2011 Book Wrap-Up Continued

First part of post here.

After finishing “Foucault’s Pendulum”, I needed to a few easy books. And no one is “easier” than the next author I choose.

15 – Dean Koontz “Mr Murder”
16 – Brad Thor “The Athena Project”

That was enough. Back to meatier reading:

17 – Robert A. Heinlein “Friday”
18 – Robert A. Heinlein “The Past Through Tomorrow”
19 – Robert A. Heinlein “Stranger in a Strange Land” (re-read)

Ok, more pap:

20 – Susanne Collins “The Hunger Games”
21 – Susanne Collins “Girl on Fire”
22 – Susanne Collins “Mocking Jay”

Next book was a suggestion of Xbrad:

23 – David Webber “On Bassilisk Station”
24 – Brian O’Brady “Hybrid”
25 – Sara Gruin “Water for Elephants”
26 – Jeffrey Eugenides “Middlesex” (Hotspur’s wife recommendation)
27 – Ayn Rand “We The Living” (great book, short read)
28 – Christian Cantrell “Containment” (ok, sci/fi – ending was a bit abrupt)
29 – Darcie Chan “Mill River Recluse” (meh)
30 – Nicholas Sparks “The Notebook”

And here, I pause, because WTF is the deal with Nicholas Sparks? You see his novels everywhere, prominently displayed, and always appearing on the best seller list. I was expecting an easy (beach) read, but with at least a mild level of writing competence. That had to be one of the worst books I’ve ever read. He’s written a zillion books and they all get high marks on Amazon. “The Notebook” launched his career – it should have doomed him to a middle level management job at Barnes and Noble. The only thing that has restored my faith in humanity are the one star reviews on Amazon. This one, gives me hope:

What a waste of my time. Hands down the worst book I’ve ever read. And I read. A lot. But this was painfully bad. I was somewhat ashamed that I had bothered to read it. It is one of the few books I’ve ever thrown away in my life.

Nicholas Sparks is a Hallmark card writer. He writes with the characterization skills of a drunk monkey. His plotting is plodding and choppy.

Please, please save your money. Read Hemingway. Read McMurtry. Read Chabon or Hornby. Heck, read Danielle Steel if you must read utter trash, but do not waste your precious brain cells on Nicolas Sparks.

It is sad to think of the money this cheesemonger has made while Michael Chabon, a Pulitzer Prize winning author is considered unknown by the simpering females who swallow Sparks’ tripe and beg for more. That is sad, scary and terribly unjust.

And this one is spot-on as well:

Want to be a writer, but think you have no talent? Read Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook. It will inspire you to pick up a pencil and write a new bestseller. That this sappy, predictable, pathetic attempt at writing became a bestseller speaks volumes about the American reading public. High school students can out-write this man. Save your money. Don’t even get it at the library, life is too short.

EVERYONE can be a writer! You don’t really have to be that determined or hard working, because once you get tired of working on the story, you can just summarize the ending!

Nicholas Sparks is the “worst” big writer I’ve ever read. Honestly, he is horrible. The characters are flat, and he barely manages to move the plot along with action or dialog. He summarizes. Bleh.

I’d like to blame Nicholas Sparks for derailing my reading project of 2011. After this monstrosity, I only read 7 more books.

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9 Comments on “2011 Book Wrap-Up Continued”

  1. I have never read Sparks, or seen the movies based on his so-called writings.

    To have the entire PTO swoon over his crap was enough to warn me off that pile of refuse.

  2. Car in Says:

    I never really knew anything about his writing – otherwise I would have avoided it. I must live in a hole or something. I just made an assumption that he must be an ok writer of beach-reading.

    Boy, was I WRONG.

  3. Car in Says:

    One of the reviewers at Amazon said the reason his books are turned into movies is because his books are basically only outlines anyway. The screenwriter can do what he wants.

  4. Can he really be worse than Stephen King?

    I mean, King can write a passable short story, but his novels, with the exception of The Stand, are beyond trash.

    Oh, and Stranger In A Strange Land? One of the bestest books ever.

  5. Car in Says:

    Yes. He is worse. Much worse.

    He is unbelievably bad.

  6. Hotspur Says:

    When I write my novel Ima name it The iPad.

  7. I had a really tough time reading Foucault’s Pendulum, it was so intertwined and byzantine and complex I could only read a few pages at a time. I only stuck through it because I loved The Name of the Rose so much but I didn’t care for it as much as the previous book.

    If you’re looking for a new author, check out Loren Estelman. Anything by him.

  8. Car in Says:

    Will do, Christopher.

  9. You’ve got me re-reading C. S. Lewis’ The Weight of Glory.

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