Star-ratings reflect nothing but the reviewer’s ability to choose suitable books. Sometimes, genuinely good books (like David Copperfield or Liquid Gold) get one- or two-star reviews on this blog simply because I was reading them at the wrong time, in the wrong mood, or lacking the required background knowledge. How else could To Kill A Mockingbird and This is Not My Hat both get a four-star rating? Only in my eyes.
Recently, I’ve been returning from the library with some terrible book selections that I’ve been reluctant to review until now.
So forgive me for being harsh. I’ll keep this quick.
Ivory tower-dwellers might call this a thriller.
306 pages, ★★
“The Book Nobody Read? That book sounds so bad that I have to read it!”
That was my regrettable train of thought in the library. I have a juvenile tendency to contradict warning signs, not to mention a particular weakness for cacti labelled “do not touch”. This book wasn’t painful, but reading it was a waste of my time. Two stars from me.
The Book Nobody Read starts as a true crime thriller. The Second Edition of De Revolutionibus (that’s another book that nobody read) has been stolen and a judge is trying to determine whether this crime constitutes a misdemeanour or a felony.
The thrill stops there. This book then turns into the chronicles of an academic’s pursuit of Copernicus, of his character (“did he like wine or beer?”) and of his rival theorists (Kepler’s adorable spirograph-style solar system, called a Lenten Pretzel, for example). Aside from the giddying pictures, my interest quickly evaporated.
What did I learn? I learned that Copernicus was involved in the coining of the word ‘butter’. And I learned never to waste my time reading unsuitable books. ★★