No bad books in sight

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I have worked on a book challenge for 2015 for a community group I am a part of. It was more or less simple to pick out some challenge categories for books to read. I put out 20 categories for people to chose from. The whole thing is in Croatian and here is a link.

In my enthusiasm I posted one category that is giving me trouble now. Under number 10 there states:

READ A BOOK THAT WAS GIVEN A BAD REVIEW BY THE CRITICS

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I have searched high and low for some kind of a list of books that are BAD.

After having found some wonderful (IMHO) books on these lists I have learned a valuable lesson and decided to write this post. There are some issues I should have taken into account when discussing books that are considered NOT GOOD.

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1. Reading is a personal process and as such it can only be valued trough personal experience.

Most of the lists I have found that categorized books as bad were on social networks like Goodreads. These were given tags like: worst books, bad books and some more colorful adjectives to describe the books that generally annoyed the reader. Here is an example of one such list.

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2. Books that end up described as bad by one reader are marked as favorites by another reader.

It can be seen in some articles like this one that books that ruffle the most feathers and have “bad” tags also have a strong supporters that love them. This love-hate response is generally often with some bestsellers that have famous movie adaptations or are in some other way connected to mainstream commercial venues.

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3. The term BAD BOOK is questioned by the critics.

In my search I have come across many lists that offered “THE BEST BOOKS” summaries by genre, date or some other limitation. Generally, there is an accent on the promotion of positive and “GOOD” what literary world has to offer. I have even come across a few articles like this one that were giving reasons for abandoning the bad reviews altogether.

In conclusion

I am still looking for a book to read that has been reviewed as BAD. What seemed the best way to find it at first was  by asking a friend for a book that they thought was bad. I’m also looking on other peoples shelves on Goodreads or Shelfari. If you have a bad book for me to read please comment here or send me a message about it!

I appreciate any book you consider bad that you throw my way!

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Winter pile of books

Winter starts with many holidays but in January there is fun to be had as well.

I present you my Winter book pile. All mostly white covers and it is not as small as I thought it would be.

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Most of my manga collection can be put to this pile but I opted to pile only Sailor Moon series (I like snow as much as the next reader but let’s not call for too much of it since after the initial December high spirits snow just gets in the way of everyday life)

Hope you have your own winter reading pile to warm you up!

Reading challenge BF & me – review

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Last year in February I started this challenge with my boyfriend. The year 2014 has passed and here are our results:

Boyfriend

From the eleven books he had to read he managed to complete reading 5 books and got stuck on number 6. The book that gave him grief and made him stop reading since summer is Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carrey

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From now on I shall refer to this book as “The doom of my beloved”. It is the first book in Kushiel’s Legacy series and I loved it so much I have bought the whole series. Just this first book has 900+ pages and the rest of the books are chubby in the page number department as well. There was one he complained about quite a bit. By my boyfriends own words he enjoyed the challenge and liked the books he read up until this last one. He even says that some of them were an eye opening experience.

Me

From the eleven books I was challenged to read I have read 5 books. Some of the books were very hard for me to read trough and I complained trough them quite a bit. I do plan to read all the books I was challenged with at my own pace. The book I loved the most was Mirror Dance(Vorkosigan saga book 12) by Lois McMaster Buyold

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Even though this is book 12 in the series I found it easy to get into the story. I am not a fan of traditional science fiction but was delighted with this space opera. The characters were easy to relate to and their dynamic appealed to me. I will find time to read the rest of Miles Vorkosigan saga books.

 

Challenge conclusion

Neither of us have completed all the books in the challenge. In the end we read the same amount of books but he won by half a book. We both learned a bit about ourselves and our reading choices and habits. We both don’t work well when forced to read something we did not choose ourselves and have rather hedonistic views on our chosen reading material – if we cannot enjoy, we get grumpy. We might continue to challenge ourselves with some books we like but the time limitation will probably not be a part of the deal. We each like our own reading paces and we need to respect that.

In the end we are both glad we tried the challenge!

Monthly reading review December 2014

 

An Abby Wright illustration of a women reading a book outside in the snow

In December I managed to catch some reading time and squeeze it in. Here is a list of the books I’ve read in December:

1984 by George Orwell ★★

House of Glass Witcher Vol 1. by Paul Tobin ★★★

Mirror Dance (Miles Vorkosigan saga book 12) by Lois MacMaster Bujold ★★★★

Jason (Anita Blake vampire hunter book 23) by Laurel K. Hamilton ★★

Pretty Guardian Sailormoon Vol 10 by Naoko Takeuchi ★★★

Pretty Guardian Sailormoon Vol 11 by Naoko Takeuchi ★★★

Pretty Guardian Sailormoon Vol 12 by Naoko Takeuchi ★★★★

The Game Catwoman New 52 Vol 1 by Judd Winick, Guillem March ★★★★★

Her Mad Hatter Kingdom Series (Hall): Book 1 by Marie Hall ★★★

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Books I read: 9

This is a nice rise from few months ago, but the busy schedule is still keeping me from reading as much as I would like to. I would like to up my reading to be around 10-12 a month. This will require some more serious reading planing for 2015.

5 stars: The Game Catwoman New 52 Vol 1 by Judd Winick, Guillem March

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I was delighted by this graphic novel. I love DC antiheroes and heroes. This take on Catwoman made an impression on me for more than one reason. I loved the artwork and character concept. This Catwoman is a complex character and her dynamic with other characters was done perfectly. The Batman drama was a plus.

Did not finish?

I am transfering four books to be finished in January 2015

In Desert and Wilderness by Henryk Sienkeiwicz
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Delayed Penalty (The Dartmouth Cobras: Book 5) by Bianca Sommerland
Kingdom Collection: Books 1-3 by Marie Hall – 1 out of 3 done!

Genres I read in December: Manga. Graphic novel, dystopian, modern classic, space opera, urban fantasy, fairytale retelling

Biggest let down of December was Jason (Anita Blake vampire hunter book 23) by Laurel K. Hamilton.

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I was super excited to find this book coming out in papaerback as a new arrival. I pre-ordered it online and jumped for joy when it arrived. I hoped to learn more about Jason and his background and I was kinda disappointed. We find out about Jason’s girlfriend JJ. She is a human, a professional dancer and prefers girls to boys. Sadly it seemed that her only reason to be in this book was to offer Anita an opportunity to deal with some girl on girl issues. JJ seems like a female version of Jason – all friendly and easygoing. It never bothered me so much before to read a book where supporting characters get so used for the sake of one main character. I love strong supporting characters and this book was like a bad revelation for me. The whole plot was summed up in three sex scenes.

The best part of the book was the intro chapter for the next book Dead Ice coming out June 4th 2015.

 

New book boyfriends?

I got reminded on how much I like the character of Witcher and I’m adding the books to my TBR pile.

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Also Miles Vorkosigan has his perks.

“Miles is… Miles; close to a force of nature, climbing up out of his own pages and escaping subordination to any opinion of mine.”
— Lois McMaster Bujold

Any new jerks?

Surprisingly none this time!

Did you start any new series?

Yes 3 and I plan to continue them all when I get the chance to.

The Game Catwoman New 52 Vol 1 by Judd Winick, Guillem March

Her Mad Hatter Kingdom Series (Hall): Book 1 by Marie Hall

House of Glass Witcher Vol 1. by Paul Tobin

 

Did you find any new authors that you loved?

I might look out for more work from Paul Tobin and Judd Winick

Any book you would recommend?

Yes I have two recommendations from December:

The Game Catwoman New 52 Vol 1 by Judd Winick, Guillem March – for urban antiheroo DC lovers

Miles Vorkosigan saga by Lois MacMaster Bujold – space opera extraordinare

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Final thoughts on December 2014

I’m glad for finishing Sailor Moon manga series in December. I’ve read a modern dystopian classic and didn’t like it, but that is ok. I was reminded on some characters I love and why I love them. The result was adding more to y reading list but that is hardly surprising. It as a good reading month!