Monday, May 14, 2018

TTT: Books I Hated. Fight Me.

With the delightful bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish moving on to other things, TTT is now hosted by just one of their contingent, That Artsy Reader Girl .  If you want to quadruple the size of your TBR AND find a bunch of great book blogs to follow head on over and check it out!

The topic this week is: Books I Disliked/Hated but Am Really Glad I Read

I tried, but I just can't be glad I read a book I disliked. So I'm going to rebelliously ignore that part of the directions and just complain about some books. I'm thinking  this will be a sort of unpopular opinion post. We'll see--let me know if I insult any of your favorites!

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss.
I know it's a classic. And I know there's a lot of push-back about venerating Seuss these days. But my reason for disliking this is simple: the Cat freaked me the fuck out when I was a kid. I was Not Interested in that level of chaos. 

but on the opposite end we have:

The Berenstain Bears (series) by the Berenstain People. 
OH MY GOD SO PREACHY AND BORING. And what is with naming your bear family after yourselves? And the mom's flowered dress? And the extreme gender roles? And why are there so many of them? And why do they show up in dentist office waiting rooms? So many issues.

Moving on, we have a few books I hated in school. 

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Grim, grim, depressing,  ray of hope, DENIED, even worse off than before. What a great plotline, Edith. Thanks so much.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Dude, seriously? 

I was in a book club for a few years with some good friends. We read a lot of good books, but there was one we all 100% detested. 

The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald
Why did we hate it? I don't even remember, so thoroughly have I blocked it from my mind. But it's become a running joke in the decade(s) since then. 

We also read either Love in the Time of Cholera or One Hundred Years of Solitude, both by Gabriel Garcia Maraqéz. I know it's blasphemous, but I find his style confusing and boring, so much so that I although I am pretty sure I've read both of these, I have no idea which is which. 

We'll wrap up this complaint-fest with a few books I just find super offensive. 

Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody takes an admittedly awful custody battle and uses it to misrepresent an entire religion and country. Way to pander to the bigots, Betty.

The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Hutchet Bishop is about as racist as you'd expect a picture book with that title, published in 1938, to be. Like, I'd be too embarrassed to even share the cover picture here. I'm sharing it, because I liked it in elementary school, which says a lot about how clueless I was. Also, I still have a soft spot for the author's Twenty and Ten about a group of kids in France hiding a group of Jewish children during WWII.

Twilight (series) by Stephanie Meyers
C'mon. This is not a healthy relationship. And the whole weirdness about sex and marriage is also unhealthy. 

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Yes, I know it's a recognized work of genius and Nabakov is a prose mater. And I'm not a prude by any means. I even understand that writing about a topic doesn't mean you're endorsing it. But there's an ick factor here I've never been able to get over.  

Well, that was amazingly cathartic overall. Any on here that resonate with you, or did I just make you sad?


  1. Ha! Lol about Berenstain Bears- yeah they were cute as a kid, but looking back... hmmm something odd about that bear family ha! And yeah I don't get the Lolita thing, classic or no.

  2. Ethan Frome is definitely one of the most depressing books ever. And Lord of the Flies was too disgusting. I do not know why teenagers have to be forced to go through these books in school as well as the trials of adolescence.

  3. I hated Ethan Frome so much when I read it in high school that I got in an argument with my teacher about it and I was a very shy, quiet teenager. That book still makes me mad a lot of years later.

    I have a soft spot for The Cat in the Hat though.

  4. Haha, Twilight made my list too. I expect I’ll be seeing it on a lot of lists today. I totally agree about The Cat In The Hat and the series about the creepy preachy bear/humans. Definitely not my favorite picture books.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  5. I literally laughed out loud right from the start with Dr. Seuss. Thanks for brightening my day!

  6. Most all of them I TOTALLY agree. My kids, though, LOVED the Bearnsein Bears and my son would LISTEN to their lessons--never mine. Your results may vary. I'm especially with you on the last two. Not even my beloved [Jeremy Irons] could read that book and get me to like it. Great post

  7. I liked both the children't books you mentioned. Really adored the Berenstain Bears, and Lord of the Flies was one of the few required HS reading books I enjoyed. But hey, you can't love them all.

  8. Personally, I loved Lord of the Flies. I've always been fascinated with how culture breaks down in the presence of chaos, exposing the brutal animal nature of human beings. But I am 100% with you on the Twilight books (not that I even made it to the end of the first one) and Lolita.

  9. A friend loaned me 100 Years of Solitude but I cannot get into it. I think I stopped reading when someone started eating soil? I brought the book back and lied to my friend that I finished it.

    I also stopped reading Twilight after the first book.


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