If you (don’t) read one book this year. . .

make it The Mermaid Chair. This was the first book that our Online Book Discussion Group read, and I only finished it because I didn’t want to be the kid in English class that didn’t read the book. I did that enough in high school (sorry, mom).

While I’ll spare you the gory details and plot spoilers, my biggest problem was the main character. How the reader was supposed to sympathize with this person, I’ll never know. She was the most vapid and egomaniacal character I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading about.

So if you can at all manage it, do not read this book. I’m already off to the races with Sarah Vowell’s Assassination Vacation, and after about 20 pages of her anti-Bush, “I don’t believe in God”-laden diatribe, I’m enjoying it FAR MORE than I did The Mermaid Chair. That should tell you something.

10 thoughts on “If you (don’t) read one book this year. . .

  1. No, I never did post anything about deciding on a book. I figured that those who were interested would keep up with the posts on the message board.

    However, that does raise an interesting question. Do people want regular blog posts here (or perhaps on a dedicated book-forum site) announcing stuff like that for the forum.

    For instance, I just posted another poll for people to vote on which book we’ll read next. Is that something people want to be notified of on this blog?

  2. What? I didn’t realize a book had been picked! Did you post that you were getting started on a book and I just missed it?

  3. Check out the “Next Book” forum, and you’ll see the current poll for the April/May (probably May/June) book is up. There are two non-fiction books on it, one of which is currently leading the voting. 🙂

  4. Hooray for Assassination Vacation! I totally loved it (so it made my top 25 for 2005 list) and I think Sarah Vowell is just too cool for school.

    And hey, since I bet we’re not the only ones who like Sarah V better than Sue MK, what if the book group reads NON FICTION instead??

    Shocking idea, I know … but it’s so crazy it just might work!

  5. The Mermaid Chair was awful. I picked up another book that was on the list (Curious Incident) after finishing ‘Chair’ and liked that one a whole lot more. Who voted for the Mermaid Chair anyway!!!!

  6. *that* bad?

    The reviews by Amazon.com and Publisher’s Weekly make it sound like an intense moral tale, but not horrible. Reader reviews rate it 2.5 out of 5 stars.

    I wish I had the time to read it. I picked up the paperback from my last Border’s trip, but frustration/exhaustion with work kept me reading only “Mere Christianity” in short sittings and not much else. While the book club read through it, it languished on my bookshelf. I stopped visiting the forum since I didn’t want any spoilers or bias.

    that bad, huh? 🙁

  7. I hated Mermaids Chair with a passion. One of the worst books I have read for a long time. My book club pretty much hated it too. I think SMK is just coasting because so many people like “Secret Life of Bee’s”

  8. Mermaid’s Chair was awful. And, I’m embarassed to say, I voted for it.

    I’m all for a non-fiction format!

  9. Mermaid was definitely one of the worst books ever…and no…I didn’t vote for it. I am reading “Life of Pi” now and only 12 pages into it, I am enjoying it more than Mermaid!

  10. i never actually got around to reading the mermaid chair, but now i almost want to because i can’t believe a book could be that phenomenally bad, and i’m curious now…especially cuz i read secret life of bees and enjoyed that one…hmmmm…

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