My Least Favorite Books :2017

The year end is often filled with lists of the "best of".  I was asked to put together a list of the 10 best books I read in 2017 (not necessarily books that were published that year).  It wasn't too hard to do.  (And appears here:  I read plenty of good books last year.

But then I got thinking about what books I read that weren't so hot.  Thankfully in 2017 there weren't too many. (When I was doing my Pulitzer Project the story was different.  In my opinion there are quite a few clunkers that won the prize for fiction.  But when again, one man's trash is another's treasure!)  

I'm a pretty devoted reader.  Once I start, no matter how bad I think it is, I usually finish.  (The only book I DIDN'T finish that I was assigned in high school English was Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad, which I abhorred.  Please don't anyone tell Mr. Luks!)  To be honest, I "finish" the book by skimming through, instead of leisurely taking it all in.  (I'm particularly thinking of two William Faulkner novels that won the Pulitzer Prize:  A Fable and The Reivers.  Shoot me, I'm not a Faulkner fan.)

So here are the books that I read last year which I felt were not what I had hoped. 
  1. Nilsson:  The Life of a Singer-Songwriter by Alyn Shipton.  I met Harry Nilsson briefly.  The stories he told and the stories I've heard about him are fascinating, enthralling and often amazingly true.  But the sad fact about this book, is that was boring.  Here was this larger than life, colorful character, yet this book was incredibly bland.  Skip the book and go to the documentary:  Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?)
  2.  Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of Kiss by Peter Criss & Larry Sloman.  I'm a Kiss fan.  As a result I've read all 4 autobiographies and none of them were particularly good (or well written).  As I said on Goodreads:  None of the books written by the band members will make you like the band any better or give you any insight that any casual fan might have. The Kiss story is not pretty (no matter who's book and "facts" you read) and at times Peter Criss' book comes off like bad porn. (Of course I don't know how or what I would judge as good porn.) You know the pretty much know the end (all four member ARE still alive) so just leave it at that.
  3. Menage by Alix Kates Shulman:  My one comment on this book:  Meh.  It wasn't provocative (as you might think by the title) and I didn't care about any of the characters.  (None of whom where particularly smart or interesting.)
  4. If I Could Turn Back Time  by Beth Harbison:  I had high hopes for this.  I tend to like alternate reality or "what if" stories.  This one just didn't do it for me.  Too long and just not engaging. 
  5. Talk Me Down  by Victoria Dahl.  I like Chick Lit.  I read quite a lot of pure pleasure "fluffy" books throughout the year.  (Though mostly during the summer months...we all need some good cotton candy type books to take to the beach for a read.)  This was not chick was more soft core chick porn.  If that's what you're looking for; this book (and the other two in the series) are it.  My main probably was that in between the soft core stuff there just wasn't that much to the story.
  6. May We Be Forgiven by A.M Holmes.  I just didn't get what this book was trying to be.  Life commentary?  Jonathan Swift did it better.  (And I GOT that).  Dark humor?  I never laughed.  I just wanted to finish and and move on to something better.
  7. 8. & 9:  Christmas at the Beach  by Wendy Wax,  Summer Breeze by Nancy Thayer and The Summer Girls by Mary Alice Monroe.  As I said previously, I LIKE Chick Lit.  And I like these authors.  I've read several of their books, but the three I listed are what I consider to be the weakest of the lot.  (Of course I haven't read EVERYTHING each woman has written, so there's a chance that there are more clunkers out there.)  All three offer good "beach reads," so check out their other offerings and skip these.
One final note, a book that I read that I DID enjoy, but gets the Bfth award for worst (or at least MISLEADING) title is:  The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan.  Considering the fact that said bookshop is a bookmobile and the main character has many adventures learning how to drive it,  the title makes no sense whatsoever.  Apparently, the original title, Little Shop of Happy Ever After  wouldn't cut it in the US (really???)  What was Harper Collins thinking?  (Were they thinking??? Not in my mind, they weren't.)

Considering that I read around 70 books last year and had to really dig around to come up with some that were not so hot says there IS a lot out there to enjoy.  (And you can check out what else I read on Goodreads.)  And if you disagree with my assessment, let me know and why.  We're all entitled to an opinion and if yours varies from mine, I'd like to hear/read your (respectful) thoughts.


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