Recommending Books I Didn’t Like

orangutan list

Well, I’ve been a bit negative lately, so I thought it would be a good idea to try and turn things around. I was completely inspired by an amazing video by Elliot Brooks over on booktube to start recommending books I don’t like. And since I always say that other people might like books I give 2 bananas, I thought it was time for me to put my bananas where my mouth is and recommend some books I don’t like… or something that sounds less like I’m just stuffing my face 😉 And I’m gonna try to do it all while standing on one leg not insulting any of these books. Wish me luck!

love_in_the_time_of_cholera

Love in a Time of Cholera– an exquisitely written book with distinct characters- I just didn’t like it because I hate stream of consciousness- but if that’s your jam, I’m sure you’ll love it!

mrs dalloway

Mrs Dalloway– similarly, no one can dispute that Woolf was an incredible writer (her twists on imagery is second to none), but I just can’t stand stream of consciousness.

sun also rises

The Sun Also Rises– again, I’ve made no secret of the fact I’m not a fan of pared-down writing. In fact, I’ve spoken at length about how I think there’s a Fitzgerald-Hemmingway divide– people tend to like one or the other! So if you’re not a fan of Fitzgerald, chances are you’ll love this. Plus, even I, with my biases, can see that the characterisation is incredibly realistic and fascinating.

lonely hearts hotel

Lonely Hearts Hotel– oof it hurts my soul that I didn’t love this book, because O’Neill is a very talented writer- I’m just not her target audience. This may well be for people who love post-modernism.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian

Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian– there were a number of reasons why I didn’t click with this book: namely that I was too old for this middle grade and it felt too rooted in American culture for me to get- sorry! But if you are the target demographic, it’ll probably work for you (goodness knows the ratings on Goodreads suggest as much!)

dune

Dune– another one that pains me to admit I didn’t like! Dune is *classic* sci fi material- I just couldn’t get on with the writing style! But if you want interesting ideas, this is the way to go.

Watchmen_HC

Watchmen– I’ve never been able to figure out why I didn’t like this one (even though I thought Moore’s other famous graphic novel, V for Vendetta, was incredible). Perhaps if you give it a go it’ll work better for you- there’s plenty of people that’ll tell you it’s a classic!

Steelheart

Steelheart– this one is *super easy* to recommend because 1) I love Sanderson 2) it’s brilliantly written and 3) the plot is amazing. The only reason I didn’t love it is because I personally didn’t connect with the characters- but that’s no fault of the book! So, if you’re looking for a genius take on superheroes, you can’t go wrong with this!

magician's guild

Magician’s Guild– kind of cheating, cos I ended up loving this series- but that’s why I continue to recommend the first one even though I didn’t like it! It gets so much better!!

The_goldfinch_by_donna_tart

Goldfinch– I personally didn’t connect with this because of its length, but having read (and adored) the Secret History, I’m actually pretty keen to revisit the Goldfinch. Regardless of whether it ends up being for me or not, I think Tartt is a class act and worth reading.

communist manifesto

The Communist Manifesto– yeahhh I’m going there, cos why the heck not? I’m definitely not recommending that you become a communist, but I trust people to check it out for themselves and not take my word for it that it’s *bad* (looks like I failed at not insulting the books on this list 😉)

Gosh that was a challenging post to do! Do you agree or disagree with my choices? (I know I’m certainly questioning everything I’ve written here 😉) And do you have any books you didn’t like that you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments!

6 for 6 – June Mini Reviews

So what with my blogging slump and generally being behind with reviews in general (there are just so many!!), I am very excited to do my June mini reviews. In case you’ve not seen this before, this is just my way of catching up on my ridiculous backlog of unreviewed books. Anyhoo, since I’m currently being buried under the weight of the *insane* number of books I have here, let’s get on with it!

my everest.gif

scorpio races

Scorpio Races– first off, this was a very enjoyable and unique- so massive kudos for that! Unfortunately there were gaps in the world building and too many things that went unexplained or didn’t make total sense, which ended up taking me out of the story from time to time. In the end, suspending my disbelief wasn’t as easy as I would have liked and I found it hard to orient myself with regards to the setting. Furthermore, while it was beautifully written, it could be a bit long winded at times. This meant I struggled to relate to the characters as well. I know this may sound like I didn’t like it, but trust me, I did. I just felt that while this was decent, it didn’t blow me away.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

summer shadows

Summer Shadows– so I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this on my blog before, but this is a fun series. That said, like most series that runs on an average concept (psychics with soulmates basically), it can be hit and miss. This particular book started out well. For the last two books, there had been hints (well more like *neon signs*) that Summer, the protagonist here, had a secret. And I have to say that secret didn’t disappoint. What disappointed was the rest of the book- because once said secret was revealed, the story took a total nosedive. The big mission that had been promised for two books was a total shitshow (not in a good way). Add to that a lousy love interest and a main character that ended up being a complete prat and getting on my nerves and you have for a lousy conclusion to a series. Maybe if the premise interests you, read book 1 and leave it at that.

Rating: 2/5 bananas

 hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

dark-places-book-cover

Dark Places– if you’re familiar with Flynn’s work, you’ll know that she is pretty much incapable of writing a bad book or fumbling her prose. This book was as eloquently written as Gone Girl, if a tad long winded with the flashback sequences. Ultimately, though, I liked the Russian doll effect of telling a story this way. Plus, I have to say you never really know if a thriller’s good till the end and this had a very dramatic ending. I saw parts of the big reveal coming, but not all of it, especially not how it all linked together, so I was ultimately very satisfied with this one.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

 hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

demons

Demons– well if you’re familiar with Dostoevsky, you’ll know that a huge proportion of what makes his books special are the characters. So it was really unfortunate that I struggled to connect with the characters in this one. I did really like Nik, was intrigued by Dostoevsky’s- as usual- insightful philosophy and found the book’s examination of god and nihilism fascinating. But I think my experience was ruined by two things: migraines and the old, clunky style it was written in. Neither of which things can be attributed to Dostoevsky- he’s off the hook completely here- but it did mean I struggled to get through it. For the most part, what I don’t blame on my own head, I blame on the translator- who I found out halfway through reading it hadn’t even got the title totally right (he’d translated it as “Possessed” when the verb in Russian is supposed to be more like “Possessor” aka Demons/Devils). So I wasn’t in love with this one, but given this is my 5th Dostoevsky, I can’t be expected to love every single one and loving 4/5 is still a good record.

Rating: 3½/5 bananas

 hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana half-a-hand-drawn-banana

dune

Dune– *deep breath* everyone: I didn’t connect with this one- I just felt like it hasn’t aged well. The writing style felt stale and was really, really not my thing. It was too dry for me to relate to the characters or the plot… so I didn’t enjoy it at all I’m afraid. Also I had to deduct bananas for having one of those sand snake monster things (maybe even inventing them… I subsequently blame this book for the 80s) #sorrynotsorry

Rating: 2/5 bananas

 hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

finding cinderella

Finding Cinderella– Now I have to say when I downloaded this one I didn’t realise it was a novella and that it was part of a series- I just saw “Colleen Hoover” and “free”- my mistake! That said, judging it on its own, it’s got to be the weirdest starts to a relationship ever… In fact it’s just about one of the weirdest story I’ve ever read. In short, the plot was weird with this one.

Rating: 2/5 bananas

 hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

So not as many great books this month (I gave more bananas in my last set of mini reviews and there were fewer books!) but I hope you enjoyed that anyway! Have you read any of these? Did you like them? Let me know in the comments!