3 Books To Avoid This Winter


It's a no from us


We suffered so you don’t have to.

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, David Sedaris

In a nutshell: It seems written out of obligation rather than engaging material.

First thoughts: Is he being insightful, jaded or flippant? I couldn't bring myself to care. "But Sedaris is supposed to be funny," I would say, "maybe you are the problem, maybe you aren't getting it."

Final review: It’s true, I just don't get his humour.  

Who should read this book: People who thought Not That Kind of Girl was a riot.  

If this book was a guy at a cocktail party that you don't really want to be at: He keeps saying things like, “it reflects the human experience” about the playlist, at which point everyone nods, and for a moment you wonder how you ended up here, at this party, surrounded by buffoons.   

The Hour I First Believed, Wally Lamb

In a nutshell: Over the course of more than 700 pages, the narrative takes on major events (Columbine High School shooting, the Iraq war) and heavy issues (psychological trauma, drug addiction, prison reform, grief) to name a few.

First thoughts: A bland, rambling mess.

Final review: At its highest achievement, fiction can help us accept the complicated nature of our daily lives. This book takes on too much and leaves too little insight.

Who should read this book: Anyone who thinks they can explain Gravity’s Rainbow in a single tweet.

The Confabulist, Steven Galloway

In a nutshell: Martin Strauss has a degenerative condition that destroys his memories while replacing them with false ones. In his mind, he killed Houdini with a casual punch to the gut in 1926. As he recounts the story, the reader is left to decipher if it’s real or false.

Final review: Choppy dialogue and underdeveloped characters whose disjointed interactions feel written by a child who thinks that’s how adults talk to one another.

Read this book if your fondest memory was: Uncle Billy pulling a chocolate coin out of your ear at your seventh birthday and whispering “it’s our little secret.”

ThingsChloe Popove