The 10 most forgettable books of the decade

I spend a lot of time reading Best of the Decade lists, specifically the best books of the decade. These lists alternately make me feel smug & superior or stupid & silly. Some of the lists make me apoplectic and some of them I totally understand.

Because most people are much nicer than I am they don’t talk about the books they disliked or actively hated, the boring, the poorly-written, or the utterly forgettable. Lucky for you, I am not most people. Here I present to you the 10 books I have claimed to read but cannot recall much about at all*. Yes, The 10 Most Forgettable Books of the Decade (presented in no particular order).

  • The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus: Based on the title it’s about a nanny. I’m sure there was a mean rich lady in the book, and kids. That’s about all I can tell you.
  • The Savage Girl by Alex Shakar: I think this was about advertising or marketing. Maybe.
  • Lightning Field by Dana Spiotta: If you gave me $50, I couldn’t tell you anything about this book except one of the characters keeps track of how much water she drinks by keeping rubber bands around her water bottle.
  • The Losers Club by Richard Perez: Yeah. I got nothing. No clue, even reading the synopsis on Amazon didn’t help. I do remember really wanting to love the book for the title alone and being kinda disappointed that the book didn’t live up to it.
  • Good Girls Gone Bad by Jillian Medoff: I think someone faked a death in this one. Or a pregnancy. There was some sort of unbelievable fakery of some kind.
  • A Sport of Bother by Mark Haddon: The only thing I remember about this book is that it was about about seventeen kinds of disappointing after reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.
  • The Vanished Man by Jeffrey Deaver: One of my Hell, Inc. coworkers conned me into reading this. There was magic involved and a murder. That is all.
  • Snakes and Earrings by Hitomi Kanehara: The only thing I remember is that this wasn’t very good.
  • The News from Paraguay by Lily Tuck: This won the National Book Award. I bet you can’t tell me why.
  • The Words of Every Song by Liz Moore: I enjoyed this while in the process of reading it and then promptly forget everything.

*Incidentally, I usually have a freakishly good memory when it comes to remembering stories I’ve read. I can still recall over half of the student short stories I workshoped in my first real workshop class (desert-road trip and peeing on dead grandma; the trip to Peru that was all just a dream; the my brother has schizophrenia and forgot to take his meds story oh and it all really happened; the naughty boys who started a field on fire and lied about it; and the I went to a wedding and talked to a weird old guy story). It makes me a little sad that I spent all this time with some of these books and can’t remember the main plotline.

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