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.