Books I Have Not Finished

I assume there are two or three basic types of readers. I haven’t done any research into this, but there’s probably the serial reader, who only reads one book at a time. And then there’s the parallel reader, who may have any number of books on the go simultaneously.

I’m the latter case, and things are particularly muddy at the moment. I write this blog post as much for me as anyone, to clarify in my head which books I’m currently working on:

  • The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins – Well written, but rather dense and dogmatic. Dawkins is currently on the bench, cooling off.
  • Everything is Miscellaneous by David Weinberger – Just started this one. This feels like one of those “I know this stuff, but it’s an entertaining read and nice to have one’s assumptions confirmed” books.
  • On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan – There are few novelists that I admire more than McEwan. He’s such a fine stylist. I just started this one as well, because I didn’t want to haul Weinberger’s hard cover book to Vancouver and back.
  • The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin – This is the current audiobook I’m ‘reading’. I really enjoyed Martin’s recent autobiography, which I also consumed in audio. Martin reads both books on audio, and he is by far the finest reader of one’s own works that I’ve heard.
  • How to Live Off-grid by Nick Rosen – Somebody sent me this book. I probably won’t read it cover to cover, because I don’t actually want to live off the grid, but I’ve dipped into it a couple of times and it has some charming anecdotes about alternative ways to live.


  1. Great idea, Darren.

    A few of the top off my head.

    Dune – Pretty deep story and plot, but somehow hasn’t pulled me in entirely. I’ll probably pick it up again eventually.
    Tricks of the Mind – Derren Brown is a freakin’ genius (YouTube him). And this book is an interesting peek into his mind and techniques. I just keep reading this book at the wrong times, when I’m in bed, for example, and there’s lots of try it yourself parts, so I don’t get very far.

    Don Quixote – A true classic. And one of the first of it’s kind. But it’s soooo long. I just couldn’t do it. Hehe.

  2. Map of the World – I didn’t finish this book because it was mind-numbingly uneventful and completely over-dramatic. It might be an accurate portrayal of something, but that something wasn’t particularly good book material. That was my thought when I put it down. To back this up, I finished the book several months later and my opinion didn’t change. Oprah recommended this in her book club. Was given to me as a present so I felt some obligation to finish it as well.

  3. A New Earth — Eckhart Tolle. It’s like a great yoga class, until one week the yoga teacher is in a bad mood, and you realize, life just sucks for everyone some days, and it’s no use pretending you can achieve self-actualization. And he called also stigmatized mental illness in the book. Read my post for details:

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