Most Disappointing Books of 2018

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we liked all the books that we read? Unfortunately, that is not the case. A book will end up being disappointing sooner or later, either because it was not what we had expected or it didn’t live up to its initial promise. In 2018, I rated three books with 2 stars and didn’t finish other two. For the first time, I’m also mentioning the books that I didn’t read until the end on my most disappointing books of the year, since that is a genuine sign of lack of enjoyment.

 

Panorama by Dusan Sarotar

The narrator of Panorama is a writer from Slovenia who travelled around Europe and spoke with immigrants from various countries of origin. Sadly, it is unnecessarily confusing, and I found it almost impossible to retain information. The characters are forgettable and the writing style excruciating.

 

A Sibila by Agustina Bessa-Luís

This book by the Portuguese writer Agustina Bessa-Luís revolves around Quina, whose characteristics are enumerated by the narrator but never truly shown in practice. The characters are not well developed and the writing style feels forced. To make things worse, nothing particularly remarkable happens plot-wise. Continue reading

‘A Sibila’ by Agustina Bessa-Luís

My rating: 2 stars

I made the decision to read a book by Agustina Bessa-Luís some time ago while searching for Portuguese authors to add to my list of 100 Women Writers to Read in my Lifetime. The short articles I read portrayed her as a prodigious writer, and A Sibila was said to be her best book. However, after forcing myself to finish this novel, I really can’t understand the reason why she is so revered.

The first characters to be introduced to the readers are Germana and Bernardo Sanches. They are gazing at an old house, and, without paying much attention to what Bernardo is saying, Germa starts talking about Quina, whose real name was Joaquina Augusta. She was the second daughter of Maria da Encarnação and Francisco Teixeira, and is the main character in this novel.

Quina wasn’t beautiful and didn’t mind lying when she saw necessary. Generally speaking, she didn’t like other women. She scorned being part of a group of girls who had to be submissive and whose best hope was to marry. However, this topic is never fully developed. Her personality is, most of the times, straightforwardly enumerated by the narrator, no examples being given of specific actions or situations that would explain why she was being characterised in a certain way. Quina changes when a new person enters in her life later on in the book. At that moment, it feels like the story is finally going to become interesting, but it doesn’t. Continue reading

Book Haul – September 2017

I bought more books! Are you surprised? Probably not. I took some books from my shelves this month, so to celebrate I acquired some more. My bookcase is now again completely full. However, I’ve promised myself that I won’t be buying any more books until the end of the year, as I have more than enough to choose from. Will I be able to stick to my book buying ban? I’m not sure, but I’ll try really hard!

This month I did some online and in-store book shopping. These were my choices:

 

The Good People by Hannah Kent

I’ve been meaning to read a book by Hannah Kent for a really long time. I thought about reading her debut novel, Burial Rites, first, but then I fell in love with the cover of the paperback edition of The Good People, and bought it instead. It tells the story of Nóra who is trying to cure her grandson. He can’t speak nor walk and people believe him to be a changeling. Continue reading