As a consistent reader or reviewer, the inability to see a book through to finish is kind of a let-down – a level of self-disappointment even. However, self-deceit is an even worse option. Over the past twelve months, I have read errr over 50 books? I don’t know for sure… stopped counting at 42. Bear with me if that number isn’t impressive enough – Missy has a few full time jobs. Anyway, excluded from this pathetic excuse for a ‘read’ list, are the books I just could not take in. I’m not ordinarily a quitter, but life’s too short to force it.

Now, for clarity sakes, I cannot emphasize enough that this is not my list of bad books. My inability to take it in is solely on a personal level. However, it wasn’t to spite any author. I particularly love some of them – Barack Obama’s on this list, by the way. Some of these couldn’t make it because I couldn’t stand reading fiction, others were too ‘big’ for me, and the rest just didn’t hold my attention somehow. While I could have tried to struggle to the end, I have an alluring “to be read” pile calling me. There’s also self-deceit, again.

Inasmuch as I review books, I believe that books have to be enjoyed. So, try not to kill me for this. For the sake of balance, I’ll state the reasons why I couldn’t complete them and I’ll also provide links of trusted reviews to them. For those that are completely as a result of my bias, I’ll be giving them a chance with a co-reviewer (that I am yet to find.) That’s about enough of my careful intro. Here’s a rundown of the books I just couldn’t finish.

1)      The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

source: Amazon

I know. Don’t kill me. I really tried. In fact, I spent so much time on it that I felt all that time should not go unnoticed. So I provided a partial review of it on my blog. Try as I may, I couldn’t complete the rest of it. In case you didn’t get it the first time, I’m obsessed with Barack – who isn’t? (*Coughs* Trump.) However, politics and governmental jargon isn’t exactly my forte. More so, I’m a Nigerian. There’s only so much of the American political system I can relate with. So here we are. Interestingly, I did enjoy reading various parts of this book. The challenge was that I constantly got lost in the author’s train of thought. So I had to read paragraphs over and again to understand it. The technicalities were just hard to keep track of. Believe me when I say that this book is not written for the lay man – a tag I humbly classify myself under. Here are some really cool reviews of the Audacity of hope by Barack Obama.


2)      The Republic of Plato

Source: eBay

This is one of the best books of all time – from what I hear. Maybe if I loved philosophy as much as I loved psychology, or I was older and not plagued with signs of ADHD as I currently am, I’ll have loved it. This book was written by Plato around 380 BC, and the copy I read was purchased in 1959. So I couldn’t wait to finish it and tell you all of my conquest. However, where after a month I was struggling with page 70 out of 387 pages, then something had to be wrong. I intended to do a partial review of this but, in truth, I might not have even known how to review it if I got to the end.

What we have here are the gods of philosophy – Thrasymachus, Polemarchus, Socrates, Cephalus, Glaucon, and Adeimantus, arguing about justice, the ideal society, the luxurious state, and other related stuff. What I’m saying is, it just wasn’t working. The points were great but I had too many things against me. First, it was written in the beautiful Shakespearean English I would have loved if I did literature, then there was a constant need to remain in their train of thoughts or you’ll get lost. There’s also too many speakers. You’ll spend half the time tracing who said what before. Also, you might need to start a part again because you stopped to sip tea. None of these things I could apparently handle. Still, popular information is that the book is a timeless classic. Here are some cool reviews of this book you should check out.


3)      Climate of Fear by Wole Soyinka

source: MoboFree

Funny how I have some of the best authors on this list. It goes to show that with books, it’s not necessarily about how much you love the authors but how the book resonates with you. This was the first book of the Nobel Prize—winning author, I had ever attempted to read. So it sucks that I couldn’t read it because now I’ll probably never read any other one. My challenge is the same thing people have with professors – too many big words! I got the overall message of the book – The Quest for Dignity in a Dehumanized World. It would ordinarily have been a book I loved because its basis revolved around things I am ordinarily passionate about. He spoke about fear as a dominant theme in politics.

“Decades ago, the idea of collective fear had a tangible face: the atom bomb. Today our shared anxiety has become far more complex and insidious, arising from tyranny, terrorism, and the invisible power of the “quasi state.”

This is a book I’ll have been obsessed with – if it wasn’t ridden with overly complex words. Maybe I’m not matured enough for his book, but if I have to open my dictionary numerous times on every page then the purpose of the book communicating to me, has woefully been defeated. It had to be between using my phone to consistently check for new words, and trying to understand the words in the context of the sentences that I got lost and had to cave in to the demons of quitting. Here are some cool reviews of it though.

4)      Black Sparkle Romance by Amara Nicole Okolo

Source: AMAB Book Store

My reason for skipping this one is a little too apparent. First, I’m not big on romance books or movies – It’s probably a flaw. Next, this book is proper fiction. Like pure fictional storytelling. This is one of the few times I’ll be like, it’s not you; it’s me. I went in a few pages and couldn’t go through the pain. Ironically, it’s just 147 pages short! This, however, deserves a chance for a good review. So I’ll give it to a fiction reviewer who’ll in turn publish an unbiased review here. For what it’s worth, I do appreciate the quality of the book itself. Here are some reviews of the book I found online.

5)      The Book of Negros by Lawrence Hill

Source: Goodreads

An eBook was sent from a reader and after a few runs on the internet, I discovered that this was one impeccable piece. It has reviews from some of the best reviewers across the world, and it has stirred up a whole lot of controversy as a result of its unapologetic title. As wonderful as this book already sounds, it is historical fiction. I did try reading this a little longer because a reader wanted a review of it from me, but it just couldn’t go down. Just like Black Sparkle Romance, I’m going to get a fiction reviewer to handle this.


So, that’s all of it. Try not to murder me. I’ll still try more books and who knows, maybe I’ll grow into these books with time. This is just my way of making peace with myself and moving on to a new set of sweethearts. If you can relate with the fact that I couldn’t complete these, kindly let me know so I don’t feel like a failure in this thing. Thanks!

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Lawretta Egba is a professional writer, ghostwriter, editor, and poet. She is the founder of Cyno Group, a boutique content creation/content marketing firm meeting the varying content needs of individuals and businesses towards effective storytelling, problem-solving and economic growth. The company offers in-house ghostwriting, editing, and content writing services for large corporations, businesspeople and economic leaders. Lawretta’s articles have been featured on a plethora of platforms within Nigeria and the diaspora. Some of these include the Premier Pan-African media group reporting on African affairs – Face2Face Africa, Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global, Exquisite Magazine, YNaija, and a host of others. She runs two blogs:, where she reviews books, writes on mythology, peeks into transformational African topics, and analyzes matters of the human psyche; and, a brainchild created towards documenting everyday African stories. For info and inquiries, contact via:


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