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Book Talk > Books that aren't great

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message 1: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
I just finished "Tuesdays With Morrie," which I had to read for a book discussion group at the library. I was, to put it mildly, not terribly impressed. I definitely think I would have enjoyed meeting Morrie when he was alive, and I could relate to some of the insights that Mitch Albom shared in regards to the disconnection so many of us feel in this modern age. However, I felt like I had been bludgeoned with moral platitudes by the last page. I prefer more subtle writing, and Albom is anything but. The fact that he was a sports journalist for many years came as no surprise to me. He's just not a very good writer in my opinion. I can totally see why this book was so popular, but it was not for me.

What's the last book that you found to be not-so-great?


message 2: by Emjaro (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:43AM) (new)

Emjaro | 3 comments Good topic!

This summer I read Water for Elephants. I was traveling and out of reading material and the woman at the book store at the airport was enthusiastic in her recommendation. I was really excited about it because it's got that vaudeville/circus vibe and I was obsessed with the HBO show Carnivale.

But in the end it kind of stunk. The writing was cliche. The plot points came at you like a (heh heh) stampede of elephants.


message 3: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 6 comments haha king! I'm with ya!


message 4: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
(I haven't read them)

Let the disbelief begin!


message 5: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 19 comments Lately everything I've picked up has stunk. Or, at least, was precisely the thing that I wasn't in the mood for. So not necessarily bad, but, you know. And it goes for movies, too. I think what I need right now is a nice romantic comedy.
But I guess the last actually really just plain bad book I read was a J fantasy called "Strange Birds" by Judith Gilliland. Pee-ewe. And for me to say that about a book that is about tiny flying horses takes a lot.


message 6: by Merwyn (new)

Merwyn Haskett | 46 comments I think it's overdue by now. I've only read 150 out of the 1500 pages of Hawthorne's Short Stories. So far for every good story there have been four or five that stink.


message 7: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
I'm not a big fan of Hawthorne, but maybe it's because I haven't read him since I was forced to in high school. I would say I should try again, but your comment is affirming my bias.

Tiny flying horses! It must be really badly written. I would think that anything with tiny flying horses would be a surefire hit.


message 8: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
I started "Farewell, Summer" by Ray Bradbury the other night, and found it to suck. It might have had something to do with the fact that I started it in the middle of the night when I was having an inexplicable anxiety attack, but gawd the writing style was irritating to me. I've read lots of other Bradbury and enjoyed it, although I'm not gaga for Bradbury like a lot of people. I never read the first book "Dandelion Wine" which "Farewell, Summer" is supposed to be a sequel to, and I'm wondering if he just decided to write a certain way for these two books. Did anyone read "Dandelion Wine?" Did you like it? If so, did you read this new book and like it? I don't understand how Bradbury could write such a stinker.


message 9: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (KristiS) | 48 comments worst book ever read: The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and co. Bubble gum spirituality.


message 10: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
I had a reference question about that today. Oprah liked it, so it must be good!


message 11: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
Not so into right now: "Crime Beat" by Michael Connelly. I've heard people singing this author to high heaven, so I saw his newest book in the library and grabbed it. It seems to be mainly a rehashing of his newspaper articles from when he was a reporter with a little commentary in between. Maybe his fiction is better, but I'm bored with this book. I think it might get relegated to my "could not finish" list on goodreads.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 259 comments Mod
Eragon. Take a dash of Tolkien, a smattering of Robert Jordan, and a large splash of Anne McCaffrey, and mix well. Overbake in an oven of hype as long as possible.
Garnish with dragon cover art, and serve to kids 10 and up.


message 13: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
Currently reading not great book "A Piece of Cake" by Cupcake Brown. It was an impulse buy at the Barnes and Noble in the airport that I was stuck in for four hours (don't ask). The cover is amazing, the writing not so much. She's actually a pretty terrible writer, and although I have a special place in my heart for stories of people coming up from the gutter and conquering adversity, etc; there have been several times that I've found myself going "REALLY?" This much shit couldn't possibly have been heaped on one young girl. In other news, if I ever had another child that was female, I might find myself naming her Cupcake against my better judgement.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 259 comments Mod
I just started Soul Enchilada Soul Enchilada by David Macinnis Gill by David Gill, and I am pretty sure it is NOT great. This girl with the nickname Bug is trying to get by delivering pizzas, and the only real asset she has is this vintage Cadillac her dead grandfather left her.

But one day she looks out to see that it's been egged, and there's a demon sitting in it, who tells her he has come to repossess the car, and her soul, which was collateral on the loan her grandfather made.

Yes, it has potential, but it's not convincing me yet. And so far, I don't like Bug much. She's mouthy and all up in my face about having dreads and being biracial, and I'm like, whoa, girlfriend, doesn't matter to ME...


message 15: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
Jackie- BEST REVIEW EVER. I laughed so much over your final line that Dave had to come over and read it.


message 16: by Judy (new)

Judy (jpitchford) | 40 comments I don't have anything to add to the list of 'Books that aren't great' (right now) but I wanted to share a book review blog written by my niece. Being totally unbiased, of course, I thnk her book reviews are wonderful - smart, funny, entertaining... I found her latest entry especially good. You can find it at http://constance-reader.blogspot.com/. Let me know if you like it (I don't want to know if you don't cuz I am a protective Aunt).


message 17: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Nelson (epersonae) | 34 comments Re Michael Connelly: I thought Crime Beat was quite "meh" and I'm a huge Connelly fan. (As in, one of the few authors whose books I actually collect. Mostly via Xmas presents from mom, though!) When he gets to make stuff up, he's much better. :)


message 18: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13 comments The biggest not great book for me recently was Robin McKinley's Dragonhaven. I had such high hopes, I usually love her stuff, but this was awful, I kept reading, thinking, it's going to get better, any minute now... it never did. it has the troika of bad book experiences: unlikable main character, uninteresting/predictable story arc, and a painfully bad narrative style.


message 19: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
The troika of bad book experiences- bwahaha! Elaine, I'll have to try again with one of Michael Connelly's actual novels. Thanks for the encouragement.


message 20: by Emily (new)

Emily | 13 comments I got in an argument with my dad over this one...

I DESPISED A Painted House by John Grisham.

I bored from the beginning, but with each turn of the page I kept hoping that classic Grisham would appear. But... page by never-ending page... NOTHING.

I like this thread... :)


message 21: by Kate (new)

Kate | 115 comments i couldn't finish The Last Chinese Chef. I didn't like that book. The descriptions of food were nice but the author threw this little romance thread throughout the part that I was reading and I hated it. It didn't fit. I tend to not read romance anyway, especially when it's got this dramatic presentation which this book did.


message 22: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
Never read a single Grisham book- can you believe it? Kate, I heard good things about that book, so it's interesting to hear the flip side. I will probably read it one of these days, so I'll report back whether I agreed with you or not.


message 23: by Emily (new)

Emily | 13 comments Never read Grisham? Wow... I like his lawyer stuff. And he wrote a silly short novel called Playing for Pizza that, while it was certainly not a literary great, was fun to read.


message 24: by Angie (new)

Angie Wow, I haven't read anything by most of the authors mentioned here. And now I feel justified.

I would like to add Twilight to the list of 'Not So Great'. If that wasn't already obvious.

And more recently, Prospero Lost by L. Jagi Lamplighter. I got about a quarter of the way into it and couldn't go any further. The premise was good, but the characterizations and the actual writing were both pretty abyssmal.


message 25: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
I will never read Twilight. So there.


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