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Topic: 2009 Duds

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Subject: 2009 Duds
Date Posted: 11/23/2009 3:18 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,757
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Sharz's thread on the good books of 2009 made me thing we should have a bad book list as well!  LOL!  What duds did you read this year?  Mine are -

1.  Perfume: The Story of A Murderer, Patrick Suskind.  Frankly, I found this book really, really odd.

2.  As Meat Loves Salt, Maria McCann.  I know this is a favorite around here, but it annoyed me.  I found it really slow moving, and the zillion loose ends the author left still makes me crazy thinking about them. 

3.  The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette, Carrolly Erickson.  I found this really light, fluffy and kind of boring.  Ms. Erickson's Marie was somewhat stupid. 

4.  The Worst Hard Time, Timothy Egan.  Again, another one a lot of people here seemed to enjoy.  I found it really dull. I didn't finish it.

5.  The Virgin Blue, Tracy Chevalier.  I didn't like this one.  I didn't like that much of the book was told in the present day, and I didn't like the main character. 

 

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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What a hoot! I love this category.

  1. Perfume by Patrick Suskind - has to an all-time DUD record for me
  2. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
  3. Blood Royal by Elisabeth McNeill
  4. Death of a Gossip by MC Beaton
  5. Knights of the Black and White by Jack Whyte
Date Posted: 11/23/2009 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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Threads: the Reincarnation of Anne Boleyn by Nell Gavin.  Bad, bad, bad - need I say more.

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2009
Posts: 388
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Good idea! For some reason, this is easier than remembering my faves!

 

1. Abundance: a novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund- This is my worst book for 2009. Midway through, I stopped liking Marie Antoinette. By the end, even I was rooting for her to be executed.

 

2. An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears- This wasn't awful, but it could've been so much better. I heard all the hype about it and kept waiting for it to be as awesome as everyone said it was. The first quarter of the book was great, and then it just dragged from there.  The ending just about killed me, though. It felt like a cop-out.

 

3. The First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough- Again, not awful, but it was one of only two books that I began and then couldn't finish this year. I kept waiting to care about the characters, and by page 350, it just hadn't happened yet. By then I figured it never would.

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 4:35 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,479
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Allow me to immediately list my 2 rejects for the Headless Ladies topic:

1. The Other Eden by Sarah Bryant - just too slow moving for me .

2. Dancing With Kings by Eva Stachniak  - about a courtesan so  lots of sex, sex and more sex!

3. As Meat Loves Salt by Maria MaCann- this should come as no surprise to anyone.

4. Farewell My Queen by Chantal Thomas - found it quite boring

5. Don't Look Back By Karin Fossum - a mystery/thriller with an absolutely terrible ending.

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 4:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
Posts: 482
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I don't know if I've read 5 bad books this year, but dishonorable mentions go to:

1. Murder on Lenox Hill - Victoria Thompson (bit of a snoozefest)

2. the first half of Gods Behaving Badly - Marie Phillips (though I ended up liking it after the halfway mark)

3. Color of the Sea - John Hamamura (really not a bad book, but there are other books on this subject that are MUCH better)

4. The Delivery Man - Joe McGinniss (I was totally underwhelmed)

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 11/23/2009 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 41,129
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I can't believe I forgot to list the worse one Fat White Vampire Blues. Just awful.

This is easier than the best ones:

Seduced by Magic - Cheyenne McCray - so bad I threw it in the trash. I did take it out though.

Atonement - Ian McEwan

Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey N.

Nothing else was all that back. Pillars of Earth wasn't that great, just too long.



Last Edited on: 11/25/09 9:10 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/23/2009 5:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Dewey: The Small Town Cat Who Touched the World - Myron (read this based on overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon; was completely underwhelmed and disappointed)

Finger Lickin' Fifteen - Evanovich (unfortunately, this series has run way past its prime, notwithstanding hot, sexy Morelli and Ranger)

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming - Jackson (story just didn't make sense)

Perfume - Suskind (ditto Shelley and Genie)

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane - Howe (my high hopes totally dashed by ridiculous ending)



Last Edited on: 11/24/09 8:54 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/23/2009 5:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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The Sunflower - Richard Paul Evans (predictable and poor writing)

The Tales of Beedle the Bard - J.K. Rowling (completely underwhelmed the whole family)

The Mill on the Floss - Eliot

A Fortunate Age - Rakoff (yawn)

Mozart's Sister - Moser

Royal Harlot - Susan Holloway Scott

 

Thanks for the heads up on Perfume, Meat/Salt and Threads . . . all have been on my list to check out from the library. This way if I do give them a try and find I am not enjoying them it will be easier and quicker for me to make a decision on whether to stick it out or not :-)



Last Edited on: 11/24/09 8:59 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 11/23/2009 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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Alice, I'm sorry you didn't like Time Traveler's Wife.  It's my all time favorite book.  I think it's definitely a love it or hate it type book - no middle ground.

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,503
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So far the worst has to be An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon.  Nothing else comes close in awfulness for this year thus far!

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 8:20 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,757
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Regarding The Time Traveler's Wife, I sure hope I'm in the "love" group. I just received this book as part of my gift through the Secret Santa at VideoFitness.com!  LOL! 

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 11/23/2009 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 41,129
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I read the book for my book group and we were split. I didn't like any of the characters other than the Korean landlady and the daughter. I got really tired of the constant jumping to new times. Just depends on what you like

Alice

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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I always find it interesting what I like and dislike compared to the rest of the group. I loved As Meat Loves Salt. I also really enjoyed The Traveler's Wife.

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,479
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There's probably a diagnosis in there somewhere, Genie. ; )  LOL

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 10:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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I agree Genie -- it's interesting to see what people like and dislike.  I absolutely loved Time Traveler's Wife and Instance of the Fingerpost -- two of my favorite books.  And I'm really hoping that I'll like As Meat Loves Salt since I just received it from another PBS member.

Date Posted: 11/23/2009 10:37 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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As much as this pains me to say "Echo In The Bone" has been my biggest disappointment this year.  I had high expectation for this books as most of you know. 

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 1:05 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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Excellent thread -- it will help me push books to the bottom of the TBR pile. 

My worst 5 .. well, there weren't five.  I've been reading a lot more reveiws this year (Amazon, here, and other historical fiction sites) and it has helped me select books I enjoy.  But the stinkers were:

1. Time Traveler's Wife.  The one time I DIDN'T read reviews, and I should have.  The things I hated about the book were well articulated there, if I had looked.  But I just grabbed it in an airport prior to a flight.  When you've read or positively rejected all of the airport's anemic HF selections ... that's what happens.

2.  The Border Lord's Bride -- Bertrice Small.  (I was in the mood for a romance, but I really should have known better.)

3. Illinois by Dana Fuller Ross.

By FAR my biggest disappointment:  An Echo in the Bone.  I won't put it on the stinker list, because it was better than that.  It just fell SO far short of her prior work.



Last Edited on: 11/24/09 1:06 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/24/2009 7:34 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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There's probably a diagnosis in there somewhere, Genie. ; )  LOL

Yeah, well, I never said I was sane. hehehe

>;-)

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 11/24/2009 8:14 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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Arika and Deb, I am reading Pears's Dream of Scipio. It is really good so far. I will have to read his other one to see who I agree with, lol.

My least favorite books of 2009 were:

  1. World with Out End by Ken Follett. I had a love/hate relationship with this book. It was well written with an intense storyline. But it read like a soap opera, not something I care for.  I wound up skipping the predictable/soap operish parts and reading the rest of it. Parts of it were interesting, and I read it very quickly even though it was over 1000 pages.
  2. Poe's Shadow by Matthew Pearl. I was really disapointed in this one. I loved his first book the Dante Club, but I had to drag myself through this one.
  3. Death of a Colonial by Bruce Alexander. I still havent finished it. It is predictable if you have read his other books. I almost felt like he ran out of ideas and just used his other story lines for this one.
  4. A Man Lay Dead by Ngaio Marsh. kind of a blah mystery.
  5. Portrait of a Lady by Diane Stuckart. Another book I was kinda disapointed in. Wasnt a horrible book, but the story didnt seem to flow nicely.

 

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 9:26 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2008
Posts: 772
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1. Lord of the Silver Bow (Troy #1) by David Gemmell

2. Shield of Thunder (Troy #2) by David Gemmell

3. The Fall of Kings (Troy #3) by David Gemmell


Why did I keep reading them? Good question! Incurable optimism, I guess.

4. We Speak No Treason by Rosemary Hawley Jarman (after awhile, the flaming romanticism got to be as painful as biting on aluminum foil)

5. Uncertain Magic by Laura Kinsale (hist romance with a bloody deus ex machina with avenging pixies! I bleep you not! The author is really hyped, so I was expecting much better)

Dishonorable, forgotten mention: Sacajawea by Anna Lee Waldo. I've zipped through & loved doorstoppers like A House Divided by Ben Ames Williams & Freedom by William Safire, but Waldo's book was suicide-by-boredom inducing by page 300.



Last Edited on: 11/24/09 11:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/24/2009 9:52 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Can you still do the Duds list if you didn't finish reading the book? I very rarely finish a book that I don't enjoy reading. Too many books!

Calling a book a dud when I didn't finish reading it seems unfair. Of course, now you'll all know that I didn't finish reading my duds so it doesn't really matter. I really should have just considered all of this in my head instead of typing as I thought. lol

I'm going to look over my Book Catalog and come back with my list.

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 10:00 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Definitely Echo in the Bone. Other than that I put my duds here and here on Amazon. I find it very theraputic

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 10:28 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2008
Posts: 772
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Cathy, I see Rhett Butler's People is on your list. I tried that one on audiobook and while the narrator was horrible, I could tell the stuff he was reading wasn't much to write home about either.

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,479
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Valli - I did not complete those first 2 duds that I put on my list. I figured that if it seemed like a dud by 100 pages, nothing was going to redeem it!

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