I didn’t get to the end of my real life book group book this month and not because I ran out of time. I put the book down on Sunday afternoon because it was boring me. As soon as I’d made that decision, I felt liberated. I had all these extra hours to do things like read other people’s blogs. Book group reads are my exception to giving up within 100 pages if it’s not my thing because I like to be able to discuss the book properly. But really, if I feel so good after giving up, what’s the point in struggling on? I know a lot of you out there will read onto the end but it just seems a huge waste of time. As The Readers say, “read like you’ll die tomorrow”.
As a lot of the regulars didn’t turn up and we had a few newbies in the group, I felt under pressure to justify myself. Without knowing my reading habits, it’s easy to think I just couldn’t be bothered. But when you know how fast I usually read and how many books I have waiting to be read, it makes much more sense. The Memory of Love is not an awful book. Most of the group enjoyed it though they did seem to agree with me that it took 150 pages to get into. I gave up on page 164 (or 36%).
To be honest, I felt uninspired by the book before I even picked it up. A book about love in Sierra Leone. Sounds promising but I didn’t engage at all with the characters and I felt it was all a bit unemotional. The group countered that it was more like real life. 1. I get enough real life as it is and 2. I am quite an emotional person (in real life). I felt like I was going through the motions of reading the words but not feeling them. Some thought it was beautifully written but when I compare it to some of my recent reads, it just doesn’t cut the mustard in that respect either. I wasn’t even moved by scenes of a country ruined by civil war because I felt it was glossed over. The parts I read that did deal with the effects of war did interest me more. There were also too many “main” characters yet not a lot separating them personality wise.
I couldn’t be swayed to pick it up again. Perhaps things do suddenly get better but I really don’t care. There are some books I finish and pick apart because I am egged on to find resolution to the things that annoy me or to see if they get worse. This is one I felt completely meh about.
To make up for my apathy, here are some bloggers who did enjoy The Memory of Love: