2016 was a year of growing up for me when it comes to reading. I learned a LOT about reading for diversity and learning what makes a book problematic. Books were no longer just good because the stories were nice, but because they were written from all points of view, well researched, well developed, and had good rep.
The books that didn’t do those things hit the naughty list. These are the top 5. All are linked so you can go to my main review.
Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things
I’ve seen this book on countless recommended lists. I predicted when I read the arc that it would be popular, and I was not wrong. This book was bound to be a hit with people looking for “diversity” but it’s at the very top of my Shame List. Picoult tries to capitalize on the criminalization of black men and women and fails miserably.
Lindsey Lee Johnson’s The Most Dangerous Place on Earth
This book technically doesn’t come out until next week, but since I read it in 2016 I’m including it on this list. I won’t list all the reasons this book is gross here, but go read my review before you consider buying this one. I won’t be surprised to see it make the popular book circles either, but it’s disgustingly problematic.
John Irving’s In One Person
This was one of the books I read for my first “diverse” challenge and it made me so sick. It was a quick lesson in why reading Own Voices books is so important. This may have LGBTQIA+ characters, but it is incredibly transphobic while fetishing at the same time.
Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity
I can actually FEEL the “Well, Actually’s” coming out of this book. They are seeping out of it. UGH. Poor pathetic man who got dumped and never ever stops whining about it. Bye.
Francesc Miralles’ Love in Lowercase
This book was problematic on its own because it was about a obsessive stalker. But books about obsessive stalkers can exist in this world. That’s fine, there’s a place for them. However, DON’T MARKET THEM AS CUTESY LOVE STORY ROMANCES WITH CATS. This is not a chick-lit novel as Penguin would have us believe. What idiot in the marketing department decided this should be thrust into the Ladies Love Line? NO!
These are all on my SHAME LIST. What books made your Top Worst 5 for 2016?