I hate to be the sort of reader to do this…but I actually “shelved” The Mists of Avalon on the dreaded “Did Not Finish” shelf on my Goodreads account. I never thought I’d do it. I honestly thought I’d be able to get through it and enjoy it. But…I could only make it through the first chapter before I had to lay it aside. It was a bit too “judgy” for me. I respect Marion Zimmer Bradley’s talent, but there’s only so much Christian-bashing I can take. Now don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Juliet Marillier’s work (in fact she’s my favorite author) and she constantly compares the old Celtic religions with that of Christianity in her books. The difference? Marillier manages to be wholly respectful while remaining “real” and true to her characters’ emotions/beliefs. With Marion Zimmer Bradley, I felt screamed at in every sentence and I feel like her overly charged religious tones detracted from the story itself. I think it’s totally possible to have a book with religious undertones and to do it successfully and I think Marillier does this brilliantly.

So? I marked it “did not finish” and moved on. I still love the TNT mini-series version of the story and I still love Arthurian legend stuff. I can live without reading The Mists of Avalon.

What about you? Ever shelved anything on the “Did Not Finish” shelf and feel totally fine about it? Ever get really excited about reading a book and just “not getting into it”?

We’ve all been there. As a wise reader once noted, “Every book ever written will be someone’s favorite and someone’s least favorite“. I know not everyone will like/finish my own books. However, other people will enjoy them. Such is the fate of any story.

Happy Reading, everyone!

The Dreaded “Did Not Finish” Shelf…
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  • According to Theresa, Marion Zimmer Bradley is an Episcopalian.

    The first shelved book that comes to mind is one from High School English: “The Great Gatsby” Short book, yes. Too long for me, though. Couldn’t stand the writing style.

    The second I started to read twice, “The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner. Very hard read. Too hard to do for fun, maybe. I ought to dig that one out again. I did finish “As I Lay Dying”, which was equally difficult.

    • I heard that Marion Zimmer Bradley was originally in the church, then delved into paganism, then went back into the Episcopalian church towards the end of her life (but I’m going off Wikipedia here, which NEVER lies…)

      Never had to read The Great Gatsby (thankfully) nor The Sound and the Fury. Never read any Faulkner in fact.

  • I guess I should give you a heads up if you haven’t read some of Arthur C. Clarke’s novels.

    I can’t remember which novel it was, but he has a whole chapter devoted to bashing religion.

    I’m okay with authors putting out their point of view, but at least connect it with the plot lol

    LOL the chapter just appears out of nowhere and doesn’t even connect with the story AT ALL.

    • Ahhh. Like you say, it’s not that I’m against plot-related-religion-bashing. I understand there are characters out there who are just disrespectful folks, but I agree that it shouldn’t be out of place! 🙂


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