One-Minute Book Reviews

December 26, 2007

Entertainment Weekly Names 5 Worst Books of 2007

Entertainment Weekly named Mitch Albom’s For One More Day one of the five worst books of 2006, but that novel almost looks like a neglected masterwork next to some of the titles on this year’s list. They are:

  1. If I Did It (O.J. Simpson’s name was removed from the cover of this one.)
  2. The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold
  3. The Mickey Mantle Novel by Peter Golenbock
  4. Celebrity Detox by Rosie O’Donnell
  5. Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell

 Jennifer Reese, the book critic for EW, tells why each book is so bad in an article on the site for the magazine that you can read here http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20167009_3,00.html.

(c) 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

11 Comments »

  1. Wow, very interesting list. What happened to Patricia Cornwell, she used to be good — ??

    Comment by anthropologist — December 26, 2007 @ 3:23 am | Reply

  2. The Worst Books of the Year list is something I look forward to each winter. It ALMOST makes you want to go out and read them!

    Comment by amateurish — December 26, 2007 @ 11:18 am | Reply

  3. Can any such list without “On Chesil Beach” on it possibly be taken seriously? :)

    Comment by Jon — December 26, 2007 @ 11:45 am | Reply

  4. Anthropologist: Interesting that Cornwell is on the list, isn’t it? What happens with a lot of blockbuster authors is that critics stop reviewing them (or reviewing them in as much depth as they once did) on the theory that their books will sell, anyway.

    So readers can lose track of how bad their books are getting until a list like EW’s appears. That’s one reason why I occasionally review novelists like Danielle Steel, whom critics typically ignore: Who’s going to keep these writers honest if no critics review them?

    Amateurish: Glad you enjoy them. When I was a critic for a daily newspaper, people would sometimes say when I reviewed an awful book, “Why don’t you give the space to something good?” So I’m grateful for comments like yours. Thank you!
    Jan

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — December 26, 2007 @ 11:55 am | Reply

  5. Jon: Hard-to-believe-but-true: “On Chesil Beach” is on EW’s best-of-the-year list (which you can find by clicking on the same link).

    But I tend not to call attention to best-of-the-year lists, because they’re usually less credible than the “worst” lists. One reason for the lack of credibility is that many publications publish only “best” lists, partly because their advertisers want, in the jargon of the industry, “a positive environment” for their ads (though this isn’t usually a factor at respected newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post and is more likely to come into play at magazines). And I just hate to reward publications for caving in to pressures from advertisers. It seems to me that any magazine or newspaper that does a “best” list should also do “worst” list.

    So that’s why I mentioned the Entertainment Weekly list and not some others. EW is one of the few magazines that still has the courage to do a “worst” list. And Jennifer Reese does a great job of making you see how awful some of these books are in a line or two.
    Jan

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — December 26, 2007 @ 12:28 pm | Reply

  6. Wow, this is turning into a very interesting discussion!

    So what’s wrong with “On Chesil Beach”? Haven’t read it, but I blogged about a review in The New York Times Book Review that compared Sabina Murray’s new novel to this one. OK, spill the beans, Jon, am dying to hear! (Ian McEwan read at Stanford — my neck of the woods — recently, and I missed his reading.)

    I wanted to put a “worst read of my year” on my Kanlaon blog: Amy Chua’s WORLD OF FIRE. But it wasn’t a new book, and I didn’t want to call any more attention to it . . . :-)

    Comment by anthropologist — December 26, 2007 @ 4:04 pm | Reply

  7. Lots of things wrong with “On Chesil Beach.” For starters, the sex scenes are so bad that the novel was longlisted for a Bad Sex in Fiction Award in the U.K. http://www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/11/23/. I mentioned some of the other problems in the original review http://www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/08/10/.

    It’s hard to fathom why the book is getting so much good press, beyond that McEwan is one of England’s most acclaimed writers (and the publishing industry tends to operate on the principle of “them that has, gets”). Would love to know what you think if you read it, because this one is really polarizing people.
    Jan

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — December 26, 2007 @ 7:32 pm | Reply

  8. Ahhh, ha ha ha! Bad sex scenes?? Let me at this book!

    By the way, I decided to experiment with writing a really hot sex scene in one of my stories. And the book I used to inspire myself was, of all things, Milan Kundera’s IGNORANCE (which has no sex, ha ha ha!) But it worked! Go figure! I sent the story out and someone told me it was EXCELLENT! I’m going to keep reading Kundera! (After I read ON CHESIL BEACH, of course! I might be so inspired after reading the latter book that I’ll end up writing a really HOT novel! Stay tuned . . . )

    Comment by anthropologist — December 27, 2007 @ 12:46 am | Reply

  9. Here’s even more inspiration. This post has a link to all the passages shortlisted for the 2007 Bad Sex in Fiction Award http://www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/11/28/.

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — December 27, 2007 @ 10:10 am | Reply

  10. I always want to read the books on these lists… just to see for myself! ;)

    Comment by thewritingrunner — September 18, 2008 @ 3:39 pm | Reply

  11. Some of them are so bad, they do have a certain comic value at times … :)

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — September 19, 2008 @ 2:41 am | Reply


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