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20 December 2011

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As my dad likes to say, that's why they make Fords and Chevys. "State of Wonder" will probably make my favorites list this year.

Sherry,
I like your Fords and Chevys version of "different strokes..."

What did you like about State of Wonder? Do you like Ann Patchett otherwise?

this is such a hard category. since i have to read and review so much children's literature, i know the worst books are from that bunch just because everything gets read. Let me go with plot line. rich Manhattan kids who go to private prep schools, drink and take drugs, have lots of sex and hate their parents. my review group would love to talk to NYC kids to see if their live are really like this. Oh, Hillary Duff and Tyra Banks both put out books. They weren't AWFUL, but I heard Duff's book was ghost written, but they were her ideas. I didn't think that's how it worked, but what do I know.

I love reading other people’s “WORST OF” lists, the more scathing, the better. However, I wouldn’t say any books I read this year were bad…they just weren’t right for me. I will mention one book that I read because of this website (mentioned in the comments, you didn’t review it): “In Pale Battalions” by Robert Goddard. I found it disappointing; mostly because I read for plot and I could see (or rather I correctly guessed) all the twists well in advance and found it a little dull.

Oh yeah, I forgot the survey. I read In Pale Battalions after completing it. I was also dissapointed in When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Windam which was actually published in 2011. It got great reviews and many people on goodreads loved it, but it did not appeal to me at all. It had some parts thate were beautifully realized...but I need more than just pretty prose. The story was jumbled, rushed and/or under-written, so a lot of it didn't make sense to me. But again, that is just me.

Worst book I read this year was "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis. And this guy won the Pulitzer and Nobel prizes? AND this book is considered a classic? Shit. This book SUCKS. And don't even think about reading it just to see how bad it is. I will cut you and anyone else who dares read this.

Everything else I read this was just good. Nothing stands out. Good, good, good. And that's not interesting. Well, "Faceless Killers" wasn't too impressive, but I've read worse. "Kavalier and Clay" was awesome. "Tree of Smoke" was awesome. Those are the only ones that made a big impact on me. Then again, a lot of my reading was for school ("Beowulf," "The Prince," "The Iliad," "The Aeneid," "Popul Vuh"), and I'm supposed to think highly of those books, so they don't really count, you know what I mean?

Venta,
I agree. Sometimes it's tough to remember the bad ones unless they REALLY made a bad impression. Can't say the Hillary Duff appeals much but I do kind of get a kick out of Tyra; I saw that her book came out this year and wondered about it. Was it a YA novel?
I too would like to see how those NYC kids are living. I know one thing: pop culture's view of the Midwest in the ABC show "The Middle" doesn't really feel "real" to me, so maybe all the rich NYC kid books aren't all that real either.

Ruthiella,
Well, that's the way a lot of these best and worst book lists work--maybe just not to the specific critics' tastes. Otherwise we'd all just be listing the same books, and what fun would that be? Thanks for the warning re: "In Pale Battalions."

Brandon,
Oh, your threat to cut me takes me back to my public library days when I used to try to kick people off the Internet when their time limit was up. After one woman did tell me she would cut me, I decided really, it was the role of the public library to give people just as much Internet as they wanted, with no time limits. Ah, the good old days.

Thanks for the warning re: Sinclair Lewis. Not an author I'm interested in, and one I keep getting mixed up with Upton Sinclair. I listened to Beowulf on tape and loved the hell out of it. What did you think? And of the Aeneid?

I am glad to see none of the books I like to suggest made any of these worst lists. I see a lot of books that I knew to avoid.

I don't have time to read books that don't interest me, and drop books quickly that don't keep me interested, so I won't have anything to contribute.

Rick,
I hear from more and more people that they don't spend any time with books they aren't enjoying. I drop a lot of books too but sometimes I don't know I hate them until I finish them (really, it was the ending of State of Wonder that pissed me off more than anything else) or I'm enjoying hating them so I keep on. I don't want to know what that says about my personality. :)

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