The Good, The Bad and The Average

From where I’m sitting there are three types of books in this world: the books you stay up all night reading and just can’t bring yourself to put down, the books that you’re tempted to toss aside right from the very first chapter, and those in-between books that are fine, just fine, but maybe a tad bland.


The last book I just couldn’t put down was Gone Girl, and I know I’ve raved about this book to death but I just found the pages disappearing as I got deeper into the story. This was a true show-stopper; I felt like I never wanted it to end. I love Flynn’s writing style and I was completely taken in by her characters. I don’t think I’ve ever connected so much with any book before and I doubt I’m ever likely to again (until I get around to finishing my own).

The most recent book I just wanted to junk was Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson. I hate giving up on a book; I always feel like I owe it to the author to see it through to the end, just in case there’s something spectacular waiting for me there. The thing is, nine times out of ten I remain disappointed and then feel that I’ve wasted my time giving it a chance.

The in-betweens are undoubtedly the largest category. Here I could list The Grown Up, Me Before You and Girl With A Pearl Earring to name just a few books that I’ve read recently. These fill up the majority of book shelves; they are the true definition of the word ‘average’. There’s nothing wrong with them but there’s also nothing special about them, so I’m not exactly going to recommend them all to my friends.

I guess what I’m trying to work out, both as a reader and as a writer, is what makes a novel ‘un-put-downable’ and ‘easily-put-downable’. What do you think fully engages a reader? What books have you fallen in love with recently? And what books have you wanted to chuck out of the window from the very first chapter?

Over and out. M –


8 thoughts on “The Good, The Bad and The Average

  1. Good question. I guess if we knew the answer there would be a whole lot more bestsellers! Haha. One book I really enjoyed recently was Freddy and Fredericka by Mark Helprin. The humor alongside a depth of language just from the first chapter drew me in and the rest of the book did not disappoint!

  2. The last book I read that I couldn’t put down was ‘Girlfriend in a Coma’ by Douglas Coupland. It’s quite a strange tale, and yet such an imaginative one, although most people I know who’ve read it weren’t convinced. It’s a Marmite book, I guess. At the moment I’m going through ‘Under the Skin’ by Michel Faber. It’s okay, but in my humble opinion, the film is better X

    • I do have quite a liking for strange so perhaps I’ll check that one out. And that’s an interesting thing to say, I almost never think a film is better than its book because there’s so much less you can fit into a film. Why is the film better in this case? x

      • Me too. This is by far the exception. The book is good, but the film is on a different level. It leaves the extreme elements of the book out, and focuses instead on one theme- that being how the central character hunts down her victims. It’s dark, atmospheric, and strangely beautiful. I recommend you watch the film in a heartbeat. Like I said, the book is good, but a bit far fetched in comparison x

  3. I revently fell in love with Americanah. Well not recently, that was last year. Currently I am reading Bone clocks by Mitchell. And I am so not able to resonate with the story. I am gonna give it some time since I have heard good as well as bad things about the book

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