Tag Archives: Why Some Books Suck

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

Synopsis: The events leading up to the “waterless flood,” a global catechism wiping out almost all of mankind, as told from the point of view of two survivors, a sex worker and a healer, both of whom were members of a radical vegetarian cult. Review: The Year of the Flood is Margaret Atwood’s companion to…

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Stories (Booking Through Thursday)

If you’re anything like me, one of your favorite reasons to read is for the story. Not for the character development and interaction. Not because of the descriptive, emotive powers of the writer. Not because of deep, literary meaning hidden beneath layers of metaphor. (Even though those are all good things.) No … it’s because…

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Household Gods by Judith Tarr and Harry Turtledove

Synopsis: A San Francisco lawyer finds herself magically spirited back to ancient Rome, where she ends up running a tavern and weathering a German invasion. Review: I’m reading Household Gods for an online book club, and the only reason I didn’t quit this book is because I really like the people in the book club.…

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Lit-Ra-Chur (Booking Through Thursday)

When somebody mentions literature what’s the first thing you think of? (Dickens? Tolstoy? Shakespeare?) Do you read literature (however you define it) for pleasure? Or is it something that you read only when you must? Honestly? I think of books I don’t want to read, not because they’re bad, per se, but because they’re written…

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The Starter Marriage by Pamela Paul

Synopsis: An overview of the recent phenomenon of marriages that end before they reach the five-year mark. Review: I hate books that never tell you more than what you read in the title. I generally enjoy books like this, as I’m keenly interested in human behavior and social trends, but this book really didn’t do…

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Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

Synopsis: Deanna’s lived under a dark cloud ever since her dad caught her having sex when she was just 13, and her dreams of getting out just might expire under the weight of his disapproval. Review: I’m a latecomer getting to Sara Zarr’s National Book Award Finalist novel Story of a Girl, though it’s been…

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The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

Synopsis: In a world characterized by politics and intrigue, a sorceror unites a legendary rogue, a dandyish fighter, and an outlaw woman in the fight to… oh, I’m not really sure what, honestly. Review: Seriously, what is The Blade Itself about? I was lost from really early on. The characters were interesting, but there didn’t…

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The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay (The Fionavar Tapestry, Book One)

Synopsis: Five Toronto college students are pulled into an alternate world where they discover their true destinies at the outset of a war that could affect all worlds, including their own. Review: Yep, another hard-to-synopsize epic fantasy book. The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay employs one of the standard fantasy templates–ordinary people drawn into…

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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Synopsis: When Clay receives a box of cassette tapes recorded by a girl who recently committed suicide, he wonders why he was chosen as one of her thirteen reasons. Review: Compelling premise ultimately founders on muddled execution. Asher throws in at least four separate social problems as part of Hannah’s reasons for her suicide, and…

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