Allergies, Lots of Reading, and Finishing a DNF

tissuebox4c After looking forward to The Word on the Street all week, we all ended up missing the entire event. On Saturday, with the colder weather and the rain, allergies began hitting us – not the tiny-sniffle type of allergies, but full blown sinus-pressure, drippy nose (you wanted to hear that one, didn’t you?), cough and non-stop sneezing type of allergies.

My older son, who, ironically, seems to have constant low-grade hayfever during late summer and early fall, was the only one who remained unaffected.

By the time Sunday rolled around, all my husband and I wanted to do was lie on the sofa with hot lemon tea and a box of tissues each.

The good news, though (I do love that there’s always good news): I ended up finishing up three books over the weekend, all of which I really enjoyed. Add to these books the handful of books I read earlier in September that I also enjoyed, and I can definitely say September turned out to be quite a good month for me, reading-wise.

I’ll be writing up reviews for most of this week, so stay tuned.

The Mystery of the Third LucretiaThere’s one book that I started a couple of weeks ago that I haven’t been feeling like picking up again to finish. It’s The Mystery of the Third Lucretia, by Susan Runholt. I thought it would be a did-not-finish for me, because I haven’t been able to really get back into it.

I can’t think of any reason why I’m not that interested in it, though, after reading about two-thirds of it already: it’s a well-written novel, with a fun and smart teenage protagonist and what looks to be quite a clever mystery. The author does have a tendency to overuse the gothic “if I’d only known” foreshadowing device (it’s a personal thing with me – I tend to think that even once is too often – and she doesn’t use those exact words, but there’s a lot of “as it turns out, this was a really bad decision, but we didn’t know it at the time”), but I’ve overlooked it in other books easily enough; I don’t like “if I’d only known”, but it’s not enough to make me stop reading a book.

I am so enamored of Blue Balliett’s middle grade art mystery series (I wrote a couple of reviews back when I first started MsBookish – I raved about The Calder Game here and enthused about The Wright 3 here); The Mystery of the Third Lucretia, another art mystery but with teen protagonists, is really a natural read for me.

Since I can’t put my finger on anything about the book that’s putting me off, I’ve decided to finish it tonight. I’ve already read so much of it, after all. Plus, it’s gotten so many good reviews, and I’m pretty sure I added it to my TBR because I’d seen a good review of it in one of the book blogs I follow.

On the theory that, for once, I’d hate to miss out because of my reading mood, I figure I might as well give it another go.

Have you ever done this – thought that a book was a DNF for you, but decided after a while to pick it up again and finish it anyway? It rarely happens to me, but then again, I don’t often read that far into a book before thinking, this one isn’t for me.

15 thoughts on “Allergies, Lots of Reading, and Finishing a DNF

  1. Tracie Yule

    I kind of felt that way about The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory. I really wasn’t that into it, but I loved the last 1/3 of the novel. It just took awhile to get there.

    I hope that you are feeling better now. Allergies are the worst, they usually give me headaches, so I end up watching bad movies on Lifetime all day when I get them :)

  2. Janel

    Sorry about those allergies! They are such a pain. Everybody except my husband have been sneezing and blowing for a few weeks now. I’m hoping a few nights below freezing will help, but that doesn’t look to be coming anytime soon.
    .-= Janel´s last blog ..Mmmm…Gourmet Peanut Butter =-.

  3. Dorte H

    I hope you are feeling better!

    Usually, if I get through the first one hundred pages, I succeed in finishing the book, and sometimes I even enjoy the ending though it took me a long time to get there. But what I want to read on a certain day depends on my mood and my ability to concentrate. As I told you recently, I suffer from chronic fatigue, and on some days the book must not be too intricate and have too many characters.
    .-= Dorte H´s last blog ..A for Anemone =-.

  4. Carol

    I hope you’re feeling somewhat better.

    Thanks for mentioning Balliett’s series. My daughter’s looking for a mystery for her book report next month and Chasing Vermeer might be perfect. I had forgotten about it.

  5. Beth F

    Ugh. I hate that feeling of needing to be on the couch with the tissues. But at least you were able to read.

    And oh yes, sometimes I’m sure a book is DNF but when I pick it up a second time — bam — I like it. This doesn’t always happen, but clearly my mood must have something to do with it.
    .-= Beth F´s last blog ..Review: Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble =-.

  6. Belle

    Thanks, everyone! I don’t normally get allergies, and in way (aside from the discomfort) it was nice because I did get to sit down and read a lot.

  7. Margot

    Glad to hear you made the best out of your bad time. I have the allergy thing too and when we travel, which we are doing right now, it gets worse. It’s as if my sinuses find new pollen every where we go. The only thing that helps me is hot tea with lemon that I both inhale and then drink. Of course it’s usually hot weather when this is happening so hot tea is not my drink of choice. But it helps.
    .-= Margot´s last blog ..Screenplay Review: Fast Times at Ridgemont High =-.

    1. Belle

      Nymeth, if you do get a chance to check out Blue Balliett’s mysteries, I highly recommend them. They’re middle grade mysteries, but Balliett is wonderful, she doesn’t write down at all. In fact, she challenges her young readers and also opens up the very personal world of art appreciation for them. There are a lot more levels to each of her book than just the mystery itself – they are wonderful! I wish these were out when I was a kid, because I think they would have opened up the world of art to me a whole lot earlier!


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