12.12.2006

Next stop, Pooterville!

Warning: A full-tilt pooter post ahead, with lists and random ramblings and personal opinions from someone who doesn't get paid to give them. (If you haven't been keeping up with the pooter debate, well, you'll just have to trust me on this one.)

1. Worst of 2006: I have a theory about crappy books, novels or otherwise. Bad books are like bad relationships: You get out as soon as decently possible and never look back. How long you stick with an untenable situation is an individual preference; me, I tend not to hang around more than 30 pages (with a book; I've been known to last fewer than 30 hours with a bad relationship).

But this year was different. For various (and somewhat unsavory reasons) I actually read a bad book, cover to cover. So, now I have a Worst of 2006 to contribute. And the loser is: The Mephisto Club by---Whoever it is Authoress I Shan't Read Again.

To put it in Paid-Book-Reviewer parlance, what a piece of drek. Cardboard characters, unconvincing romance (with a priest, no less. Hasn't Tess Whose-It ever heard of The Thorn Birds?), over-the-top gratuitous violence and a rather morbid fascination with autopsy detail. (I think the author is a slicer-dicer in "real life," but I am feeling pretty uncharitably disposed toward this author who obviously has signed a multi-book deal along the way.)

I hated it. There, an uneducated, unsubstantiated, full-on personal Pooter opinion.

2. The Best of 2006. Swann's Way, of course. I can't rave on about Proust enough, but I can say I have cleaned off a shelf for him on my newly purchased bookcase (and considering how valuable bookshelf real estate is in MY apartment, that's saying a lot). I can't wait to continue with the Proust Project. And I hope I have something less Pooterish to contribute about him in the future. For now, RAH!

3. Never Cry Wolf: The Good Weekend Read. What with Christmas and 10-hour work days and multiple appliance disasters, I haven't been able to concentrate on really good fiction. So, this weekend I spent time cleaning my bookshelves (including purchasing two new ones from Craig's List). I now have an official TBR shelf. And I gave my books a good shot with Windex and a paper towel (works wonders on most books, save the really old ones) and then packed them into shelves with books of similar topic. I felt like a matron who had scrubbed up her scruffy little orphans and tucked them into a nice, clean bed. One of the glories of cleaning bookshelves is discovering hidden treasure. I found something I must have picked up from a 4-for$1 cart, Farley Mowat's Never Cry Wolf. What a great read! Mowat spins his tale about wolf observation in the Canadian wildnerness with a gentle sense of humor. Really enjoyable. (Mowat also wrote one of my favorite bios, about Dian Fossey, called Woman in the Mist.)

I leave you with one last thought: Pooters Rule!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love cleaning my bookshelves and looking over all my treasures, remembering fond moments with them and thinking about which books I cannot wait to read again. I just organized my TBR shelf last week and had a glorious time planning which books I want to read first in the coming year.

iliana said...

Hurrah for the pooters :)

And, I'm pretty sure I've got that worst book on my TBR shelf. Oh no.

LK said...

Carl, I am beyond the point of remembering when and why I bought them! I've even found multiple copies of some books...the true mark of having too many books, when you forget what you've got!

Iliana, well, maybe you will have some better insights than my thoughtful "what a piece of drek" observation. I would only suggest putting it at the bottom of the pile -- maybe for next year's RIP Challenge...?

Anonymous said...

Pooters rule indeed! Now I know I never have to read The Mephisto Club. Your post was actually quite useful :)

Dark Orpheus said...

You say "pooterish" as though it's a bad thing? Heh?

Ah, finding multiple copies of books. I know what that feels like. I was quite happy to accept my friend's copy of Murray Bail's "Eucalyptus" until I realised I HAVE a copy at home.

I think I'll steal your idea and do my own WORST OF 2006. Seems easier than BEST OF 2006.

I steal. ;)

Pauline said...

I tried one of Gerritsen's thrillers (not Mephisto) years ago and it was Patricia Cornwell meets Hannibal Lecter, with cardboard characters. I'm not against blood and gore but that one was useless... and it doesn't seem to be any better now. Your idea of the Worst book of 2006 is great, but I forget bad books as soon as I drop them!

Anonymous said...

I love Pooter-ish opinions. That one journalist has started a trend! I'm almost tempted to change my blog title to Bookpooter. I've never liked my title anyway, but that's because I didn't expect to keep my blog going this long.

As for my worst book of 2006, that dubious honor goes to Louisa May Alcott's "A Long Fatal Love Chase." I get depressed just thinking about the time I wasted reading that tripe. But I'm a compulsive book-finisher, so it's mostly my fault for even bothering with it. Raymond Khoury's "The Last Templar" is a close second. I'm embarrassed to admit I read that book. It makes "The Da Vinci Code" look literary, that's how awful it is.

LK said...

I will not touch the DaVinci Code, even if it's in a free box!

Hope to read about everyone's best/worst of 2006 books soon...

Lesley said...

I'll take a pooterish post over the alternative any day!

I'm thankfully not familiar with your worst read of 2006, but I'll be sure to keep it in mind should I come across anything resembling that description.

LK said...

Oh, I am sorry to hear of anything Alcott on someone's "worst" list! But I would have to probably agree that The DaVinci Code is the worst book I did NOT read in 2006!