Most Disappointing Books of 2019

Every year there are books that I hope to at least mildly enjoy but that end up being disappointing for a variety of reasons. 2019 was sadly full of those books. And they were not disappointing in the sense that I only didn’t love them as much as I was expecting to. I truly didn’t like them. Some I read in their entirety and rated with two stars, while others I decided not to finish, as I had no hope to start enjoying them at any point.

First, there were three books that I read until the very end but that I didn’t like.

 

The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin

Two women, Hester and Rebekah, who are developing feelings for one another, try to discover why people are disappearing around London in 1831. The premise sounded promising. However, there is no aura of mystery throughout the book, in part because the descriptions are soulless. The plot is unjustifiably meandering. Some events are completely unnecessary for the clarification of what is supposed to be the main mystery. And there is also too much telling and not enough showing. I only kept reading because I was mildly curious to know the reason behind the disappearances. Continue reading

‘Teoria Geral do Esquecimento’ (‘A General Theory of Oblivion’) by José Eduardo Agualusa

My rating: 2 stars

A woman shutting herself in her apartment on the eve of the independence of Angola in 1975 is an interesting premise for a book. Unfortunately, José Eduardo Agualusa didn’t manage to turn it into a compelling story in Teoria Geral do Esquecimento (A General Theory of Oblivion in the English translation). Despite having a strong beginning, the novel feels underdeveloped in terms of plot and too many characters are hardly more than names on a piece of paper.

Ludovica moved from Portugal to Angola with her sister Odete when she married an engineer called Orlando. Ludo had never wanted to be alone, thus her sister had never gone travelling. Knowing that Odete would never abandon her sister, who since a young age struggled to go outside, Orlando made clear that she could go with them. When the revolution happened in Portugal and Angola became one step closer to independence, Orlando didn’t want to leave Luanda. He soon changed his mind. However, he and his wife disappeared after attending a friend’s farewell party. Ludo only received a call asking for diamonds in exchange for her sister.

When a random boy tried to enter the house, Ludo picked up a gun and shot him almost without really wanting to. The moment they shared before he died made hate and fear almost go away. Afterwards, Ludo decided to build a wall to separate her apartment from the rest of the building. She was afraid of the outside world. Continue reading

Book Haul – June / July 2018

Ahead of my birthday (which is today!), I bought some books as a gift to myself. I have had almost all of them in my possession for a while now, as I ordered them online and they arrived much earlier than I had anticipated. Nevertheless, I decided to wait until today to reveal my new acquisitions to you. Some of them are representing certain countries at the ‘EU still 28’ reading project, others felt like the perfect books to delve into this summer, and a few were on discount and caught my attention.

Without further ado, these are the eight books that I bought recently:

 

Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan

This is the third book in The Memoirs of Lady Trent series. After reading and enjoying the first two books (A Natural History of Dragons and The Tropic of Serpents) last year, I plan to read the Voyage of the Basilisk really soon. I am eager to be absorbed in another adventure of the famous dragon naturalist, Lady Trent. Continue reading