Books I’ve Given Up On Lately

* Let Us Now Praise Famous Men – too avant-guard for my current mood. Read 150+ pages, it’s a symphony that requires more concentration and thought than I’m prepared to give it at this moment. Definitely want to read at some time.
* Annals of the Former World – a 700+ page brick filled with geology porn. Chock-a-block full of rock references above my head and beyond what I desired to know. I’m a plate-tectonics junkie who found this book too much. Don’t drown me in scientific jargon and obscure an otherwise delightful story.
* The Sibley Guide to Trees – wide-eyed amateur naturalist that I am, I clutched this in my hand and took a few walks around San Francisco. Strikeout. I later acquired The Trees of San Francisco and Trees of the Panhandle as helpful guides to the bizarre transplanted trees that line my streets. Venn diagram of trees in Sibley’s book that overlap with actual trees in San Francisco = tiny slice.
* Of Time, Work, and Leisure, a 1962 tome almost quaint in its concern that we work too much. A great subject, but this book is not timeless.
* Some book I forget the title of… a young journalist who somehow finagles his way into meeting the South Vietnamese, then goes to live on a commune. Crappy ego-centric writing.
* Gulag: A History (by Anne Applebaum). I couldn’t get into it. But I may give it another whirl later.
* Roots of Bitterness: Documents of the Social History of American Women, edited by Cott, Boydston, Braude, Ginzberg, Ladd-Taylor. I confess to being overwhelmed and underwhelmed simultaneously. First, awful yet precise title. Bitterness. Second, printed speeches or diaries are a godsend, and sometimes boring; I know this is all that remains of historical records from women, but it’s less than inspiring. Third, the impact of all of these on top of each other– too much. I had to take a break, and by the time I was ready to resume, I decided to skip a huge chunk of the book and dive into the 20th century.