Forgettable Books- Books I Can’t Remember… Though I Definitely Read Them (I think)

This has to be one of the most challenging posts I’ve ever written. Not because it’s going to be well thought out or involve any skill whatsoever… but because (for obvious reasons) I don’t remember which books I’ve forgotten! 😉 But I scavenged through my goodreads and found some books that I remember reading… however don’t remember anything about them.

Now, *big disclaimer here*, not all of these are bad books. There’s lots of reasons I might have forgotten them. For starters I like to forget as much as I can about books I plan to reread in a futile attempt to recapture the magic of reading them for the first time. Secondly, it might just have been pre-blogging/a really long time ago (part of the reason I love doing reviews is so that I don’t forget everything about a book!)

Anyway, that out of the way, I’m going to jump into it- starting with the most recent and going back in time:

Starless Sea– I read this book? No, seriously, I did read it, I swear. However, as soon as I finished a sentence/page/the whole darn book, I was left with only fragments of images. My mind became a bit numb to the very verbose style. There isn’t a lot of plot to speak of and I didn’t feel any connection to the (quite surface level) characters. Now, I’m sounding really harsh, but there were reasons I kept going with this story: it’s beautiful in parts and its premise centres on loving stories. It wasn’t my thing, yet I kinda knew there was a chance of that going in (hence it wasn’t on my disappointing books list).

Unwind– this is one that annoys me. Not because I remember something particularly egregious about this book… but because I don’t. What irks me is that I really liked Shusterman’s writing in Scythe and so am curious about his other works. And I’ve heard people I trust swear this one is great. ONLY I GAVE THIS 1* 5 YEARS AGO AND I DON’T KNOW WHY! I’d love to know if I was wrong about this book… yet I’m far too scared to pick it up again because there was probably a reason I didn’t like it. Maybe I should just read a spoilery review.

Slated- I’m including this cos it’s ironic 😉 This is a book about not remembering who you are, from way back in the dystopia craze. What’s really confusing to me is that I apparently didn’t like the first one… but ended up liking the rest of the series? Which is super weird and unusual for me- especially when it comes to YA dystopian series. Let’s be real though, I’m going to have to be content not knowing why cos I doubt I’ll ever pick it up again.

A Gathering Light– by contrast, I remember really like the atmosphere for this one. And not much else. And I have very little to say about it… Except that this is one I constantly see in libraries and have frequently been tempted to read it… only to remember I already have!

Across the Nightingale Floor- this is another one that haunts me. Mostly because I’ve seen people talking about this and been curious to try again with the series (mostly because of the setting). I’ve even put the rest of the series on my TBR in hopes I will get to it one day (I won’t).

Red Necklace– I really like this author… however this is not one of her memorable works. It can’t have been that good, to be honest, since I’m fascinated by this era and would’ve remembered *something* if it was.

Passage to India– okay, this is one I distinctly remember reading. I was in a post-essay writing haze at uni (I’d pulled an all-nighter because I was a masochist/bad student). And I remember being in the tutorial and talking about the book… I cannot for the life of me remember what I said. I don’t know if I kept my copy, so I can neither confirm or deny if I annotated it as well (I swear I remember nothing about this book! It’s like my mind sinks into a memory hole whenever I think of it!) Most bizarrely of all, when I looked up the synopsis I was confused cos I didn’t remember anything it described happening and had inserted false memories into the story. I should probably reread it to get to the bottom of this mystery (but I won’t).

King’s General– by contrast to a lot of the books on this list, I definitely want to reread it (in fact this came to my attention because I thought about how much I want to reread it and had the rather pleasant realisation that I don’t remember much about it). I read this back in my Du Maurier phase and loved it. And while I have the plots of my two favourite Du Mauriers imprinted on my brain, apart from certain aspects of the history and setting, I don’t remember this nearly as well. And I’m so excited to re-experience this one!

Wind Singer– okay, I’m cheating by including this one, since there are parts (particularly to do with the beginning and ending) that I remember very well. However, I don’t remember all the details in between and actually would love to reread this one! (but am also scared it won’t be as good as I remember!)

So, have you read any of these? Did you find them more memorable than I did? And can you recall any books you don’t remember? 😉 Let me know in the comments! (And if you know what I mean, but can’t think of anything on the spot, feel free to come back later or make your own post! 😉)

46 thoughts on “Forgettable Books- Books I Can’t Remember… Though I Definitely Read Them (I think)

  1. LOL, I’ve been kind of pondering writing a post like this: books I read and then totally forgot about! But I couldn’t decide if they should be good books (but then why did I forget them) or mediocre books or a mix.

    I probably wouldn’t have put The Starless Sea because I read it relatively recently, but now that you bring it up…I’m not sure I could explain much of the plot to someone if I had to.

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    1. Haha yeah I didn’t know how I was going to do it till I started writing! Love to see your take!

      Yeah me too, but when I was talking it over with my sister (who finished it last week) I realised I remembered v little! (And such random parts!)

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  2. The book I continue to forget over and over again is a darkling sea by James L. Cambias. I read it because it was on the 2015 Campbell award finalists lists. When I read the synopsis about the first contact with an ocean alien planet, parts of the plot will come back again. I enjoyed it when I first read it. But I forget the title, plot, and author’s name as soon as I stop thinking about it. Forgetting the author’s name is especially unusual for me. I have no plans for reading this again or recommending it to anyone because I will forget about it again soon after I submit this comment. Arrr!
    x The Captain

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  3. Not only do I forget books I know I’ve read (not just the bad ones) but I can watch a TV drama I know I’ve seen before and still not remember how it ends. This has its advantages when TV is as uninspiring as it’s been in the UK this past year.
    It also saves me money. I am currently re-reading Terry Pratchett from Equal Rites onward from my paperback shelves and rediscovering those inspired one-liners. (Admittedly I did read them far too fast the first time around because I was enjoying them so much and didn’t want to put them down.)

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  4. I remember very little that I read while working on my Masters degree. The professors assigned about 500 pages of collateral reading per credit hour and I was taking about 10 credit hours per semester (for 6 semesters) while working about 38 hours per week as a bank teller with a wife and two very young daughters at home. I remember in-class discussions and lectures and writing papers, but the reading is a complete blur.

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      1. There was this one required class where I had to go into the registrar’s office and ask whether I’d taken it yet or not (apparently I had…I literally do not remember sitting in class, though I kind of remember reading in the library for hours to get through the completely forgotten collateral reading) 😀

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  5. I still haven’t read Starless Sea even though I adored The Night Circus … but something about it just hasn’t grabbed me yet. I feel like there’s a very high chance it would be forgettable for me too I am afraid.

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  6. So many books I love to remember and often reread – what’s the point of remembering books so forgettable unless it’s just to add to the count? More important to me is to remember authors whose works are not memorable to me, especially if they disappoint me over and over. Bug me once, I’ll give you another chance. Bug me twice – you and I are done.

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  7. Wow, this is so relatable. I also swear I read The Starless Sea. It was about a guy with a name, and there were doors, and also honey I think.

    For me, I *definitely* read a book called A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray AND two of the sequels, but I remember nothing about it except that everyone seemed to be high as a kite the whole time.

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  8. I haven’t read any of thoses; but starless sea is on my virtual wanna read (which iknow i’ve seen she says she made a zelda reference on purpose.. which kind of intrigues me xd)

    I remember when I was younger I could tell you every « main thing » about a book i’ve read.. and I lost it after my mental health went bad xP so most books on my shelf pre-blogging have mainly been erased from my memory for the most part. Some I do have some random bits but no idea of the rest or how it even got there xD

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  9. I remember the books i read most of the time, but luckly i think we have the ability of forgetting stuff that weren´t that important to us!! I would be more worried if i forgot about a book i do love!

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  10. Ooooh this is so funny!

    In the case of A Passage to India, I have never read it, but I’m pretty sure I saw the film, and if it is the one I am thinking of, the PLOT is about when people misremember things!!! So, in this case, maybe you caught the “memory curse” from the book itself! Or maybe it was written in a deliberately confusing way to keep the readers just as disoriented as the characters? I don’t know, cause I’ve never read it!

    I used to forget books quite a bit. It was usually when I had read something that was too advanced for me, so I wasn’t really following it. It’s hard for our minds to store anything that they haven’t properly processed first.

    But what I really hate is when I remember a book, but not the title or the author. Years ago I read what I thought was a fabulous historical fiction narrated by Theseus. I’ve thought about mentioning it many times, but alas.

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  11. This post is so relatable. Not that I’ve read any of those books, but forgetting about what I’ve read. I close a book and will immediately forget the characters’ names, give it a month and I have to think really hard about the plot. It happened more than once that someone told me about a book and I went “I know this” but couldn’t remember reading it 😀 my mind is a sieve

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  12. Oooh I love the sound of that post as it means that I am not the only one forgetting books that I have read.

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  13. I had the oddest experience when I read The Scarlet Letter in high school. We spent an ENTIRE quarter on that book …weeks and weeks and weeks, multiple class discussions and comprehension quizzes. Not only that, I took copious notes while reading, as per our teacher’s instructions. Not even two years later I was listening to someone talk about the book, specifically the ending, and…what??? I DO NOT REMEMBER IT AT ALL. It’s like I read a totally different book, also called The Scarlet Letter

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  14. Great idea for a post! I only got several pages into The Starless Sea so I remember even less than you do 😉 I remember loving The Wind Singer, I read it maybe 3 times. Definitely remember A Passage to India, I had to study it. Really not a favourite of mine.

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  15. This happens to me a lot lol. At least with books I read as a young adult. I will spy a novel sitting on a bookshelf in a library or bookstore and fondly remember liking it….only to not remember as single, solitary thing about it.

    In a way, it’s kind of worse than being a bad book. At least with bad books there are stand-out moments. Forgettable books will just vanish into the ether, lost to the annals of time. It’s kind of depressing when you think about it.

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  16. I love the idea for this list! I really liked The Starless Sea but like The Night Circus I think it’s more memorable in terms of overall “feel” than in terms of plot or characters. I don’t think I’ve really the others, but some of them look good. Maybe I’ll make a similar list at some point!

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