Why Do I DNF?

There are people out there who chose to suffer through a book they are not enjoying.

I am not one of those people.

I will chuck that book into the donate/resell pile.

But why do I choose to DNF a book? What criteria does a book have to meet to be ding dong ditched?

The Writing. I’m not a big fan of overly flowery prose or frantic, chaotic writing. Those are really big warning signs for me. I may try to listen to flowery prose as an audiobook, but sometimes that doesn’t even work and the book ends up in the DNF pile.

The Plot. My goodness, this can be terrible. Is there anything worse than getting 100 pages into a book and still not knowing anything about the plot? I hate it when that happens. That usually leads to a DNF. Usually. If the characters are great, sometimes, sometimes, I can forgive it, but that’s very, very rarely.

Speaking of Characters. Weak characters in a book. Ugh. And I don’t mean can’t hold a sword or even a pen. No, I mean they can’t hold the weight of the story. Just no. There is no redeeming a book like that. Not even for a good plot.

Bad art style. This one is a bit niche, but it has a place. I like graphic novels, but if the art style is bad, I won’t make it through. Or, maybe I will make it through, but I’ll hate myself a little afterward.

But what if a book has everything and I still DNF it? Well, it must not be fun. I like having a good time while I read, and a book can have everything I’m looking for in a story, and lack that fun factor. I do make exceptions to this rule, for example when a book deals with serious subject matter or non-fiction reads, but for the most part, it has to be fun!

And there you have it. My list of reasons to DNF a book. Why do you DNF a book?

Books I Did Not Finish in 2020

Let’s be honest, 2020 hasn’t been the best year. It also has had some bad books in it, at least for me anyway. Since I have a few books in my DNF bag I thought I would share them with you.

You know, so you can suffer with me.

Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett

This is a dark comedy about a woman who takes over her fathers taxidermy business after his suicide. She also happens to be in love with her brother’s wife. I just didn’t like this story at all. There was nothing like-able about any of the characters, which I think was kinda the point, but still. It just didn’t click with me at all. I got 25% of the way through this one and tried to yeet it off my Kindle.

And yes, I just used the word yeet. Don’t @ me.

Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne

What happens when the chosen one is nothing like what you would expect? And also a talking goat. I tried to read this one, I really did. It was billed as being like Monty Python. It’s not. it’s not even a little bit like it. Which is fine. But it still wasn’t funny. My husband read it first and he didn’t find it funny either. He finished it (barely), I didn’t.

Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente

A sci-fi story about an interstellar singing competition where the fate of Earth hangs in the balance? What’s not to love? Apparently, all of it. I just didn’t like the way this book was written. It felt like a hyperactive child who got given to much sugar right before going to bed and then wouldn’t go to sleep.

Too harsh?

A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

An average guy finds out he has a new job. As Death. Supposed to be humorous. I found it lacking to the point where I gave up after 50 pages. I know, some of you will say I should have given it more of a chance, but I just couldn’t.

The Four Profound Weaves by R.B. Lemberg

Two transgendered persons wander out into the desert. One wants to learn the last of the great weaves, one wants their name. What they get is much different. I just didn’t enjoy this book. I put it down and didn’t want to pick it back up. Though I may pick it up again.

The Road Not Taken by Susan Rubin

A widow gets taken on a ride through the space-time continuum by an alien race known as the Lost. I really wanted to like this one. Unfortunately, I couldn’t connect with this book and it fell flat for me. I DNF’d this one very early on. Like, 25 pages in.

Dune by Frank Herbert

The story of Paul Atreides and his time on Arrakis just didn’t connect with me. I have come to the conclusion that it is the authors writing style that I don’t gel with. I’ve tried to read this book once before, and I didn’t connect with it then either. Maybe this book just isn’t for me.

What are the were the most disappointing books for you this year?