A Relaxed View of the Rule of Fifty

Disappointing, overrated, just not good: What book did you feel as if you were supposed to like, and didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

I tend to finish things, holding out hope. Sometimes what seems like a slog can bring you to a place you wouldn’t expect, like stumbling on a clearing. Mostly that doesn’t happen, but when it does, you have to imagine that it went that way for the writer too, hacking their way toward something they were glimpsing through the trees.

The Essay That Made Jo Ann Beard Want to Write Nonfiction via The New York Times