Worst of 2010: The Books… [FaN Boos]

Ernessa says: The nice thing about being a published author is that it’s considered bad form to talk ish about other writers in a public forum. Because of this, if I found myself not enjoying a book during my 52 Books in 52 Weeks project, I put it down and went on to the next book on my rather long to be read List. Consequentially my worst book of the year was still pretty decent, in that I finished it. Still I’m naming THE LITTLE GIANT OF ABERDEEN COUNTY by Tiffany Baker my Worst Book of the Year, b/c it had so many of the problems that have become huge pet peeves for me where literary novels are concerned: intensely boring in parts, overlong, meandering plot, and my biggest pet peeve of all, a lot of mysteries presented with a stupidly (read conveniently) stubborn main character who refuses to ask any questions or seek out any answers.

Interestingly enough, this is our only list for which all of our bloggers had a different entry — though Stieg Larsson’s name does did come up a couple of times….


Contrary to Popular Opinion

THE MAGICIANS by Lev Grossman.  This book bored me to pieces, much like people who wax on about their college experience bore me.  There were so many moments that could have taken flight and made this a great book, but Grossman choose to follow morose, mundane people around in whiny circles of self-pity and belly-button gazing.  Nothing fun or interesting here. I do have to thank ole Lev for reminding me the importance of plot and action, since his book seemed to lack both.

Amy Robinson from Tall Drink of Nerd

La nostalgie de l’ange, which is THE LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold in French. I picked this book up in JANUARY, because I was looking for a good book to read in French (reading is so good for learning languages). It’s now DECEMBER and I’m still reading it. I go through phases of forcing myself to read 10 pages a day (in French) and then I put it down for two months. When I read it, I can tell it’s really well-written, I’m sure I could just chew on the language and subtleties, but I’m missing so much by reading it in French that it’s painful.

Gudrun Cram-Drach from Secret Life of an Expat

THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE.  It seems like the girl with the dragon tattoo only played with fire so she could kick the hornet’s nest and I maintain the third book was not finished by Stieg Larsson.

Josh Pullin from Stay At Home Nerd

SQUIRREL SEEKS CHIPMUNK by David Sedaris.  I wanted to love it.

Kelli Bielema from Fierce in Seattle

THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO. British dystopian young adult fiction.  Overwrought allegory runs rampant, plus they [SPOILER ALERT] KILL the DOG.  Man, you don’t do that.  Don’t kill the dog.  ’Specially since it’s a talking dog.

Michael Kass from Single White Nerd

The Possessed Adventures With Russian Books And The People Who Read Them by Elif Batuman is pretty bad and although there’s no way it’s the worse of the year, it was definitely my least favorite. Do not fall for all it promises.

Dr. Miro Guldesky from Ask Dr. Miro

The most overrated book of the year by far is Gary Shteyngart’s SUPER SAD TRUE LOVE STORY. I was taken in by the chorus of critical hosannas that greeted its arrival and eagerly started it, expecting a comic 1984 for our age. Unfortunately, the cutting edge satirical elements that so impressed the critics (most of them probably technophobes) was simplistic and overly reactionary. And the much vaunted humor seemed no less than a parade of waka waka waka jokes taken from Fozzie Bear’s unused material.

Ryan Dixon from The Ryan Dixon Line and FIERCE ANTICIPATION

Hands down it would have to be the pathetic attempt made by my favorite TV personality Tim Gunn called: Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work. Either he made a terrible judgment in a ghost writer, or he really needs a course in letting his personality shine through while writing. This book has a few fun moments where he tells us some scandalous things about the fashion world and its icons, but mostly his stories end up coming off as bitchy and fueled by a sense of self-righteousness. To save you time I will now share with you the things I ended up learning from this “lesson”: Tim Gunn is probably a rice queen who no longer has a sex drive; Anna Wintour gets carried down flights of stairs; Andre Leon Talley IS the big scary queen I think he is; you should always send thank you notes; and Tim Gunn shut down emotionally after a bad breakup. There, don’t you feel more empowered and ready to make your life work? Yeah, neither do I…

Zack Bunker from Tall Glass of Shame

Couldn’t Finish It

THE IMPERFECTIONISTS by Tom Rachman, which people and critics I admire wrote about glowingly, and I couldn’t manage to get through.  I hate feeling intellectually inferior.

Amy Brown from Book Simple

THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST. This is an unfair opinion because I didn’t finish reading it, but I found the writing to be boring, the passages to be too long, and the violence to be too much for me. Probably didnt’ help that I started the series with the third book, but I have no desire to revisit this series ever again.

Debra Goykhman from NewlyNested

SILK PARACHUTE by John McPhee. The second book from my KCRW book club membership, it’s a collection of short stories. The stories are so heinously boring that I don’t think I finished one, no wait I did, but just the one.

Kelly Lett from Nerd In Transition

I tried to read HARRY POTTER, but I can’t get into them! Too many characters to remember for me.

Missy Kulik from Dork Lifestyle

I tried reading BITCH IS THE NEW BLACK by Helena Andrews. It just did not keep me interested. But to be perfectly honest I only got about 50 pages in and I just put it down (and never picked it back up).

Monique King-Viehland from Political Physics

I Haven’t Read it, But…

Shannen Doherty Self-Help Book BADASS. I haven’t read it, but I don’t feel the leats bit interested

Alex and Emmy from Dating Ell-A

Anything by Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin. I didn’t read them but it makes me sad that so many people did.

CH from Buy Me This

Here’s the Situation: A Guide to Creeping on Chicks, Avoiding Grenades, and Getting in Your GTL on the Jersey Shore.  No, I didn’t read it and nor will I.  I find the cast of Jersey Shore absolutely disgusting in everything they represent, which isn’t much.  I find it hard to believe this guy actually sat down and wrote a book.  NOT!  I can pretty much guarantee his co-star Snooki, will be my choice of next year’s craptastic book of the year.

Jersey Joe from Kicking Back With Jersey Joe

James Joyce’s ULYSSES. For another year it sits untouched on my bookshelf, taunting me. I’ll get you one day, Leopold Bloom!

Joe Rusin from On the Contrary

Life is Too Short For Bad Books

Life is too short to read bad books. I don’t even read boring status updates. Here’s a tip- please don’t check in unless you’re somewhere I give a crap about- like Mars or Mount Everest or under my bed with an ax. If you’re at a Denny’s in Larchmont, keep it to yourself.

Eric Sims from California Seething

I’ve gotten to the point where if I’m not hooked by the end of the first chapter, I can’t go on.  I feel my life growing shorter when I’m reading bad writing.

Roya Hamadani from Fierce Foodie

featured image credit: ATIS547