What’s great about my job is I’m surrounded by people that love books, recommend good books, and share those books with abandon. So I often have great books to read and then write about on my Friday weekend reads posts.
Folks, today is not one of those Fridays.
Because as a reader sometimes we come across bad books. And I’m been very unlucky recently and happened to read two really bad ones.
Putting Away Childish Things: A Tale of Modern Faithby Marcus J. Borg. I had high hopes for this one, I really did. There were many ideas that could have been turned into a great book. But that didn’t happen. I stopped around page 50 because I just could.not.go.on. I felt apathetic toward the characters, especially the main character, the dialogue was weird and unrealistic, and transitions were completely awkward. I understand transitions can be hard to write (try teaching it to seventh graders!), but dang, it was painful to read. From reading some reviews in preparation for this post, it seems that this is Borg’s first attempt at fiction. He’s apparently an accomplished non-fiction writer. I suggest he sticks with what he knows best.
Prospect Park Westby Amy Sohn. I’m not going to lie, I love a good soap opera-esq fiction every once in a while. Especially when it’s summer time and I’m sitting out by the (baby) pool, I like to read some fluff. But this was beyond fluff and I actually felt myself getting dumber while reading this book. Which is why I stopped. Plus, it was overtly sexual in an unnecessary way. And that opinion is coming from someone who read (and liked!) the Fifty Shades of Grey series. So I think that says a lot. It was weird and shallow and I hated every character I met. And that’s not always a bad thing, but with everything else this book was lacking, it was just too much. Just don’t waste your time, seriously.
Saying bad things about someone’s writing is always tricky. It’s hard to write and it’s so personal that I feel I’m just being mean when I say something isn’t good. And, really, someone probably likes these books. But I’m not sure why.
If you happen to be a part of Good Reads, do you post bad reviews? I love that website and post all my reviews there, I find it helpful and love reading what other people thought of a book I read. A couple months ago, I read and posted a review about Girl, Stolen by April Henry. Thankfully, I liked the book and didn’t say anything bad about it because the author found my review on Good Reads and emailed me to talk about it! Seriously, she emailed me to talk about my thoughts on the book. It was like the holy grail of dorky English teacher moments. I still get giddy when I think about it.
Have you read any bad books recently?