Books Magazine

Books That Disappointed in 2017

By Curlygeek04 @curlygeek04

Amidst all the end-of-year best lists, these are books that didn’t quite live up to the hype.  I’m not saying these were the worst books I read in 2017.  Some, like Manhattan Beach, were quite good, and you will certainly see them on others’ best-of lists. But I approached them with high expectations, and they fell short.

Books That Disappointed in 2017
Manhattan Beach: I’ve been a Jennifer Egan fan since her first novel, The Invisible Circus, and I loved A Visit from the Goon Squad.  This is a great historical novel about a female diver during World War II.  But the last part fell flat for me, relying on a storyline I’ve seen too many times before.

Lonely Hearts Hotel: Nominated for the Women’s Prize longlist, a really interesting and sometimes beautiful novel about turn-of-the-century Montreal.  But as the book went on, the characters grew less likable and the story lost some interest (see instead: The Gustav Sonata).

When Dimple Met Rishi: A critical favorite this year, I wanted to love this novel about an arranged marriage between two college students from Indian-American families.  But I felt it went on a bit too long and the side characters and storylines weren’t well developed.  I’m not the target audience for this novel, granted, but I think a great YA novel is written well for all ages (see instead: Dad’s Red Dress).

Housekeeping: Many readers love this novel by Marilynne Robinson about two sisters

Books That Disappointed in 2017
who are pushed apart by their difficult family life.  I love a good story about sisters but I found this one hard to get through.  I’m hoping Robinson’s Gilead is more to my liking.

Difficult Women: Roxane Gay is a fantastic writer and I look forward to reading more by her.  But this collection of short stories was brutal and I found myself thinking about when it would be over.  I probably should have read Gay’s Hunger instead.

Books That Disappointed in 2017
The Twelve Days of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti: This book was quite good; it was beautifully written, suspenseful, and emotional, exploring a powerful father-daughter relationship.  But ultimately, the violence detracted from the story for me, as did Hawley’s frequent poor choices for his family.  The ending left me with mixed feelings.

Last Days of Café Leila by Donia Bijan: Part of my effort to read around the world and read diversely, this is a novel you’ll see on some best-of lists, but I found this story of a mother who returns to Iran with her unwilling daughter infuriating at times.

Strangers in Budapest by Jessica Keener: I was disappointed by this story about Americans in Budapest in the 90s.  I found Budapest to be a fascinating city in 2010, and I really wanted to understand more about how the city felt after the end of Russian occupation.  This book gave me a story about Americans interacting with other Americans, yet it seemed to blame Budapest for all of their problems.

Books That Disappointed in 2017

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer: Everyone is talking about how great Borne is, but with a movie coming out I picked up this one instead.  I found it lacked character development and the story didn’t make sense, although I hear Book 2 in the series is better.

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard: this modern-day fantasy novel sparked my interest mainly because of its endorsement by Neil Gaiman.  I was moved by the story about two sisters with an abusive childhood for personal reasons, but the fantasy story itself was utterly ridiculous.

Books I didn’t finish this year include Do Not Say We Have Nothing, The Floating World, and The Mothers, all critical favorites that I just didn’t make it through.  For more Books that Disappointed, see here.

Please feel free to disagree with some of these choices!  What book disappointed you in 2017?


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Rewind: It’s the 90s

    Rewind: It’s

    It seems that the 1990s are everywhere right now. What’s old is new again and all that. The last concert of the summer, I took it to another level when I... Read more

    The 25 September 2018 by   Irene Gomes
    FASHION, LIFESTYLE
  • Thomas Land | Drayton Manor Park

    Thomas Land Drayton Manor Park

    If living near a theme park was in your criteria for buying a house, then our new house would certainly meet that need. Living about a 3 minute drive from... Read more

    The 25 September 2018 by   Thefoodiecoupleblog
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Your Eye Drops Can Kill You

    Your Drops Kill

    Anything can be a poison, it all depends on the dose. This includes the drops you use to clear your eyes. The active, and dangerous, ingredient in many of... Read more

    The 25 September 2018 by   Dplylemd
    BOOKS, CULTURE, HEALTH, MEDICINE
  • The Wood Brothers: "River Takes the Town" & "Happiness Jones" Dutch TV Live...

    Wood Brothers: "River Takes Town" "Happiness Jones" Dutch Live Videos

    Watch roots trio The Wood Brothers perform River Takes the Town and Happiness Jones two tracks from their latest album One Drop Of Truth for Dutch music show... Read more

    The 25 September 2018 by   Hctf
    ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC
  • Opera Review: Falling Down

    Opera Review: Falling Down

    The Met opens with a disastrous Samson et Dalila. by Paul J. Pelkonen A world of toil: Robert Alagna does hard time in Samson et Dalila. Photo by Ken Howard ©... Read more

    The 25 September 2018 by   Superconductor
    CULTURE, THEATRE & OPERA
  • Could Neanderthals Speak? Implications of FOXP2

    FOXP2 is one of the most famous genes out there; notable for containing two mutations linked to language in humans. These mutations are also in Neanderthals,... Read more

    The 25 September 2018 by   Reprieve
    BIOLOGY, SCIENCE
  • Diet Doctor Podcast #3 – Dr. Jeffry Gerber and Ivor Cummins

    Ivor Cummins: Great to be here, Bret. Dr. Jeffry Gerber: Thanks, Bret. Bret: The first thing I want to talk to you about is I learned from you guys you have t... Read more

    The 25 September 2018 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE

Magazines