So following on from the interest in this last year, I have compiled a Best and Worst of 2015 again and will be starting with the worst this year, So far to date I have read 311 books and these are the ones that received the lowest overall ratings from me, in nearly all exceptions that doesn’t make them bad books just maybe not to my taste, so without further a do, in descending order from the least worst to most, are my top 10 terrible reads of 2015:
10) Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume- I read this book as it was on the Guardian book award longlist and this is one of the things that interest me and my reading group as it’s how we came into existence as a book club. This is not a truly terrible book, but it does seem to be going for the overly artsy literary award winning style of writing, which just isn’t really to my taste, I don’t think this book made a vast amount of sense or much of a point, that said its a quick read and just really isn’t my thing as opposed to a bad read in general, although it received relatively low rating from all my reading group. A story of one man and his dog on a road trip, included is the link if it sounds of interest.
9) Tenth of December by George Saunders – Again another book club book (sorry book club, but there are some of our reads on the other list as well). This is a book of short stories, which ordinarily really appeal to me especially short story anthologies as it’s how I discover a lot of new authors. These however didn’t really do it again, although the odd story was well written and captured the interest I found most to be quite boring and thought the collection as a whole suffered from the trying to be overly artsy again, artsy itself is not a bad thing but when the attempt takes over from the content the book loses out and this is what happened here for me again the link is included below.
8) Days of Bagnold Summer by Joff Winterheart – This is another book group book from the Hubby’s book club this time and it suffers from being tedious, it tells the story of a single mum and her grotty teenage son over a summer in the form of short comic strips, but there is nothing that overly stands out about the story it’s not terrible it’s just forgettable and feels like a bot of chore to read. I have such little feelings about it I’m struggling for anything more to say.
Now we’ll move onto the books that actually made me slightly grumpy.
7) Grey by E L James – I am of the opinion that as long as you read that’s the important thing and I’m not ashamed to admit that I rather like both Twilight and the original 50 shades trilogy to the extent that I have read them more than once and seen the movies at the cinema, so I was rather excited to get a book from the mans point of view but this book is just a disappointment she essentially has just copied and pasted the first novel changed some names around and added the odd sentence here and there from the mans point of view, leaving the novel feeling exactly like what it is a cash grabbing idea from someone who hasn’t managed to come up with an original idea for a book.
6)Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham – So this book caused a bit of a controversy when it came out and having recently discovered the Genius of Caitlin Morans writing I thought I’d give this book a try and in this book Lena Dunham is trying to put a funny spin on growing up as a slightly awkward young woman, which is a fascinating idea. The trouble is she isn’t funny and the book itself is again a little insipid and underwhelming, there is no real shock value here which makes you wonder if the controversy may not have been encouraged to aid sales.
5)DMT the spirit Molecule by Rick Strassman – I find a lot of the whole Psychedelic research stuff really interesting alongside with books about consciousness and why we think, and have recently read a few books along the theme, there is also a documentary based on this book which if you are interested I would advise watching rather than picking up this book, as it shows you the interesting aspects of the story without the authors increasingly self indulgent tone creeping in. The book starts off quite scientifically and discusses the affects of various psychedelics on the brain and the search for the soul/spirit using them, and even sets itself up as a scientific study. However it doesn’t carry on this theme, the second half of the book is essentially the author liking to listen to himself talk and pose a series of ever more unrealistic silly points based on very little if any evidence whilst referring to himself as a scientist. Not a book I would recommend when there is infinitely more fascinating writing on this topic easily available.
4) Deep Simplicity by John Gribbin – This is a popular science book about chaos theory, which is a topic I find fascinating although a little hard to follow at times as I am a biologist by training not a maths student, although I have read other books on the topic. This book received a solid 2 star review from me as it doesn’t do enough to make this topic accessible to interested non mathematicians like me which means that it is failing in its purpose as a popular science book.
3)Flex Mentallo by Grant Morrison – Another comic book from the comic book, book club and there’s still one more to come, Although Grant Morrison can be an interesting writer, I really enjoyed his Doom patrol comics and there is elements of Super gods his non fiction writing on the history of comics that are truly fascinating, this comic received one of the few one star reviews (I only gave 5 in total) from me this year and its because the story again loses out to an overly artsy style. However this stands out even worse in a comic book because the artwork in this book wasn’t that great either.
Next are the worst 2 that no longer completely meet my they’re not that bad just not my thing description at the start of this blog, as I truly think these next 2 are terrible books for very different reasons which I’ll describe below
2) The girl in the spiders web by not Stieg Larsson – Again this suffers from a Similar criticism to my one of Grey, in that it is obviously a crash grabbing novel aiming to make money out of the overwhelming success of the original girl with a dragon tattoo trilogy. On it’s own I don’t really have a problem with that I loved the originals so much that a well written follow up would be excellent, the trouble is that Stieg Larssons estate chose the author against the advice of his long term partner who helped him develop the original trilogy and this shows in this novel which made me really angry and also received a really low rating from me. The trouble is I think it’s very disrespectful instead of taking us on another adventure with much loved characters it also goes back and tries to explain back story behind some of our most loved people in the original, now in my opinion if the original author didn’t feel the need to tell us this back story than we don’t need to know it so to go back and try to tell us it anyway isnt being respectful to the source material, especially as his back story is probably just the result of a very lame google search.
and 1) The heart of the Beast by Dean Motter – Another Comic book club pick and the only thing that could knock number 2 off my worst read of the year as this is going down as one of my worst reads of all time. Another book that tries to play with an original story in a different way this time Frankenstein which I don’t think is that great in the original, although even then I don’t think it needed this level of disrespect shown to it. There was absolutely nothing about this Graphic novel that redeemed itself for me, it took a classic story and ruined it, it has terrible art work and is trying to be overly artsy,it’s incredibly 80’s which is amazing as it came out in the 90’s and you can replace the faces of the characters with the worst drawings of pokemon and they would have more expression on their faces than the characters in the book. It is a truly terrible read on many levels and is just a downright awful book.