The Worst Books — Now We’re Talking!

I think I’ve OD’d on Best Books lists — we’ve  linked to 67 lists from 29 publications (see links at right). And, we’re being selective; we’ve  tried to keep it focused on the publications that have the most sway with consumers and librarians. I don’t dare to even try to count the number of lists put together by “Large Hearted Boy,” who, being large hearted and all, is going for quantity.

So, I couldn’t help but feel a bit of glee at Entertainment Weekly ‘s list of the five worst books of the year, most of them bestsellers.

They’ve also selected the top ten in fiction and nonfiction. The fiction list is the quirkier of the two.

Their #1 pick is a book that didn’t get the huge audience I thought it deserved,


Say You’re One of Them

Uwem Akpan

  • Hardcover: $23.99; 368 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown; (June 9, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0316113786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316113786

At #2, is a first novel that hasn’t appear on other lists. The pick gave it a lift on Amazon (from the low five digits to a high of #1,557). Some libraries are showing reserves.


The Book of Dahlia

Elissa Albert

  • Hardcover: $23; 288 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press;  (March 11, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0743291298
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743291293

It’s coming out in paperback in March:

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (March 10, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 0743291301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743291309

Appropriately, since Entertainment Weekly is a big supporter of graphic novels, they also include, at #5,


Bottomless Belly Button

Dash Shaw

  • Paperback: $29.99; 720 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (June 4, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1560979151
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560979159

2 Responses to “The Worst Books — Now We’re Talking!”

  1. Danielle, Seattle Book Examiner Says:

    I love the worst lists better than the best lists, especially when the titles were all hype and no jazz. I’ve compiled a list of my own:

  2. tired of all the gushing? « Collection Developments @ Sno-Isle Says:

    Post from Sno-Isle P.L.’s “Collection Developments” blog:

    with all the ‘Best of’ lists that build dust at the end of the year, Entertainment Weekly put together an amusing list of the 5 worst books of the year.

    now to be fair to “The Gargoyle” which i am listening to in audio, i couldn’t think of a more poorly envisioned marketing campaign, touting it as the next “Da Vinci Code” – think more along the lines of a Chuck Palahniuk. any candidates that you’d like to nominate?