Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Top Ten Books I Hated, Loathed, and Otherwise Abhorred

I'm stepping on toes this week.
Please forgive me if I step on yours.
No harm intended.

Here goes...

As High as the Scooter Can Fly
Is this the worst book I've ever read?
Yes, I think it is. I kept thinking,
Someone published this...it has to get
better. But, no, it did not. Flat
characters and the moralistic plot
typical of a fairy tale, but without
any of the charm of a fairy tale.
Instead, the entire book was simply
mean-spirited. Don't waste your time.

The Celestine Prophecy

I've hit a low point in my reading life.
I cannot believe that I not only started,
but actually read to completion this
terrible book. I found it "in the
wild" and felt obligated to read it.
I'm not sure whether
this is supposed to be fiction or
nonfiction, but, whatever it is,
it was strange and poorly written.

The Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman

The best thing about this book is the

title. Middle-aged woman is abandoned
by her husband for m-a-w's (very youthful)
assistant. I missed the revenge
of the title. Don't waste your time.

The Body Artist

Let me see if I can explain the plot
of this book! DeLillo describes every
detail of the breakfast of a husband
and wife. Then the husband kills himself.
The wife later finds a (psychic?)
man living in her house and develops
a relationship with him. It felt to
me like this was written as an exercise
for a creative writing class; very forced.

Awful...I absolutely hated this book. I finished it, feeling horrible inside,
 feeling like I'd read something profane. However, my friend, K---, loved it,
especially what she called "its spiritual overtones"! Go figure! 

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

This is one of those books that people either adore or they despise. I'm in the second group. I hated this book. Loathed it. Wanted to set it on fire. I absolutely don't get it. And one of my favorite people in the whole world has told me she loves this book. It's, in fact, her favorite book. How can that be?

I know I am missing something, but this book shocked me and offended me. Help me with this, someone.

Do I really have to tell you why I hated this book? It is obvious, I think, to anyone who is more than a casual reader that this book is profoundly awful. Cardboard characters. Unlikely plot points. The only redeeming aspect of the book is apparently the real-life beauty of the real bridges of Madison County. I say, instead of reading this awful book, spend the three hours and go take a tour of the bridges themselves.

I've really done it now. I'll never be Librarian of the Year if I hate the Bible of librarians, now will I? And I do. I hate this book. I'm sorry, my fellow librarians, but I loathe this book for the same reason that I loathe all textbooks...a know-it-all voice...color-by-numbers, one-shoe-fits-all, this-is-how-you-do-it text...tedious, tedious, tedious....

I could go on and on...
those sickly sweet children's picture books with cute animal characters...
textbooks of every sort...
literary novels full of beautiful and clever phrases and nothing else, 
written by 23-year-olds who haven't even had their first child...
self-help books aimed at the miserable who are so desperate
 for relief that they will pay yet another $25 for yet another book
that tells you to get out there and make friends...

Whew. I'm ranting a bit, I think, but I'm stopping now.
Tell me, what books do you hate?

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.


  1. I'm glad to see someone else didn't like Prayer for Owen Meany. I actually couldn't get past the first ten pages or so. It all just seemed so . . . goofy. And not in a fun way. A lot of people like him, though. Go figure. And that DeLilo book? I almost, almost bought that one. Phew! Now I'm glad I didn't ;)

  2. I loved Owen Meany! The Bridges of Madison County... oy.

  3. Apart com Owen Meany, which although I would define as the greatest book ever is my favourite by Irving. As for the rest not heard of so can't comment. My worst book ever should be plural as in the whole mills & boon, Barbara Cartland genre. Now for my own toe stepping - the works of Charles Dickens + that ultimate chicklit, probably one of the originators of that particular genre Jane austen.

  4. The only one I've read is The Bridges of Madison County. I do have The Sparrow near the top of my TBR! In fact I nearly used it as a plane book for crossing the Pacific. I think I would pick Julian Barnes' England, England as the worse book I ever finished.

  5. I hated Something Borrowed. Everyone I know raved about it, I ended up finishing it just to point out all the flaws. (And no, I haven't see the movie (WTF!!) and never will).

  6. I love your take on this week's theme! I only listed a few titles that I really hate, but it would have been interesting to think of more.

    And I agree with so many of your "hates" in the list at the end there. I despise cute animals, especially if they talk, and those pretty-sounding literary novels where nothing happens remind me of the painful writing workshops I sat through in college.

    You've also got me curious about Owen Meany. I've had a hit or miss experience with John Irving, so I wonder where I'd land on that particularly book.

    Great post! Here's my list.

  7. thanks for warning me away from bridges of madison county. i bought it for .25 cents but ive been a little wary of it!

  8. Your list made me laugh, although I disagree with some. I'm a huge DeLillo fan, although I think his newer work is pretty slow and tedious. I still thought The Body Artist was beautiful. Cosmopolis? Not so much.

    Come visit me at The Scarlet Letter.

  9. Ha-ha. Great books to avoid. I didn't hate Owen Meany but it wasn't love either. The Celestine Prophesy disturbed me for weeks, months. I shouldn't have read it.

    I always look forward to your lists, and this one with your humorous asides was worth the read. Thanks.

    My Head is Full of Books

  10. I've seen The Celestine Prophecy more than once hate list today! I'll have to stay away from that one. Eek!

    ~Asheley (Into the Hall of Books)

  11. I think that they made us read The Celestine Prophecy in high school; can't remember a darn thing about it.

    The others? Can't blame you a bit, I wouldn't even have picked them up!

  12. So now I don't feel bad about giving away The Body Artist unread! Thanks for your honesty about the books you hated.

  13. Oh, dear. I loved A Prayer for Owen Meany and The Sparrow. Read both of them twice. Please don't tell me you hated Beach Music or Pope Joan, too. ;)

  14. I love John Irving but I could not get into A Prayer for Owen Meany at all! And everyone else seems to love it so it's nice to know that there's someone else out there who doesn't.

  15. very amusing list! I have hated books so much, that I don't even remember the names of them...it went out in the trash with the books that I have despised! Never read Bridges - but hated the movie! Thanks for the chuckle!

  16. This post made me laugh and a little afraid at the same time, lol. Luckily, I have not read any of these, though Owen Meaney has been heartily recommended to me by more than a few people.

  17. Ok, I'll admit it. I loved Bridges of Madison County. Of course I was young and romantic at the time. Not sure it would get the same reaction today. The movie was horrid! Ruined everything good about the book.

  18. Kim and I (from workshop) have bonded over our hatred of Bridges, too!!


I hope you will leave a comment so I know you have visited. If you stop by my blog, I will always stop by yours.

Note: Disqus commenting is only available on the web version of the blog. Please switch to the web version if you are using a mobile device.