A list of some books I started & didn't finish, or in fact, didn't get very far in & don't expect to ever pick up again:
* Lucy by the Sea, Elizabeth Strout. Wow, can't believe how much I hated this. Phoney, mannered, coy, with conveniences in place of plot. I know she's well-regarded, having won a Pulitzer for Olive Kitteridge, but the self-regarding brittleness of this one put my teeth on edge. Good! I have plenty of books to read, I love being able to eliminate an author.
* Lawn Boy, Jonathan Evison. It was banned somewhere & I thought I'd check it out but I don't really like the genre of plucky neglected too-wise-for-his-years child.
* Slow Horses, Mick Herron. Too scary!
* Speedboat, Renata Adler. By the time I got around to it, it seemed dated in an Upper East Side kind of way.
* The Whistling Season, & others, Ivan Doig. I like books set in the West (Doig is from Montana) but somehow I couldn't fall in with his work. Too male? I don't know & it's been a while.
* The Grave on the Wall, Brandon Shimoda. I'm not sure why I couldn't get into this. It came highly recommended & I'm intensely interested in the subject of citizenship but I couldn't find my way in. I may try again, making this list not quite as absolute as I thought when I started.
Most of these are recent abandonments. I'll probably add to this list.
When I was 20 or so I started Ivanhoe several times & couldn't stay with it. I understood mortality in a blinding flash: that I would never read Ivanhoe no matter how long I lived. And then one day I gobbled it up. Making me immortal?