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

Neglected Books on My Shelves

Before choosing which book I was going to read next after finishing the last one, I had a look at my shelves and realised that there were some books there that I had bought a really long time ago and that remained unread. These are the three books which I believe have been neglected for the longest time.

The Ladies’ Paradise by Émile Zola

I really can’t remember specifically when I bought the Portuguese translation of this book, but it was at a time when I wanted to read more books by French authors. However, at the beginning of last year I finished Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert and wasn’t that impressed. So, my desire to read French classics waned a bit.

The Ladies Paradise recounts the rise of the modern department store in late nineteenth-century Paris. The store is a symbol of capitalism, of the modern city, and of the bourgeois family: it is emblematic of changes in consumer culture and the changes in sexual attitudes and class relations taking place at the end of the century.” Continue reading