Books I haven't finished lately

A sort of an inverse book review, books I have closed, or returned to the library, without finishing them.

Treason’s Harbour by Patrick O’Brien. I probably will finish the Aubrey-Maturin novels at some point, but I don’t think it’s going to be this year, and perhaps not next. I’m not sure exactly why I suddenly went off them, but I think it’s because I don’t like Jack as a character very much. He’d probably be a lovely person to complete your table for dinner (better than Stephen for many dinners), but I don’t want to read twenty novels about him in a short period of time.

Generation text: raising well-adjusted kids in an age of instant everything by Michael Osit. I am in theory deeply interested in problems relating to cyberbullying and so on. In practice I have no patience for the write-ups. As an example, Osit early on compares hypothetical Bobby, fresh-faced teen of the 1960s with surly hypothetical Jake of the late 2000s. Bobby loves his mother’s eggs for breakfast! Jake never leaves his room, because his six speaker sound system is replacing parental affection! Remember your childhood, Osit seems to be asking. Before there was all this stuff?

Well, no, not really, not as you mean it. Bobby is my mother’s age! There are very few people who were teenagers in the 1960s and who are parents of teenagers now. Bobby may well be a grandfather, or at the very least wondering why his 30 year old son won’t leave home despite having so much money to spend on a soundsystem.

I was born in the early 80s. I had an email address before I left high school. I am one of the very last groups of middle-class Australians who did not go through their teens with their own mobile phone. (I got one at nineteen, and my fourteen year old sister had one before the end of that year.) Once at a sleepover my fifteen year old friends and I collectively had terrible cybersex with a random guy (or perhaps another group of teen girls?) on a Yahoo! (or something) chat room. It’s going to be a while before authors of books on parenting teens are aimed at me, I can see that.