Books I DNF in 2023

This is my third year writing about books I DNF (2022, 2021). This time it’s for books I DNF in 2023. I already posted about my favorite reads in 2023, so if you’re looking for that, then hop on over to that page. Like I said in years past, this is not exactly a list of “worst books.” Rather, this is a list of books I DNF for a variety of reasons. I usually DNF something because I couldn’t get into it, either because I wasn’t in the mood or the style wasn’t for me. I sometimes DNF books because I don’t like them, but thankfully that’s rare.

Now that that’s out of the way (because people love to assume the worst on the internet), I’m here to share the books I DNF in 2023.

Brittle by Beth OvermyerHild by Nicola GriffithPaying The Land by Joe Sacco

BRITTLE by Beth Overmyer: The premise of this is so perfect for me. However, I just could not get into the story. I tried, but ultimately passed to avoid a reading slump. Unfortunately, this was an ARC and I had to leave some form of review.

HILD by Nicola Griffith: I really liked SPEAR by this author, but barely made it past page 10 of HILD. My understanding is HILD is a great book with respect to historical detail. However, I just don’t think I was in the right mood for this. It’s a thick book and it takes some perseverance to break into the premise. I couldn’t get past the introduction.

PAYING THE LAND by Joe Sacco: I felt bad about DNF this book. I really wanted to finish it, but I just could not pay attention. What it boils down to is format. I don’t often read graphic novels and the few I have read were less dense. PAYING THE LAND is “a masterful work of comics journalism about indigenous North America, resource extraction, and our debt to the natural world.” If the reading format was a nonfiction novel, I probably would have finished it. This is when I learned graphic novels are not my preferred format for lengthy nonfiction topics.

I also DNF a couple of novellas I picked to read for the SFINCS competition. I gave each one a fair shot, but in the end DNF them because they were repetitive or didn’t hold my interest. Out of respect I won’t list them here.

And that’s it for the books I DNF in 2023. Thankfully this is a short list since I usually like a book enough to finish it. What are some books you DNF this year?

10 thoughts on “Books I DNF in 2023

    1. For me it was hard to get into because it leaps right into every day life, and it’s a life and names I’m not accustomed to. Western medieval names aren’t like modern Western names & that’s my kryptonite sometimes because I can’t keep track of things very well at the start.

  1. LOL idk about assuming the worst on the Internet, but I want to see all the bloody awful terrible reasons why people don’t like books ???? it’s so much less fun when people are trying to be nice about it because I want to know what they *really* think ????

    1. Oh I said that because random people on the internet like to put words in others’ mouths or assume that the poster hasn’t thought about something from another angle, and they do it in a hostile manner rather than as a discussion. So I was being a bit sarcastic there! ???? I do have a good number of “negative reviews,” so I don’t shy away from what didn’t work for me. And I’m not sure what’s going on with the question marks…I noticed that a few weeks ago…it’s weird. I blame wordpress because I haven’t changed anything!

  2. HILD is one of those books I aways think I would enjoy when I see it, but then when I actually read what it’s about, I set it back down, lol. Perhaps I’ll have to try SPEAR! It’s rare for me to DNF but I know I DNF’d a few this year… had to check Goodreads to recall – one was BEFORE THE COFFE GETS COLD.

    1. As you can tell, I felt the same way about HILD. SPEAR is waaaay more approachable than HILD. The writing is somewhat lyrical and has a mystical fairy tale vibe to it that I just loved. I want more from the author like that!

      What made you DNF BEFORE THE COFFEE GETS COLD? I’d like to read it eventually and even gave it to my Mom for Christmas. I don’t think I’ve seen anything “negative” about it (so far).

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