Top Ten Tuesday: Last Ten Books I Bailed On

These are the books I bailed on in the last year or more. I gave them a try, maybe a third or half way, but if by then it did not keep me wanting more, I had to bail.

The Conte of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
This was too long and drawn out for my taste, and given that it was a door stopper,
I could not carry on that way for another 600 pages!

Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace
This one frustrated me. I wanted to like it so much, 
but I could not get invested.

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
Very dark and super weird. 

History of England by David Hume
I read Vol. 5, early 1600s; sadly boring.

The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy by Jacob Burkhardt
Basically, everyone in government is corrupt!
I know.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
This one I started with great anticipation, but I found it wordy and exhausting;
HOWEVER, I do plan to return to it at a better time. Maybe summer.


  1. I haven't gotten too far so far in my attempt at Burkhardt from several years ago. It took me months to finish The Count of Monte Cristo, and I mixed it in with other books in order to be able to reach the finish line. What kept me going all the way through to completion was the desire to see exactly how Dantes took his revenge on those who had wronged him.
    Another long book that I recently read and might re-read was Lonesome Dove. James Mustich recommended it in his list of 1000 Books to Read and that was why I tried it. Good luck with the rest of this list.

  2. I might end up bailing on Burke's _Reflections on the Revolution in France_... not because I don't like it, but I need to move on to other things for homeschooling, and it is taking forever.

  3. I think bailing on any or all of these books is perfectly acceptable. I have a sense of urgency about life right now. I don't have patience for books that don't deliver. Life feels too short, too unpredictable.

  4. Usually when I bail on a book, I intend to come back to it, at least with classics, but that's not always the case. I can certainly understand abandoning Hume but I'm disappointed to hear about Burkhardt. I was looking forward to that one. Other than Rushdie, I liked all the others but sometimes you're just not in the mood, right? Great to see your list! I'd like to try to make one myself but it's not happening this Tuesday! Take care!

  5. So glad you bailed out my friend. I know you don’t quit casually.

  6. GEORGE: I hear that about MC, that people love it to the very end, and probably bc of the ending. It must be human nature to desire closure and justice.

    JODY: Oh, that reminds me...I have Reflections on the Revolution in France on my TBR. I really want to read that one, too.
    Well, I'll give it a try. But I hear ya! Sometimes we need to move on.

    DEB: My sentiments exactly. Life is too short, and a reader knows right away when she is dragging herself through a book. We don't have to do this to ourselves. Time is of the essence.

    CLEO: You are very good about that: getting back to a book that you take a break from. Is there ever a situation where you definitely know that you will not finish a book? I cannot remember you ever doing so, but I could be wrong. As for Bukhardt: it wasn't the author or writing as much as it was the topic. My goodness! Everyone was killing everyone else just to get into positions of power. It was redundant and awful. So you did read other works by Rushdie? And you liked them? I'd be open to trying something else.

    SILVIA: Thanks! I seem to give it 100 pages or 1/3 or 1/2 way, and if it doesn't keep me, I just can't go on.

  7. I read Monte Cristo and hated it, but I was in college at the time. Maybe I need to re read it. Not any time soon, however.

    I completely gave up on Ben Hur. Powerful movie. Boring book.

    I read the Tenant and liked it well enough. Josh and I couldn't get through the movie. It never went anywhere.

    The Satanic Verses I read only because it was a hot topic at the time. I didn't really see why the Muslims should be so outraged when it was the British he made look so deplorable. I think Rushdie is arrogant.

    The others I haven't read. Probably won't.

    Good luck! Remember, life is short and there's so many good books worth reading. Give up the ones that don't do anything for you.

  8. I have The Tenant of Wildfell coming up soon. I hope I fare better than you. I love Monte Cristo, but it is admittedly long.

  9. SHARON: LOL, we think alike. What's with Ben Hur? It dragged on and on and frustrated me. But I do hear great things about the movie; just haven't seen it. I was curious about SV, too, due to the controversy.

    I agree! Life is too short to read bad books. :D

    JOSEPH: Tenant of Wildfell Hall started off strong. The writing is good, but it was taking too long to say what it wanted to say. I haven't given up on it, but I think it was the timing in my life. You should have no difficulty.

  10. There is a really nice quote somewhere from Doris Lessing about reading the right book for a reader at the right time. Sometimes, the right thing to do is put the book down. I think it is especially hard to abandon a classic book since I feel sometimes I am the only person who doesn't like it. Which of course, is never true!

    I recently read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall for the Back to the Classics challenge. I still have to blog about it. I will try to entice you in my review to give it another whirl, ha ha.

    I've only read Rushdie's Midnight's Children but I found it very challenging. I haven't really been tempted to pick up anything else from him...

  11. RUTHIELLA: That's the formula....the right book at the right time. :)
    Well, I think that will be a great idea about your review of Tenant of Wildfell. The reason I'm going to return to it is because I have heard it is worth it in the end. So I know it will be helpful.
    And, yeah, I'm not in a big rush anymore to try Rushdie now. :(

  12. I so remember not finishing one ..... F. Scott's Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night. At the time, I couldn't stomach the content. But since I've thought that I MIGHT try it again at a later date, but only because it's short. I also refuse to read Nabakov's Lolita because of the content, but that's more of a principle decision rather than a reading decision. I tend to try to finish all classics because I can think of a few that I haven't liked initially (sometimes halfway through the book) but by the end I've loved them. And even if I don't, I've still felt my time has been well-spent.

  13. You too? I tried to read This Side of Paradise, but I couldn't finish it. You're not the only one who disliked Tender is the Night; I am avoiding that one for now. It is important to push reading progress through books that are difficult and challenging, but sometimes you have to let go when they become a burden to read.

  14. So sorry The Count of Monte Cristo didn't work for you. I thought it was an amazing read. I have only read the very last book by Salman Rushdie, Quichotte. It was so brilliant, I now want to try his author famous ones. Just before, I had read all of Don Quijote, which helped greatly. https://wordsandpeace.com/2019/09/19/book-review-quichotte/

  15. EMMA: I hear so many wonderful things about Count of MC, and it frustrates me that I disliked it. Maybe one day I will try again? I have read positive reviews about Quichotte and am open to reading it. I loved Don Quixote and have read it twice...so maybe that will be a good fit for me, too.