Monday, February 6, 2017

Un-Haul 2017: January

This year, I am going to make a conscious effort to "un-haul" books that I have read and, for one reason or another, not loved.  I have limited space and life is too short to hoard books you don't love.  Every month, I am going to cull my shelves of recent disliked reads and dusty, unloved books and pass them along to friends, colleagues, or charity shops.  This month, I have four books that I am waving goodbye to.

The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country by Helen Russel-- I and enjoyed this book about Danish culture last year; I liked it, but I didn't love it.  Despite all of the hygge hype recently, I didn't see myself re-reading this one.  So, I happily passed this one along to a nesting colleague.

The Girls by Emma Cline-- Arguably one of the worst books I read last year was Emma Cline's over-hyped debut, The Girls.  The book is marketed as a fictionalized version of the Manson Family's exploits from the point of view of a teenaged girl.  As someone who (if you haven't already noticed based on my favorite podcasts) LOVES true crime stories, this one fell terribly flat.  It was over-written and  . . . boring.  Don't believe the hype on this one, folks: you'd be better off listening to the "Charles Manson's Hollywood" series of You Must Remember This.

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hillary Mantel-- I purchased this one for a song from Book Outlet late last year on a whim.  Given the title, I had hoped (deep in my fenian heart) that this was an alternative history where The Iron Lady got what she deserved.  No such luck (not really, not to the degree that you'd hope).  Instead, this is a collection of off-putting short stories; to be frank, you'd be better off reading one of Mantel's Thomas Cromwell doorstops.

Nicotine by Nell Zink-- I reviewed this odious little novel earlier this year.  Suffice it to say, it's well written, but terribly offensive.

Now that I have un-hauled them here, it's off to the Salvation Army with these.  If nothing else, my disappointing reads can help fund important humanitarian work . . . and give space for new books.

Read.  Resist.  Repeat.