It is rightly said that we should not judge the book by its cover. The saying itself is a cliche now. Whenever I like a book cover I also give it a 2 page reading test to the book and most of the time it tells me what to do with the book. Books are by nature an impulse purchase and book marketers know the importance of the good jacket and they have mastered the art of designing one. But maybe, designing the jacket is the easiest part of the process of creating a good book ( Just to make my point, I have designed one too 😛 ) .
Some of these
Here are the following books that left me disappointed this year.
- Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday :
A unique writing style and a political satire to do something impossible- as fascinating as it may sound, it was my most disappointing book of the year. I found it in a book sale and the cover was interesting – I read couple of pages and it seemed promising but the promise faded as quickly as I started progressing in the book. After almost dragging it midway, I questioned my judgement and abandoned the book . I gave it 1 out of 5 stars on goodreads.
2. The Picador book of Cricket by Ramchandra Guha :
Ramchandra Guha is the prominent cricket historian and when I came across the book that he complied the best writing on cricket over the years- I couldn’t stop my excitement and grabbed the book in one go. Turns out I was more excited about the idea of the book than the actual book. I enjoy reading long form articles on cricket- sometimes more than watching the game itself ( sorry- not a big T20 or ODI fan – also don’t have enough time to watch the test cricket ), but not reading all of them at once for sure. Maybe my approach towards the book was wrong- i should have read an article a day and then moved on the other book for more reading time. I tried to read all of it at once and it started becoming monotonous. I started to fast track the articles on cricketers I eventually like and left a portion of book unread. 2 out of 5 starts on goodreads.
3. From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan :
Ryan’s writing style is unique and this book got him longlisted for the Man Bookers prize this year. My disappointment with the book might be correlated to my expectations from it. Written in form of 4 stories, From a Low and Quiet Sea starts on a positive note. Syriyan doctor trying to escape ISIS- reminded me bit of Exit West, but the other 2 stories couldn’t connect with me well. The forth story that is suppose to connect all the 3 previous stories could make any sense to me and as much I wanted to love this book, I couldn”t do so. 2 out of 5 stars on goodreads.
4. What would Google do ? by Jeff Jarvis
I take full responsibility here. What was I thinking when I picked an old used copy of the ‘tech’ book published in 2009. The eco-system has completely changed and though Google still is one of the most important innovator around- there are still many companies who have done few things better than google. I see this happening with many business or tech book- they start on a promising note and then they keep repeating what they initially say and then there is completely loss of direction. They are basically a good magazine article that they stretch in a book form and there they lose it. It happened with this one and I gave up once the pattern started repeating. 2 out of 5 stars on goodreads.