It seems like lately I haven’t been able to keep an interest in many of the books I’ve picked up to read since A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Normally when I give up on a book, it is either returned to the library shelves, or donated to the library for a future booksale.
However, since I’ve been coming across so many books that I just really don’t like, I figure I might as well share my thoughts on these books, especially when these were very hyped and very popular with most other readers out there.
1. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron
I only read about a third of this book, and I had to force myself to get that far. I never fully understood why a book about a cat who lived in a library required over 250 pages. I love cats and I’m a librarian, but this book did not tug on my heart strings. I felt that the author was very preachy about how small-towns are more superior than large cities. Although the chapters on the community and history of Spencer were meant to give Dewey’s existance more substance, I still didn’t feel any connection to the town, the library or Dewey. I felt that although Dewey was probably an adorable and friendly cat, I didn’t really understand how he was different or more special from any other cat out there. The prose is too flowery and it just didn’t capture my interest.
2. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
Lisa See has garnered some fantastic reviews for her books, particularly Geisha Girls. I picked up Snow Flower and the Secret Fan at a library booksale, because it was highly recommended across the book blog-o-sphere. I didn’t dislike the book. I connected and sympathized with the main character right away, and found the entire foot binding sections to be horrendous and heart breaking. I think in another time in my life, I would have really enjoy this book more. My only complaint, and the biggest, is that I found the pace to be really slow going. Although I cared about the characters, I didn’t have the patience to keep reading this book.
3. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
I had heard really good things about this book and how inspirational it was towards promoting a healthier lifestyle. This is the story of how Kingsolver and her family moved from the big city to a small farm where they lived on an almost entirely organic diet of food grown on their homesoil. I even chose this book as a book club selection for July. One week into reading this book, all 5 girls in the book club decided to stop reading this book because none of us liked it. I read about 4 chapters and found Kingsolver to be incredibly preachy and self-congratulary. I think one of the major problems is that I am not the target audience for this book. I already shop for produce at the local farmer’s market every Sunday morning. I don’t buy fast food or junk food except on rare occasions. I tried to grow my own plants, but not everyone is born with a green thumb. I ended up killing my plants. I tried, I failed, I shouldn’t be made to feel as if I’m soley responible for global warming because I can’t garden.