I know it’s highly irresponsible, but I’m self-diagnosing. I, sadly, have discovered that I have a rare condition called Attention Deficit Unable-To-Finish-A-Book Disorder, more commonly referred to as ADUD. It’s just so obvious I couldn’t help myself, and I didn’t want to waste copay money so a doctor could tell me what I already know. WebMD is totally written by real doctors anyway, right? These are my symptoms: I can’t finish a book, I can’t seem to write and finish anything, blog or otherwise (This blog you are reading now? It took four days to finish, give or take a day or two. Weekends don’t count because then the husband is home, and he is always distracting no matter what.), and I’m so hyper these days, I may or may not have had a solo dance party in my apartment yesterday during my established writing time. I’m sure my neighbors appreciated me blaring my Bubblegum Oldies Pandora station at concert volume instead of the quiet Vivaldi that I normally put on when I write. Also, I bought a book just because it had a shiny cover. I’m a regular wild child over here!
Okay, maybe not. But the ADUD thing is real, as is the shiny cover. I’m turning into a magpie with a dancing craze. So while I come to terms with my new avian identity, here are all the books I should be finishing soon, maybe.
- The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff: I started this on the heels of One Thousand White Women, and realized not fifty pages in that I needed a break from woman stories. But it’s been peeking at me from my book stack, and I think it’s time is almost here. Plus, I recently watched the show Sisterwives, so the historical plight of the Mormon polygamist is fascinating to me right now. (I know what you’re thinking, Sisterwives, Amanda? Really? I though you were better than that! I know, I though so too! But it’s the classic pull of the train wreck you just can’t look away from. It’s the reason traffic jams go on long after the accident has been moved to the side of the road, and it’s how good housewives go bad.)
- 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson: This is the book of the famed shiny cover. I haven’t actually started it yet. Oooops.
- Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin: This is my beef. I am on page 409 of the first book of your Game of Thrones series. This world fascinating. Martin reminds me of J.R.R. Tolkien minus the whole linguistics genius deal he had going on. Also, by page 409 of The Lord of the Rings, I knew what on Middle Earth was going on. The scope of this story is just enormous, and there are so many threads that it’s taking me a while to piece it all together. In the hands of a writer even a teeny bit less skilled than Martin, this whole colossus would have already fallen apart. Also, the language is heavy. Due to the medieval feel of the story the sentences go down thick, and they stick to your innards so effectively that this is a book to be read and digested in well proportioned meals, not in one enormous gulp. So I’m still happily slogging my way through, trying to figure out for the life of me what is happening.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling: Sometimes you just need an old friend to sit at home in your jammies with, and that is what Harry Potter has become to me. Hogwarts in the ultimate comfort food of novels to many a kid from my generation, and I am no exception. So I haven’t finished it, but there’s no rush. Harry understands.
- The Magicians by Lev Grossman: I’m actually really engrossed in this book, and I’ve been steadily finishing chunks of it at a time. It really is like Harry Potter for grown-ups. And it is for grown-ups. It has a darker feel, you immediately know there will be no perfectly tied up, cheerful finish for our hero. Quentin will not go home to the Muggles slightly disgruntled over their nastiness but happy overall because he is, after all, the Boy Who Lived. Magic is harder to come by in this world, and its consequences are harder. But the story is, so far, really good. My only complaint? Grossman, use an edit button! There is an excess of profanity here. I’m not one of those people who gets offended by a well placed curse when it’s used in character, or to communicate something more effectively, but when used with such frequency profabity starts to feel like a writer’s crutch, a way to make a point without having to be creative, or even worse, just a way to seem like cool. And that’s just sad, since in all other areas Grossman is proving to be a capable writer.
- The Owl Keeper by Christine Brodien-Jones: The poor, poor Owl Keeper and I have had terrible luck. I’m only three chapters in because every evening that I select to read this particular book, I fall asleep mid-read. It’s not the book’s fault, so far it’s rather charming, I’m just a sleepy head with an ever-earlier bed time.
- Perelandra by C.S. Lewis: I’m advancing slowly here because I keep doing that thing where you realize you’ve just re-read a passage four times. At this rate, I’ve been reading approximately three new pages an hour every time I pick up this tiny little edition. Pathetic. But I’m not giving up. At a mere 190 pages, divided by three pages a sit, and frequenting a sit an average of every two weeks or so, I should finish this book just in time for my grandchildren to ask to borrow it. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…
- The Story of Charlotte’s Web by Michael Sims: I have to be in juuuuust the right mood for a biography, and honestly, at this point, I just have too many players on the field. Someone’s going to have to sit this quarter out until I can get it all under control, and poor Charlotte, the dear that she is, has been that one. I do like reading about other writers, though. It comforts me to know that they are all as strange as I am, if not more so. In writer world, I’m normal. Hooray!
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy: Do I really have to explain why this is taking so long? As the ancient cave men used to say, you can’t eat a mammoth is day.
Hopefully tomorrow that big ol’ stack of neglected books will be one book shorter. Today is laundry day, which means some extra free time, which means I’m going to drink a cup of tea and read a book. I’m not sure which book. The success of this operation probably rests solely on my ability to pick which book in a timely manner, something I’m not very good at. But I’ll give it a good college try (whatever that means).
But wait! Incoming news! I have, just now, made one decision, though it’s not the decision. I can definitively tell you I will NOT be finishing one of the books over 500 pages. Progress! Other progress? It only took me two hours, a lunch break, a play-with-the-cat break, and a session of staring aimlessly out my window for an undetermined length of time daydreaming about Easter candy for me to edit this post. Oh yeah, guys. I’m totally focused, and totally a grown-up.
2 responses to “ADUD: Attention Deficit Unable-To-Finish-A-Book Disorder”
I had this problem until recently. I joined a book club where we were required to read 10 books in 8 weeks. One or two of them I really didn’t enjoy, but I persevered. And I’m now cured.
Definitely persevere with The 19th Wife, it took me a while to get going with that one too but I enjoyed it once I did.