At this time of the year it seems like everyone is making lists of the best books of the year, but we thought it would be interesting to talk a little about books that were our least favorite. Most readers end up with a few books each year that they didn't like. Sometimes it's because they thought, based on description of the book, it was a different kind of book. Other times, the book just did not stand up to expectations. Here are our favorite least favorites of the year.
Go Gently: Actionable Steps to Nurture Yourself and the Planet
by Bonnie Wright
Written by the Harry Potter actress, this book caught my eye because I’m always looking for new ways to reduce my negative impact on the environment. However, what we get is a rarified glimpse into a California lifestyle that few of us could ever attain. This book appeared to be more about a posed and perfected photo shoot, than practical take-aways. None of the information was new. If you have disposable income and are home all day, then maybe . . .
by Victoria Aveyard
I really wanted to like this book, because I absolutely loved
Aveyard's Red Queen series. However, although I think the series got off to a
promising start with Realm Breaker, ultimately I just did not enjoy Blade
Breaker. It felt like there was too little focus on the characters, which were
the most interesting part of the original book, and it felt like there were too
many characters for me to really stay engaged with them all. I would not
necessarily tell someone I recommend they do not read this book, but I
certainly would not tell them I enjoyed in either.
Of Men and Monsters
by Tom Deady
The book follows a mother and her two sons fleeing an abusive father to an East Coast town to start a new life. The story was predictable and even with the Lovecraftian horror element it still failed to grip me as tension was never properly built for me. I actually felt the cover gave away too much of the story and was not surprised by the ending.
The Me I Choose To Be
by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley, Regis Bethencourt (Contributor)
The author of this book wrote "I Love My Hair!" and I thought for sure I would enjoy this but the verbiage is not really something I could relate to nor understand.
by Joan Johnston
Texas Woman by Joan Johnston was a let down for me. I read the first two books in her series and thought the main characters were intriguing. But once I got to this last book, I could not sympathize with the main character. She was not as interesting as her sisters in the first two books.
Give Unto Others
by Donna Leon
This is the 31st
of the Commissario Guido Brunetti series, a crime fiction series that takes
place in Venice, Italy. I really enjoy her books and love the main
character, but this one moved more slowly that the rest of her books. It
was still an enjoyable book but it didn't keep my interest as the other ones
have. One thing I do like is that her writing makes you feel like you're
actually in Venice so you learn a lot about the city and feel like you're on a
by Timothy Zahn
As much as I tried to like this book, it just didn’t pull me in. I found myself simply not caring about any of the characters or events of the story. Highly disappointing.
The Girl Who Reads on the Métro: A Novel
by Christine Féret-Fleury
This is not a bad book by any means. I just did not understand that I would be reading a book that was part fairy tale. It is charming, but just not for me.
Lucy by the Sea
I feel like I know Lucy Barton after reading so many of these books. I generally like her spare prose and the way she can convey emotion without being overly emotional (if that makes sense). I struggled to finish this book, but that may be because COVID is still too present and too recent for me to want to be immersed in that again while I am reading fiction.
The Midnight Library
by Matt Haig
I think the concept of a multiverse is exciting, but when Haig’s protagonist Nora stumbles upon a strange library that gives her the chance to explore the many different paths her life might have taken, simply by peeking inside the books that line the shelves, she’d rather not. Not at first, not until a mysterious librarian coaxes her to do it, and even then, she mostly encounters dead ends and disappointment. Granted, Nora is struggling with depression, so I suppose I should cut the character some slack, but for a relatively short novel, clocking in at just over 300 pages, I thought it was a bit of a slog. Just my opinion and I’d love to chat with anyone who feels otherwise. (For anybody who’s in the market for a fun take on the multiverse, I’d advise you to check out the film Everything Everywhere All at Once starring Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan.)
Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness
by Joshua Wolf Shenk
This is one of those books that had a fascinating premise. However, a dry writing style and over abundance on well-known facts about Lincoln betrayed the premise. Unless you're a total Lincoln nerd give this one a hard pass.
About the Author
Katherine is the Social Media Coordinator and has been working at EPL since 2008. She loves books, especially ones with unique plots and those written so well that she can't put them down.