10 April, 2011

2011 Books: the books I didn't like edition

Buy-ology by Martin Lindstrom

I admit to enjoying a Malcolm Gladwell book every once in a while, but often those "entertaining non-fiction" genre pieces turn out to just be one massive exercise in stating the obvious. This book claims to revolutionize our ideas about why people respond to advertisements the way they do, and some of the brain studies he mentioned were kind of interesting. But he seems shocked to learn that people lie. Duh. Of course people aren't honest about why they buy things, because the real answers are usually pathetic. I know this, and I am neither an advertising expert nor a scientist.

Additionally, in his afterward about the 2008 financial crisis, he mentions that since the recession, condom sales have gone up. Lindstrom postulates the reason for this is that in times of stress, people find solace in their sexuality. Or maybe people are just worried about getting pregnant during a financial crisis? Sheesh. Idiot.

Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

Remember Twilight? Of course you do. This is 80s Twilight for the sexually deviant. I hated this book, but I had to finish it because it was part of my banned books project AND I DO NOT ABANDON MY GOALS JUST BECAUSE SOMETHING SUCKS.

I wish I could articulate all the reasons why this book was so awful. The writing was cheesy, and incredibly repetitive. I don't know where/if Ms. Auel got her English degree, but apparently she missed ALL THE LECTURES on showing vs. telling. Here is an exemplary paragraph, written by me:

Krum glared at Ayla, his eyes filled with rage. He was furious. Ayla was sad. Tears ran down her face. She knew Krum was angry. She thought he did not love her. He had told her he loved her before. But maybe now that he was angry, he did not love her anymore. The thought broke her heart. She sobbed.

Imagine 468 pages of that kind of repetition. Hopefully you know understand why this book made me want to claw out my eyes.

Also, in Jean Auel's crazy universe, cavemen did not know that sex makes babies. Somehow, they know that when animals mate, the lady animal gets pregnant, but they have not extended that logic to themselves. Which is basically just an excuse to write a bunch of uncomfortable rape scenes.

Bad writing + bad history + sexual deviance = I will not be reading the rest of the series.

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