Friday, March 20, 2009

Worst 'Best' Book, and Friday Fill-ins

Suggested by Janet:

How about, “What’s the worst ‘best’ book you’ve ever read — the one everyone says is so great, but you can’t figure out why?”

I've mentioned it before, but one of the books that continues to stand out as one of the worst books I've read, even years later, but one that has many fans, is Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières. It's one of the very few books where, when I finally managed to finish it, skimming the boring chapters, and being utterly annoyed with the ending, that I felt like reading it had been a complete waste of my time. I don't necessarily adore every book I read but I rarely really regret spending time on them, like I did in this case.

Not a passionate hate, but a very popular author that I just won't read anymore is Jodi Picoult. I've read 3 of her books. The first one I read was The Pact several years ago, and I think I didn't mind it at the time, but I really can't remember anything about it now. Next was My Sister's Keeper. The ending really frustrated me - such a cop out! And I didn't like the author's complaints, in online discussions at the time, about people who didn't 'understand' the mother in the story, getting all defensive and trying to force her interpretation on to the readers. An instance for me when the author's own personality put me off their work. A year or so later I decided to give her another chance since I still had another book of hers in my TBR stacks, Plain Truth. But I was again disappointed by what I thought was a very predictable, somewhat formulaic story. So, I know I'm very much in a minority, but Picoult is on my 3 strikes, you're out list. There are simply too many other books out there that I'd rather be reading.

What's your worst 'best' book?

1. Why do we have to work and sleep and do laundry and all the other things that take up too many hours of the day?
2. Feeding the boys, cleaning their litter box, playing with them are now habits.
3. I have enough unread books in the house to keep me occupied for several years. But will I stop buying more? Hahaha.
4. (I couldn't think of one off the top of my head so I asked H what English phrase he had never heard before we moved to England). He had never heard the phrase "bollocks" and it is pretty fun to say.
5. I'll probably just procrastinate the way I almost always do.
6. How was I to know that I just wouldn't be able to stop reading.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going out for dinner with H, tomorrow my plans include something as yet undecided and most likely depends on the weather and Sunday, I want to relax and get ready for a busy week ahead!

And a very kind thank you to Blacklin for passing on the I Love Your Blog Award to me. I'm simply chuffed! :) As per usual, I'm not going to pass this on to anyone else specifically, but I would really like to thank all of you who have continued to stop by and comment even though I haven't been returning the favour lately. I hope to get back into full blogging mode, not just posting on mine but reading and commenting on yours as well, soon. And when I do you'll be the first ones I visit, promise!


  1. #3 sounds EXACTLY like me, and #6 is pretty familiar too :-).

    I'm a regular Jodi Picoult reader, and have been one for so long that I may be cutting her some slack, but I can certainly understand a "three strikes" rule for any author.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  2. Don't apologize for not liking an author. I read Picoult and like her, but if everyone liked all the same stuff the world would be boring!! I would have to say my favorite worst book would be "Wicked." I just flat out hated it!!

    I had a hard time with #4 so I passed it!! Love your #3, me too but that won't stop me either from adding to the bookshelves!!

    Have a great Friday and a fantastic weekend!

  3. Oh no, I'm hurt, I loved Captain Corelli's Mandolin! haha.. I didn't like the end very much though I will admit that. But that's ok, we can both complain about Jodi Picoult! I had the same thought about the ending of My Sister's Keeper. I haven't read anything else by her so I'm going to give her another chance one of these days but I also have a 3 strikes you are out kinda list :)

    Have a great weekend and hope you get to relax and read!

  4. Hi Nat :D
    I like # 6
    As for walking Oliver every morning, I lost this habit now that I can just let him out in a large yard with his girlfriends.

    Enjoy your dinner with H and have a nice week-end.

    P.S. Jody Picoult annoys me to no end. She is also very popular in France.

    The worse book? There have been a few, but recently THE LIFE OF EDGAR SAWTELLE took the cake, 600 pages of the same, same and more of the same, thanks to the dogs in the story I finished it :P. I loved THE GUERNSEY... and my present read for the Nymeth challenge (read out of your comfort zone) THE COMPLETE PERSEPOLIS which I am reading with Christine also her first graphic novel (I did read Tin-Tin and Becasine asa child.

  5. The first that comes to mind that would be considered a worst 'best' book for me is "The Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett. I know many people who love it and I thought I would too, but I ended up hating it. I guess I've read similar historical fiction that I thought was much, much better.

    And for what it's worth, I feel the same way that you do about Picoult and I've only read "My Sister's Keeper." I won't read anything else by her.

  6. Florinda - It's quite ridiculous how many books I have waiting to be read! I am trying to buy less this year, but there's no way I could stop altogether!
    I know a lot of people love her books so she's obviously doing something right.

    Janet - I'm a chronic procrastinator. Sigh.

    Staci - It's very true that we can't all like the same books or authors. I've never read Wicked. What was it about it that made you hate it so much? :P

    Iliana - I'll let you love Captain Corelli instead of me! ;)
    And yes, My Sister's Keeper was so annoying! But maybe you'll have better luck if/when you try something else by her.

    Sylvie - That's interesting that Jodi Picoult is also popular in France. I just don't understand the appeal but obviously many don't agree.
    I just got the DVD of Persepolis and look forward to watching it sometime soon hopefully.

    Teresa - I quite enjoyed Pillars of the Earth when I read it ages ago, athough I haven't rushed out to buy the 'sequel' so maybe that says something.
    Picoult hardly needs us to buy her books so she won't miss us either. :P

  7. I just voted Captain Corelli's Mandolin as my worst book too! I also know what you mean about Jodi Picout! There is one book I've loved by her but unfortunately I can't remember the title! The rest have just been average. I don't understand the hype surrounding her either.

  8. Oh, no! I have a copy of Captain Corelli's Mandolin on a shelf somewhere and I've had it for quite some time now. Haven't been inspired to read it (don't know why I bought it) and after reading your remark, was thinking of tossing it in the Half-Price Book pile. But now I've read Iliana's comment and don't know what to do! ;)

    I'll have to think about my worst "best" book for a while. Nothing comes to mind, but then it's early and I need coffee.

  9. Vicki - Nice to know I'm not the only one who didn't like Captain Corelli's Mandolin. As for Picoult, it's like Staci said, it would be boring if we all liked the same books and authors.

    Les - Well you could always just keep it on the shelf a little longer and see. Have you read Love in the Time of Cholera? They're not the same but one does kind of remind me of the other, and it might work that if you like one, you'd like the other.

  10. No, I've never read anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, although Love In the Time of Cholera is another that's been lurking in my stacks for years!

  11. Les - Well, you'll just have to try both of them for yourself then someday. :)

  12. I haven't read Captain Corelli's Mandolin nor have I seen the movie. I heard mixed reviews in both cases and can't say I ever had the desire to try the book.

    I really like Jodi Picoult's books, but I know a few people (like you) who don't care for them. As you said, there are plenty of books out there to choose from. No sense reading books or books by authors you know you won't enjoy.

    It would be nice if certain chores could take care of themselves. And if we could sleep while we worked! Imagine! Haha! We'd have so much more time for reading!

    I'm with you on #3, including the buying more books anyway. :-)

    Oh! Now I'm going to go to work tomorrow and say "bullocks" all day long!

    I hope you have a great week, Nat!

  13. Wendy - Oh yes, I love your idea of being able to sleep while working or doing the chores around the house. That would be great! LOL.
    I hope you have a great week yourself! :)


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