.

(4) Object of Desire by William J. MannNow this is a good one. I could make an entire blog post about it, but I won’t. To keep it simple, William J. Mann is a gay contemporary fiction writer. I read one of his books years ago called Where the Boys Are. And to keep my reading fresh and interesting, I picked up Object of Desire at that used library bookstore I keep talking about. I was a little wishy-washy after reading the synopsis, but decided I needed to mix things up. Nonetheless, after a year of it sitting on my shelf, I kind of came to the conclusion that I didn't necessarily want to read about a male go-go dancer drinking and carrying on in West Hollywood. I'll have to pass. No judgment. I just don't think that’s my cup of tea and, like I stated, I'll need an entire blog post to tell you why. Oh yeah. It’s pretty deep.

(5) The China Lover by Ian Buruma. Now y'all know I love my Eastern stories. Well, except for this one. China Lover has been on my shelf for over four years and haven’t been cracked pass page 19. However, it seems like an interesting read, should I force myself to actually read it. It takes place in Shanghai before and during World War II.  It follows a Japanese girl born in the Manchuria region of China.  She has to keep her identity a secret, considering she dreams of becoming a singer and movie star. 

Now my problem is that if I haven’t got into it by now, it’s probably the writing style. And, well, I just don't feel like being patient with it any longer. Unfortunately. The thing is that there are many more books out there that have grabbed me in the past four years. So either I'm in or I’m not at this point. And, evidently, I'm not.

(6) Deadline by Sandra Brown. I really don't want to talk about this book again, but this is the book that made me skip Brown’s latest release, Mean Streak. Now, while I do want to go back and read Mean Streak, I have to be honest about how Deadline exhausted me of Brown’s formulaic romance thrillers. I spoke more about the book HERE.

Now as for books that just barely escaped the chopping block:

(7) The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova 

(8) The Passage by Justin Cronin

So that’s it, guys! Say goodbye to these books as I usher in new titles for the spring. Speaking of which, I need to get my reading back into gear. March only saw me through two books. How pitiful!

What are you cleaning out this spring?  And should I give some of these books a proper chance before I get rid of them?

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