I am not ADHD or anything, but I sometimes see a shiny before I finish a book, even ones I like, and don't get back to it. Happens to most readers, I think. So here are a few, some I first opened years ago. All novels this time out, because collections and anthologies can be returned to at any time without issue (except reviewing).
1. Name of The Rose, Umberto Eco
This is ridiculous. I've been reading it, off and on, for about five years. It's long, dense, and translated, mostly. There are still chunks of Latin, as well as religious jargon and lore. But the prose is gorgeous, and the combination of books, monastic life, and murder keep bringing me back.
2. Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry
There aren't a lot of 1,000 page Westerns out there, and this is probably the only one to ever win a Pulitzer. Beautifully written without being showy, but it takes a good while to get going. Still, I miss the characters.
3. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke
Okay, a lot of these are doorstops, and this is another with seriously dense, intricate prose. The Victorian England setting also ensures many of the well-to-do characters are stuffy and dry. Still, the magic theory and use of Faery, along with Norrell's cantankerousness, are big draws for me.
4. The Eight, Katherine Neville
Chess, computer programming, and DNA are the cornerstones of this one, and it is fascinating. The characters are a little dull sometimes, and there are some doldrums that set in, but the story is intriguing enough that I need to find my way back.
5. The Alchemaster's Apprentice, Walter Moers
One of Moers's Zamonia novels, this one about a cat-like creature being fattened up for it's magical lard by an evil genius and learning alchemy while trying to escape. Fun, but a little too cutesy sometimes. Still, the flat-out weirdness and nifty lead, as well as my love for the author, keep scratching at the back of my brain.
6. Brittle Innings, Michael Bishop
SF/Horror with a golem, kinda, playing baseball in the Forties. He is, of course, a power hitter, but also a great fielder. It sounds perfect for me, yeah? The rub comes from the ineffectual narrator and rape as a major plot point. I tend to avoid that. But the core concept is still awesome.
7. The Well of Ascension, Brandon Sanderson
This is a different kind of thing. The book is second in a popular series, and quite good. The magic systems are deep, the story clever and twisty, and the characters are almost all engaging. I didn't stop because of the book itself, or even because of a shiny. It's because I saw Sanderson in an interview and disliked him terribly. A pompous, superior and mean-spirited if that hour was anything to go by. Still, I believe you should separate the art from the artist in most cases. He hasn't done anything to except him from that, and I didn't stop reading Harlan Ellison or Piers Anthony because they were jerks, and the books really good, so I need to just get over it.
That's the list. What books are crying out for you to come back?