Most Disappointing Books of 2016

I can confidently say that in 2016 I didn’t read one book that I considered to be a truly bad one. However, two of the books that I read in 2016 left me disappointed, since I was expecting so much more from them. Maybe my expectations were too high or they were just not the right books for me.

The one that disappointed me the most was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Although it is definitely an imaginative story, it doesn’t have a plot that really makes sense to sustain it. It is merely a sequence of Alice’s encounters with odd characters, who are never really well developed. I really struggled to finish this short book, which may be a reminder that imagination is far more acute during childhood. You can read a more comprehensive review here.

If This Is a Man was the other book that disappointed me in 2016. When I bought the Portuguese translation of this book (Se Isto é um Homem) by Primo Levi, I thought it was a fictional work. I definitely hadn’t done any research about it, because if I had done so I would have known that this is an autobiographical memoir focusing on the days that Primo Levi spent on the concentration camp of Auschwitz.

Primo Levi presents the reader with a real account about how he got captured, what he had to endure while at the concentration camp, how the days passed by, and what he had to do in order to survive. Although I learnt new and horrific facts about one of the worst moments in Europe’s past, it felt like I was reading a soulless account from a history schoolbook. I didn’t feel as moved as I was expecting to be.

Nevertheless, I ended up rating both of these books with three stars, which made 2016 a good reading year in terms of quality, since these were the books I liked the least. You can discover all about my last year’s favourite reads here.


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