I officially gave up on a couple of books this week, with mixed feelings about both. Both are massive biographies; both are considered outstanding examples of their craft; and both started putting me to sleep somewhere between page 257 (Ron Chernow's Hamilton) and 632 (Robert Caro's The Power Broker). And man, I really tried with Caro, but seeing that huge book sitting on my bedside table for more than two years with a bookmark just past the half-way point made me sad.
I don't drop books often. I gave up on Kim Stanley Robinson's New York 2140 after 132 pages and his Blue Mars at about the same point, in both cases because I just kept feeling like they were stuck in first gear. (I liked Robinson's other Mars books, so I'm not sure what happened with those two.) And in no small irony, I shelved Mark Manson's The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck because I just didn't give a fuck—and I found his writing style sloppy and facile.
None of them (with the possible exception of Manson's) is bad, exactly; I just got...bored.
I love reading. Just last night I started the 5th Expanse novel only four months after reading the first one. I read four books (including the 4th Expanse novel) on my last trip to the UK. Something about those two biographies, though...
I will probably pick most of them up again at some point, the Caro especially. But for now, my reading list just has too many interesting books on it to struggle with ones that feel like a chore.