try a chapter part 2 (more books to unhaul?)

3 weeks ago, I did a ‘try a chapter’ post in which I read the first chapter of 5 books and then decided whether to keep the book or to unhaul it. I had originally picked 10 books off my shelves for this post, but kept it down to 5 in my original post because I didn’t want it to be too long. Today, I’m back with part 2! Let’s see whether I’ll keep any of these, shall we?

 the gunslinger

the gunslinger

In the first book of this brilliant series, Stephen King introduces readers to one of his most enigmatic heroes, Roland of Gilead, The Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil. 

my thoughts on the first chapter

I finished reading this chapter, and have honestly no idea what on Earth I just read. My brain did not retain anything other than the word ‘ideograph’ being mentioned 2 times in one chapter, as well as ideogram. Had no idea what that meant, and had to look it up, which is why I remembered. King fans, please don’t kill me. I’m getting rid of this… Sometimes,  you don’t get along with the writing style of a novel, and this is one of those times. Another (minor) gripe is that his chapters never start on a new page. I don’t know why that bothers me so much, but it does.

the dinner

the dinnerA summer’s evening in Amsterdam and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant. Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. Together, the boys have committed a horrifying act, caught on camera, and their grainy images have been beamed into living rooms across the nation; despite a police manhunt, the boys remain unidentified – by everyone except their parents.

my thoughts on the first chapter

I’m not sure how I feel about this book yet. I think I might get rid of it, and try reading it in the original language later. My library does have a copy of the Dutch version, so I could do that for free. I want to know whether the ‘odd’ writing style is due to the translation or whether it’s the author himself. I do want to know what the boys did, even if I already dislike the main male character (the father of one of the two boys).

the keeper of lost causes

the keeper of lost causesCarl Mørck used to be one of Copenhagen’s best homicide detectives. Then a hail of bullets destroyed the lives of two fellow cops, and Carl—who didn’t draw his weapon—blames himself. So a promotion is the last thing he expects. But Department Q is a department of one, and Carl’s got only a stack of Copenhagen’s coldest cases for company.

my thoughts on the first chapter

I read the prologue and first chapter of The Keeper of Lost Causes, as I thought it only fair. I would never skip a prologue when starting a novel either. Both were quite captivating, which makes for an easy decision. I’m definitely keeping this book. I want to know what happened in the murder case that got his colleagues shot, and I need to find out what happened to the liberal politician who disappeared. She seems like a fighter.

lock in

lock inFifteen years from now, a new virus sweeps the globe. 95% of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. 4% suffer acute meningitis, creating the largest medical crisis in history. And 1% find themselves ‘locked in’ – fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. A few rare individuals have brains that are receptive to being controlled by others, allowing those who are locked in to occasionally ‘ride’ these people and use their bodies as if they were their own.

my thoughts on the first chapter

While the premise of this book does sound interesting, I can’t seem to connect to the book itself. I bought Locked In a few years ago, and read about 80 pages at the time. I don’t remember any of it at this point in time, which made it a perfect book for the try a chapter post. After reading the first chapter again, I think I’m just going to unhaul it. Despite the intriguing synopsis, I’m not very interested in actually reading this.

the lake house (aan de rand van het meer)

aan de rand van het meer

A missing child, an abandoned house, an unsolved mystery. Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure.

my thoughts on the first chapter

I bought the Dutch translation of The Lake House at a garage sale, but haven’t picked it up yet. It’s quite an intimidating book, because it’s around 500 pages and has the tiniest font ever. After reading the first chapter, I’m still not quite sure what to do with it. It was fascinating, and it does sound like a story I would enjoy reading. However, I’m quite intimidated by the size of this novel and the genre being somewhat out of my comfort zone. Is that really a reason to get rid of it, though? I’m keeping it for now, but may revise my opinion later…

Have you read any of these books? 

try a chapter part 1 (in which I try to decide whether to keep these books)

I’ve seen a few videos recently in which people read the first chapter of a book to decide whether they’ll keep the novel on their TBR shelves or whether they’ll donate it instead. There are a few books on my shelves I bought because they were cheap or on sale, ones I’m not sure I’ll ever get to. So I decided to do a “try a chapter” post myself!

As I don’t want to make this post incredibly long, I’ll split it up. I have 10 books to reach a verdict on with me, so they’ll probably fit nicely in two posts. Let’s get started!

the boy with the porcelain blade

the boy with the porcelain blade

“The first in an ornate yet dark debut fantasy series, set in an original and beautifully imagined world, and populated by unforgettable characters.”

my thoughts on the first chapter

I was a bit terrified the first chapter wouldn’t be very telling, as this is a fantasy series. Fantasy novels often require a fair amount of chapters of set-up so the reader can get used to the entirely new world they’ve just been dropped in.

However, the first chapter of the boy with the porcelain blade was quite interesting. From what I can gather, this is an Italian-inspired fantasy novel about a boy called Lucien. He’s one of the Orfano, who are all marked. Lucien has entirely black nails. The first chapter is him mentally preparing for a Test, which I presume is swordfighting or fencing? Either way, I’m into it. Definitely keeping this one!

riders

riders“Nothing but death can keep eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.”

my thoughts on the first chapter

When I started this, I was fairly sure I would unhaul it after finishing the first chapter. I bought a translated copy of Riders a while ago in a sale, and hadn’t picked it up yet. I so rarely read books in Dutch anymore, and it’s clearly going to take a while to get used to. I think I’ll write a post in the future on why I seldomly read in my first language. 

At first, the fact that it was translated took me out of the story. However, by the end I was intrigued enough to want to continue. Surprisingly, I’m deciding to keep this book! Reading the first chapter made me more excited about picking this novel up than I’ve been since buying it.

the graces

de graces

Everyone said the Graces were witches. They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair. They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different. All I had to do was show them that person was me.

my thoughts on the first chapter

I can already tell from the very short first chapter that I will get rid of this.

It literally had an I’m-not-like-other-girls moment, and the female main character spent multiple paragraphs demeaning other girls. Might it be that this is related to the plot, or that she grows to be better? Sure. Still not interested in reading it, though. The first book of this experiment to be added to my unhaul pile! It had to happen at some point, I guess. 

the king’s last song

the king's last song“In the shadow of Angkor Wat archaeologists make an astonishing discovery: the memoir of Cambodia’s greatest king, preserved on leaves of gold for centuries. When the treasure is stolen, two ordinary Cambodians, a young moto-boy and a middle-aged ex-Khmer Rouge, join forces to recover it.”

my thoughts on the first chapter

Honestly, I couldn’t even finish the first chapter of this book. I picked it up during a library sale 3 or 4 years ago, which I apparently shouldn’t have. 

I do not get along with the writing style of this book. It was so hard to concentrate on, and felt so unnatural to me. I don’t even know how to explain why I dislike it so much! Sometimes, you come across an author whose works simply aren’t for you. Geoff Ryman is one of those for me. Added to the unhaul pile.

altar of bones

altar of bones“From the frozen wastelands of Russia, to the winding maze of Paris’s backstreets, from Washington D.C, through America’s mid-west all the way to San Francisco, THE ALTAR OF BONES is a gripping global thriller that spans the generations and unearths the dark secret behind one of the biggest conspiracies of all time.”

my thoughts on the first chapter

Another one I picked up during a book sale and promptly forgot about. After finishing chapter one, I’m absolutely kicking myself for that. I just read the prologue, and was so captivated by the story already!

I actually wanted to keep reading after the prologue, even though I had to a) write this section of the post, and b) go to sleep because I have to go to work tomorrow. I’m definitely going to read this book soon, because it was so compelling. If it wasn’t obvious already, Altar of Bones is going in the ‘keep’ pile!

My first ‘try a chapter’ post ended in me keeping 3 books and unhauling 2. Not bad, right? I’m so happy I decided to do this challenge. Not only does it help me weed out the books I’m not that interested in, it also reignites my excitement for books I had forgotten about.

Have you ever done this challenge? Have you read any of these books?