Book Club of Doom

I have to say that 2011 is not shaping up to be a great year for book club selections so far. I’m sure it’s just a blip, but we’ve just happened to have two selections in a row that I have not enjoyed at all.

The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl – Quentin Clark, a young lawyer in Baltimore, happens upon Edgar Allan Poe’s funeral and becomes obsessed with the details of Poe’s untimely passing. Quentin was always a fan of Poe’s literature and can’t stand the bad press he received after his death. At no point in this book was I convinced of why Quentin cared so much about this that he would risk his connections to his family and a future with a woman he loved. The one aspect of the book that seemed like it might get interesting never turned into anything. Also, while I loved Poe’s works, the details of his death are not very interesting. The brief explanation at the end ย about the new information Pearl had found about Poe’s life and death was the most interesting part of the book, and it was just an afterword. I really can’t recommend this one at all, and no one in my book club liked it. I think it’s the first time we haven’t been able to come up with something positive to say about a selection. I still plan to read The Dante Club because I’ve heard really good things about that one.

Uh, if you are in my book club and you love the book below, you may want to stop reading here and wait for me to say this in a nicer way to your face in book club next month…

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward – I must be honest, I could not enter into this book with a completely open mind. With the exception of the Sookie Stackhouse series, I am SO TIRED OF VAMPIRES. Yes, I’m screaming at you. I AM SO FREAKING TIRED OF VAMPIRES. Ah, that feels nice. These vampires weren’t even the seductive ones that love art and romantic things. They are thugs who like to go to the club and get riled up with rap music. They wear all leather and say things like “off the chain.” They also have ridiculously spelled names: Rhage, Zsadist, Vishous, Phury, you get the point. The women in this series are all accessories to the men. They exist either to feed the men, screw the men, or have the men’s babies. Oh, my feminist brain could not get used to that. Also, one character almost gets raped in an alley one night, and has passionate sex with a stranger who breaks into her apartment the next night. What?! One note about the audio narrator, he sucked for this type of book. He didn’t enjoy narrating it any more than I enjoyed listening, and you could tell.

I am finding that I like some romance novels after starting my romance reading goal for 2011, but this is not one of them. I most definitely do not like alpha heroes or withering flower heroines who don’t have lives of their own. Time to go find a good old western historical romance with a strong silent rancher hero and a heroine with gumption.

Did you like either of these books? Please explain in the comments.


10 thoughts on “Book Club of Doom

  1. I haven’t heard of either of these books. It stinks you didn’t like either one, hopefully you’ll have better luck next time! I always feel discouraged after finishing a couple of duds.

    • Yeah, it’s been a frustrating couple of months for reading. I’m starting The Things They Carried, and that is supposed to be really good so hopefully it will pull be out of my reading doldrums.

  2. I’m really sick of vampires too, and zombies – definitely zombies. I wanted to read “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”, but I just couldn’t get over my irritation of zombies.

    Hopefully the trends will fall soon!

    I’ve found I can really enjoy romance – but it has to be a certain type – and it’s not “erotica”.

    • I think I’m getting to a point where most paranormal things annoy me in books, unless it’s a series I’m already into, like Sookie Stackhouse.

      I find that I like contemporary romance a lot more than I thought I would. It’s a nice stress-free read since you know the ending. I also like western historicals. Have you read any Nora Roberts? I think I might try her next.

      • No Nora Roberts, but not for lack of the suggestions ๐Ÿ˜€ My mom really likes her, but I tend to enjoy European historical romances more. If you’re going to try Roberts, I suggest the book my mom has been trying to get me to read for awhile, “Montana Sky”. She said it has a lot of good humor in it as well, so bonus!

  3. Yeah — I think vampires and the “supernatural romance” genre has really run its course. I mean, why should women limit themselves to “fixing” questionable men with their love, when now they can fix actual monsters!

  4. I’m over vampires too.

    I’ve read a few books by Daniel Pearl, and the Poe Shadow wasn’t nearly as good as the others. So slow. Not interesting. But I really liked the Dante Club. ๐Ÿ™‚

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