Blog Post: Dragging Novels

Blog chain time today. Shaun has this round's question for us.

What are three books you would tell people that they need to keep reading even if they aren't immediately sucked in by the first page?

It depends. As the saying goes, what is one person's cup of tea is another person's cup of poison. We all have reasons why we don't get through a story, and it might not have to do with the story itself. Life and time constraints can put a damper on a person's reading schedule.

Yet, in that same breath, there are stories that might throw off a person because of the lack of action. Or even worse, too much action. Ever read a story that has so much plot going on in the beginning that it leaves you totally confused on what's going on by the next pages? And trying to decipher all the action just seems like too much work for you to do?

There's also some stories that throw off readers due to a weak main character. No personality whatsoever during that first paragraph. Time to give up. Or should we?

I can think of stories with too much fluffy writing in the beginning, which I will mention in my book list. Another story I will mention might have people dragging their feet due to the character's dialect. Some people enjoying reading these stories. Other people have a hard time connecting with the character because they are speaking totally different than what the reader's comfort zone allows.

The way I see it; a person should never give up on that story at the beginning. It might taste like it's poison, but that plot could be the sweetest tasting tea you've ever tried. Or wine. Or beer. Or cup of cocoa if tea is not your thing.

Here is my list:

J.R.R. Tolkien,  The Lord of the Ring Series: The world-building can get a bit too involved. Some people have claimed it "fluffy." The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales are two more works by Tolkien that you have to really set your teeth at and gnaw on for a bit to get to the juicy tidbits. What I believe makes it slow is there is so much DESCRIPTIVE paragraphs. A scene that might take you a few words to describe can go on for paragraphs. There are times when the plot just stops. But this shouldn't make you stop reading.

Kathryn Magendie,  Tender Graces: I loved the book, but I'm sure the first paragraph may throw people off because of the character's southern dialect. I find the main character's flow of words spunky and unique. It's about a woman who must face her demons of the past after her mother passes away.

Stephen King,  Eye of The Dragon: My Gawd! That first paragraph is a whopper. In fact, the first paragraph takes up most of the first page to tell you the King was a good king who tried very hard to be a good king but didn't always succeed at being a good king. No, I'm not kingging.... er, I mean kidding.

This is my list. Sorry I didn't give you more background information regarding what the novels are about. But I don't want to raise your hopes up with the parts that I LIKED about the story that kept me reading. Much better for you to find those inkling little bits that spurs you to finish reading the story. Everyone's motivation is different.

Katrina's book list post before mine.
Eric's book list post tomorrow


  1. I've never read Stephen King. There. I've said it. He scares me. :) But I'm glad to know everybody can write a boring first paragraph. Hee hee.

    Great list! I second that LotR is SO descriptive. But such an amazing story with a dozen full character arcs. Brilliant.

  2. Actually, Katrina, you might go for this one. A classic fantasy story with dragons and the like. It's tame compared to his more gruesome novels. I first read it in high school.

  3. Ooh The Eye of the Dragon is a great example! I mean I liked that book, but it did take a while to get moving.

  4. I do have to admit that I skim big chunks of description like the ones in the LOTR. Maybe I should pay more attention to them so I get better at description too.

  5. Nice post, Michelle! I like the thoughts you provided on each book. I may give King a chance...I am freaked out by his talent. Tolkien is too much for me.

  6. I tried Under the Dome...and didn't make it very far into that. There were parts I liked and I loved the premise...just couldn't get into it. I might have to check out Eye of the Dragon though :D

  7. I like these choices - and struggled with all of them! I did get through them all...because I think I am a glutton for punishment! HA!

  8. I'll give anything by King a chance! Have to check that one out!

  9. Oooh, the second book on your lists sounds great. I am kinda a sucker for books written in dialect.

  10. I loved LOTR, though I haven't read it in years. I'll have to check out the other two. :)

  11. I remember reading Eye of The Dragon in middle school and feeling really bad for Thomas. I don't think I've read it since then. Maybe I'll have to pick it up again.


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