Recent Reads That Were Just Meh | Vol. 1

Sometimes I read a book because of the cover. Or the blurb promises a story that seems like I would love it. But then I don’t. But I don’t hate the book either. Sometimes I read a book that just falls in the middle and tends to leave me feeling a little meh about. This series is all about the books that I’ve recently read that I didn’t love, but didn’t hate.

Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan had a lot of promise, but ultimately it felt like it was written for a reader way younger than me. While the general plot was engaging enough and the mix of a fantasy world with steampunk elements was unique for me, my biggest negative is that our MC was more often unlikable and annoying.

I had no idea that when I picked up The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo that I was getting the Gatsby story, but from a different perspective and with some interesting magic/ magical realism thrown in. My biggest disappointment with this one is that it wasn’t a different story from the original, not really. I did love Vo’s writing and imagery though!

It’s hard to have to put She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan on this list because it was a great story and the plot was full of adventure and heart. Parker-Chan did an amazing job taking us through the plot. However, I wish the world building was a little more rounded out. And it was very dense, long, and slow paced, which made me almost lose interest a few times.

The Geography of Bliss by Erin Weiner was interesting but ultimately started to feel repetitive at some point. Or maybe I just lost interest. I also thought that I was going to get his adventure trying to find happiness for himself by learning of new ways that other cultures do it. Instead, it was more of a investigative reporter type book where he travels to places that are deemed the happiest places in the world and tries to find out why.

The Hacking of the American Mind by Robert H. Lustig is one I listened to a while ago and I don’t remember a lot of it. I do remember thinking that much of what’s in this book is now fairly common sense. Like we’re sold certain things that companies tell us we need to make us happier, we get a shot of pleasure, but ultimately we crash because too much pleasure (dopamine) will override serotonin (happiness/contentment). This book really was just too scientifically and medically dense for me and I didn’t really learn anything new.

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport is another one where I read it some time ago and I don’t remember a lot of it. I do remember that while all of his suggestions for becoming digitally minimal are great, I already knew of most and employ many in my life. Because of that, I was bored many times .. I just wasn’t the intended audience.

What are your recent meh reads?

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