Sometimes I can’t help but wish that I had a cutlass. Then, whenever I read an truly awful book I could wave my sword aloft (in suitably dramatic fashion) and cry “Walk the plank you scurvy dog!”
How satisfying it would be to condemn such miserable excuses for literature to a watery grave! Brandishing my cutlass I could finally give those books their just desserts. A long walk down that short plank, and goodbye shame I ever read you. Perhaps then I could forget how much time I actually wasted in even reading that book. Time I could have spent doing something-anything-more constructive. Like folding laundry for instance, or even just cleaning out my ears.
My top ten books from last year are another matter. You want good reading? Go, enjoy those.
Here though are the five books to walk the plank. For now I shall have to content myself with a more symbolic sort of plank. May you fare better than I and avoid such tripe in the first place.
Reader, you have been warned.
“Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard
Never fear Mare Barrow! Despite your abysmal treatment of others- and the many disasters you leave in your wake- someone will always come along to fish you out of trouble. Inexplicably everyone loves you so, so much! As the lowly red posing as an elite silver (with mysterious superpowers-how original) you are much to special to clean up your own mess.
The distressed damsel has never been so annoying.
“The Coincidence of Coconut Cake” by Amy Reichert
Coincidence is the resort of a lazy writer. A romance between the chef and the critic that destroyed her restaurant reads more like a travelougue than an actual novel. Predictable with so many fortuitous accidents that I was left bored silly.
The only good thing about this book is the cover.
Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen” by Alison Weir
Hundreds of pages rehashing a sordid history we’ve all heard and read before, all without insight or intriguing characters to keep you turning pages. Spoiler alert: Henry VII is a louse who treats his loving wife poorly. A messy divorce.
There. Saved you the trouble of reading it yourself.
“A Darker Shade of Magic” by V.E. Schwab
My high hopes were utterly dashed with this one. Parallel Londons, magic, and a shadowy menace sound promising, no? Yet if a main character is really as smart as the author keeps telling me, why would she simply chuck some evil artifact out the window where anyone else would find it?
Walk the plank book. Time to feed the fishes.
“Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny” by John Himmelman
Don’t let this bunny fool you! An excellent cure for insomnia, this book is pedantic and preachy. Ramming morals thinly disguised as stories down readers throats, one tale at a time.
Look elsewhere for stories to inspire ethics in your young reader.
My List of Shame
Terrible books’ value is found in providing discussion fodder and a yardstick in defining what we do (or don’t) want in our next reading material.
Have you read any of the books on this year’s plank list? Do you agree, or right now dear reader are you howling for my blood over my poor treatment of one of your favourites? Is there a book that should be included on the list? I love a good discussion over books. Comment below.
Just as sometimes you first have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find the prince, sometimes you have to wade through pages of drivel before you find the gold. Good books are out there, so don’t give up my friend. Keep reading, keep trying.
Treasure is out there-awaiting the reader bold and determined enough to find it.