I think most of what I have listed here was worth reading and probably still is.
When I was rating books on Goodreads, I realized that all my ratings were 4s and 5s. If a book engaged me enough to finish reading it, I usually gave it a high rating. If a book doesn’t engage me, I usually don’t finish it. If I don’t finish it, I don’t feel I should rate it.
The exception would be things I happen across that are so bad I feel a warning is in order.
If you try something on these lists I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts on it.
There is also a collection of "first paragraphs" of books I've read that you might like to browse.
One final note. I’ve been rather lazy about linking these items. I’ve decided that going forward I’ll try to link to the author’s website if they have one and are still living. Otherwise, I’ll leave it to you to choose a source since there are so many and I’m not affiliated with any sellers. Remember the best place for you to get any of these is at your local library.
The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion, 2005
Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami, 2005
The Spectator Bird, Wallace Stegner, 1976
Hainish Novels & Stories, Vol. One, Rocannon's World, Ursula K. Le Guin, 1966
Neuromancer, William Gibson, 1984
Read in 2023
Some were started but set aside.
On Looking: A Walker's Guide to the Art of Observation, Alexandra Horowitz, 2014
Assembling California, John McPhee, 1993
The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa
Silent Spring, Rachel Carson, 1962
My Struggle: Book One, Karl Ove Knausgård, 2009
The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas, Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, 1881
Exhalation: Stories, Ted Chiang, 2019
Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness, William Styron, 1990
Autumntide of the Middle Ages, Johan Huizinga, 2020
Leviathan Wakes James S. A. Corey, 2011
Rabbit, Run, John Updike, 1960
Natural History, Carlos Fonseca, 2017
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O., Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland, 2017