Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst ... 234
Results 76 to 96 of 96

Thread: Top 10 Books First Read in 2014

  1. #76
    Not a praying man Melville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Southampton, UK
    Posts
    4,854
    1. Phenomenology of Spirit (Hegel, 1807) - 9.5
    2. Sisters by a River (Barbara Comyns, 1954) - 9
    3. Three Men in a Boat (Jerome K Jerome, 1889) - 8.5
    4. The Vet's Daughter (Barbara Comyns, 1959) - 8.5
    5. Where I'm Calling From: New and Selected Stories (Raymond Carver, 1988) - 8.5
    6. Zeno's Conscience (Italo Svevo, 1923) - 8
    7. Sixty Stories (Barthelme, 1981) - 8
    8. Austerlitz (WG Sebald, 2001) - 7
    9. Rebecca (Daphne du Maurier, 1938) - 7
    10. Who was Changed and Who was Dead (Barbara Comyns, 1954) - 6.5
    11. The Woman in the Dunes (Kobo Abe, 1962) - 6.5
    12. Hellboy in Hell, Vol. 1: The Descent (Mike Mignola, 2014) [comic] - 6.5
    13. Some Prefer Nettles (Junichiro Tanizaki, 1928) - 6.5
    14. Tintin in Tibet (Herge, 1959) [comic] - 3.5

    Barthelme's "Balloon" is one of the greats. A brilliant little story of a world transformed.
    I am impatient of all misery in others that is not mad. Thou should'st go mad, blacksmith; say, why dost thou not go mad? How can'st thou endure without being mad? Do the heavens yet hate thee, that thou can'st not go mad?

    lists and reviews

  2. #77
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    New Canaan, where to the shepherd come the sheep.
    Posts
    10,521
    Fiction
    1. Cloud Atlas (David Mitchell, 2004)
    2. The Incredible Shrinking Man (Richard Matheson, 1956)
    3. Ishmael (Daniel Quinn, 1992)
    4. Heart-Shaped Box (Joe Hill, 2007)
    5. Robopocalypse (Daniel H. Wilson, 2011)
    6. Strange Things and Stranger Places (Ramsey Campbell, 1993)

    Non-Fiction
    1. Zombie Makers (Rebecca Johnson, 2013)
    2. The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Egypt (tr. Manfred Lurker, 1972)

    Comics
    1. Batman: Arkham Asylum... (Morrison et al, 1989)
    2. Sin City: The Hard Goodbye (Frank Miller, 1992)
    3. Saga of the Swamp Thing (Alan Moore et al, 1984)
    4. Sin City: That Yellow Bastard (Frank Miller, 1996)
    5. We3 (Morrison et al, 2004)
    6. Animal Man (Morrison et al, 1988)
    7. Transmetropolitan Vol. 1 (Ellis et al, 1997)
    8. Batman: Mad Love and others (Dini et al, 1994)
    9. Sin City: The Big Fat Kill (Frank Miller, 1995)
    10. Batman: The Man Who Laughs (Brubaker et al, 2005)

    [
    ]

  3. #78
    Whole Sick Crew Benny Profane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Whole Sick Crew
    Posts
    4,167
    1. The Recognitions - William Gaddis
    2. Dusk and Other Stories - James Salter
    3. Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson
    4. Bleeding Edge - Thomas Pynchon
    5. The Last Picture Show - Larry McMurtry
    6. Consider the Lobster - David Foster Wallace
    7. The Right Stuff - Tom Wolfe
    8. Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
    9. Great Jones Street - Don DeLillo
    10. The Road to Los Angeles - John Fante




    [
    ]
    Now reading: The Master Switch by Tim Wu

  4. #79
    Best Boy ContinentalOp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    330
    1. Hyenas by Joe Lansdale
    2. Cold in July by Joe Lansdale
    *3. The Bottoms by Joe Lansdale
    4. Firebreak by Richard Stark
    *5. The Blunderer by Patricia Highsmith
    6. Leather Maiden by Joe Lansdale
    7. The Drive-In by Joe Lansdale
    *8. An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by PD James
    9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
    Out of ****:
    Chef- ** 1/2
    The Interview- ** 1/2
    White Bird in a Blizzard- ** 1/2
    Frank- *** 1/2
    A Walk Among the Tombstones- ***

  5. #80
    Social Retard Isaac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    3,683
    1. A Confederacy of Dunces (1980, John Kennedy Toole)
    2. The Tin Drum (1959, Günter Grass)
    3. The Painted Bird (1965, Jerzy Kosinski)
    4. A Tale of Two Cities (1859, Charles Dickens)
    5. Room (2010, Emma Donoghue)
    6. A School for Fools (1976, Sasha Sokolov)
    7. Catch-22 (1961, Joseph Heller)
    8. The Power and the Glory (1940, Graham Greene)
    9. Wise Blood (1952, Flannery O'Connor)
    10. Pale Fire (1962, Vladimir Nabokov)

  6. #81
    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    Novels:
    • Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes, 1605/15)
    • Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë, 1847)
    • The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1850)
    • A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens, 1859)
    • The Mayor of Casterbridge (Thomas Hardy, 1886)
    • Strait Is the Gate (André Gide, 1909)
    • Howards End (E.M. Forster, 1910)
    • The Sound and the Fury (William Faulkner, 1929)
    • Farewell, My Lovely (Raymond Chandler, 1940)
    • Arrow of God (Chinua Achebe, 1964/74)

    Story story collections:
    • Seven Gothic Tales (Isak Dinesen [Karen Blixen], 1934)
    • Labyrinths (Jorge Luis Borges, 1962)*
    • Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour—An Introduction (J.D. Salinger, 1963)
    • The Complete Cosmicomics (Italo Calvino, 1965-84)
    • The Love of a Good Woman (Alice Munro, 1998)

    Non-fiction:
    • Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography (Roland Barthes, 1980)
    • Narration in the Fiction Film (David Bordwell, 1985)
    • Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting (Robert McKee, 1998)
    Updated for the end of September/beginning of October. Total number of books read: Twenty-four, counting The Complete Cosmicomics as two and a half: the original Cosmicomics (1965, twelve stories) and Time and the Hunter (1967, eleven stories), plus eight more from World Memory and Other Cosmicomic Stories (1968), two from Cosmicomics Old and New (1984), and an alternate version of one of the '68 stories.

    I was tempted to include just the '65 stories on my list as most (but not all) of those in Time and the Hunter aren't really stories so much as descriptions of static situations that bring the book to a dead halt, but there are also some pretty delightful ones in there as well (such as "The Origin of Birds"), and "Solar Storm" from World Memory... may be my favorite of all the Cosmicomic stories. (It's definitely in the top five.)

    Robert McKee's Story is compulsively readable and there's a good bit of practical advise in there once you get past all his broad generalizations. At one point he claims that Hollywood movies dominate the world market because there haven't been any interesting European films since the early '80s when Bergman retired, but while it's entirely possible that he likes La Promesse less than I do, the fact that he mentions it at all in a book written in 1998, even in passing, suggests that he sees too many non-American movies to believe such nonsense.

    A few other points on Story: I simply can't get on board with his claim that symbolism only works when the viewer doesn't notice it, which strikes me as vaguely mystical. (Does his awareness the symbolism in Les Diaboliques and The Terminator ruin those movies for him, and how precisely are those movies different from Bram Stoker's Dracula and The Piano, which he chides for their overbearing symbolism?) Also, the assumption that European funding agencies are pretentious and that real filmmakers work in the commercial mainstream is an ideological bias that McKee never examines. And finally, for someone who literally declares war on clichés, he sure loves the term "café criticism," which appears no fewer than three times in the book.

    Inherent Vice is easily the weakest of the four Thomas Pynchon novels I've read (the others are V., The Crying of Lot 49, and Gravity's Rainbow, and I have Against the Day and The Bleeding Edge on my shelf). As a Pynchon novel, it's never as wild and weird as the best sections of V. and Gravity's Rainbow, and as a straightforward detective story, I can't say that I was ever very curious about what happened to the missing developer and ex-girlfriend or who shot the former's bodyguard, and there are way too many characters for me to keep track of them all.
    Just because...
    Snakeskin (Daniel Hui, 2014) warm
    Cloverfield (Matt Reeves, 2008) mild
    A Man of Integrity (Mohammad Rasoulof, 2017) mild

    The last book I read was...
    Narrative Comprehension and Film by Edward Branigan


    The (New) World

  7. #82
    Too much responsibility Kurosawa Fan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    16,664
    1. The Halloween Tree - Ray Bradbury
    2. Othello - Shakespeare
    3. Good Omens - Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
    4. Bird Box - Josh Malerman
    5. Shogun - James Clavell
    6. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said - Philip K. Dick
    7. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
    8. Fever Pitch - Nick Hornby

  8. #83
    Whole Sick Crew Benny Profane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Whole Sick Crew
    Posts
    4,167
    1. The Recognitions - William Gaddis
    2. Dusk and Other Stories - James Salter
    3. Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson
    4. Bleeding Edge - Thomas Pynchon
    5. The Last Picture Show - Larry McMurtry
    6. Consider the Lobster - David Foster Wallace
    7. The Right Stuff - Tom Wolfe
    8. Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
    9. Great Jones Street - Don DeLillo
    10. The Road to Los Angeles - John Fante




    [
    ]
    Now reading: The Master Switch by Tim Wu

  9. #84
    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    Novels:
    • Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes, 1605/15)
    • Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen, 1818)
    • Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë, 1847)
    • The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1850)
    • Madame Bovary (Gustave Flaubert, 1857)
    • A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens, 1859)
    • The Mayor of Casterbridge (Thomas Hardy, 1886)
    • Howards End (E.M. Forster, 1910)
    • The Sound and the Fury (William Faulkner, 1929)
    • Arrow of God (Chinua Achebe, 1964/74)

    Story story collections:
    • Seven Gothic Tales (Isak Dinesen [Karen Blixen], 1934)
    • Labyrinths (Jorge Luis Borges, 1962)*
    • Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour—An Introduction (J.D. Salinger, 1963)
    • The Complete Cosmicomics (Italo Calvino, 1965-84)
    • The Love of a Good Woman (Alice Munro, 1998)

    Non-fiction:
    • Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography (Roland Barthes, 1980)
    • Narration in the Fiction Film (David Bordwell, 1985)
    • Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting (Robert McKee, 1998)
    Updated for the end of October. Total number of books read: twenty-seven.
    Just because...
    Snakeskin (Daniel Hui, 2014) warm
    Cloverfield (Matt Reeves, 2008) mild
    A Man of Integrity (Mohammad Rasoulof, 2017) mild

    The last book I read was...
    Narrative Comprehension and Film by Edward Branigan


    The (New) World

  10. #85
    Too much responsibility Kurosawa Fan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    16,664
    1. The Halloween Tree - Ray Bradbury
    2. Othello - Shakespeare
    3. Good Omens - Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
    4. Bird Box - Josh Malerman
    5. Shogun - James Clavell
    6. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said - Philip K. Dick
    7. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
    8. Fever Pitch - Nick Hornby
    9. Pet Sematary - Stephen King

  11. #86
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5,768
    1. Octavia Butler’s Kindred
    2. Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
    3. Amy Waldman’s The Submission
    4. John Okada’s No-No Boy
    5. Alice Munro’s Friend of my Youth: Stories
    6. Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot
    7. Mohsen Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist
    8. Phil Klay’s Redeployment: Stories
    9. Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go
    10. Stuart Dybek’s Paper Lantern: Stories
    [
    ]

    Nonfiction
    1. Kirk W. Johnson’s To Be a Friend is Fatal: The Fight to Save the Iraqis American Left Behind
    2. Marilynne Robinson’s When I was a Child I Read Books
    3. Peter Boxall’s Twenty-First-Century Fiction: An Introduction
    4. David Lipsky’s Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself
    Ant-Man and the Wasp - 5
    Hereditary - 7
    Won't You Be My Neighbor? - 7.5
    The Tale - 8

  12. #87
    Too much responsibility Kurosawa Fan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    16,664
    1. The Halloween Tree - Ray Bradbury
    2. Othello - Shakespeare
    3. Good Omens - Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
    4. Bird Box - Josh Malerman
    5. Shogun - James Clavell
    6. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said - Philip K. Dick
    7. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
    8. Fever Pitch - Nick Hornby
    9. Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls - David Sedaris
    10. Pet Sematary - Stephen King

    I am absolutely embarrassed that it took me this long to get to 10 books this year.

  13. #88
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    New Canaan, where to the shepherd come the sheep.
    Posts
    10,521
    Fiction
    1. Cloud Atlas (David Mitchell, 2004)
    2. The Incredible Shrinking Man (Richard Matheson, 1956)
    3. Ishmael (Daniel Quinn, 1992)
    4. The Island of Dr. Moreau (HG Wells, 1896)
    5. Heart-Shaped Box (Joe Hill, 2007)
    6. Robopocalypse (Daniel H. Wilson, 2011)
    7. Strange Things and Stranger Places (Ramsey Campbell, 1993)

    Non-Fiction
    1. Zombie Makers (Rebecca Johnson, 2013)
    2. The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Egypt (tr. Manfred Lurker, 1972)

    Comics
    1. Batman: Arkham Asylum... (Morrison et al, 1989)
    2. Sin City: The Hard Goodbye (Frank Miller, 1992)
    3. Saga of the Swamp Thing (Alan Moore et al, 1984)
    4. Sin City: That Yellow Bastard (Frank Miller, 1996)
    5. We3 (Morrison et al, 2004)
    6. Animal Man (Morrison et al, 1988)
    7. Transmetropolitan Vol. 1 (Ellis et al, 1997)
    8. Batman: Mad Love and others (Dini et al, 1994)
    9. Sin City: The Big Fat Kill (Frank Miller, 1995)
    10. Batman: The Man Who Laughs (Brubaker et al, 2005)

    [
    ]

  14. #89
    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    Novels:
    • Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes, 1605/15)
    • Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen, 1818)
    • Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë, 1847)
    • The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1850)
    • A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens, 1859)
    • The Mayor of Casterbridge (Thomas Hardy, 1886)
    • Howards End (E.M. Forster, 1910)
    • Arrow of God (Chinua Achebe, 1964/74)
    • Miami Blues (Charles Willeford, 1984)
    • American Pastoral (Philip Roth, 1997)

    Story story collections:
    • Seven Gothic Tales (Isak Dinesen [Karen Blixen], 1934)
    • Labyrinths (Jorge Luis Borges, 1962)*
    • Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour—An Introduction (J.D. Salinger, 1963)
    • The Complete Cosmicomics (Italo Calvino, 1965-84)
    • The Love of a Good Woman (Alice Munro, 1998)

    Non-fiction:
    • Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography (Roland Barthes, 1980)
    • Narration in the Fiction Film (David Bordwell, 1985)
    • Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting (Robert McKee, 1998)
    End of November. Total number of books read: Thirty-two.
    Just because...
    Snakeskin (Daniel Hui, 2014) warm
    Cloverfield (Matt Reeves, 2008) mild
    A Man of Integrity (Mohammad Rasoulof, 2017) mild

    The last book I read was...
    Narrative Comprehension and Film by Edward Branigan


    The (New) World

  15. #90
    Best Boy ContinentalOp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    330
    1. Hyenas by Joe Lansdale
    2. Cold in July by Joe Lansdale
    3. The Bottoms by Joe Lansdale
    4. Firebreak by Richard Stark
    5. The Last Policeman by Ben Winters
    6. The Blunderer by Patricia Highsmith
    7. Leather Maiden by Joe Lansdale
    8. The Drive-In by Joe Lansdale
    9. An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by PD James
    10. Shoedog by George Pelecanos
    11. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
    12. The Dawn Patrol by Don Winslow
    Out of ****:
    Chef- ** 1/2
    The Interview- ** 1/2
    White Bird in a Blizzard- ** 1/2
    Frank- *** 1/2
    A Walk Among the Tombstones- ***

  16. #91
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    16,904
    Hmm. Finally did a count and I'm at sixty books for the year. That's pretty good. Looking over my list, though, I think I will rearrange the numbering a bit before finalizing for the year. Some books have not sat as well... or have sat better... than expected. I think I'll do a postmortem roundup some time in January with a little more insight into why things got ranked where.
    ...and the milk's in me.

  17. #92
    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    Novels:
    • Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes, 1605/15)
    • Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen, 1818)
    • Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë, 1847)
    • The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1850)
    • A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens, 1859)
    • Middlemarch (George Eliot, 1874)
    • The Mayor of Casterbridge (Thomas Hardy, 1886)
    • Howards End (E.M. Forster, 1910)
    • Arrow of God (Chinua Achebe, 1964/74)
    • American Pastoral (Philip Roth, 1997)

    Story story collections:
    • Seven Gothic Tales (Isak Dinesen [Karen Blixen], 1934)
    • Labyrinths (Jorge Luis Borges, 1962)*
    • Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour—An Introduction (J.D. Salinger, 1963)
    • The Complete Cosmicomics (Italo Calvino, 1965-84)
    • The Love of a Good Woman (Alice Munro, 1998)

    Non-fiction:
    • Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography (Roland Barthes, 1980)
    • Narration in the Fiction Film (David Bordwell, 1985)
    • Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting (Robert McKee, 1998)
    Updated for the end of the year, since I'm not likely to read anything over the next two weeks. Total number of books read: thirty-three.
    Just because...
    Snakeskin (Daniel Hui, 2014) warm
    Cloverfield (Matt Reeves, 2008) mild
    A Man of Integrity (Mohammad Rasoulof, 2017) mild

    The last book I read was...
    Narrative Comprehension and Film by Edward Branigan


    The (New) World

  18. #93
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    16,904
    1. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
    2. The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver
    3. Night Film by Marisha Pessl
    4. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
    5. The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    6. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
    7. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater & Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
    8. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
    9. Vicious by V. E. Schwab
    10. Landline by Rainbow Rowell

    The Rest:
    [
    ]

    I have revised my list based on where the books "settled"-- sliding up or down depending on how I feel weeks (or months) after finishing it. A breakdown of the numbers:

    Total books read this year: 64
    Very Good: 26%
    Good: 51%
    Mediocre: 15%
    Bad: 8%

    That makes sense, as I am less likely to finish a book that ranks as mediocre or bad.

    Young Adult Fiction: 67%
    Adult Fiction: 24%
    Middle-Grade Fiction: 6%
    Non-Fiction: 3%

    I guess I didn't count anything I read below middle-grade fiction, although I totally read some killer picture books this year with my niece and nephew.

    This breakdown also makes sense, as I consider keeping up with young adult fiction part of my job as a writer. Plus I really enjoy some of what is being down in young adult fiction right now, which is being much riskier and attracting more unusual viewpoints than traditional adult publishing currently is.

    Books I Didn't Remember Reading Without Thinking About It For Awhile: 4

    Book that slid furthest down the scale weeks after having read it: Landline by Rainbow Rowell. I still think it is a good book, but I think I was giving her points for how much I like her, and less how much I liked the book.

    Book that jumped up the list at the end-of-the-year review: Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith. This weird, wonderful book was pretty upsetting to me right after I finished it and I think it affected my placement. It is a humorous young adult novel about a sexually confused and frustrated teenage boy who accidentally ends the world by letting loose an army of murderous, six-foot tall insects. It's very funny. There are graphic scenes of humans being devoured bite by bite. It's... very funny. I'm not averse to dark humor, but this book was pitch black. In retrospect, I kind of loved it.

    Most disappointing book I read this year: The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani. I heard such good things about this middle grade book, and the premise sounded so delightful, that I asked for a physical copy for Christmas last year without reading it first. (I have very much moved away from owning books these days. I'm a library gal.) And it was a freaking mess. Narratively it made no sense, and it was sloppy on characterization, motivation, and drive. I gave it away two days after finishing it.

    Worst book I read this year: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.

    Why did I read this book? Well, I know why. Stephanie Perkins is kind of a big deal in young adult fiction right now, and this is the first book in a series that is passionately loved by some people I respect (critics, editors, other writers, etc.) The cover and title looked like utter nonsense, so I didn't have huge expectations going in, but this book blew me away. BLEW ME AWAY WITH BADNESS.

    Why did I finish this book? Well, I actually got it on CD, when I was still car-commuting pretty far with my last job. I was also living with two-roommates-ago, my very dear friend. Anyway, I was hate-reading it (or hate-listening-to-it?) and was so frustrated every day that I would come in and rant to my roommate about how absolutely horrible it was. My roommate thought this was funny and pretty much egged me into telling her the book piece by piece as I went through it. I hated it so passionately that it became its own form of entertainment.

    (Side note: completely coincidentally this friend texted me while I was typing this out. I asked if she remembered my response to this book and she wrote "HAHAHAHAHAHA.")

    Why did I hate it? I'M GLAD YOU ASKED. I know there are a lot of people in the world (and on MC) that sneer at young adult literature, and I would passionately argue that is wrong for plenty of reasons. Well, if you asked those sneering people what they dislike about young adult literature, I assure you, this is the book that they would describe.

    It is completely moronic. It is a book about young girls that somehow seems to really hate young girls. It has some fantasy-level premise (a girl who is somehow really rich and not rich at all is sent off to boarding school in Paris against her will; she bitches about it for ages) and is a love story between the most irritating, selfish, whiny, and least self-aware couple of all time. The hero (named Etienne St. Clair... I repeat, Etienne St. Clair) is a total asshole who refuses to break up with his long-term girlfriend while supposedly falling in love with our heroine, including active seduction techniques like... I don't know, sleeping in her bed for weeks at a time, while just agonizing over how impossible this situation is. To clarify: the hero's entire plot conflict could be resolved by breaking up with his high-school girlfriend. A thirty-second conversation could resolve this plot. Meanwhile, the heroine is in agony because she doesn't know if he liiiiiiikes her or not. All the bed-sleeping and endless conversations and romantic dating were so confuuuuuuuusing to her.

    There is also a strong subplot of girls being total jerks to their female friends. As we all know, women are only friends with other women to backstab them and steal their menfolk, right? Right? I HATE YOU, BOOK.

    If you finished that rant you get 100 internet dollars.

    In conclusion, you should read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making because it is good.
    ...and the milk's in me.

  19. #94
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    16,904
    As a bonus, here are actual reviews from Goodreads of Anna and the French Kiss, AKA The Worst Book Ever.

    372 pages of reading bliss and pure perfection
    St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. St. Clair. ST. CLAIR!!!!

    Can’t I just fill this review with his name instead of explaining how much I effing LOVED this book and trying to describe in vivid detail how beautiful and amazing and gorgeous and sexy and adorable and cute and sweet and perfect and totally smoking HAWT St. Clair is?

    Asdfghjkl <--- this is me being speechless. I just…I loved, loved, LOVED this book. I’m positively utterly, totally, absolutely completely, undeniably IN LOVE with this book. Just thinking about it makes me giddy. Seriously. It makes me wonder “why don’t my parents send me to France?! I want to find my own Etienne, dammit!” Sigh. Just thinking his name makes me swoon.
    This review goes on for about 16 more paragraphs.

    When I was four, I fell off a tree. I hit the ground face first. What I didn't know was that there was a very small, sharp root sticking out of the ground at the base of the tree. It went through my cheek. I went to the ER but had to wait until 2am because it was a busy night. I sat there for hours in that ER with a hole in my cheek. When the doctor finally saw me he thought that since it was a busy night and there were so many people in the ER that he would just sew up my cheek without having to wait for an anesthetic. And he did. He sewed my cheek back together with no pain relief. I have never experienced pain like that again in my life. Until now. Anna and the French Kiss was more painful than that night in hospital. It is a lifeless, desolate, lump of a novel. Its only purpose in this world is as a gauge by which we measure bad novels.
    There were many things I wanted to do to Anna Oliphant throughout this book. Some of them involve a bottle of choloroform, a shovel, and an unmarked grave. Mostly, I just want to bring Anna in front of the US Congress as an example of how the US educational system has grievously failed our students. To be frank, Anna Oliphant is a motherfucking idiot.
    How to describe Anna and the French Kiss?
    Anna and the French Kiss is flawless.
    Its pages are insured for $10,000 dollars.
    It does car commercials...In France.
    Its favorite director is Sofia Coppola.
    One time, Anna and the French Kiss met John Green, and he told it that it was pretty.
    One time, it punched worldsuck in the face...It was awesome.
    In a word, it is... divisive.
    ...and the milk's in me.

  20. #95
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    24,138
    The two best books I read this year:

    1. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage, by Haruko Murakami - a sad and surreal look at life during the 30-somethings. The main character suffers from a lack of identity and a loss of friendship, and experiences some bizarre, weird, mundane, and emotional things while trying to figure his life out. Very good. But if you don't like Murakami, stay away. It's so Murakamiesque it hurts.

    2. Revival, by Stephen King - a Lovecraftian tale with a heart, and one of the bleakest endings I've ever read.

  21. #96
    Social Retard Isaac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    3,683
    Somewhat disappointing year, the last three months especially. I was hoping to read more books. The top 10 is solid, though it hasn't changed since I last posted it in September.

    1. A Confederacy of Dunces (1980, John Kennedy Toole)
    2. The Tin Drum (1959, Günter Grass)
    3. The Painted Bird (1965, Jerzy Kosinski)
    4. A Tale of Two Cities (1859, Charles Dickens)
    5. Room (2010, Emma Donoghue)
    6. A School for Fools (1976, Sasha Sokolov)
    7. Catch-22 (1961, Joseph Heller)
    8. The Power and the Glory (1940, Graham Greene)
    9. Wise Blood (1952, Flannery O'Connor)
    10. Pale Fire (1962, Vladimir Nabokov)

    11. Listen to the Silence (1969, David W. Elliott)
    12. Ironweed (1983, William Kennedy)
    13. The 42nd Parallel (1930, John Dos Passos)
    14. Madame Bovary (1856, Gustave Flaubert)
    15. The Big Sleep (1939, Raymond Chandler)
    16. The Counterfeiters (1925, André Gide)
    17. FerdyDurke (1937, Witold Gombrowicz)
    18. Out Stealing Horses (2003, Per Petterson)
    19. The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (1910, Rainer Maria Rilke)
    20. Invisible Cities (1972, Italo Calvino)
    21. The Elementary Particles (1998, Michel Houellebecq)
    22. The Dead Father (1975, Donald Barthelme)

Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst ... 234

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
An forum