I'm not supposed to be buying books, actually. I have so many to read and the money ought to be used for other things, like food for the Tiny Tyrant. That's why I need to read the ones I have right now. I need to finish them and get them off the shelves so I can buy new (to me) ones, or at least feel like I've accomplished something.
Which is why I've been so frustrated with my reading lately. I have books by terrific authors (Tim Powers' _Expiration Date_ for ex. ) that don't want me to read them. They don't make me care. The writing is terrific. The characters are interesting. The story doesn't mean anything to me. I just don't want to be bothered.
I want books that hold on to me. I want a book that makes me sneak a couple pages from it at the dinner table or while the Tiny Tyrant is watching Blues Clues. I want a book I can't put down.
What I have now is _The Lions of Al-Rassan_ by Guy Gavriel Kay. Kay is highly recommended by a friend, and I can see why. Terrific characters. Terrific writing. But it's the meandering, episodic plot that's leaving me clammy.
Frustrating. The individual scenes are great. Tense and fun. But there's no over-arching plot to drive me along. Every time the characters have a goal to reach, they reach it within 40 pages, and then I get another 30 pages until they get a new goal. Dull.
I want to put it down. There are so many good books on my shelf, and I want to get that reading done!
Okay. I've convinced myself. It goes back onto the shelf with the other highly-recommended but half-read books.