After four months of not reading Middlemarch, I am admitting defeat. When you have such fabulous tales as The Night Circus, Gillespie and I, and The Snow Child on your nightstand, it is really hard to care about the depressing cast of characters in this book. It’s not that I disliked Middlemarch per se, but there was nothing that drew me into the characters or the story or, more importantly, away from the other books I was reading.

Books that proved to be much more interesting than Middlemarch.

I’m sure I will read this classic at some point (especially since I own it), but I’d rather move on to the extended read of War and Peace as planned. Although some may think War and Peace to be more difficult, I did enjoy the few hundred pages I read back in 2010 and look forward to trying again. Plus, I’m sure I can count on Aaron to get me through it, n’est-ce pas, mon ami?

War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.

—Thomas Mann

Still, this leaves me rather behind in my Readers’ Choice challenge; however, I am gradually making my way through A Prayer for Owen Meany, which is one of the longer books on the list. I don’t think it will be my favorite Irving, as the all-caps thing is driving me batty, but it has certainly been an interesting ride so far and I’m intrigued as to where it will end up. I’m hoping that by the time I reach the mid-year point, I will at least have four challenge books completed. If I’m lucky, I’ll also be able to sneak in one of the quicker reads, like Never Let Me Go or The Thirteenth Tale. We’ll see.

As always, you can join the discussion, or see the reviews of what I read, at Goodreads.