Summer Reading by Hilda Wolitzer was not the book for me. It was about Lissy, a rich but sad and lost wife; Michelle, her maid and angsty Hamptons local; and Angela, an ex-professor who loves sleeping around and leads Lissy’s book club. All of the characters were sad and unsatisfied with life and really enjoyed reflecting on bad things that happened to them that were “totally not their fault.” I didn’t find anything at all to like about Angela or Michelle, and I only found Lissy mildly interesting. I kept waiting for something to happen, and it just didn’t. I gave up after 7 chapters and 58 pages. Life is too short to force yourself through books you don’t enjoy. This one wasn’t for me, so I’m moving on to other things.
I thought part of the problem might be that I just finished a fiction novel that I absolutely loved and that Summer Reading just seemed bland by comparison. To avoid that problem, I have decided to switch to memoir for the next one, so I’ll be reading Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi next. After that, I will probably do some rereading. I want to read The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly again, and I might read The Book Thief again (although that seems a bit sad for summer reading and not the ideal book to end my books about books adventure on).
The important part of this post though is that you shouldn’t feel bad for giving up on a book. Not every single book will be the right fit for every single reader. There is always something else to read and love. Don’t feel bad about giving up on one and leaving it at the used bookstore for someone else who will probably like it a lot more.