Showing posts with label dnf. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dnf. Show all posts

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Apparently I'm a fickle mistress. E-Books vs. Paper!

Happy Sunday, reader friends!  I have a small point of discussion that I'd like to bat around with you today.

I've been reading The Blonde by Anna Godbersen for a couple of weeks now.  Usually, it would be odd for a relatively short novel such as this to be taking so much time for me to read.  Especially an ARC copy that I specifically requested through Edelweiss (which I don't often do).  But despite my best efforts, I am positively slogging through this thing.  Only 30% complete in the last two weeks, and it's looking more and more like this could be a DNF.

What's that, you say??  Kelly might have her SECOND DNF of the year?  I know, you're beside yourself with the horror.  I'm just far too type-A to not finish books most of the time, but I do feel like this might be the second case in recent months.

That said, part of me is starting to suspect that my disappointment in both this novel and June's The Hollow Ground can't be entirely attributed to the contents of the books themselves.  It's still primarily that, but...perhaps a little bit of it is influenced by the format.  Because you see, these two books were the last two that I read in Kindle format.

That's right.  I'm afraid I might be practicing Kindle discrimination.  Kindle-ism?  Whatever.  Either way, it's no good.

I know I often sing the praises of my Kindle, especially the Paperwhite.  The back light!  The "time left to read" counter!  The 3G capabilities!  And it absolutely helped me survive late-night feedings when Tater Tot was a newborn.
Totally me 6 months ago.
However, I think I reached a stage of Kindle burnout a few months back.  Early in the summer, I went to the library for the first time in a while, and took out a stack of real, honest-to-goodness, PAPER books.  And you know what?  IT FELT AWESOME.  A real book in my hand!  Using a bookmark again!  And of course, BOOK SMELL!  Yes, they're unwieldy at times, and they make night reading a challenge if you forget your book light, but this summer has been one of happy paper book reading for me.
True dat.
Due to this shift in preference, I've found it much harder to read on my Kindle lately.  It just doesn't hold my attention the way a paper book does, if that makes any sense at all.  And while I don't think this means the two recent DNF novels were actually amazing and their electronic format was all to blame, I do think it made an already mediocre novel feel even worse.

I'm not sure what to think of this.  Is my Kindle-averse tendency just a temporary thing?  Will I get my electronic mojo back soon?  Or is it a matter of circumstance--when I'm in a place where the Kindle will help me read easier, perhaps that's when I'll fall in love again?

What say you, readers?  What are your thoughts on ebook vs. paper formats?  Do you prefer one over the other, or does your love flipflop in both directions?  Do you feel like book format influences your feelings about a novel?

*Many other bloggers have tackled this issue as well!  One post that comes to mind is Rinn's over at Rinn Reads.  Any other bloggers have a post that they've contributed to this topic?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Book Review (DNF): The Hollow Ground by Natalie S. Harnett

Title: The Hollow Ground
Author: Natalie S. Harnett
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Source: ARC received from publicist for an honest review

Summary from Goodreads:

"We walk on fire or air, so Daddy liked to say. Basement floors too hot to touch. Steaming green lawns in the dead of winter. Sinkholes, quick and sudden, plunging open at your feet."

The underground mine fires ravaging Pennsylvania coal country have forced Brigid Howley and her family to seek refuge with her estranged grandparents, the formidable Gram and the Black Lung stricken Gramp. Tragedy is no stranger to the Howleys, a proud Irish-American clan who takes strange pleasure in the "curse" laid upon them generations earlier by a priest who ran afoul of the Molly Maguires. The weight of this legacy rests heavily on a new generation, when Brigid, already struggling to keep her family together, makes a grisly discovery in a long-abandoned bootleg mine shaft. In the aftermath, decades' old secrets threaten to prove just as dangerous to the Howleys as the burning, hollow ground beneath their feet. Inspired by real-life events in now-infamous Centralia and the equally devastated town of Carbondale,  The Hollow Ground  is an extraordinary debut with an atmospheric, voice-driven narrative and an indelible sense of place.

My Review:

As you all know, I'm not really accepting ARCs for review other than for TLC Book Tours (and even that got scaled way back).  However, when I was approached with an offer to read The Hollow Ground, I jumped on it.  Mostly, it was the setting that did it for me--I have been rather fascinated by the history of the coal fires in Centralia, PA (a literal ghost town--Google that shizzle), and my mom's family is from northeastern Pennsylvania, not far from Carbondale.  My grandfather was a coal miner.  So I thought for sure this would be a match made in heaven for me.  But alas, it was not to be.

This is going to be a short review because, yes...I DNF'd this book.  (Did Not Finish, for the layperson.)  And I hardly ever do that (in fact, it's only the third time ever).  But I worked my way through 46% of this novel, and I just could not connect with it, no matter how hard I tried.  And I tried...OH MY GOD did I tryyyyy (a little early-90's rock for you right there...anyone?  You can thank me later).

I think there were two issues for me here.  First was the main character, Brigid.  She was so static.  I felt like a lot of things were happening TO her, but she was rarely ever making things happen.  She was very passive, and thus came off as a weak protagonist.  I didn't build any emotion for or against her, which is rarely a good sign.

The second issue was that there wasn't much plot movement.  I made it to nearly the 50% mark, and didn't feel like I had reached any level of anticipation for these "decades' old secrets" that were mentioned in the book's summary.  Perhaps that anticipation would have come later, but by the halfway point, I found myself unwilling to wait for it any longer.

Hopefully others will have a better experience with this one (there are quite a lot of excellent reviews on Goodreads!), but The Hollow Ground was a miss for me.

Readers, have you had to DNF any novels lately?
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