So most people do a Year in Review post. I do a Books of the Year in Review post. This year, I'm going to give you my Ten Best and Worst Books I Read in 2008. I also added a link in the sidebar to my full list of books for 2008 (81 total - oh my god, y'all! I need to get out of the house more!) with a rating system (most of which cleverly stolen from Stephanie). I will be starting one for 2009 as soon as possible, because typing all of those in at once was a bitch! For today, we'll do the Ten Worst. Tomorrow, we'll tackle the Ten Best.
Ten Worst Books I Read in 2008
Caveat: I'm exempting books I read because my husband asked me to and the Twilight series, as I've already discussed it here. And here. Although, I just finished Eclipse, and oh my god, y'all, it just gets worse and worse. *Ahem* moving on to the list.
1. The Bride Stripped Bare - Nikki Gemmell - This was recommended to me by a friend and I hated it. It's about a woman who finds out that her husband is cheating on her with her best friend, so she goes out and finds a lover. Then, she gets back to together with her husband and they have a baby. Every character is despicable (except the baby). They have no redeeming characteristics.
2. Tweak - Nic Sheff - A very disturbing portrait of addiction. I read it and then read his father's memoir, Beautiful Boy, about watching his son descend into addiction. As companion pieces, they are compelling. But the overall picture is pretty appalling.
3. Harvesting the Heart - Jodi Picoult - Boring. Predictable. Unlikeable characters.
4. Under the Banner of Heaven - Jon Krakauer - A tremendously unflattering portrait of the Mormon religion. A history and excoriation of the origins and followers of this faith. (Shockingly enough, the church was outraged when it came out. The version I had was updated with Krakauer's defence of his book. Seems he doesn't realize that he wrote a scathing review of their faith.)
5. Love is a Mix Tape - Rob Sheffield - The story of his first marriage to a woman who died very young. Not to disparage his relationship, but the book is awful. It's completely flat and devoid of emotion.
6. Out - Natsuo Kirino - There is something wrong with the person who wrote this book. I mean, WRONG. I don't usually mind a little twistedness, but this book is creepy. DEEPLY disturbing. I mean, almost gave me nightmares disturbing.
7. Citizen Girl - Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus - This is supposed to be the story of a deeply principled girl who wants to find gainful employment without compromising her morals. Any of her morals. Or performing any work that's "beneath her". Let's all have a good laugh here. That's kind of how I felt at the end of the book. It works hard for its moral outrage, but in the end, it's much ado about nothing.
8. Killing Yourself to Live - Chuck Klosterman - Reporter travels all over the country to the places where rock stars died. Sounds interesting, right? Sadly, it's dead boring. (Get it, "dead" boring? Am amusing only myself.)
9. The Quiet Girl - Peter Hoeg - I agonised over putting this on my Worst list. Because it's beautifully written. Hoeg is Danish, and this book has the Scandinavian flavor that I love. (I'll discuss Scandinavian books on my Best list.) However, this book makes no sense. The story is told in fits and starts and flashbacks and I was never sure if we were in the present or the past of who the main character was talking to. The main character is a circus clown (I think) who hears...well, he hears music in everything and he can hear people's emotions and general state of being. And there are some children, who have similar abilities, who have been kidnapped. And he tries to find them. But frankly, I'm not sure if the children really had abilities or not, or if they were kidnapped or not. The prose is beautiful, but this book is a mess.
10. A Hopeless Romantic - Harriet Evans - Not a horrible book, but terribly predictable. Chick lit romantic comedies are always a little predictable, but this one was extreme.