What did I miss?

This is a discussion post, so please feel free to comment with your feelings.

Have you ever read a book that either a) gets a lot of praise from people and/or b) wins awards, and you just don't get why it did? I've been feeling that lately as books are winning awards and cycling around the blogosphere. I won't name any books directly, but there were some books that I read that other people just love and I'm left thinking... what did I miss? What made that book so great to other people and yet didn't touch me at all.

Has this ever happened to you? Please discuss.

P.S. I know that a certain vampire-series probably comes to mind, as it seems to be the series that suffers most from this. Let's try and avoid talking about it as it raises negative feelings in so many. Try to avoid "trashing" a book. I know you guys are above all that, but I just want to make sure.


  1. Everyone has different taste in genre of books, but also in the genre they like. Does that make sense? I think it's normal for a people not to like a book that popular. For every 5 people who read a book about 2 or 3 is going to hate it. I don't think the book blogging community would really be balanced if it was all 1 way on 1 book.

  2. I think it just depends on your preference. If a bunch of people read and loved a sci-fi book, but you hated sci-fi, you most probably wouldn't enjoy the book.

    Another possibility is that some people may connect more with a book than others.

  3. True, all true. Especially the part about varying the blogosphere. What would the point be if everyone thought the same?

  4. Some times certain subjects are more important to the reader than others. For a while I could really be into fantasy and then into non-fiction or whatever. This is one of the things that sometimes bugs me about book club recommendations, the books get so hyped up that by the time you read it you're expecting something that will totally wow you and are disappointed when you just felt so-so about it or in some cases absolutely hated it. I have a friend whose taste I almost always trust. She is my filter and it helps that she's one of the fastest readers out there. I think people just need to get a feel for whose opinions/reviews they trust to match their own ideas of what a good book is. It may take a while but be observant.

  5. Great info about a filter! I know that there's one or two bloggers whose recommendations I can always trust.

  6. Yes! That is why I have a really hard time reading something that has fantastic buzz...I am almost guaranteed to be let down. So, there are many books that most people love that I've not read because it just won't live up.

    Picky, picky me.


  7. I know what you mean. One time I bought a book from a shop and it was fifty cents. I got it because I had to buy so many books for it to be that much. Anyway, I didn't really think much of the book. Then I started blogging and it was one of the books that everyone loves. So I read it and well, it wasn't the best book in the world. I guess it comes down to it just wasn't my kind of book and thats why I find it hard to understand why people love it so much.

  8. It really does depend on the person reading. So far, I'm just a sucker for good writing. Other than a certain book about bat-people, and puppy-man/boys, I can't think of a truly controversial read.

  9. I LOVED "The Lovely Bones," but at work, several people have told me they hated it. What gives there? (DON'T SEE THE MOVIE.)

    I also loved "Holes," but several people told me they thought it was silly... I think they're silly to think the book was really about digging holes.

    "Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil" is da bomb, and it's even better because it's true. But it was made into a movie that stunk up theaters and made everybody question whether it had even been a good book.

    I think I missed the point, though, of "Eragon," (BORING! It's cool only because it was written by a 19-year-old, I think), and I'm SO sorry to say this, but I always found "Goose Girl" to be a little tepid.

    I'm nervous to read the "Hunger Games" books because everyone SWEARS I'll love them. I think it's much easier to stumble on a great book completely unawares... sometimes nothing predicts you'll hate a book like high expectations and tons of hype!

    And aren't you proud of me??? I didn't even mention how very much I loathe the "Twilight" series. :)

  10. This has happened to me before. Mostly on the Cybils commitee stuff. I've been doing that for four years, and there are always book on the shortlist that I was like "ummm... okaaay". Not to mention the one book like that usually wins.

    At this point I think I've just chalked it up to my reading tastes don't match the public. If everyone likes it, I won't, if everyone thought it was meh, then I will love it. Not true for everything, but definately true in some cases. :)

  11. Great topic. A lot of the time I feel like award-winning books end up being predictable, or even just depressing. But they can also be amazing. So, just like with any book, there are no guarantees.

  12. Vocabdiva,

    I thought you and I had an unspoken agreement that you wouldn't talk about Shannon's books unless you had something positive to say! ;) Just kidding.


    Is that a burden, or a blessing? Do you wish you saw more like other people?


    So true.

  13. Nah, I don't really think of it as a burden. Really, I just read what I like and share my (unusal) tastes with others. Sometimes they think I'm crazy, and other times they find a book that they wouldn't have read any other way.

    In some ways I kind of enjoy sharing lesser known books. I think there's a trend in the blogosphere that books get publcized a lot when they first come out, but then a year or two later they seem like old news. I've found myself waiting a while after things get released to read them for that reason. That way I've forgetten all the reviews, features, etc. I've seen about the book and I can look at it with fresh eyes.

    Again, not always true, but it happens more than every once in awhile.

  14. Enna,

    This year particularly the majority of the best liked books on the blogs I frequent were nowhere near my favorite reads of the year. Some, like "Ballad" and "Shiver", which not only had I heard tons of great things about, but which I also wanted to like, I just failed to get into. The writing was very...emotional and very appealing to the senses, but I really could not care for the characters. In general, one out every ten "popular" books I will like and I have been learning by comparing my reactions to a book to others' whose opinions I can trust.


Thank you so much for commenting! I read each and every one.

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