Why do I do this to myself?

I have a serious problem.

Whenever I start reading a new book, I am compelled to finish said book, no matter what. I’m not sure what it is that causes this. Is it out of some sense of loyalty to the author? Some feeling that I owe it to them to finish their book because I know how challenging it can be to write?

I’ve heard it said that life is too short to read books that don’t interest you. Intellectually, that makes sense to me, but I find it nearly impossible to put it into practice. Maybe it’s out of a deep-seated desire to finish what I said I would do. When I set out to read a book, I read it. No matter what. No matter how long it takes. I said I would do it, and by gosh by golly, that’s what I’m going to do! I think this may be the case. I was going to say that this is because I struggle to finish things that I set out to do, because I’m always being distracted by some new pursuit of interest. But that’s not really true. I don’t struggle to finish things. I finish things. I struggle to start them. I am slow to start new things because I’m afraid I may not be able to finish them. I recognize that this is an area of weakness for me.

Anyway… what’s the point?

The Mars Collection from Kim Stanley Robinson

I recently completed the audiobook versions of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy. That’s 83 hours I’ll never be able to get back.

The story follows the “First-Hundred”, the aptly named first 100 colonists to arrive on Mars. As you can imagine, out of a group of 100, there are many opportunities for main characters to emerge. At first, the story was actually pretty interesting as the characters must solve life and death problems every day as they fight for their lives on an alien and hostile planet. They make incredible discoveries and enjoy the beautiful and untouched vistas of Mars. However, it doesn’t take long for two main factions to take shape within the group of colonist. The Greens will do whatever it takes to terraform Mars into an Earth-like twin. The Reds will stop at nothing to protect Mars’ natural state.

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

Red Mars

by Kim Stanley Robinson

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Book one, Red Mars, is all about the initial colonization of Mars and struggles between the Reds and the Greens as the fate of the Red planet hangs in the balance.

Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

Green Mars

by Kim Stanley Robinson

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Book two, Green Mars, probably gives you a clue as to which party ended up getting their way. This book focuses on the creation of a new Martian society and government. It reads much like a textbook on how to start a new government than it does a science-fiction novel.

Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

Blue Mars

by Kim Stanley Robinson

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Book three, Blue Mars, continues the psychology textbook-like discussion of why humanity behaves the way that it does. Those that remain of the first hundred continue to experiment with new social structures and government types. Meanwhile, mankind has begun to stretch out into every corner of the solar system, and some even set out to the stars.

At the end of the day, some of the stories within were interesting, but most were difficult to follow. There was just too much going on. For example, toward the end of book three, the author spent many pages discussing the inner-workings of the human brain, followed directly afteward by many pages of two characters talking about colors. I think even Robinson must have felt that he had run out of things to talk about.

Was it all bad? No. Like I said, there were some interesting things. For example, he touched on two of my favorites: space elevators and airships. I really enjoyed those parts! But, for the most part, these books were a collection of seemingly random shorter stories about people trying to survive on Mars, and once they realized that they could survive, they discussed at length the ways in which they could thrive.

If you’re going to attempt to make it through these books, buckle up, you’re in for a long haul.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, or contact me via social media or email.

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It’s March, and Spring is just around the corner.

In the Northern Hemisphere, it’s time to get the garden started, and the bicycle tires aired up. The gloom of winter will soon pass, and the sun will be our companion. What is one thing you will do this year to make this your best summer yet? Share your ideas in the comments.

The Nutcracker Trilogy

I will continue to shamelessly promote these books because I’m so excited about being a small part of Drosselmeyer’s journey. If you’re new here, let me encourage you to check out The Nutcracker Trilogy by Paul Thompson. All three books are available in print and as e-books. Books one and two are available as audiobooks, narrated by yours truly. Click the links below to explore.

Oh, and it doesn’t have to be Christmas for you to enjoy these stories (just like it doesn’t have to be Christmas to enjoy Harry Potter).

Apple Books / Apple Audiobooks / Amazon / Audible

Author’s Website

4 thoughts on “Why do I do this to myself?

  1. Ok ok you got it from me ok! I will read a book I hate if I but start it. There is a book on my bed stand that I started over a year ago and I will get it read someday…. It’s just that deter books keep getting in the way!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to read every single day or I’m pretty sure I’d die lol! However, I rarely continue in a book that goes nowhere or heads a direction that doesn’t match up with the overall storyline. It pains me to not finish a book but like you said, it’s time I’ll never get back. It’s easier if it’s a library book rather than one I paid for tho…..

    Liked by 1 person

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