Ten Books People Love but I don’t

After commenting several times on An Outside Voice and the urging of Penelope, I decided to write my own list.  In Order that Read them


  • Romeo and Juliet (William Shakespeare): I am no fan of Shakespears, and I particularly loath this one play.  The writing is ok, and I do have a few monologues memorized.  As one of my friends points out, these plays should be seen, not read.  With that said, I also hate the 60’s version.  But I think the Leonardo DiCaprio and Clara Daines version was much better because you understood what the characters said, the actors understood what they said.  If you have to read Shakespeare, I recommend Richard III or Midsummer Night’s Dream.
  • Wuthering Heights (Emily Bonte): I can’t stand Catherine and Heathcliff.  They’re jerks.  Stop bothering us, and go to hell.  I highly recommend Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
  • Billy Budd by Herman Melville: Good concept; painful reading.  It has a great story line, but Melville is out to impress everyone with his knowledge in seamanship and vocabulary.  In Creative Writing, we call that “Info Dump.”  If you have to read a classic, try Dracula By Bram Stroker or Frankenstein’s Monster by Mary Shelly.
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathanel Hawthorne: Yet another great plot.  Yet it gets lost in a blizzard of words.  Someone told me it was originally a short story, and he decided to sell it as a novel, where he was paid per word.  If that’s true, then no wonder it’s so wordy.  I recommend The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper, which my brother really enjoyed.
  • The Dubliners by James Joyce: We can all give praise to James Joyce for writing the “slice of life” plot, so that we could all focus on the meat of someone’s life and not have to read from birth to grave.  But I just found that James Joyce picked the most boring slice of life.  I hear Ulysses is great, though I haven’t read it myself.
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert: What’s to love?  Really.  She just uses men and spits them out, not caring for her kids, and then commiting suicide.  A classic borderline personality order, or in other words, a bitch.  Try reading Emma or Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
  • The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov: Another play, another bunch of characters who can’t relate too, another matriarch with borderline personality disorder.  If you have to pick this one or Madame Bovary, pick Madame Bovary; it at least has more meat.
  • Heart of Darkness by James Conrad: It was written originally in Dutch (if I’m wrong, someone please correct me.), and then Conrad translated it himself, which makes it very wordy.  I lost the plot.  The purpose of reading this and Deliverance was for a class on evil in film and literature, I gave the professor my recommendations: The Stand by Stephen King, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, and “Those Who Walk Away from Omelas” by Ursula Le Guin.
  • Deliverance by James Dickey: I just couldn’t connect with the characters.  And that my professor called it a man’s man’s book, during the lecture, didn’t help either.  I thought I knew I was missing something, a penis.  Look at the recommendations above.
  • Wicked by Winnie Holzmann: When I first saw it in the bookstores, I thought that looks stupid.  Then I gave in because everyone was reading it and loving it.  Then I read it, and I want those hours of my life back.  And what was the point of that horrindus tiger scene!  It haunts me everytime I hear the word tiger, and Evan loves tigers.  I recommend anything else.

Just remember what Mark Twain said, “Classics are books everyone talks about but never reads.”

So what are the books you would recommend people to stay away from?

9 Responses to “Ten Books People Love but I don’t”

  1. Sam Houston Says:

    Great idea. I’ve come up with a similar list for my own blog and linked to you there.


  2. penelope Says:

    I’m so glad you did this! Wow, those are some doozies. Maybe we should start a I Don’t Heart The Heart of Darkness club? 🙂

    Ulysses is amazing though it takes stamina and maybe a guide to master that one, in my humble opinion. Here’s an excerpt for interested folks: “BRONZE BY GOLD HEARD THE HOOFIRONS, STEELYRINING IMPERthnthn thnthnthn…Chips, picking chips off rocky thumbnail, chips. Horrid! And gold flushed more.” 😉

    I haven’t read that Wicked book, and I won’t now because I’m scared of the tiger scene, just from your response to it.

    Anyway, what a fab list! Love the recommendations (and am a fan of the DiCaprio/Danes Romeo & Juliet, too).

  3. faemom Says:

    Sam Houston: Thanks for the comment and the link. I really did enjoy your list and reasons.

    Penelope: I agree totally on the I Don’t Heart the Heart of Darkness Club. Stupid book. Not to mention the movie.

    And stay away from Wicked and the disturbing tiger seen, Ms. Tigerlily. Creepy without a point, which makes me more mad everytime I think about it.

    And I’m glad you like the most recent Romeo & Juliet movie; I’m so tired of everyone loving the 60’s version. I just thought the actors couldn’t convey the meaning behind their words. Not to mention, why was their full nudity? What was the point?

  4. Amy Says:

    I followed the link here from Sam’s blog. Great list, lots of fun. I will have to mull this over and see if I can come up with a list.

  5. Steve H Says:

    James Fenimore Cooper is much, much better than people give him credit for. I second your recommendation. Powerful stuff in his books: big imagination, big moral questions, gorgeous description. Cooper was such an innovator that he was widely imitated and now seems commonplace because of it.

    Try The Pioneers, The Prairie, The Wing-and-Wing, or Satanstoe sometime–good stuff.

  6. karlo mikhail Says:

    Just finished Madame Bovary and was quite moved by it. I agree with you on Conrad’s Heart of Darkness: I hate it.

    Thanks for the post. Perhaps I’ll try thinking about those books that I don’t like too. 🙂

  7. faemom Says:

    I’ll admit that I enjoyed Madame Bovary more than many other books, but I was so frustrated with the character. If you do write a post about your hated books, let me know; I would be interested in reading it.

  8. My Less Loved Books of 2008 « (Mis)readings Says:

    […] less. Sometime ago, I came across the post “Ten Books People Like But I Don’t” by Faemom’s and decided to follow suit. I’m not so sure if other people loved the following books […]

  9. Franky Says:

    It is possible to fail in many ways…while to succeed is possible only in one way.

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