The Life of Bon: Books I Hate

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Books I Hate

Last week I did a post on my five favorite books, and what do you know, it was a huge hit!  I have heretofore (How's that for an awesome word?!) steered clear of writing about books because I was certain you would all think I am nothing but a big, fat book snob.  Turns out I was partially right.  You do all think I am a bit of a brat about literature... but you all LIKE it!  You like reading the opinions of a book snob!  So, I've decided to write more about books. Now, I ain't gonna go promising you weekly book reviews or anything like that because the minute I promise to do something is the minute I don't want to do it anymore.  Just know you will get random book posts whenever I feel so inclined.  Consider yourself lucky!

Last week we did my top five of all time.  This week I thought we'd go a little bit in reverse.  You know, the bottom of the reading totem pole.  As a rule, I always finish books.  I have finished absolute trainwrecks of books, believe you me.  HOWEVER, there are a few books that I just could not finish no matter how hard I tried.  There are also the ones that I will never finish because I never start them... you know, the books you have absolutely no desire to read.  And of course, there's the books I did finish but wish to all heaven I didn't because I will never get those hours of my life back and ain't that a crying shame?

So, without further ado, I present to you....


5.  Moby Dick.  Alright, here's a confession for you.  This is on the "I will never read" list.  I mean, the book's about a whale, for crying out loud.  I've never heard anyone say they like this book and it baffles me how it ever became a classic in the first place.  AND word on the street is that it's super long, and super thorough on the details.  AKA Slow and boring.  Is there anyone out there in the world that has read and liked this book?  If so, speak up now or forever hold your peace!

4.  The Time Traveler's Wife.  This one I actually started.  The funny thing is I saw the movie and really liked it so I figured I should give the old book a go.  It might have been the narrator's fault (I was listening to it on tape and boy, did he have an annoying voice!), but everything about the book completely creeped me out.  Like how he would talk and flirt with the little girl and tell her they were going to be married one day.  I get that the woman was his soon-to-be-wife and he knew it, but I just couldn't get over the weirdness of it.  And that the little girl hid him in a room, and that when he disappeared into a different point in time he never had any clothes.  All I kept thinking is, "Dang!  That man must spend a lot of money on clothes if they keep getting left on every corner."  I might've got halfway through before I realized that life is too short to read stuff like that.

3.  The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood.  I started the book, got about 100 pages in, and then had to put it in my very small pile of "started-but-not-finished" books.  I thought it would be a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants type of book, light and fun, but instead it was just heavy and kind of weird.  I don't mind heavy reading at all, but I think the book was trying to be light and carefree and then it just came off SO heavy.  You know when you have a conversation with someone who appears to be very happy, but then all of a sudden she's telling you a bunch of awful, terrible things about her life?  But she's smiling the whole time and acting like she's fine, but it's pretty obvious there's some serious issues there?  That's what I felt like was happening when I read this book.  The main character is totally abusive and she's one of the original "Ya yas"... she was just so unlikable that I couldn't stand to read about her.  Actually, that's how I felt about all the "ya yas"... not much to like about them as people.  It also bothered me how their friendship seemed to come above all else... above their relationships with their spouses, their kids, their parents, etc.  Not my cup of tea.

2.  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  I have started and not finished this book not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES.  I was supposed to read it in high school and didn't finish it.  Then, a couple of years later I decided surely my reading tolerance had improved and tried it again.  Didn't finish it.  Finally, my senior year of college I was supposed to read it for an American Literature class.  I got 30 pages from the end and then just stopped.  I had no desire to read the conclusion.  THIRTY PAGES LEFT AND THERE WASN'T ENOUGH TO MAKE ME WANT TO FINISH.  There were times the book picked up and I enjoyed it, but most of it is just slow and it doesn't feel like it's ever building to anything.  The dialect is hard to read, there's a couple of weird kings, and then all this stuff happens to them that has absolutely nothing to do with the plot.  This is a standard book that all high school juniors are supposed to read, but I haven't taught it yet.  I just can't subject my innocent little seventeen year olds to this stuff.  Plus, I'm a firm believer that I shouldn't ever teach a book I don't personally love because the kids will all hate it, too.  What I don't get is why the freak isn't Tom Sawyer the great American classic?  That book is bomb and Tom is way cooler than Huck will ever be and I think we all know it.

And now, my very very least favorite book....

1.  I've gone off on Twilight before.  Now, before I go any further I just want you to know this.  Hubs loves Twilight.  He read all five (six?) of them in record time.   He just gobbled them up, couldn't get enough of them.  I love Hubs more than anyone in the world and I totally respect that he likes this book, I just don't have to like it too. So, if you happen to be one who loves Twilight don't be embarrassed, don't hate me, and please don't think I'm a book snob... just know that we can have different tastes in books and still be friends.

That being said... I could only stomach the first book... I'm surprised I even finished that one.  There's a lot of reasons I don't like Twilight, but the main one is Bella.  I have always been taught that all great stories, literature, and movies have in common a likable protagonist.  You have got to like the main guy.  End of story.  You have got to root for them, you have got to want them to succeed.  Now, your protagonist could be doing awful things (Oceans 11 for example, they're stealing millions of dollars) but you like the protagonist so dang much that gosh, you'll root for them no matter what evilness they're up to.  Twilight is the only book I have ever heard of to just absolutely throw that rule out the window and be incredibly, ridiculously successful.  I don't care if Bella becomes a vampire.  I don't care if she ends up with Jacob or Edward.  I don't care if she has millions of vampire babies who try to kill her because I DON'T LIKE BELLA.  I DON'T CARE ABOUT HER.  I would never be friends with her in real life, she has no redeeming qualities, and I literally felt her sucking the life out of me as I read the book.

There are other reasons why I don't like Twilight.  Poorly written, too many stock characters, too predictable, too many holes, etc, but I won't go into the details.  I would have been willing to look past all that had Bella been a little more Katniss or Hermione-esque.  You know, a girl I can cheer for.  That's all I'm asking for.

NOW... Spill your guts!  What are books you couldn't finish, books the masses love but you can't stomach, and books you would rather die than ever read?  


  1. I'm so surprised you didn't like The Time Traveler's Wife - I read it long before it was made into a movie, and totally loved it! I think you are right about the narrator being the problem... it never came off as creepy to me.

    And just so you know, there are four books in the Twilight series. ;)

    P.S. Thanks for the lovely things you said about me yesterday! I don't think I'm as awesome as you think I am (try saying that five times fast!), but I appreciated it nontheless. :)

  2. I, too, have started and not finished Huck Finn, like, a thousand times. What is it about that book that makes me put it down and not pick it up again? The vernacular maybe? The lack of directness in plot?

    I'm an English Major. Shouldn't the classics make me wiggle with joy? Nope. They make me want to do almost ANYTHING else except read them.

    Tess from The Framed Lady

  3. The only book I wasn't able to finish was War and Peace. Ones I can't believe I wasted hours of my time to read: Demon Seed, The Great Gatsby, and 1984.

  4. Awww I liked Huck Finn - read it twice in high school actually as my Freshman Honors class, we each got assigned a book for a final project and then my Junior year it was part of the class requirement to read it, etc. I do agree though, the dialect was hard to understand at times and there were some slow parts too. I enjoyed the overall story/adventure though.

    Breaking Dawn - the 4th Twilight book - is high on my list of worst books ever. I read the 1st 3 after the insistence of my long-term college roommmate who admitted they were terrible, but cheesy and fun. Okay, I agree with her there - they were just alright, an easy read (I finished them in a week) but I really didn't think they were anything special. And the movies are just terrible too (I stopped watching after the 2nd one). We weren't living together anymore when the 4th one came out so I ended up actually buying that one (she let me borrow her copies of the 1st 3) and OMG! The book was terrrrrrrible! The whole story at that point was stupid and the entire 2nd half of the book has this huge build-up and then nothing happens. It took me a good 2 weeks to finish this one and it was because it was that bad - I had to force myself to read it just to find out how the series ended. The only enjoyable parts were the chapters told from Jacob's POV.

    Gregory Macguire is on my list of authors I have a hard time reading. I like his overall stories, but it just takes me forever to read them for some reason. I read them to find out what happens but yeah... it's like he uses so much description for everything that I lose interest and get bored.

  5. Moby can't knock a "classic" unless you've read it. It's a rule. I didn't like it either, though. My most hated is Catcher in the Rye.

  6. Moby can't knock a "classic" unless you've read it. It's a rule. I didn't like it either, though. My most hated is Catcher in the Rye.

  7. I am surprised you didn't like The Time Travelers Wife too (although reading your explanation it did make the book seem a little creeper on second look). I read it and loved it and didn't think the movie lived up.

    But then again what do I know...I'm the girl who didn't love 50 Shades of Gray

  8. I love the Ya-Yas. You can come across as a happy person, but have had a really rough life. I know, I'm someone like that.

  9. I LOVED The Time Traveler's Wife. I think I read it in two days!

    And I completely agree about Huck Finn. To this day, it is the only book I have ever not been able to finish. I keep telling myself to give it one more shot, but then I just find something else to read instead. :P

  10. Woot! Thanks for commenting on my blog, because it led me here to find a fellow book snob, grammar whip-cracking, pro-husband, sarcasto-snark road rager. I loved The Time Traveler's Wife, but one of my all-time favorites is Catcher In The Rye and I hate Twilight on principle, so it more than evens out. ;) And you're funny on The Twitter, too, so I have a buncha ways to stalk you. ARE YOU SORRY YOU FOUND MY BLOG YET????

  11. Oh - this post made me smile. So, I have a confession to make:

    1. I really liked Moby Dick. Yes, it's extra extra detailed. And mostly quite boring and tedious. Maybe I just have the hots for a guy named Ishmael. Or QuiQway. Could be. =)

    2. The Twilight books... oh dear. I agree with everything you said about Bella. I basically hate her. But, I did really love the books. As tedious as she was, I liked everyone else in the book. And while I'd like punch Bella in the face if I ever actually met her, I'd probably also make noises about having some kind of crazy orgy with Jacob and Edward.


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  13. YESSS, I'm not the only one who could not, for the life of me, get into The Time Traveler's Wife. I thought something was wrong with me the way my other (even literary-sophisticated) friends raved about it. Tried 3 times to read that thing, and yes, came to the same conclusion that life is just simply too short to read things you don't enjoy :) I read the first Twilight too, and felt absolutely no need to continue on that particular bandwagon. Unlike...The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo bandwagon, which I happily finished the ride on - I found those books to have both entertainment value AND qualities of fine literature. Love your book reviews - keep em coming :)

  14. hahah! so great. i really never liked to kill a mockingbird, but mostly because i feel like people were just reading into it WAY too much

  15. Probably Beowulf. And W.H. Hudson's Green Mansions...that book is rough. I read the whole thing but I wanted to die. It was just lengthy descriptions of flora and fauna and then in between, this painful, terrible love story about the native girl who lives in the jungle and spiders spin silk dresses for her and then after she falls in love with the expatriate who is you know...A MURDERER...she gets burned alive in a tree by the villagers. Cause you know how W. H. Hudson likes a good love story.

    I was so mad when I got the end of this book.

  16. Spoiler Alert (Moby Dick):
    I love to read, and love almost all books, but in Moby Dick the most likeable character dies about 1/4 of the way into the book, and then it is totally boring.

  17. I agree with you on all of these except Ya Ya sisterhood, loved that series! Hahah

    xo shane

  18. Totally agree w/ you on Moby Dick. We had to read an abridged version in high school and even that was way too long. So booooring.

    I'd encourage you to read Time Traveler's Wife in non-audio format. It was a much more-developed storyline than the movie was (the movie cut out quite a bit actually!). Audiobooks are hit or miss for me, largely b/c the narrator's voice can ruin a good story if they're annoying. Try reading this in book form and you might find that you enjoy it.

    Haven't read YaYa, so can't speak to that.

    I've actually gotten to about 30 pages of the ending of Huck Finn a couple times. Lol. Not sure what it is about that book. I enjoy the story, have seen it in movie format several times, but can't ever seem to finish the book! Go figure.

    Twilight actually only has 4 books in the series. Lol. I enjoyed it, but it's not for everyone, I'm sure. For me, it was a light-reading, summer, page-turner, but I suppose if you find yourself hating the protaganist, that would probalby ruin it for you. ;P

  19. Anything by Nicholas Sparks. Barf.

  20. I actually really liked Huck Finn. But Twilight?? Vomit x a bajillion. I read it though before I got married and I think it made if fun. but then then more I thought about it and analyzed it and saw all the holes, absolutely hated it. it's one of those books where you have to be pretty brain dead to enjoy I think... but that's just my opinion. I know a lot of people who are very smart who like it! though it does make me question how smart they really are... Stephanie Meyer does not show her best work in those books ESPECIALLY the 4th. yikes!!

  21. Twilight makes me intellectually ill. I am so glad this is your least favorite book; it's mine too!

  22. I loved The Time Traveler's Wife! Hated the movie, though. I have also listened to parts of it on audiotape, and you're right, the guy who narrates makes it sound like a total creepfest. I guess I just love the overall theme that true love can overcome any obstacle, even time travel, haha.

    Makes me so sad to hear that one of your reader's least favorite books is Catcher in the Rye—it's one of my favorites!

    At least no one has said anything bad about Kurt Vonnegut yet. I think reading a negative comment about him would have broken my heart.

  23. Brave New World. Aw.ful. The Wind in the Willows. Seriously? A book about a bunch of animals that are like people? Why not just write about people? So weird. Uncle Tom's Cabin. I am sure it is a great book, but it took me like an hour to read one page. I did read AND finish Huck Finn and really liked it, even with how Jim talked - kinda skimmed those parts. Never even tried Time Traveler's Wife because the movie was SO AWFUL I figured if the book was even close I would hate it (and I don't usually hate movies, honestly). typically I like a book if I can get so into it that I feel like I am there and I think I am simpleminded enough that I end up liking most books I read. :)

  24. Cute blog! I didn't like The Time Traveler's Wife much either. I like most books, but there are a couple I've hated: Anna Karenina and Fablehaven. I saw your favorite books list. I was happy to see A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I read that a couple months ago and loved it! Another of my favorite books is Here Be Dragons by Sharon Penman.

  25. Anonymous1:45 PM

    I think it was a sign for me not to read the time travelers wife when I found it in my yard destroyed by my dogs. I tried to get in to it. And couldn't. Bahr. I am also glad that I am not the only one who has not read the twilight series. I read book one loved it. And then book two ( I struggled). And then fell of the wagon.

  26. I actually liked YaYa but I get what you mean about them pitting their friendship before all else. And I actually read them in order (Little Altars was first) so it made more sense.

    Agree with you on all the others, except I was able to finish time travelers wife... I didn't do the audiobook though.

  27. Agree with it all except Twilight. I'm a true Twihard nerd girl. I even........wait for it......went to Forks:

    But you either love it or you hate it. I'm actually surprised I liked it so much, but as my post explains, it came to me at a time I REALLY needed a distraction. But high five on the rest!

  28. I've read three of the five you've listed: Moby Dick, Huck Finn and Twilight. Twilight (part 1) was kinda entertaining, but the rest were just trash. I don't remember much of Huck finn because I was about 12 or 13 when I read it - it didn't stick. I have this tendency to forget the boring books, so if I'm asked which ones are my least favourite, I blank out -_-