What not to read

Here at the library, we are pretty much dedicated to the idea that books are great. We promote them, display them and go out of our way to get people to read them. But sometimes, even we will admit, a book can let you down. It might be praised to the skies by critics and friends but the first few chapters leave you asking yourself “How can anyone like this thing?”

In our ongoing series of book discussions among staff, we decided to tackle this phenomenon and talk about books that we felt were just plain bad for one reason or another. Below is a list of some of the titles that each person thought were a waste of their precious reading time.

One caveat. Whatever you do, don’t be offended if a favorite book of yours is on the list. You can always take comfort in the fact that many books that are now considered classics were panned by critics when they were first released. Perhaps Losers in Space will on the syllabus of the course “Great Early 21st Century Writers” taught at Harvard in 2080.

Anita: the For Dummies series

Carol: Losers in Space by John Barnes

Eileen: Mystery series books that start out well, but get worse as they continue by Sara Parketsky, Sue Grafton &Janet Evanovich

Elizabeth: Ape House by Sara Gruen

Gloria: The Shack by William Young

Kate: Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

Kristen: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro &How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets by Garth Stein

Leslie: I Want My Hat Back by J Klassen

Marge: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert &The Pioneer Woman by Ree Drummond

Margo: The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice

Rachel: The increasingly gruesome Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell

Richard: There but for the by Ali Smith

Ron: The Great Typo Hunt by Jeff Deck

Theresa: She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb

Be sure to visit A Reading Life for more reviews and news of all things happening at the Everett Public Library

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