End of the Year Roundup - Worst Books of the Year
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The following 3 all earned only 1 star from me. However, they can be glad that they didn't earn the 1/2 star that one book earned last year.
1) Remember Me: A Lively Tour of the New American Way of Death by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen
2) Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell
3) Death by the Glass by Nadia Gordon
I also did not enjoy A Discovery of Witches as much as others. What annoyed me in this book was how a character who was given brains and courage but was given protection by a male she probably did not need. It's a feminist thing, I think. I did finish it and gave it 2 stars.
I was offended by the glaring geographical errors in Adrift on St. John by Rebecca M. Hale. At times I had to wonder if she ever had visited St. John.
Three out of over 100 is not bad odds.
Having read and...well, enjoyed may be the wrong word, given how depressing the book was...but admired Jay Asher's debut book, 13 Reasons Why, I was disappointed by his follow-up The Future of Us. I thought the plot was rather aimless and I didn't really care for the characters. (Of course, I tend to like co-written books less than their authors' individual ventures, unless the book is Good Omens and it is perfect in every way.)
Otherwise, I've read a few books that I wanted to like better than I did -- Son by Lois Lowry, Why We Broke Up, A Confusion of Princes, The House You Pass on the Way -- but I thought they were all good. I guess Death Comes to Pemberley disappointed me most? It lacked charm, and I really don't understand the point of a Pride & Prejudice sequel where Lizzie and Darcy barely interact.
Scones and Sensibility by Lindsay Eland - It's a cute premise, but the book is way to long to sustain it. I'm not sure it's targeted to the right audience, either.
Where Death Delights by Bernard Knight - The description sounds like exactly the sort of book I should like. The author has a working knowledge of his protagonist's field (forensic pathology). Unfortunately, it's written more like the James Herriot books, where the patients who come and go are animals, or the Irish Country Doctor books, where the patients who come and go are residents of a small community in Northern Ireland. Juggling several "patients" (i.e., bodies) in a journal-type narrative just doesn't work in a serious crime novel.
The Heart of Danger by Gerald Seymour - This was my Croatia book for the Endless Europe challenge. I doubt I would ever have read this book had I not been looking for a book set in Croatia. I'm not averse to the occasional thriller. However, I do like there to be a good reason for the danger the characters face. I found it difficult to care about a character who chose to put himself in a life-threatening situation without a good reason.
I'm glad to say that these are not representative of my reading as whole this year. I've had several great to outstanding reads. I'm old enough now for past experience to contribute to better selection of reading material. I know how to avoid the types of books I'd end up hating. The LT reviews, ratings, and challenge threads help, too. The challenge threads are particularly useful for discovering books I might enjoy that are a little different than what I typically read.
The other 2 that didn't impress me to much were The Maytrees by Annie Dillard and November Ever After by Craig T Greenlee.
So here they are, from bad to worst:
Winter in Madrid by C.J. Sansom -- Not terrible, really, just lazy plotting and two-dimensional characters, that was not redeemed by the interesting setting.
The St. Zita Society by Ruth Rendell -- There are authors who should stop writing before their legacy is tarnished by the poor quality of the books written in later life. Rendell is one of those authors. And I knew better than to read this, but read it anyway.
Oxford Messed Up by Andrea Kayne Kaufman -- the only truly bad book I read this year. Amazingly poor writing and a Very Special Lesson made this book unreadable. And it was an Early Reviewer book, so I had to read it.