30 Day Book Challenge, Day 2

July 16, 2012     The Bluestocking Bookworm     Books, Random Thoughts, Reading

Good morning! I slept terribly last night, so before I succumb to the siren’s call of an early-morning nap, I figured I would post Day 2 of the challenge!

Day Two: Your Least Favorite Book

Where yesterday’s challenge really made me think hard and sweat a little… today’s is very easy for me to answer. Unfortunately I have a plethora of books to pick from. But I have to go for the worst of all. The only book in recent memory I didn’t finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

I… hated this book. It was one that I recommended for book club and I am still apologizing to them TO THIS DAY for that. I got less than 100 pages in, and I quit. I never give up on books, but I gave up on this one. Footnotes are funny and cute, except when they take up the entire page. And then multiple pages. There were so many words, and so few of them described anything of consequence. It was horrible.

Some of you may be shocked that I didn’t pick Ashfall by Mike Mullin as my least favorite book. But at least I finished Ashfall. I didn’t even give Jonathan Strange a chance, really. It was dull, it was verbose (and not in a delicious, classic way either), and it was going back on my TBR pile. Immediately. And I doubt I will ever pick it up again.

So there you have it. My least favorite book. Ever. What is yours?

2 responses to “30 Day Book Challenge, Day 2

  1. WP –

    Wow. That one really left an impression. My question is why are you even putting it back on your TBR pile. Sounds to me like you’d rather burn it. It’s interesting that you picked that book as your least favorite. I’ve heard only good things about it. Not that I’ve heard a lot about it, but what I have heard of it was noteworthy. But, all the same, I am glad that you came forth with your true feelings on the book.

    When I read a book, I read it for enjoyment. When I’m not enjoying something, I put it down. But I really try hard to give it a chance. At the same time, if after all the chances I give it, it still doesn’t pull through for me, then I don’t want to keep wasting my time. In other words, I don’t want to finish something just to say I’ve finished it. I want to finish it because I wanted to finish it. But like you, there have been books out there that every last fan of the genre has praised and I put down. Case in point:

    1. Dune, by Frank Herbert.
    I thought the world was great, the characters were, cool, but it just wasn’t holding me. It wasn’t against his writing, but the author’s job is to draw the reader in and make me (the reader) want to turn the pages. I put it down with a little over 100 pages to go. I just didn’t want to read any more.

    But, in recent memory, the one book that (again, everyone else raved about) I had to put down was –

    2. Mistborn, by Brandon Sanderson
    I gave it lots of chances, but I’m a language lover and, in so many words, it didn’t work for me. This has nothing to do with the man himself. I praise him for being a prolific author, a great worldbuilder, and so on. He creates vivid characters and good conflict. But, (shakes head) I don’t know, man. I feel that he writes with discernible limitations, and some of those came out to me – too many.

    I not only wish to be whisked off to some fantastical place with nerve-splitting conflict and gripping suspense, but I want the story to be told well. That’s all. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. I don’t want layman’s terms. It’s literature. But I honor the man. I think he’s wonderful. I have autographed books by him. It’s just that my first experience reading his work left me a bit frustrated.
    LP

    • I don’t know why it is going back on the TBR pile. I guess I hate the idea of the book going unread. I am a completionist… so I want to read ALL THE THINGS (like an adult!). Yet life is too short to read books you hate.

      Dune was another one I didn’t enjoy, but I didn’t absolutely hate it either. And Mistborn I loved…

      Most of the others I dislike are YA. I find YA has a higher chance to be written poorly when compared to general fiction. I think because a lot of YA is “dumbed down” to basic components of relationships and angst to be relatable. It can be done well, but it can also be done very poorly.

      Like you, I want the story to be told well. I want to be engaged. I want to care about the book and its outcome.

Talk bookish to me!