Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Most Recently Put Down

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme created by The Broke and the Bookish blog.

This week’s topic is: Books I’ve Most Recently Put Down

It isn’t as if I wasn’t enjoying these books, but simply that I put them down for whatever reason. I fully intend to pick all of these back up at some point in the future…


  1. On Beauty by Zadie Smith

Shamefully, this is the first Zadie Smith I’ve picked up. I fell head-over-heels in love with her prose, but didn’t get wrapped up in the plot. I appreciated how real and complex her characters are, even if I didn’t particularly like them. I tried to read On Beauty early this past winter, and never managed to get swept away by the story enough to not be distracted by the news at the time. I have Swing Time and N-W sitting on my shelf, but would like to finish this one before I pick either up. Luckily, I remember enough to simply start reading from where I last left off.



2. Charlotte Bronte: A Life by Claire Harman

As you’ll probably notice, this is the first of several nonfiction books to make an appearance on this list. Too often, I get super excited about a nonfiction tome only to abandon it a few chapters in. I think I started reading this around Charlotte Bronte’s 200th birthday in 2016. I don’t really know why I put it down. I found Harman’s writing to be incredibly readable and engaging. I look forward to picking this beautiful book up again soon-perhaps when I’m craving a reread of one of Charlotte’s novels.



 3. The Butcher’s Hook by Janet Ellis

I wanted this historical fiction novel for so long, but it was only available in the UK. I ended up getting it for Christmas from Book Depository, but didn’t start reading it until May. It’s been listed on my Goodreads as Currently Reading ever since. I was enjoying the vivid Georgian London setting, but it didn’t really feel like a spring/summer read to me. I plan to pick up where I left off (page 83/349) later this fall or winter.



4. Jane Austen’s England by Roy A. Adkins, Lesley Adkins

Out of all the books on this list, this is probably the one I am most likely to not finish reading. This is an incredibly detailed account of life in Georgian/Regency England, but from what I remember, it wasn’t as readable as I had hoped.



5. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

I started reading Voyager last August, shortly after Season 2 of Outlander had concluded. I had finished Dragonfly in Amber not too long before, and so it was a little too much Outlander all at once. I decided to save this to read during droughtlander, but I definitely didn’t intend to save it for as long as I did. I’ve only recently restarted it, and won’t be finished before the show returns this Sunday (or anytime soon for that matter).



6. Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights by Katha Pollitt

Another nonfiction book I’ve recently put down. Reproductive rights are something I’m incredibly passionate about, and I am proudly and unequivocally pro-choice. As much as I want to read Pollitt’s book, lately I’ve been using my reading time as a means of escapism from the bleak reality of Trump’s America. I hope I can make an exception for this one soon, as it is such an important issue, and so much is on the line right now.



7. Wartime Britain 1939-1945 by Juliet Gardiner

Gardiner’s well-researched and very readable tome comes in at a whopping 782 pages. I had planned to read this in bits and pieces over an extended period of time, but I haven’t picked it up in months. I guess I got a little intimidated by the size and scope of Wartime Britain. It’s also not an easy topic, although it is an incredibly interesting one. Maybe I’ll pick this up again soon and just take my time with it.



8. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Speaking of intimidating books… I read the first 245 pages of this massive classic last year, before abandoning it. I fell in love with Tolstoy’s story and characters after watching the BBC miniseries, and my love has only deepened after seeing and listening to the musical Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (RIP). I was really into the novel as well, although admittedly a little bored by the Napoleonic War bits. I think I just wasn’t ready to commit, and other books got in the way.



9. The Making of Home: The 500-Year Story of How Our Houses Became Our Home by Judith Flanders

See what I mean about my habit of abandoning nonfiction? I think the history of everyday life is so fascinating. I read and loved Bill Bryson’s At Home, and am hoping this will be similarly interesting. I think I only read the Introduction, but fully intend to read the rest of Judith Flanders book at some point.



10. The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy

Even though I love Thomas Hardy, there are still many of his novels I have yet to read. I started The Return of the Native a couple years ago, but didn’t get very far. I have to be in the right mood for Hardy’s pastoral tragedies, and I just wasn’t at the time. I’ve added it to my Classics Club list, and look forward to reading it. I will definitely have to start at at the very beginning however, as I don’t remember a single thing about it.


What are some books that you’ve recently put down? Do you have a similar habit of abandoning a specific genre? 


30 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Most Recently Put Down

Add yours

  1. I don’t think I’ve heard of most of these! As a rule, I try not to abandon books, but sometimes you just have to do it. The last one I remember putting aside was James Patterson’s The Mistress, which is crazy, because I love the man!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree! I tend to keep them on my Goodreads list as ‘currently reading’ even if I go several years in between attempts. I very rarely give up completely on a book.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wartime Britain was fascinating even if unbelievably long. I have the Bronte book but haven’t read it yet. The Making of Home is going on my list of books to buy sometime soon-unless I give in and just order it now. I abandoned Les Miserable and maybe one day I will get back to it. I was enjoying it, it just was so long and…kind of miserable. I too have a book on Goodreads that supposedly I am “currently reading” but I haven’t picked up in months. One day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I need to pick it up again-it really is incredibly fascinating! Glad to hear you enjoyed it. Let me know what you think of The Making of Home if you cave and pick it up soon.

      Les Mis is on my TBR as well, but you’re right, it’s a pretty bleak story. I’ll definitely need to be in the right mood to read it.

      I’m glad to know I’m not alone with “currently reading” books lingering on my goodreads for months…


  3. Have you ever read Howard’s End? I ask because On Beauty is sort of interesting when looked at as a modern imagining of that.
    If you take Voyager one “part” per episode for the first 5 epsiodes you should be fine based on what I’ve heard.
    I read War and Peace in college and just found myself bored and wishing that Tolstoy had a decent editor. I finished it, because it was for class, but it’s still not a book I’m overly fond of.
    I did books I struggled through but ended up being worth the effort:

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve had On Beauty sitting under my bed for nearly a year. It’s the first Zadie Smith book I’ve bought but i can’t say why I haven’t read it yet! I’ve only read Under The Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy but I want to read his other works as well. I don’t know what it is but I tend to put down more non fiction books too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I did finish On Beauty (she said smugly), but I do know what you mean about it. I ended up admiring it more than I liked it. I enjoyed her first, White Teeth, more. And I gave up on War and Peace. I couldn’t get into the war sections. I couldn’t get into the peace sections. I watched an adaptation on TV and all I could think was, No wonder they had a revolution. All those silly, useless aristocrats.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great point about admiring more than liking On Beauty. I do want to finish it, but I’m certainly not in a rush to pick it up again. White Teeth does sound like a novel I may enjoy more too, and I’m really looking forward to Swing Time.

      The war sections are what bogged me down in W & P for sure. I was really enjoying the peace sections (and even those silly aristocrats with too much time on their hands).

      Liked by 1 person

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