The Best of the Worst in 2013

Long time readers of our site will know that at the end of the year, it is a law of the Internet that we take a moment to reflect on some of the fine choices we have featured on Awful Library Books. Every year Holly and I debate the choices and it ends up being a negotiation that is best served by copious amounts of booze and cookies. This year we decided to try something different and award some categories. All are worthy entries for a highlights list, but some of these titles just bring something special to the table.

Our first award is for Best Children’s Book.  There were many contenders this year. One of my favorite posts is Michigan, My Michigan. Most public librarians have to deal with difficult patrons and situations, and this one rears its head every year as the kids trudge in to do the annual Michigan report. Holly had a couple of favorites in A Bedtime Story with a Nice Side of Guilt and the Serial Killer Training Manual.  Worthy Choices. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention our perennial favorite author Doris Sanford and her stable of weird books about kids dying, drinking mothers and step families. However, we had two particular books that stood out for being so wrong and horrible that it has to be a tie.

Maggie Goes on A Diet and Alfie’s Home are the winners in Best (Worst) Children’s Book.

maggie goes on a diet picture book Alfie's home cover

Worst Cookbook
Cookbooks are one of the favorites here at ALB. We had lots of favorites this year. I personally loved the Marvelous Margarine pamphlet and the Salads book (mostly because the word “congealed” is used). 

Mealtime Marvels with Margarine cover

Best Self-Help/Life Improvement Book

We also have many possibilities in this category. The Cheap Date Handbook is always a good choice for those guys who want to score, but don’t really want to invest any serious cash. The ladies could appreciate the book on Finding Mr Right. There are lots of ways to improve yourself with some good old fashioned religion, particularly if you obey your man. That’s all good, but what if you just want to kick back and de-stress? This is the book for you. Our best self-help/life improvement book is this book on relaxation.

Sense Relaxation cover

Our next category is our Friday Fiction cover art. I am a fan of the old pulp fiction cover art. My favorite  this year was Shanty Girl. 80s Teen Fiction always has some great choices, too, like The Day the Senior Class got Married.


There are so many worthy titles out there. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post when we will put up our top overall picks for 2013.