day fifteen | 30 day book challenge

30 Day Book Challenge | Day 15 — A book you think is highly overrated and a book you think is woefully underrated

Halfway point! My choices for this day’s answers are solely based on my experience and opinions of the books, because I usually don’t have (haven’t had) the chance to read many books at the height of their hype, I tend to miss a lot of hoopla in the media, etc. …

Overratted: Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. So many friends told me this graphic novel was amazing and I would love it (even though I barely have any experience with graphic novels or comics… and I’ve never been much of a fantasy/sci-fi fan… hmm) but when enough people recommend the same thing I figured it was worth a shot to see what the fuss was all about. Unfortunately, Watchmen fell flat for me. I understand its historical importance in the graphic novel industry, but from a purely personal-entertainment standpoint, the characters and plot just didn’t blow me away the way I expected after all the raving from friends. I learned my lesson with this one about trusting my gut and genre interests in the face of insistent recommendations. This is partly why I won’t read Harry Potter despite the raves. I believe that it’s good—great even—millions of people wouldn’t lie about loving it. I just know it’s not the genre for me (and that’s okay!)

Underrated: The White Bone by Barbara Gowdy. Maybe this is not so underrated? I don’t really have any idea. According to Goodreads, it was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 1998 (I have not heard of that award before). I believe I read this in late high school, because I remember picking up a hardcover copy as an impulse buy at a Barnes & Noble… it must have just been released. But aside from seeing it in that display when I bought it, I haven’t really seen it anywhere since, and never heard anyone talk about it. The White Bone is a fictional drama told from the perspective of elephants in Africa, during a period of drought. The characters face threats of starvation due to drought, poachers and hunters, and elephants from other prides as they cross the desert in search of a rumored safe haven. I remember really liking it and thinking about it for days afterwards.

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