Books I DNF-ed in 2016


Back in August last year, I put together a post about books I had given up on – DNF-ed, if we are using the technical book-term – so far in 2016. My plan was to write another post when I got to ten DNF-ed books, but that never happened; I seem to have got a bit more savvy with my book choices as the year went on.

However, I still DNF-ed another four books after that post and thought it would be fun to share them again.

I do not mind putting a book down, I never feel like I must finish a book just because I started it. After all, there are so many books to enjoy, there is no point spending time on one that you don’t like. Time is precious and should not be spent on books that make you groan every time you think about reading them. Unless the joy of finishing a book outweighs the pain of reading it, then maybe it is worth the time and effort but that rarely happens for me.

I’m not sure I admire people who refuse to give up on a book, sometimes I wonder what you can get out of something that you just do not enjoy but put hours into completing. Not enough wondering to make me more persistent with finishing books, though. I will leave that to the more dedicated readers out there.

Now, let’s get complaining!

Books I DNF-ed In 2016

In case you missed the previous post, and to save you having to go back and look, I will include those books here as well as a quick recap of why I gave up on them. For my in-depth complaints, you are welcome to check out the first post.

The first five books are the ones I have already wrote about. These were at the beginning of the year when I was trying to work out which books tickled my fancy and which ones did not. These books, most definitely, did not tickle my fancy.

Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach

Reason for DNF-ing: Excessive mentioning of Facebook and other social media, a main protagonist that was unbearable and I just did not really understand what was going on.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip Dick

Reason for DNF-ing: Turned out to be an abridged version of the book and it was just plain boring. Did include talk of pet-robots which was mildly interesting.

Death of a River Guide by Richard Flanagan

Reason for DNF-ing: Read a previous book that I did not like by the same author, thought I would try another book. A mistake, this was one big snore fest and absolutely not my type of book.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Reason for DNF-ing: Unable to work out if characters were mugging people or buying a magazine. Just nope. Even if it is only 100 pages.

Umbrella by Will Self

Reason for DNF-ing: Book narrator had the most annoying voice and everything else about the book was awful too.

Now, onto the books that I didn’t mention last time! 

Dracula by Bram Stoker

I cannot remember if I picked this up in the Audible daily deal or on one of their offers, but it has been in my Audible library for ages, it was about time I gave it a listen. Well, I got a few chapters in and that was that. I enjoyed the beginning, reading Jonathan Harker’s journal entries, but then the perspective changed to letters between to female friends and I just lost all interest and gave up. This book falls in to the not for me side of my love/hate relationship with classics.

The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald

I had a feeling I wouldn’t like this before I started the audiobook, but since it was free and only five hours long, it couldn’t hurt to give it a go. I listened to about an hour and then gave up, too much social commentary and not enough story. Another classic for the I don’t like you pile.

The Two Towers by J.R.R Tolkien

I tried, I really did. I read The Fellowship of the Ring with great pain and thought I could power through the other two books to complete the series. I couldn’t, they are just too boring. I do not think a single part of the book went into my brain. I would look up from the page and lose my spot instantly, chances are I missed a paragraph or two as I would look down and start again at the wrong spot. Or I would just be sat there wondering if I really did just read 20 pages of a book where they did nothing but walk across a patch of land and be sad about it.

So yeah, I gave up, I did not even bother to finish the chapter I was on, just nope. Then I sold the series to someone else and made €6 of them.

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

I could not get into this book, it was too slow and there was nothing to keep me interested. I did not mind the multiple perspectives, thought it was a bit difficult to distinguish them from each other, making it far too much hard work to keep up with every character and what was going on. If there was anything going on, I am not sure there was. I could not quite grasp the descriptions so even if there was something going on, I am not really sure I understood it anyway. So, back to the library this book went.

And that is a wrap. What was the last book you DNF-ed? Or are you someone who never DNFs a book? I’m curious, does the joy of completing the book outweigh the pain of reading it? 


  • Oh man the Great Gatsby? haha I thought halfway through it gets so good, I mean the poetic beauty of his writing alone is worth it. Story is pretty blah though you’re right haha

    • I can’t say poetic writing is something I really care for so I’m happy to leave The Great Gatsby DNF-ed.

  • I nearly always finish books. Once I’ve got through a certain amount it seems pointless not to finish. I finished American Psycho even though I was liking it less and less because with about 50 pages to go I figured I might as well read the whole thing! However, I have only read about 6 pages of A Clockwork Orange. I just did not get it AT ALL :-/ I have read all the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I couldn’t get further than the first chapter of The Silmarillion – if you think Lord of the Rings is boring never, ever pick that one up! There is a German book called Faserland that I would have liked to not finish, but I read it for uni and I was a little goody two shoes so I felt like I had to finish it in case questions came up in the exam 😛

    • Once you get to the half way mark, it definitely becomes harder to decided to DNF a book, I am trying to get better at that though. I tend to DNF physical books more than audiobooks, for those, I just think it’s no effort to continue with them since I’m not really doing any work.

      I actually like the feeling of DNF-ing a book and then picking something up that I am more excited about, it makes the next book so much better.

  • These posts always make me feel better about my own DNF’s as there are some I just try to plough through but can’t do it! I’ve actually heard a few people not getting through J.R.R Tolkien’s books. One of my friends said the writing style just didn’t click with her, and even though she adored the films, she found the books a real struggle. I would like to read Dracula though, my friend loves it, but it’s still on my TBR list so I need to get down to the library and pick it up! I’m currently struggling through a book at the moment called Talon by Julie Kagawa, which has a really great premise, but there’s not a lot happening so I’m hoping it’s a temporary slump in the middle of the book and then there’ll be a nice, exciting finish! – Tasha

    • I know there are many people that refuse to DNF books, but I just can’t be bothered with reading something that sucks. Plus, I think it’s another interesting discussion to have with people. What makes a person DNF a book? That’s always interesting to me.

      I’m with your friend, I loved the LOTR films, but the books, they are a snore-fest for me.

      • Me too, there were a few recently that I couldn’t get through, and I just take them off my Goodreads now, haha, And true too, it is good to see why people did/didn’t like certain books and get a different opinion. I have to admit, I tried the books, but failed miserably – I might try again at some point, but I don’t hold out much hope!

  • My friend told me that A Clockwork Orange is rather disturbing. I’ve never tried it, but if it’s only 100 pages I might give it a go. The Great Gatsby wasn’t terrible (I’ve read it a few times), but it annoys the pants off me when people idolize the book. Ummm…. everyone was materialistic and drunk and liars. Bleh.

    • That’s what I thought, I figured 100 pages can’t be that bad, but it was just urgh. I had no idea what was going on so I just gave up. It was the longest 30 pages I’d ever read.

      I listened to The Great Gatsby on audio (it was the free audiobook of the month) and it was just not for me. Not my genre and definitely not the kind of people I want to read about. After about half an hour of listening, I gave up.

  • I’m glad to see you don’t mind finishing books! For the longest time I felt sooo guilty about not finishing books I didn’t like, so I would force myself to finish them. I recently realized that life is too short to waste it on things I hate, LOL, so I’ve stopped feeling guilty about not finishing books.

    • It’s just a book, it’s not like you hurt the books feeling haha! I have more trouble with the books that are kind if rubbish but not as rubbish as ones I have DNF-ed in the past, those are the ones that I struggle the most with and can never decide whether to just give up with them.

  • Kel

    There are very few books that I didnt finish – but A Clockwork Orange is one of them! Maybe I should try again some day,… but I’m not in a rush 😀

    • I thought about trying again, but then I could read all these other more interesting books instead, so I go with that option. If you do read it, let me know if you enjoy it the second time.

  • Idaho, Hour of Bees, Live by night….although I might try Live by night another time.
    I had high hopes for Idaho but the book seemed like it was trying too hard to be “poetic” and profound. I dno’t need a hundred words to describe the truck, thanks…I just need the book to get on with the story.

    • Haha, those are usually the books I DNF or at least struggle with the internal DNF-dilemma.

  • I always finish a book. Even if it is painful to do so. I do it with a great deal of skipping pages to get to interesting bits and sometimes, by doing this I will get past the dull bits and be more interested. I think it is just because I can’t bear to leave things unfinished. I think it is also one of the reasons I never make my Goodreads target!!

    • Urgh, no, I could never do that. Usually if a bit if awful, I don’t think twice about DNF-ing it. It’s the ones that are bad but not so bad that I struggle with. They are the ones that I usually push through and then get to the end just to think “meh, I should of just given up with it”.

      I actually never thought to just skip ahead though, so maybe I should give that a go before I DNF a book.