Oprah Let Me Down

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

'Book Addiction' photo (c) 2010, Emily Carlin - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
For the past few weeks I've been juggling two books. One was our December/January book club selection and the other just because. Both are really meaty books, 600+ pages. Both are on Oprah's book lists. Both of them suck! 

I usually stick with a book. No matter how awful it is, I'll keep plugging away, especially if the book is something tons of other people talk about and love. Well, not this time. I waved the white book mark, threw in the proverbial towel. I took Freedom back to the library yesterday after about 250 pages. 

I didn't like the characters. I didn't like Franzen's writing style. I didn't care about the story. It was a giant snooze. I feel like a quitter but I have about 50 books in my 'to be read' and most of them look so good. I'd walk past them all on my way to bed knowing that one of them was going to knock my socks off and then open Freedom. I couldn't take it anymore. 

Then there's Wally Lamb's I Know This Much is True. I'm about 360 pages into it. I was really looking forward to it because both Deb and Mary loved it. But it's soooooo depressing! Not that depressing is bad. I've read books with heavy themes before and still enjoyed them. But this? Whoa.

We already had our book club meeting so I know the ending. This one I'm going to stick with (I think) but only because I want to see how certain plot lines play out. I will say I enjoy the writing in this book much better than Freedom. I haven't read too may of Oprah's book club selections but I've liked all the titles I've read. Until now.

What books have you waved the white book mark on? Have you read Freedom or I Know This Much is True? What did you think?


  1. I read I Know This Much is True years ago and I do remember it leaving me with a dark feeling but I also remember enjoying Wally Lamb's writing style.

    I have not read Freedom.

    However, I have always found Oprah's book club titles to be hit and miss for me too. One of her favorites - Joyce Carol Oates - is an author who I have not liked at ALL. There was another one that was made into a movie The House of Sand and Fog - terribly depressing tale and the book depressed me so much that there was no WAY I would watch the movie.
    Lovely Bones was another that went from Oprah Club to move - that book I liked. I haven't seen the movie though I've heard it was well done. Again though - topic is pretty harsh!!
    Oprah clearly loves the wordy, overly descriptive and waaaaaaaaaay dark depressing novels.
    I prefer a little more laughter now and then!

  2. Read them both and loved them both. That said, I can do depressing with no problem. I love Wally Lamb's writing.

  3. Noooooooooooooooooooo! This Much is True is the greatest book EVER.


    But I still love you.

    I liked Franzen's "Corrections," but haven't tried "Freedom" yet. Not sure I want to try...

    I've also found Oprah's picks to be hit or miss.

    My favorite pick of her's? Elie Wiesel's "Night."

  4. I read "Freedom," but did not love it. Did you read Franzen's first novel, "The Corrections"? It's one of my favorites.

    Unfortunately, I have waved the white flag on many books, too many to count or list.

  5. I have a policy regarding books - you have 50 pages to suck me in, or you're out. Why? Because I've spent so many years wasting my time on crappy books. I just refuse to do it anymore.

    The only exception to that policy would be the Twilight series by S. Meyer. I read those because Missy forced me to read them and IM with her at the same time so she could get my reaction to the series. Heh.

  6. I will probably never finish reading "A House for Mr. Biswas" by V.S. Naipaul. And not because I don't like it. What I've read so far is really entertaining. It's just so dang long! I bought the book in 2004, and I'm maybe a third of the way through. :)

  7. I learned long ago to not rush and buy Oprah's picks. Love in the Time of Cholera was so bad, I couldn't get through the first page.

  8. @Christina - I enjoyed The Lovely Bones too but heard the movie wasn't as good.

    @Jenn - There are things about Lamb's writing that I like but, with this book at least, it's buried under the subject matter.

    @Deb - You spoke so highly of it I thought for sure I would like it. Maybe I should have titled the post Deb Let Me Down. Ha! xoxo

    @Jennifer - OK, maybe I'll give Franzen another chance with Corrections.

    @Steph - My mom has the same 50 page limit. I stand proud that I've never even picked up a book in the Twilight series. :D

    @Robyn - 2004?! You have the patience of a saint to stick with a book for 7 YEARS! LOL!

    @Carmie - That has to be one of the worst book endorsements I've ever read! LOL!


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