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The CLUNKERS of 2019

What Are You Reading Now?

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1PaperbackPirate
Dec 30, 2019, 12:32pm Top

For the 14th year in a row, here's the place to post your "clunkers" of the year: the books you just couldn't get through, the ones you threw across the room, or the books you finished but really disliked. Go ahead, tell us how you really feel! :-)

Post one or several and tell us why it gets your vote as a clunker.

Worst of 2006

Worst of 2007

Worst of 2008

Worst of 2009

Worst of 2010

Worst of 2011

Worst of 2012

Worst of 2013

Worst of 2014

Worst of 2015

Worst of 2016

Worst of 2017

Worst of 2018

Remember, one reader's clunker is another reader's treasure!

2krazy4katz
Dec 30, 2019, 8:01pm Top

Pet Whisperer P.I. by Molly Fitz was the first 3 in a series of murder mysteries in 1 volume. Sometimes, when the author tries for cute and funny, it comes out silly and boring. Unfortunate because I love cats and can enjoy a murder mystery if it isn't too gory. This should have worked for me but it just didn't.

3PaperbackPirate
Dec 30, 2019, 9:49pm Top

>2 krazy4katz: Sorry to hear it. Better luck in 2020!

4PaperbackPirate
Dec 30, 2019, 9:52pm Top

My clunker was I'm Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers by Tim Madigan. I read it with my book club and most of us were not fans. My main reason is that it's barely about Mr. Rogers. It's mostly about the author's spiritual journey, and Fred Rogers plays a small role. We were just bummed there wasn't more about Mr. Rogers.

5JulieLill
Edited: Dec 31, 2019, 1:32pm Top

The Instructions- Adam Levin
Alice in Quantamland by Robert Gilmore

6ahef1963
Jan 1, 2:48am Top

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein - I know this book is considered a classic, and at first I was delighted to read about life in Paris, and the artists they knew, etc., but it seemed to turn into a festival of name-dropping and I got bored and irritated.

An Elderly Lady is up to No Good by Helene Tursten - which was supposed to be funny in a catty sort of way, but just seemed stupid, if that isn't too harsh a judgement.

7nancyewhite
Jan 1, 1:31pm Top

The Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith - I was so excited about this based on how much I loved her other recent books. It just didn't do it for me at all. There were some beautiful sentences, but that was about it for me.

>6 ahef1963: I loved An Elderly Lady is up to No Good. Isn't reading life fantastic like that?

8LyndaInOregon
Jan 13, 12:38am Top

Oh, jeeze -- only one?

Actually, I think the biggest disappointment was Bunk, by Kevin Young. It certainly looked like a delightful read -- perhaps somewhat along the lines of Mary Roach’s “Stiff”. Cover says it’s about “the rise of hoaxes, humbug, plagiarists, phonies, post-facts, and fake news”.

Young, however, has chosen to look at these subjects as revelatory of racism within American society.

Now, I have no quibble with the fact that racism is present, pervasive, and pernicious in our culture; nor would I suggest that it’s not a subject worthy of scholarly study. But if I wanted to read a book about racism in America, why would I buy one promoted as the history of hoaxes, from P.T. Barnum to Donald Trump?

9PaperbackPirate
Jan 13, 9:17am Top

>8 LyndaInOregon: Post as many clunkers as you please! Sorry you had so many!

10Molly3028
Jan 13, 10:27am Top

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
was the most disappointing.

11LyndaInOregon
Jan 13, 7:16pm Top

Well, if you insist......

Phoenix and Ashes, Mercedes Lackey:
This mixture of magical creatures existing in WWI -era London is incredibly slow to get off the ground, and not even her well-drawn portrait of a tormented hero can save it.

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen: I tried. I really REALLY tried. "Classic" or not, this is just unreadable.

The Gathering, Anne Enright: Kept waiting for something to happen, but when nothing had by the halfway point, I bailed. A young man from a large family has killed himself and the sister nearest to him in age travels to identify and retrieve his body. The narrative is a series of long rambling scenes from the narrator's childhood, interspersed with conjecture about her maternal grandparents.The whole thing feels kind of like an afternoon wasted in the waiting room of a doctor's office.

That's probably enough. I had 10 DNF in 2019 from a total of 124 books begun.

12ahef1963
Jan 14, 6:17pm Top

>10 Molly3028: I figured out the plot of The Silent Patient halfway through, and finished the book simply because I didn't feel like getting off the sofa and finding something new to read.

>11 LyndaInOregon: Pride and Prejudice has long been a favourite of mine - it was the classic novel that made me realize how much I wanted to major in English at university. It's not everyone's cup of tea! I agree with you about The Gathering - I found it a very dull classic.

13LisaMorr
Jan 17, 3:07pm Top

The redeeming quality for my two clunkers of the year is that they were short:

The Turn of the Screw - too many words for such a short book
Cat Confessions cute pictures, stupid captions

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