Where good books go to die: the eternal currently reading shelf

There are two books on my “currently reading” shelf that have been sitting there for over a year. I really love one and desperately want to finish it. The other I began almost 3 years ago and is probably the only book I’ve never been able to finish. 

I’m part of the most amazing book club in the entire universe. (Did you hear that fellow book club members?) Three years ago, we set out to read some Russian literature. I say “set out” like it was an adventure to embark upon, because Russian literature is not for the faint of heart. It’s long and intricate and culturally different enough from Western literature that it’s definitely an investment of energy and effort. 

We began to read, wait for it, Dead Souls by Gogol. Our intentions were good. It was November and we thought Russian literature makes sense for a cold, winter in Michigan. We were wrong. So incredibly wrong. Not a single member finished the novel and no one has since attempted since January 2013. It’s become the longest running joke that, “while we all appreciate the writing and want to finish the book, the timing has never worked out.” 

Dead Souls sits on my shelf doomed to be eternally partially finished. 

On the bright side, I’ve been able to read the other book, East of Eden by John Steinbeck, these past few weeks and it’s looking like I may finish it before my next book club read! It’s a glorious read so far and I plan to share some thoughts on it once done. 

What books are on your “never to finish” shelf? What’s on your “wish I could finish” shelf?