Booking Through: Recent worst

btt2This week’s Booking Through Thursday question: What’s the worst book you’ve read recently? (I figure it’s easier than asking your all-time worst, because, well, it’s recent!)

Well, let’s see. I could answer this a few ways. The only book I’ve abandoned so far in 2009 is Blonde Roots by Bernardine Evaristo. I certainly didn’t enjoy it. It didn’t do what it claimed to do. But the question does include the word read, which may imply completed. So. After I thought about it for awhile, two really awful books I’ve read in the past year popped into my mind. I’m not going to choose one; they’re equally terrible in my opinion.

My worst recent reads:
Fog Over Finny’s Nose by Dana Mentink and
Recipe for Murder by Lisa Harris

I guess I could do the delimiting by recent, rather than by worst — I read Recipe for Murder more recently than Fog Over Finny’s Nose — but I did read them very near each other in time.

What’s your worst recent read?

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15 responses to “Booking Through: Recent worst

  1. Sounds disappointing. What can you do?

    • Yeah. I even went into these books with particularly low expectations, but they were still bad. Hey, I learned something about myself by reading them! 🙂

  2. I truly hate it when mysteries fall flat on te face!

    Best Intentions by Emily Listfield is one such book!

    • Yeah, I didn’t enjoy that one, either. But I think that was a matter of targeting; it really wasn’t a mystery and shouldn’t have been billed as such. It was much more women’s fiction, which I don’t enjoy.

  3. Hmm. I just finished reading Jose Saramago’s book _Blindness_, and I found it to be no great shakes. Certainly not the worst book I’ve ever read, but you said recently–and really, I’ve been reading some really good books lately. So that book makes it in by a technicality in language. The worst book I read this year would be _The Bell Witch: An American Haunting_ by Brent Monahan. Ridiculous, insipid piece of prose–but hey! I found it in the bargain bin at B&N for half-price off of clearance (I think it was two and fifty), so there ya go; you get what you pay for.

  4. I often try a book from a category I don’t normally like to see if it has improved, but it rarely has.

    You’ll find mine here.

  5. Hmmm… I’ll have to avoid these in the future.

    I chose The Reader by Bernhard Schlink as my most recent BAD read. You can check out my thoughts here.

  6. This was my first exposure to Saramago (and probably my last). Do you have a goodreads account? Because I posted a review of Blindness on it; if you do, befriend me and you can read what I wrote, as well as other people’s opinions of it. There were a lot of people who really loved the book, so I dunno, it may be worth your while to try it out. My main problems with the book were that I didn’t ever like any of the characters, including the one too-saintly person who could see, and I didn’t believe Saramago’s bleak view of how quickly humanity degenerates. Also, his forays into experimentation with literary devices became irritating; I like a period now and again, thanks all the same, and at one point, he spent ages just listing adjectives that blind people no longer need. He pulls another similar trick a few pages later, in which he describes, in minutiae, every saint and sinner icon in a church and how “his/her/their eyes were covered.”

    Maybe it was better in the original Portuguese.

    Oh, and I just thought of the one book I would really say was the worst one I’ve read in a LONG time (and it may make a lot of people mad, but it’s true for me): The Shack, by William P. Young. Besides the tricky theological issues, the actual writing was, in my opinion, just awful. Clichéd, cardboard, forced–it was like reading an after-school special. Forgive me, all those who loved it, but as a writer, I could not get past all the literary no-nos Young committed. While I read it, my internal editor screamed herself hoarse, and finally fell over, sobbing with despair–it was THAT bad for me.

  7. I enjoyed Best Intentions but I never really thought of it as a mystery because it happens so late in the novel. To me, it was more of women’s ficton, more of a character piece.

    • The only reason I thought of Best Intentions as a mystery is: It was marketed as a mystery. Sure, not purely a mystery, but a mystery nonetheless. The expectation I have going into a book makes a difference.

  8. Oh, it is a scary thing to have to name a worst book. I think the worst book I ever read was Alice Sebold’s Almost Moon. I hated not liking it. It was even harder, for I had to put my thoughts out there, in a Chicago Tribune review.

  9. Oh dear. To have disappointed so many people is a bummer. I do hope you all find books that lift you up much more than mine. Blessings.

    Dana Mentink

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