Since I’ve been ruminating over which 8 books I’d save (the favorites come to mind quickly), I’ve remembered some I would throw over the deck first, if it were either the books or someone’s life. This is just my personal preference, they’re all quality stories, well-written, (except for #4) with huge followings. Each book listed here is so popular, I really had to wonder at the time why I didn’t “get it.” Older and wiser, I think we all are entitled to preference.
Book 1. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Not a page-turner for me, I was unable to make it to the all-important halfway mark! A GUY I liked in college loved this book and I couldn’t connect with it. Could have helped the small talk.
Book 2. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I just couldn’t slug through to the end (but I LOVE Animal, Vegetable, Miracle). I felt so confused at the time. How could I defy Oprah this way? I’m over that.
Book 3. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Gratuitous violence amid otherwise decent plot development. I was not compelled to finish the series, which is annoying.
Book 4. Twilight by someone, I’m not going to take the time to look it up. I read enough to say I can’t believe the world needed this when it has the magnificent Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice.
Book 5. The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. I understood it, I just didn’t like it. It strikes me now that people aren’t still talking about it. Wouldn’t that be the mark of a really excellent book, to be popular years later, after its initial hoopla?
Book 6. Eragon by Christopher Paolini. I turned all 528 pages, just so I could talk dragon with kids who might need that. No one has ever needed that. I love that a kid wrote it, however.
Book 7. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. It just fell flat for me, like they were wax people, which was probably the mood he was attempting to strike. I even tried the movie (gasp!) and couldn’t get through that. I feel numb. I could watch Leonardo DiCaprio, himself watching tv, and think he was brilliant portraying that role.
Book 8. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. This one pains me the most. Stephen King loves it, and I understand why. The writing is so beautiful and it pulls you in, but so much so that you forget what he was talking about in the first place. I couldn’t get through it, and I’ve heard it has a disappointing ending.
You know, I really love books. Thank goodness for variety. What would this world be if we all liked the same things? Is there any one book everyone would agree is excellent? It’s doubtful. I respect that all of these books were a labor of love and their publication is a feat for the author, to be applauded. Not everyone likes my writing, but some do. I understand that, but I sure feel like a hypocrite putting down any accomplished writer’s work!
I wish I were in a book club. Does anyone know of a good one on WordPress, or elsewhere online?