Sunday, 30 October 2016

Irked....... or offended actually

As you might know from the endless book reviews that I have been writing and from the fact that I have mentioned that I have loads of books in my pile of books to be read - and it is increasing all the time! - I have a LOT of books to read.

That is good and I most certainly not irked about that.  Reading was my first love as far as hobbies go for many years, I have been a reader since I was a very very small child, I read to myself well before I went to school and carried on reading until crochet took over my life and then I slacked off a bit.

One of the biggest problems I have with reading - and with many other things in life it has to be said - is that I just keep going.  Even if I don't like a book, even if I don't enjoy it I keep on reading it all the way until the end.  I never know when to say no or to stop.  I don't like quitting, and will never quit unless I really really have to.  This makes for difficult times sometimes when reading a book as reading something you don't like or don't enjoy is tough going and really slows you down.

Case in point is this book.  I am not going to write the author or title so that it doesn't come up in an internet search as I don't wish to offend.  However, this book really irked me so I want to tell you about it.  In fact it didn't just irk me it downright offended me.


Because I cannot give up on anything I kept going and then it finally reached breaking point and I stopped.  The reason?  The language.  I was fed up with the swearing, the rudeness and the downright profanity at some points.  Yes, it is just a story, yes, I am sure that people say these things all the time, but that doesn't mean I have to read it!

I kept hoping that it would get better, that things would move on.  No.  The bad language just continued and I didn't like the story or the characters either and it wasn't showing any signs of improving.

So I made the - for me - momentous decision to stop reading it and yes, this one is going to the charity shop - although I feel rather wary about sending it there, but I don't know what else to do with it.  I certainly don't want to pass it on to anyone I know.

That seemed all well and good - in a way - until I noticed another book by the same author on the shelves.  I opened this one randomly and on the first page I came to, yes, you guessed it, another rude word.


Then I noticed another by this author in my Christmas books.  I didn't open this one at all.


I have a question for you about these second two books.  Have you read either of them?  Are they worth me ploughing through.  Will they have lots of profanity or other things I might not like in them?  I don't mind the odd bit of cursing, but I could not take what was in the first book.

I would like to hear your thoughts, otherwise all three of these are off to the charity shop.  It reduces the numbers of books to be read, but gosh it bugs me!

Amy

80 comments:

  1. Dear Amy,

    This exercise has taught you a valuable lesson: if you are not enjoying a book, give it up. You'd not keep on watching a film you didn't like, would you, or eat a meal you weren't enjoying? A book is much the same and unless you are studying a particular book or books for an examination, say, there is no point at all in continuing with something which should be pleasurable. You are no longer at school, being 'made' to finish something before going onto the next one. How 'having to' do something at school has put a lot of us off things in later life!
    As for the language, I can put up with bad language if it is used in context, if it's in character, and adds to the story. But only then. I was considering buying a book recently - and I can't remember the author - and the young female used the four letter 'c' word not only on the first page but in the first paragraph. We'd not yet been introduced to the main characters, we had no idea whether this was their everyday use of language and, if so, did we wish to read further? Just this one word put me off and I didn't buy the book.
    I would also add that the writer(s) you refer to (whom I've not read, but I have read some chick lit writers, the target market being the 20/30 somethings, even though I'm over 70 and not easily shocked) are formulaic writers; they write in a particular genre for a particular market and as Angela Thirkell once famously said, what readers want is the same book over and over again! I paraphrase, but that's the gist of it, Amy.
    I once had a conversation with a very well-known writer and she said she had to deliver a book to her publisher each and every year. She to didn't add to this statement, if was all too evident in her later books, that a consequence of this was that her writing suffered: all she actually did was change the names of the main characters, where they lived, their occupations, etc, and off she went with a very similar plot.
    However, there are some writers out there who have written several books who don't use bad language and write excellent novels. These are usually slightly older female writers but I hesitate from listing them because others reading this mightn't agree with me; reading is a very personal activity. But the writers I enjoy don't need to use bad language; their use of language is above and beyond using the 'c' word on the first page.
    If you take a peep at my own blog, Amy, I have mentioned a novelist whose books I really enjoy.
    Now girl, give up on trashy stuff right away, for that is really what it is if the language is offensive; a pretty cover does not necessarily a good book make. If you are not enjoying a book, pass it on. There are plenty of books out there for everyone to enjoy.
    Margaret P

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    1. I agree, our tastes definitely change, and it must be very hard to write a book a year the same over and over. What is your blog, I didn't think you had one.

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  2. Too much swearing shows a lack of knowledge of good English is what I reckon!

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  3. I fully understand what you are saying.A couple of years ago I read a book about a couple killing their baby.I can't remember what it was called.When I had finished it I put it in the bin.I just didn't want anyone else to read something so distasteful.It is the only time I have binned a book.

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    1. Gosh that sounds like a horrid book. I would have got rid of that one too!

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  4. I don't know the author nor these books, but I totally agree with you about the language I want to read. It looks like the best thing in these books are their pretty covers. :) If I bought one of those books and then found the contents you describe, I would feel badly cheated.
    Thank you for the interesting post! xx

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    1. I do feel cheated! I could think how to describe it, but you are right, that is how I feel.

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  5. My motto Amy is...' Life is too short to read books you don't like' And there are some truly wonderful reads out there.. so if I was you I'd throw out those books and get something I really enjoyed because surely reading is for pleasure?

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  6. I haven't read anything by this author before but I've got the last one in my 'to read' pile along with the other two in the same series. I'll let you know how I get on with them.

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    1. I am going to give this one a miss, but I hope that it is good and that you enjoy it.

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  7. Have had similar troubles with some books. Sometimes the story is good and so carries me over it, but usually I am with you: too much is too much. It is liberating to realize that books can be put down forever. So many wonderful books to read and so little time. (I have not read any of the books pictured here.)

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    1. I am feeling a lot more liberated lately, perhaps it is part of that!

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  8. I really don't get much time to read but I know I have actually read the first book in the list and yet I cannot remember the story at all. I don't think you will have missed out by not finishing it. X

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    1. Glad to know I didn't miss anything! It obviously wasn't memorable at all.

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  9. I've always been the same as you, ploughing my way through books I'm not enjoying because i felt guilty somehow if I didn't finish them. It wasn't until I joined a local bookclub this year and had to contend with a couple of books that I just couldn't finish in time for the next meeting because I wasn't enjoying them that I found I wasn't the only one who felt that way and its made it easier for me to put them aside. Lifes too short, I want to be so gripped by a story that I can't put it down! As to the book you didn't like, I have never read one of hers but I tend to think that all her books will be written in the same way so pick up something else. Happy Reading!

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    1. It must be hard to read to a schedule when you don't like the book. I hope that your other club choices have been good!

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  10. Life is too short to read or indeed partake in any activity that you do not enjoy. Bad language is not something that should be put up with in your own personal space so get rid of them and move on to something that suits YOU. Take care.

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  11. I use to keep reading books even if I didn't like them, but no more. I'll give you 100 pages, even 200 sometimes, but that's it. If you haven't engaged me, if I don't care about the characters or their story I quit. I'm not fond of rude language in life or in books, but if it suits the character and not just thrown in to show how hip or trendy they are I tolerate it for the sake of the story.
    Never heard of your book or that author, but I'm betting that they are just more of the same.

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    1. I had a feeling it might be more of the same, so I have decided to ditch them all! I think I was about 150 pages in, so with your method I gave it a good go!

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  12. I've given up on one or two books recently not because of language but because I couldn't get into the story for one reason or another. I totally agree with you on the 'bad language' issue. If it is used within the context of the story say about street crime, teenage gangs etc then I suppose it is used in the correct place. Like you I don't mind the occasional swear word in context either but when swear words and even worse the 'f' 'c' and 'sh' words are used by authors it seems to me that they sound false and hit a wrong note almost as if the author thinks to impress or look 'cool' by adding them in when infact they just jar on the reader. I think most circumstances and emotions can be expressed in many varied ways without resorting to these words, it always strikes me that it shows a lack of knowledge if you have to fill in your speech or writing with those words. I haven't read the author you have mentioned and probably won't but I love a book that involves me so much I keep on reading, turning the pages but not wanting it to end:)

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    1. The story in this one wasn't good either. I guess it was the combination of bad story and bad language that really got to me in the end! I don't mind swearing occasionally in context after all no one is perfect even in a book, but this was constant and that was what got to me.

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  13. I love reading. I read a lot. Probably too much. I try to stick to a book but sometimes I just can't finish them. Sad. I don't remember reading the first two, but I think I picked up the third. Not sure I finished it though. I can't remember anything remarkable about it. I really like Trisha Ashley if you want a light, fun read.

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    1. It sounds as though they are all very missable in that case! I like Trisha Ashley too!

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  14. Hi Amy, I agree with you 100%! I refuse to read any book with foul language. To me, it adds nothing to the story and actually makes me think the author is incompetent in language skills. Unfortunately, this has been the norm in many books these last few years. I love to read the classics or find new authors who truly are talented writers. I commend you for bringing this to light. Pat xx

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    1. Yes, I think the language skills were lacking in this one!

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  15. Not at all keen on swearing in literature and like you I'd stop and send them to the charity shop. Hubby and I watch a lot of films and we always say when we're not enjoying them. I can cope with swearing in films if it fits with the character, but when it gets distasteful and crude as well, I'm out! There's no need at all, everything can be expressed without it.

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    1. Occasional bad language is one thing, as you say, but this wasn't! Such a shame isn't it.

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  16. There are a few series by authors that I don't read because I don't like offensive language either. If I come across things I don't like in the first few pages, no matter how good the reviews, I shut the book and don't read any further.

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    1. I fear that I should have given up sooner than I did!

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  17. I have a flick through books and don't pick them up if there's swearing. The odd bit in dialogue I might let go, but mostly it puts me off. Completely unnecessary. And I stop reading books that I don't like, especially the ones that make me cross because they're no good. I hope you find something that you enjoy very soon! CJ xx

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    1. Sadly this wasn't just here and there, it seemed to be going on and on! as you say an odd bit is one thing, but not constant. I am already on to a new book that I hope will be better!

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  18. Hi Amy,
    I just found your blog and wanted to say hello. I love to read and always have. My mother used to get so irritated with me when I was younger...she wanted me to be cleaning, etc. She didn't read much until she was quite older. If a book doesn't interest me right away or I find it offensive, I quit right then! Life is too short to spend time reading something that doesn't really grab you. I don't know anything about this author or the books so I can't comment on them. If you don't want the books to go in the charity bin, just leave them somewhere...like "Book Crossing". :)

    Have a blessed week!
    xo
    Pat

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    1. Hello, thank you for finding my blog, lovely to have you here. I hope to see you again sometimes! I am not familiar with a book crossing, but it sounds interesting! I will send these to the charity shop with a warning note attached I think!

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  19. Well done! You've still got a pile of others to get through!

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  20. Might I add a PS, Amy? I know I wrote a long comment and I don't want to bore you witless! But unlike many readers, I have several books on the go at any one time. Just as we watch several TV progs, I have books for the mood I'm in at the time ... so right now (which I've mentioned on my blog post), I'm reading Judith Lennox (fiction) and am also re-reading three other books, Bernard Levin's Enthusiasms, Cecil Roberts' And So To Bath (the place, not the ablution!) and (Sir) Roy Strong's A Country Life. Choose a few books and read a little of each one each day.
    Margaret P

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  21. I cant do with bad language in books or in films, it makes me feel uncomfortable, so uncomfortable I cringe, Tv will go off and book will be closed and not read

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    1. Yes, I felt very uncomfortable with this one. It is silly because I would just turn off a tv show, so I should have shut the book sooner too!

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  22. Hi Amy,

    I've read the Christmassy one and don't remember any swearing (it was a long time ago though, so don't shoot me if I am wrong). I remember it being a sweet, slightly old fashioned kind of book. I hate giving up on books but have taken the decision this year to let it go. Why keep going if you're really not enjoying it? Throw it in the charity shop pile and try another one. My Fav books (so far) of this year are "The Night Circus", "Black-Eyed Susans (might have some odd swearing) and "Miss Peregrine's School for Extraordinary Children". I'd recommend each one if you haven't read any of them. x

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    1. I hope the last one is better, but I don't feel like taking a chance so I will let it go, it would be a shame if a Christmas book was like that wouldn't it. Sounds as though you have enjoyed some interesting reading!

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  23. a really timely post Amy, cos I've been considering writing a blog about unfinished books - I've at least a dozen on my bedside table and I feel so guilty for not finishing them .
    For years I did the same as you - ploughed through books to the end, reasoning that if the writer had spent all that time writing it, then the least I could do was finish reading it. But then someone pointed out that, even if you read a book a week - that would be 52 in a year - and say you do that for 50 years - you're talking about 2500 books in a lifetime - that's an infinitesimal amount in comparison to what is published every year - so why waste time finishing a book you're not enjoying.
    I agree with you too about swearing if it's not in context - I can't be bothered with it.

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    1. That would be an interesting post on your unreads! I never thought of things in terms of your calculation before, a great reason to move on!

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  24. I am like you and will read to the end, I can count on one hand when I've stopped reading and quit. Funnily both of my kids have no problems stopping and quitting!

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    1. Sounds as though your children are much better at this than you and I!

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  25. I don't blame you. Swear words can be so offensive when used over and over for no particular reason. We saw the movie Bad Moms and it would've been a cute movie, but there was so much unnecessary dirty words over and over. I'm not a prude. I swear at times, but this was uncalled for. You could make a really cute wreath out of the pages and make it into a worthwhile object that wouldn't keep getting bounced from house to house. You can find directions on Pinterest or on Goggle.

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    1. Such a shame about that film, I will avoid it! I like your thought about the wreath, but I think it would make me think of the book and I don't really want to do that. Perhaps someone else will use it for something similar!

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  26. I'll admit to not liking books with both a lot swearing and sex. I also find that if I
    can't get into a book I put it down these days. Too much else to do, to read something I'm not enjoying. I think I had that Xmas one my list of maybe's too, but I won't worry about it now. Thanks for the info. Take care.

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    1. I am giving the Christmas one a miss, if you do read it let me know if I was right or wrong to do that!

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  27. Hi Amy, I have never read any of these books but I agree with you, I don't want or need to read profanity. Good for you for stopping when you normally read the full book regardless. Why put yourself through that if you're really not enjoying the book. Hope you can find some other great books to read (and enjoy!).

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    1. I was worried in case anyone thought I was being silly, but it is good to know that I am in the company of so many like minded people!

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  28. I am just like you! I don't know when the last time was that I quit reading a book. I just keep plodding on. I very much dislike swearing in books. I think they are not as talented a writer if they can't write without swearing. I've been noticing it more in songs as well, and I think I hate that even more. The tune gets in your head, and along with it that swear word!

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    1. I don't think that I am going to be a plodder any more and certainly not if I don't like the language, I don't think you should feel badly if you adopt the same idea!

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  29. Even a book that seems a struggle, I will read to the end, but I'd have to be with you on this one. Not stumbling through all the foul language would be worth it. She probably has an audience for that type of book, but I'm not one. I'd probably trash it rather than pass it along, but then that's just me. Have not read anything by her so have no input on the other two books. I'm not sure, actually, that I've ever read a book with a lot of foul language. Sometimes, there is for emphasis by the author a few, but not what it sounds like here.

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    1. Don't feel you have to plod on, several others have said that it is Ok to give up and I agree!

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  30. Many years ago she was one of my favourite writers. Until I read one, I don't recall the name of it, but the subject of the story really offended me. I thought it was just nasty. I stopped reading, chucked it out, and never bought any of her books again. which was a shame, I'd enjoyed her writing up until then. People dismiss authors of her nature as chick lit or light frothy nonsense, but to be absolutely honest, anything that gets people reading is a good thing if you ask me.
    I don't mind swearing at all, it's all part of life, but that said, if it just seems too excessive and a bit gratuitous in books or on TV, then it gets on my nerves. So I'd have done the same as you and stopped reading.

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    1. I wonder if it was the same story. I am sure that I have read others of hers before and not been offended, perhaps it was just this one. I agree, anything that gets people reading is a good thing!

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  31. I know what you mean... I find it really hard to stop reading a book once I've started. Sounds like all three of these are destined for the charity shop.

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    1. Yes, with a note explaining why so they can decide what to do with them!

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  32. I have just started proofreading books for a charity that converts books to different formats for partially sighted people. When choosing my latest book, I rejected it because of the swearing in it. I couldn't imagine having to make sure that all those swear words were spelled correctly! The book I am working on now is "The Wonder" by Emma Donoghue. It is fiction but based on quite a dark period in Irish history. I am racing through it and really enjoying it.

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    1. Gosh you have to be very careful doing that job I am sure, I can see why you would reject books. Enjoy your current read!

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  33. I don't plough on if I'm not enjoying something, I figure someone else will get the benefit at the charity shop. I wouldn't read something full of bad language either xx

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    1. You are so right! Someone else might like it!

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  34. I don't know anything about this particular author, but when I start to read a book full of cursing or any other bad things that I am against, I immediately stop reading it. I don't usually give it that type of author much of a chance. But I am also pretty narrow about my choices of genre- detective/mysteries mostly.

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    1. Sounds to me as though you have exactly the right idea!

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  35. Good for you for stopping reading if it was offending you. I don't think there's a real need for that, and if you're not a swearing person yourself, it just grates on your nerves after a while. I've not read any of this author's books, and now I won't even bother looking them up! I've only stopped reading maybe three books in my entire life. I'm like you and can't quit, but feel I need to know the ending. Usually, it will be books that are just boring me to death.

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    1. I think you would do well to give these a miss! I know what you mean about wanting to know the ending - I may have skipped ahead on books just a few times because of that! - but I didn't even bother to do that with this one. Sad isn't it. I think we should give ourselves more leeway in the future to quit bad books!

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  36. I haven't read any of this authors books so can't comment but they don't sound like my kind of book at all. Amy it's ok to stop reading a book if you don't like it, I'm ruthless if a story doesn't grab my attention after a couple of chapters that's it, life is too short to waste your time reading rubbish I would rather crochet a blanket. :) xx

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    1. I think that I am definitely going to get more ruthless with my reading after all of the commenters who said that is what they do! I will be joining you in the ruthless club!

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  37. Hi Amy, I thought I had posted here but maybe I didn't press publish correctly or maybe you didn't like it so removed it, it wasn't meant to offend, my quippy comment about tin pears, suffice to say well done you for not being a quitter but life is too short to read books that you don't enjoy. As for me life is too short to eat tinned pears! Jo x

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    1. Hi Jo, no I didn't delete it, the internet ether must have eaten it! I don't remember seeing a comment about pears so I am sure it didn't come through. I always publish all comments, whether I like them or not unless they are really rude. So I am sure yours was fine. I also would have remembered a comment about pears because they are one of the few foods I really don't like, especially tinned!!! Hope the internet doesn't eat any more of your comments as I love to hear from you!

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  38. I wish I had stopped reading The Goldfinch, everyone raved about it and I felt like I lost a good chunk of my life muscling through it to see if it got better, it didn't. I did stop reading Gone Girl, another best seller but I just could not stand anyone in it.

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    1. Ack! I have both of these in my pile as I heard they were wonderful. I will see how I get on when I get there!!

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  39. I used to try to finish all books as well, but I was making myself miserable. There are too many enjoyable books in the world to slog through the bad ones.

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    1. Excatly!! It seems as though were all of the same mind on this!

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  40. Distastful language always makes me stop reading a book. Not my thing. Joyce

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  41. I had missed this post. I totally agree! Today it seems the more outrageous and bold-faced you are the more 'successful' you will be and the more money you will make, which is something I totally detest. It is so sad the world has come to this point, and even more so as there is no change for the better in sight any time soon.

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