So far this year I have read 285 books, not all of them have stood out for the right reasons, so I’ve decided to make a list of the 10 worst books I have read this year, basically these books have annoyed me or made me downright angry in one way or another. Before I start with this list, it is entirely subjective, it is just books I disliked and became quite grumpy with, and would advise people to avoid there are some books considered to be almost classics on this list.
Onto the list the 10 worst of 2014 in no particular order:
- Hare with the amber eyes – http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=hare+with+the+amber+eyes – I genuinely love being part of my book group mostly because it makes me read new and different things, which is mostly awesome until you come to the hare with the amber eyes – normally met with rave reviews I hated this book it is pretentious and egotistical and it doesn’t really tell you a lot about the items themselves. There is an interesting chapter about being in Vienna during the war but it doesn’t redeem the book from being in the most part a work of self involved drivel. Now I realise I’m in a minority with this book on the whole my book group really enjoyed it and were fascinated with the concept of Netsuke and the idea of tracing your family history through an object, for some reason though me and this book did not get on and it was a pure battle of wills between me and it for me to finish.
- Your Lover – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Your-Lover-1-v/dp/1600091903/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418587125&sr=8-1&keywords=your+lover+manga – the only manga on this list, I really enjoy reading manga, especially really romantic cheesy manga’s so when I picked this up at the local library I thought I was in for a treat. However it is a creepily written story about someone who wants to date his dead brothers ex that has far too many cheesy exposition moments that look like bad mills and boon cover photo’s see the example posted below for the true horror of this manga
- Beyond the past (pam charles) – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beyond-Past-Pam-Charles-ebook/dp/B00LBFWP42/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418586787&sr=8-1&keywords=pam+charles This book was so bad I didn’t even finish reading it but it makes this list because another book I read this year was nominated for the bad sex in fiction award and although at the time I thought the nomination may have been slightly deserved I tried reading this horror of a book and realised that it may have been hard done too (no pun intended) the book reads like an attempt at novel writing made by a second rate GCSE student and has a sex scene where a penis is referred to as an “erect piece”. This crime novel is one to avoid indeed. Another exceptionally irritating thing about this book is her constant references to rugby all the men have the physiques of rugby players, were rugby players or are rugby players which is all well and good but you do not need to be reminded of it every other sentence, there are other descriptions.
- Bricks and Mortals – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bricks-Mortals-Great-Buildings-People/dp/1408843668/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418588015&sr=8-1&keywords=bricks+and+mortals I Read this book because it was longlisted for the guardian first book award this year, I was excited to read it as it is billed as a journey through architecture by looking at 10 famous buildings. However it isn’t that book, it reads as an overly wordy attempt at an undergraduate thesis. It uses the buildings as a jumping off point and then doesn’t discuss the building at all it also is very keen at forcing the authors opinions on you as fact a thing that always makes me angry with books. In fact I am still angry that I wasted a significant amount of my time reading this book. Also I don’t mind learning new words or even looking words up one of my favourite guardian books last year was Money and I basically had to sit with a dictionary while I read it, but in this book it feels like he throws in big complicated words to make himself feel clever he uses them to describe perfectly simple concepts and this again annoys me, what the hell is deliquescence anyway?
- The good inn – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Good-Inn-Black-Francis/dp/1906838860/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418588471&sr=8-1&keywords=the+good+inn – the first of 2 comics on this list and one that promised so much it is published by self made hero (my favourite publishers) and is co-written by the pixies frontman. This is more novel with pictures than graphic novel and has a really excellent premise linking an incident on a battleship with nitrocellulose and the first porn film. However it all goes down hill from there the story doesn’t make sense and it doesn’t link the 2 events together very well. This is so annoying because it has the potential to be really brilliant and it isn’t even mediocre
- After me comes the flood – http://www.amazon.co.uk/After-Comes-Flood-Sarah-Perry/dp/1846689457/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418588861&sr=8-1&keywords=after+me+comes+the+flood – Another Guardian longlisted book, billed as chilling and psychological this is a bit of a hot mess of a book. Again it is an idea with promise about a strange journey, however unlike some novels that will be mentioned in my top 10 list this doesn’t achieve it. The book has a nonsensical plot and 2 dimensional characters that you are not interested in, it just doesn’t feel like the book goes anywhere. A book that feels like it is trying to hard to be art and when books so obviously try to do that they very rarely succeed
- The Magicians – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Magicians-Book-1-Lev-Grossman/dp/0099534444/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418589345&sr=1-1&keywords=the+magician+lev+grossman Another book group book although I don’t think they will be grumpy with me for putting this one in as they didn’t like it either. I felt that this book read like an Americanised harry potter where they annoyingly shout USA USA! Repeatedly whilst learning about magic. Again there is a gem of a decent idea in this book and I don’t know if books where the basic premise is good but the writing is bad annoy me more than just terrible books. It feels like this is lazily written if he had put more effort in there might have been something worth reading here as it is, it’s one to avoid. In fact if you want to read a book with the title Magician read the Magician by Raymond Feist it’s much better.
- The Iceberg – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Iceberg-Memoir-Marion-Coutts/dp/1782393501/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418716600&sr=8-1&keywords=the+iceberg – I feel quite bad, saying something horrible about this book as is a work of non-fiction about the authors husband dying of a brain tumour. However the book is written weirdly as a kind of self involved work of art and doesn’t really due justice to the terrible things that happened to them.
- Unbearable lightness of being – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Unbearable-Lightness-Being-Milan-Kundera/dp/0571135390/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418717834&sr=8-1&keywords=unbearable+lightness+of+being This book is so terrible I don’t know where to start – this is billed as a modern classic but reads like a more childish and whiny version of the catcher in the rye, with a horrible set of protagonists that it is impossible to like. I feel like some of the concepts in this book are similar to the work of the graphic novelist Jason (definitely someone to check out) however Jason manages to convey depths of emotions and complicated character development with no words and Milan Kundera cannot touch that level of art with the thousands of words he has written here. I feel that this is going to be another book like war and peace in a couple of years time when you ask me about it I’ll say oh yeah I’ve read that it’s a book based in the Czech republic.
- Fog town – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fogtown-Vertigo-Crime-Bradley-Rader/dp/1401229506/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418717855&sr=8-1&keywords=fogtown – This is the second graphic novel on the list, one of Vertigo’s trade crime paperbacks, like Ian Rankin’s dark entries (which is awesome). This comic is written in the film nourish style made popular in comics by books like sin city, however that is where the comparison ends. This is a clichéd attempt at writing a noirish detective story that doesn’t really work, despite it frantically signposting its noir ishness. The story is silly and again doesn’t really link into being a cogent plot.