I Don't Get It...

I Don't Get It...

A list by Haley, Programs Specialist

I hope I'm not the only one that has picked up a book, settled down for the night to read, opened it up and... just did not click with it. I want to read it! I want to enjoy it! But sometimes the book's just so much smarter than me. These are books that I want to read, or have read, but left me feeling more confused than anything else.


So many people I know enjoyed "Station Eleven," and I thought I did too! But, after the smallest bout of introspection, I realized that I have no earthly idea what the point of it actually was.

Gene Wolfe has been called "the Melville of science fiction" and many know of his great rambling works and unreliable narrators. I was introduced to Wolfe by his "Solar Cycle" books, but even then everything he says goes over my head. But, I so desperately want to understand and finish the fantastic stories I know he's created.

Futuristic hackers, virtual reality samurais, and pizza deliveries makes "Snow Crash" sound like the perfect book for me. But, for some reason, my brain absolutely short circuits when trying to digest this novel. Maybe one day I'll get a brain update and be able to finally finish it.

The "Malazan Book of the Fallen" series is everything an epic fantasy wants to be. Sprawling character list, fascinating setting, other worldly villains, mysticism and intrigue, and 10 lengthy tomes. So, why did it take me eight years to finish the first book, despite enjoying many aspects of it? Who knows... Brains are dumb.

I like things that are little odd. A little out of place. Somewhat unsettling. Uncanny valley type deals. But, 1Q84 is all of that wrapped in a confusing cultish chrysalis that had about five false endings. While I managed to finish this book, it left me wondering what and feeling like I could have used all the time I spent reading and re-reading all 928 pages in a more beneficial way.

When my husband first told me about the "Culture" series I was fascinated (especially by their ship nomenclature), but like many books in this list, it suffered a similar fate. I have tried to read this instance of the "Culture" series time and time again and every try, I reach a certain point and I just stare off into space.