Book Blog Memes / Bookish Discussions

I’m Sorry It Didn’t Work Out. No Hard Feelings?

This list was a tough one to make. And not typical in my usual positive approach to literature. So why bother then, you ask? Well, after my disappointing experience with Life After Life, I had to rally and avoid getting myself in a self-induced book slump. No, it was not that bad but I felt underwhelmed, disappointed, illiterate and annoyed. And the good news is that very few books have done that to me. We were basically mismatched and not meant to be. I chalk up these few to the “it’s not you, it’s me” scenario. I take all the blame. You don’t need to yell at me, I’ve done that enough already! And The Broke and the Bookish gave everyone a “freebie” top ten list today so…

Life After Life Eat, Pray, Love 21855259[1] We Are Not Ourselves Lucky Us

Life After Life– I know! I am very upset it didn’t click for me and yes I’m in the minority here. I tried to read it last year and DNF. Then I had to pick it back up for book group and tried audio and print. Loved the premise and writing was gorgeous but I got tired of the groundhog day feel to it. Darkness fell swiftly.

Eat, Pray, Love– I loved the Italy eating part and traveling to India and Bali (two places I’m dying to go to) but…it all felt like “first world problems”. And then darkness fell.

The Secret History of Wonder Woman – Fabulous original photos and some cool information about the creator and origin of WW. I was so excited for this book as a huge fan of WW but I ended up skimming most of it. Darkness fell.

We Are Not Ourselves – At the beginning I was hooked and thought it was going to be a fave and then darkness fell.

Lucky Us – The cover is cool but then darkness fell.


Bellman & Black The Rise & Fall of Great Powers My Sister's Keeper The Ten-Year Nap Gilead

Bellman & Black – I really wanted to love this book as much as I loved The Thirteenth Tale and yet darkness fell.

The Rise & Fall of Great Powers – At a loss. One breath, Darkness.

My Sister’s Keeper – It’s not that I didn’t like this one and it was great controversy for book group discussion. Maybe I felt manipulated a bit and it’s funny because I’ve never picked up another Picoult book since. Darkness fell.

The Ten-Year Nap – This is a painful one to admit because Meg Wolitzer is one of my all-time favorite authors. But I included it because it was the first book I read of hers, liked it ok and then LOVED her others. It’s to prove a point to not give up on an author because one of their books didn’t work for you. (I guess I should take my own advice with the Picoult comment above). And then darkness fell.

Gilead – Oh boy. This book is one I just can’t figure out. I tried reading it twice and it’s won every award under the sun. So it’s really a DNF twice. Help me out here, what am I missing? Darkness…

Are there books you were very sad about not liking as much as you thought you would or should?

(In case you think I’ve lost my mind, the phrase, “and darkness fell”, and variations of it ended each section in Life After Life when Ursula died. And died many times she did. Since I listened to some of it on audio, that repeated at least 18-20 times.)



14 thoughts on “I’m Sorry It Didn’t Work Out. No Hard Feelings?

  1. After the first darkness fell, I remained in the dark for the remainder of “Life After Life.” I like how you put it, that you felt “illiterate.” That’s funny! Because I felt *exactly* like that with this book and many acclaimed books. I just don’t get so many of them. “This one won the Pulitzer [or fill in your favorite prestigious award]?” is a frequent reaction I have. The more people rave about them, the more puzzled and dumb I feel …

    I did like Jodi Picoult’s “My Sister’s Keeper.” Difficulty moral choices are fascinating to me.

    • Ha! “I remained in the dark…” is a pretty accurate assessment. I go through the “what’s wrong with me” after reading a book that won sooo many awards, it’s baffling so yes, illiterate comes to mind. Oh well…can’t love them all. 🙂

  2. I like your approach. It affirms my belief in humanity when i see that there is someone else out there who didn’t like Eat, Pray, Love. I also didn’t like Bellman and Black and quite a few of the others you’ve listed i didn’t even bother trying. I could just tell they weren’t for me. Doesn’t mean they aren’t great books, just not for me.

    • Whew! I’m not a crazy person after all. Gilead is the most upsetting on this list because I’ve heard such rave reviews and then there is a sequel that many are fawning over. Gotta go with the gut after a few chapters and move on…I have much to read!

  3. Totally agree on Eat, Pray, Love….loved the Italy section and then hated the rest of it! And, I’m opposite you on We Are Not Ourselves…the first part dragged for me, but I loved the back half. Great topic this week!

  4. I’m so bummed about the Wonder Woman book! I’ve been looking forward to that one and will still give it a try, but I’ve heard nary a peep about it other than your darkness. I read Lucky Us, and finished it, but was not blown away. I liked a lot of the language, but in the end couldn’t even muster a review. Great idea for the freebie post, I loved it! And it’s always nice to see what someone else put down, whether I had the same experience or not.

  5. Oh, for me it’s all the Michael Chabon fiction. I read two of his books in full and DNFed two others, and every time I felt like I was just reading him wrong. Because surely I should like these books! That everyone likes! And that I agree are well-written! But still somehow I hate them. :/

    It’s just a case of no book being for every reader.

  6. I did really enjoy Life After Life, but I did get frustrated after a while with the whole darkness falling bit. Ahh, Bellman and Black. I was so desperate to enjoy it and I was sure it would get better at some point. It was such a huge disappointment to get to the end and realise I’d just wasted a few hours of my life.

  7. I completely understand how you feel because I’m going through that feeling with a few books at the moment. I also didn’t make it through Eat Pray Love. I loved the idea of it and all the travel, but her character was too self-centred for me to stick with her.

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