Thursday, December 21, 2017

What Was I Thinking? Bad Books (And Authors) I've read this year

On the opposite end of my top 10 books for the year, comes my "bottom list" for books I read this year. However, I don't have enough to warrant a list, which I guess it's good that I didn't waste much of my time reading mediocre books?

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James

Honestly, I wanted to see what the big fuss was all about. I never read the books before, nor viewed the movies, and I was too embarrassed to check it out of the library. I also didn't want to buy the book since I knew that it was fan fiction based off of Twilight, then the names were changed, and then completed to be a complete book, then a complete series.

When I got back into audiobooks through Overdrive, ( It's free! Don't be ripped off by using Audible!) the final installment of the movies (Fifty Shades Darker? Darkest? who knows what the title is) just came out in theaters. The audiobook was available and it's free, so I saved myself the embarrassment of checking it out of the library, and could listen to it whenever I felt like it.

Oh man. It might have read a tiny bit better if I had stuck with the book, where I could skip over lots of paragraphs if I needed too, but the audiobook was torture, and the poor woman who read did her best... but oh man. I'm bitter that E. L James makes more money than I do, and just keeps releasing books about the same things about the same characters.

Little House Living: The Make-Your-Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple and Self-Sufficient Life by Merissa A. Alink 

This was a big whoppin' dud. Even though I have respect for the author, who had a blog and wrote a book based off her blog, I just couldn't get into it. I couldn't relate to the subject at all, not to mention so much misinformation on skincare that makes my own skin crawl. No, raspberry and carrot oil (or whatever oil she mentions) should not be used in place of proper SPF. Lemon and Baking Soda shouldn't be put on your face. She advocates buying staple ingredients, and saving various containers, jars and other containers for her DIY all natural household, skincare and recipes. Whereas I do save containers and reuse them, unless I lived in the middle of nowhere or had a stark cut in my income, I wouldn't use any of these recipes.

Bill Bryson's Books, namely, In a Sunburned Country and A Walk in the Woods 

So, these books aren't "bad" per say. Bill Bryson is an very good writer and his books are comprehensive and explores the history as well as the culture of the places he travels too. However, he seems to writes without any self-awareness, and his befuddled, satirical way that he writes comes off as out of touch and almost as a stick in the mud. Instead of an exciting book about traveling and experiencing something new, you feel as if you are wading through murky water, waiting for the chance to get to land to dry off and be on familiar territory again.

He seemed to enjoy going to Australia in In a Sunburned Country, and though it took me some work to get into it, I overall didn't regret reading it. However, A Walk in the Woods made me roll my eyes over and over again, from his choice of walking partner (seriously, why would you go back out with him after he dumped half of his food and made one dangerous decision after another) to the way he sort of half-assed the thru-hike, only selecting to go at certain times, and then taking day walks for the rest of the time. Instead of reflecting on his own actions, and his partner's actions, it seemed to be more of, "hiking the Appalachian trail is really stupid" attitude instead of, "it's really hard!"

Down these Strange Streets edited by George R. R Martin and Gardner Dozois 

I didn't even finish this one. I think I wanted to check out spooky books for the Halloween season, and this looked spooky. I should have stuck with more Stephen King, because this was a compilation of authors writing urban fantasy. I like urban fantasy, and some of the short stories were entertaining... but I wasn't into it. I just don't think I'm into compilations.

What books did you read that were duds this year? How did they disappoint you? Where you surprised by any of them?

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