The Chocolate Lady’s Worst Books of 2022!
It wasn’t that long ago that I shied away from quitting a book. But I’m getting older, and since I retired, I refuse to deprive myself. That means I will no longer suffer through a book I’m not enjoying. I should have done this sooner, I know. In fact, my fellow blogger Aryssa @ Aryssa Reads posted something on December 29th which struck a chord with me, and prompted me to write this post. She declared that in 2023 she “… will DNF a book if it takes me more than 2 days to read 50 pages.” Since I’ve been told you all about my favorite books of 2022, and since I’m owning up to DNFing books (I’ve done 13 DNF Friday posts so far), I might as well tell you about the five 2022 books I DNF this year (and since this is the first Friday the 13th of 2023, well… bad luck for these authors, I’m afraid)!
I’m going to count down from least bad to most horrible here so, without any further ado…
The 5th Worst Book
A Lady Newspaperman’s Dilema by Eileen Joyce Donovan.
This was actually just a shame, and very unfortunate. I did like the premise here, and it seemed like it might have been a good story, but the file I got from the publisher was totally unreadable. They even sent me a different version, and that was worse. I’m not talking about just suddently seeing strange fonts, or uneven formatting; I’m talking about whole swaths of text seeming to be missing in one place and showing up somewhere else! Yeah, that bad. I know, I probably should take this one out of my DNF pile and put it on my NRN (Not Right Now) pile, but… the writing wasn’t all that great, either.
The 4th Worst Book
Switchboard Soldiers by Jennifer Chiaverini
I had such high hopes for this one, and I was sure I wouldn’t get approved for this one. I mean… Chiaverini isn’t an unknown author, and I liked her “Enchantress of Numbers.” With the subject matter reminding me of Runyan’s “Girls on the Line” I had very high hopes. That’s why I was shocked when I just barely scraped through the first sections introducing our main protagonists here. Okay, so Enchantress wasn’t a WOW book for me, but it wasn’t so heavy-handed with the background details. Perhaps Chiaverini bit off more than she could chew with having to profile three women instead of just one. Sorry, but I didn’t care about any of them after that, so I dropped the book altogether.
The 3rd Worst Book
The Patron Saint of Second Chances by Christine Simon.
The link in the title here is not to Goodreads, it is actually to my “non-review” of this novel that I put up as a #DNF Friday post. In case you don’t want to click on that link, let me just say that this was supposed to be a comedy, but I found it to be just sad! Furthermore, it made me think about those bad sit-com TV shows where it is all about the slapstick, physical humor and everything is over the top and stereotyped to extreme. You know, the kind where they don’t have a studio audience, and instead put in a laugh track behind the dialogue so that the viewers will know what’s supposed to be funny. Well, they were wrong; I DNF this one because I didn’t laugh even once.
The 2nd Worst Book
Chaos at Carnegie Hall by Kelly Oliver
Um… I really liked the writing here – very snappy and alive. However, if these are the type of people who the British Home Office sent abroad on espionage missions during the Great War, it is a wonder that the allies ever won. They’re all so preoccupied with everything else around them (romance, their dogs, flirting with women), that I can’t see them solving any kind of mystery or catching even a fly! And they all seem so… well… stupid (even having a photographic memory doesn’t mean you can figure out the meaning behind what you’re brain has photographed). In addition, everyone was far too talkative for people wandering around under cover. Plus, all the “famous” people here – Dorothy Parker, Margaret Sanger, Thomas Edison, J. Edgar Hoover – just felt all too convenient and inserted just to drop their names. Sorry!
The Absolute #1 WORST Book of 2022!
Hotel Portofino by P.J. O’Connor
Again, I did a DNF Friday for this one already, which you’ll find in the link above. The thing is, this is the real reason I wrote this post – because this book and its subsequent TV series pissed me off. I’m totally certain that someone was trying to pull a fast one over on us with this book – tossing out a novel for the sole purposes of promoting an upcoming TV series. Sadly, this is one of those cases where the book and the filmed version are exact matches – they’re both terrible! Both are a jumble of inconsistencies and confusion, with unlikely characters doing absurd and/or stupid things, and expecting us to allow them their follies because they’re all rich and/or upper class! Plus, they want us to feel sorry for them that their wealth has made them the target of the local “authorities” who are nothing but everyday thugs acting as puppets for Mussolini.