A book you hated
I am just going to state upfront that just because I hate a book doesn’t mean the book has no value. That’s a given. Reading is a relatively subjective activity. We all bring our own personalities and sensibilities and biases to the books we are reading. Also, I think it’s only fair that I only consider the books that I’ve finished in this category. My book club awards two prizes at the end of every reading year (usually late June). We give a prize for the book we enjoyed reading the most and one for the book we enjoyed reading least. Clearly if you haven’t actually read the book it’s not fair to say you didn’t enjoy reading it. I make a sincere effort to read every book club book because I want in on the discussion and that’s hard to do if you haven’t read the book. But there have been duds.
My friend, Michelle, who womans the delightful food blog Bite, picked one such book a few years back: The White Iris. The hysterical thing about it was her sheer delight in the book and the fact that she was positive, adamant even, that she was going to walk away with the prize for best loved book that year. She won a prize all right. My short and scathing review of the book can be found here.
Generally speaking, I don’t get rid of books. It’s a thing; don’t judge me. Unfortunately, I don’t have limitless space and so every once and awhile I do have to cull. Usually I get rid of mysteries I won’t read again (Harlen Coben, stuff like that) or books I’ve read, didn’t particularly like and wouldn’t ever pass on (like The White Iris). Sometimes a book I didn’t like remains on my shelf – I like the author or it’s a hardcover (I know, I have weird standards!) So – looking at what’s on my shelves currently:
I hated Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon and it pains me to say it because I LOVED her novel Promise Not to Tell. Promise Not To Tell was everything Dismantled was not but I kept at the latter because it was Jennifer McMahon and how could it NOT be as amazing as Promise Not to Tell (a dozen copies of which I hand sold when I worked at Indigo.) I talk about Dismantled here. I talk about Promise Not to Tell here. Dismantled remains on my bookshelf out of my loyalty to Promise Not to Tell. I have high hopes for McMahon’s novel Island of Lost Girls which is on my tbr shelf.