Where Are the Good Books? Reading into 2016

New Year’s Eve, 2014. As the ball slowly descended onto Time Square, counting down the seconds to midnight, I recited my list of resolutions I wanted to accomplish in 2015: Lose weight, eat healthier, make better choices in boyfriends, write a novel, read at least 100 books.

Confetti flies around the ball and countdown clock in Times Square on New Year's Eve in New York January 1, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY ANNIVERSARY) - RTR4JSGR
Confetti flies around the ball and countdown clock in Times Square on New Year’s Eve in New York January 1, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (UNITED STATES – Tags: SOCIETY ANNIVERSARY) – RTR4JSGR

365 days later. Did I meet any of my goals? Well, I lost a few pounds…and gained several more. I ate healthy…sporadically…for a few weeks. I don’t have a boyfriend. I’ve started on my novel (two, actually), and while I haven’t posted any updates on said novels for several weeks now, I am still fervently writing. As for the 100 books? Um, no. Not even close.

I might have read five—count ’em, 5—books in their entirety this year. Three I’ve posted reviews on (Fifty Shades of Grey, Mrs. Poe, and White Oleander). Between the other two, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Jacquelyn Mitchard’s The Deep End of the Ocean, I enjoyed the latter more. The Deep End of the Ocean is an amazing story of family drama, love, pain, suspense, mystery, self-discovery and coming-of-age, and much more. Out of the five—count ’em, 5—books I’ve read this year, The Deep End of the Ocean is the one I recommend you all to read if you haven’t already (White Oleander comes in a close second). Gone Girl was good, but I didn’t much care for the second half of the novel. It got predictable, and for lack of a better word, cheesy. And I just hated that god-awful ending. Talk about anticlimactic!

Gone-Girl_Rosamund-Pike

So why is it that I’ve only read five—count ’em, 5—books in 2015? Well, it has a lot to do with the fact that I’ve just been a picky reader this year. I’ve picked up (insert downloaded) many books this year, but by chapter six, I lose interest, and in some cases, even sooner than that. Either the books were complete snooze fests—pages and pages of boring and useless descriptions that did nothing to propel the plot—or they had no plot at all—complete chapters with nothing but dialogue, short paragraphs of summary and more unnecessary dialogue, flat characters, cringe-worthy repetition, a wandering narrator…

This Christmas, I spent nearly two hours on Amazon.com looking for a good book to have sent to my mom’s kindle on Christmas Day. After reading countless previews and finding nothing that piqued my interest, I finally settled on James Patterson’s latest Alex Cross novel. Couldn’t go wrong with that, right? I can’t remember a time when she wasn’t reading James Patterson and his iconic character, Alex Cross. However, the whole point of spending my entire lunch hour and more surfing Amazon was to find a great book and a new author she’d get hooked on and read for years to come, like James Paterson.

51TCoOGHAiL__SX319_BO1,204,203,200_

The problem I have with Amazon is that it has so many books that just aren’t good. I would find a book with a four or five star average rating, but after reading the preview, I’d wonder, how on earth did this even get published? Often I find myself reading the negative reviews first. Unless it’s a controversial author, the negative reviews are usually the most honest and less bias. If they don’t sound too bad, then maybe I’ll consider making the purchase. For some books, however, I don’t even get past the back cover for the very confusing synopsis. If the synopsis is that bad, the book has to be horrible!

Most of the novels I’ve purchased from Amazon lately are in desperate need for an editor. I don’t mean to say that they are poorly written. On the contrary, many authors are excellent wordsmiths. Unfortunately, 300 pages of pretty words do not always make a good story, and that is the problem I’ve been consistently running into.

Maybe in 2016 I’ll have better luck finding good books to read. I won’t aim quite so high, though. My resolution is to read (cover to cover) six books next year—that’s one more than this year. Hopefully, I’ll far exceed my expectations.

stack_of_books

Did you struggle to find a good book to read this year? What novels do you recommend I read to get out of this funk? If you’re an author, post in the comments a link to your novel! I’ll add that to my list of books to read in 2016. I can’t promise a review, though. I’m too much of a procrastinator for that. 😉

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11 thoughts on “Where Are the Good Books? Reading into 2016

  1. I read a lot more than you, but I can’t even come close to matching your talent with writing, so maybe you shouldn’t be too sad about not reading so much 😉 Haha!
    I loved White Oleander and Gone Girl. I didn’t love The Deep End of the Ocean, but I liked another book by that author…can’t remember what. I hated The Goldfinch, and people DO go on about it like it’s the best thing ever. lol Last year, I loved Belong to Me, Every Last One, The Bone Clocks, and Certain Girls. I also read fellow blogger Carrie Rubin’s Eating Bull and it was excellent, although not really my genre. (It was a crime thriller.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thanks Joey 🙂 I think the stories I write and the many blog posts and articles I read throughout the day more than make up for the measly 5 books I read last year. Haha! I’ve been making a list of all the books I want to read this year. I’ll add Eating Bull to that list because I’m a sucker for a good crime thriller. Right now, I’m reading Mary Kubica’s Pretty Baby.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have read quite a few good books (in my opinion) this year and I got all of them free from either Book Bub or EBook Habits. I feel like if I start reading a book and don’t like it (which is unusual) then I haven’t wasted any money. Happy New Year Nortina!! I hope you have a wonderful 2016!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think my problem is that I’m so picky, and I read most books (like I watch movies) with an editor’s eye. I don’t feel like I wasted money though (I tend to go for books that are under $14 unless I know & love the author), I only read 5 books! Haha!

      Liked by 1 person

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