Worst of 2019

Ah yes, it’s my favorite time of the year. Now is when I can look back on the last year of reading and determine what have been my poorest book choices. Alternate titles for this post include “Books I Read for Bookclub That I Shouldn’t Have Wasted My Time On” and “Why Do We Need This in the World?”

This is a moving image taken from the tv show Portlandia in which Carrie Brownstein's character takes a book from her customer's hands and tosses it to the side.

My list of “worst books” for the year is based on the star rating I gave the book on Goodreads, rather than any particular vendetta against the book, with one notable exception.

The Testaments – aka, the notable exception. I do, in fact, have a vendetta against this book. I wrote a full review that you can read here, but what I didn’t talk about is how angry I am that this book won the Booker Prize. Actually, Margaret Atwood shared the Booker this year with Bernadine Evaristo, who won for Girl, Woman, Other, and is the first African American woman to win the Booker. The Booker is a highly coveted prize in the literary community and brings attention to authors who might otherwise be overlooked by a lot of readers. You know who doesn’t need a Booker? Margaret f*****g Atwood. Imagine being the first African American woman to win this prize and having to share it with a woman so opposed to bringing intersectional feminism into her own works. For more on that, check out this excellent article on Atwood’s white feminism.

Go Set a Watchman – Why was this published? This was completely unnecessary. It was terrible. If you’re a publisher and you want to publish a famous author’s unfinished manuscript or a first draft, I recommend not giving readers a worse version of what they’ve already read. If said author has an unfinished true crime project, GIVE US THAT INSTEAD. That’s what we all wanted anyway. (Truman Capote fans: do not come at me with your nonsense. He did not write To Kill a Mockingbird, but Harper Lee for sure helped him with In Cold Blood.)

Reflected in You – Sigh. I enjoy novels with romance, or romance novels, and novels people don’t want to admit they have read. (Side note: let’s rid ourselves of this romance genre stigma). What I don’t enjoy is reading about destructive people destroying each other and having it romanticized. But also, shame on me for not doing proper research and starting with the second book in the series.

Evvie Drake Starts Over – I feel like I’ve ranted about this book a lot. This is by no means a bad book – I think I just didn’t have a good understanding of what the book was about when I went into it, so I ended up being disappointed. I thought this was going to be a contemporary romance with a plus-sized female, which ended up not being true (I’ve heard from other people that they thought the same thing, so I think this might have been a marketing problem). I also don’t like reading about sports, and baseball featured pretty prominently. The romance itself was a bit disappointing in terms of the steamy scale.

A Well-Behaved Woman – You can check out my Goodreads review about this one, but basically I found this book to be a bit boring and not all it was cracked up to be. I really enjoyed Z: a novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by this author, and I wanted this book to be just as good. Maybe the real problem is that I didn’t find Alva Vanderbilt/Belmont to be an interesting person.

There you have it, the worst of the worst! Well, for me. Everyone has different reading tastes and standards and can like or dislike whatever they want! Just don’t judge me for hating. 🙂

Let me know what your least favorite books of the year have been!

Happy reading/Better luck next year.

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