2012 “Books I Started but Haven’t Finished” Challenge

Jillian, at A Room of One’s Own, is sponsoring a reading challenge for 2012. I don’t usually take part in these, but since I’m a fan of Jillian’s blog, and since she invited me to join and it fits in with my plans anyway, here goes. Ten books that I have at some point started but have stopped for whatever reasons. A couple of these I consider myself “currently reading” anyway, just very, very slowly…

1. Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman -Haruki Murakami (short stories)
I’ve loved the stories from this that I’ve already read, and will certainly read the rest at some point this year.

2. Haunts: Reliquaries of the Dead – (a short story anthology)
An anthology of GOOD ghost stories. I didn’t pause my reading because I didn’t like them, I’ve just been reading them sparingly, a little at a time.

3. Atlantic – Simon Winchester
(there’s a long ‘sub-title’ to this book that I can’t remember at the moment) This is a great, Non-fiction book that I discovered via the NY Times book section. Kind of a biography of the Atlantic Ocean and humanity’s relationship with it. Tough going, but fascinating.

4. The End of Growth – Richard Heinberg
I may have paused this one to stave off depression. Not sure I believe 100% of the author’s take on the economics of the present day, but sobering, informative reading thus far.

5. How to be a Really Good Pain in the Ass – Christopher DiCarlo
Got this one and met the author at the Indianapolis Chapter of The Center For Inquiry. I’ve been slowly progressing through this guide to critical thinking for several months now.

6. I Am No One You Know – Joyce Carol Oates (short story collection)
I maybe have read half of these so far. I have grown to appreciate her writing more and more in the past couple years. Her novel, The Tattooed Girl, was one of my. Favorite reads in 2011.

7. The Plague – Albert Camus
I’ve false-started this one a couple times now; not sure why I haven’t kept going. There’s “nothing wrong with it” that I remember…

8. Main Street – Sinclair Lewis
Started, but failed to read, this book for a discussion group this year. It’s a classic. I should read it.

9. The Antiquary – Sir Walter Scott
I almost totally neglected one of my favorite writers this year. This book is one of Scott’s Waverley novels.

10. The Firebrand – Marion Zimmerman Bradley
I read about sixty pages into this one at one point but got distracted by other books and responsibilities. I’ll have to restart it from the beginning I’m sure, since it’s been quite a while.


  1. Alex said,

    January 5, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Brave Jay! I’m more of a Mr Darcy-type: My good opinion, once lost, is lost for ever.

    Firebrand was on my list of books I wish were more known, so I’m looking forward to your opinion. Good luck!


  2. Jay said,

    January 5, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Well, maybe not so brave… most of these I stopped reading due to distractions by other works or life. They are all ones that I want to finish. I think.

    I liked the subject matter for Firebrand, being a Classics Minor back in my college days. I don’t know why I stopped that one. It reminded me a little of Mary Renault’s series of fictionalized Alexander the Great books…



  3. Dale said,

    January 5, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    I highly recommend The Plague, although it’s been years since I’ve read it. I’ve read Camus’ The Stranger several times. Sinclair Lewis’ Babbit has been on my bookshelf for years, maybe this will be the year?


    • Jay said,

      January 6, 2012 at 8:21 am

      Hi Dale,
      The Plague will likely be one of my earlier reads this year. On the superficial side, I like that it’s a relatively shorter read as well. My “secret plan” (well not so secret now, I guess) for 2012 is to boost my total book count a little bit by throwing some more shorter works into the mix.


  4. Jillian ♣ said,

    January 6, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Thanks for the kind words, Jay! And welcome to the challenge. Won’t it feel awesome to clear the slate for 2013? 🙂

    I’m quite curious about The Plague. It’s been on my TBR for a while…


  5. Jay said,

    January 6, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Hi Jillian,
    Yes, it will! At the risk of sounding a little weird or creepy, your challenge kind of reminds me of when, as a guy, your girlfriend comes over to your place just to visit but then unilaterally starts cleaning or tidying up a bit (’cause, after all, as a guy you are a bit of a slob) and you are shamed into helping her out, but then, when its over and the dust clears (literally!) you’re glad it happened. How’s that for a weird analogy?:-)


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