WHEN A GOOD BOOK GOES BAD - FT. SLOANE CROSLEY


You know what sucks? Disappointing books. And I've been reading a bunch of them for about six weeks, trawling through pages and pages of yawn-inducing drivel. I'm ashamed to admit this, but during long train journeys, I've even found myself wishing I had a copy of Twilight. Yes, it's getting that bad. I figured the best way to move on from this uninspiring funk would be to write about it, just like my sixteen-year-old self would write letters to ex-boyfriends and then burn them in an aura-cleansing ritual. Except instead of burning this rant, I'll be broadcasting it to you. No, honestly, it's my pleasure! Let's get started...

I WAS TOLD THERE'D BE CAKE - SLOANE CROSLEY

Sloane Crosley's memoir has been on my must-read list for months, alongside Lena Dunham's Not that Kind of Girl and Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist. I'd psyched myself up for a sass-attack from a woman who Vogue describes as a cross between Carrie Bradshaw and David Sedaris - two of my ultimate heroes. Well, I was disappointed. It's got all the potential of a great memoir, from the clever self-analysis to the unlikely scenarios, but it just didn't work. It was jarring and remarkably distant for a genre that's personal by definition. I did, however, laugh out loud at one chapter, but as a friend of mine explained: 'A good chapter in a bad book is like a sweet gesture in a crap relationship - not enough.'

THE PHOTOGRAPH - PENELOPE LIVELY

I read this a few weeks ago and I've already forgotten 90% of the plot. It's gone, completely erased from my mind. I know there was a photograph that played a rather important part and perhaps a death, but other than that, I'm blank. Honestly, I'm wracking my brain for something more than the title, and I've got nothing, nada, zilch. A pub? A garden? Who knows! At the time, it seemed like a pretty decent read, and I do have another of Lively's books on my literary waiting list, but you'd think the work of a Booker Prize Winner might be a bit more memorable? I guess not.

NOTES FROM AN EXHIBITION - PATRICK GALE

Much like I've endeavoured to find the perfect coat, the perfect variety of apple, and the perfect filter for my photographs, I've also spent a great deal of my adult life in search of the perfect book. Not superficially perfect, but extraordinarily suited to my person. And after the first three chapters, I thought I might have found my perfect book in Notes from an Exhibition. Tortured artist? Check. Suspicious past? Check. Endless descriptions of paintings in the artists' studio? Check. I was hooked. But then the turps-scented, paint-splattered atmosphere of the novel dispersed. It slipped through my fingers like sand. It's not a bad book, but it's not perfect.

Have you read any of these books? (Kathy, if you're reading this, I'm bummed that I didn't love I Was Told There'd Be Cake as much as you do - but I'm sure Sloane's happier sharing your bubble baths than she has been tagging along on my commute!) If you have any recommendations to get me out of this slump I'd love to hear 'em!

4 comments

  1. Aw, sorry it was a disappointment! I do like that quote though... 'A good chapter in a bad book is like a sweet gesture in a crap relationship - not enough.'
    And let me know your thoughts on Not That Kind of Girl when you get to it! I own it but have yet to start it. xo
    Kathy | laceandwhimsy.com

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    1. I think it's just a different style to what I'm used to! I will definitely share my thoughts on Not That Kind of Girl, it seems like something I'd love, but who knows! x

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  2. I've been laughing out loud at these! Note to self not to read them!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed them, Emma! Who doesn't love a good rant?

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