Sorry. Hated it.

Reading Rory at Fourth Street Review’s Top Ten Tuesday post prompted me to throw this together. It’s a quick list (no pretty pictures this week, no fancy links) of books that did nothing for me despite the fact that people I know said “You’ve GOT to read this!”

This week’s Top Ten topic is books I thought I’d like MORE/LESS than I did (it’s hosted by The Broke and the Bookish).

1. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (self-centred tripe)

2. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (my book group thought it walked on water, I didn’t finish it).

3. In One Person by John Irving (I had high expectations….)

4. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (guessed what was going to happen well before end)

5. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi (ditto no. 3)

6. Swimming to Elba by Silvia Avallone (only just finished this. Again, high expectations but didn’t deliver)

7. Canada by Richard Ford (had read great things but missed the mark for me)

8. The Mother’s Group by Fiona Higgins (got a lot of press in Australia… not sure why)

9. Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James (if one more person tells me this is a ‘good’ book I might just stick red-hot pins in my eyeballs. Sorry, it’s crap)

But I always like to finish on a positive note (sorry, I’m a Pollyanna by nature). There is one book I thought I wouldn’t like that turned out to be one of my all-time favourite books.

10. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (it was a case of cover prejudice – this book is one of the best I’ve ever read).

15 responses

  1. One of the reasons Goodreads worries me is when I see user generated lists with 50 Shades as the greatest romance of all time. Of all time, let’s just consider ALL TIME for a minute.

    The Da Vince Code – most overrated book of all time…? And he just keeps writing. It’s a toss up between In One Person and The Fourth Hand as to which Irving I found more disappointing

    The Pollyanna bit made me laugh, I am not a Pollyanna by nature. I’m more the Charlie Brown type with a better sense of humor.

    • The Fourth Hand was overshadowed by the brilliance of Twisted River for me. Does that mean his next book will redeem In One Person? I hope so.

      Glad we’re in heated agreement on FSoG and Da Vinci Code. Both crap. And I use them (and Eat Pray Love) as a litmus test – if someone tells me that they loved those books, I know that we will not be like minded readers.

      I’ve gathered you’re not a Pollyanna by nature and I’m sure, after all this time, you have suspected that I am! The number of times I say “Well, on the bright side…” would probably scare you 😉

  2. There were a few books I was hoping to see on your list, but which aren’t. Disappointed because no one has come out and say it yet. And I shan’t. On recent John Irving, you had high expectations? Have you read his ‘recent’ stuff? Also, on Canada, it’s on my to be read stack, it came highly recommended but you know what that means… everyone’s very individual.

    • Oh please share! I put together the list in all of three minutes… Had I spent longer, I’m sure other titles would have come to mind. Don’t let me put you off Canada, there was some beautiful writing but again, a case of high hopes.

      I’ve read everything Irving has written. I’m a HUGE fan. Of his recent books, Twisted River was breath-taking, I loved it. Didn’t love Fourth Hand or In One Person.

      • Sorry I don’t want to be the one to say anything because they are recent. On John Irving, I’m a huge fan too but of his very early stuff, everything up to and including Cider House, I have Owen Meany but have not read it yet. Have owned it for like 20 years. Twisted River I started but then it lost me about half-way through. Have you listened to a terrific interview I think he did with Ramona Koval? Also, there is a great rubric out there of his recurring themes, used to be on his wiki page but can’t seem to lay my hands on it right now.

        On Wolf Hall I think lots of people find it hard to read (boring) but I recently loved Mantel’s Beyond Black. Great stuff.

  3. Yay for The Book Thief. Re: Wolf Hall – i have only met 2 people ever who liked it, so not sure why all the hype? Da Vinci Code – ugh, most overrated ever, Eat, Pray, Love, know I will hate it, haven’t even tried, 50 shades, ditto. Love your title for this post – though it contains the word sorry it is unapologetic.

  4. I agree with you complete on Wolf Hall. I expected to adore that book but I didn’t even make it past 1/4 of the way through. I will never understand the madness that is Fifty Shades. I don’t think I’d be quite as offended if people just simply enjoyed it but going so far as to call it ‘The Best Book of the Year’ or ‘fantastically written’ or anything that remotely deems it ‘literature’ is ridiculous.
    I still need to read The Book Thief! I actually got a copy of the audio recently so hopefully I’ll get around to it soon.
    My Top Ten Tuesday!

  5. I’m with you on Eat Pray Love but especially 50 Shades which is just an embarrassment; I tried to read it (my husband bought the hype and bought me the book) but it’s just a waste of time. There’s NOTHING to see here people. I do a blog about movies based on books and as I’m sure you know, the hype surrounding WHO will write the adaptation and WHO will be Christian Grey and WHO will play the girl has been in overdrive for months but I could care less. Just because the writer can put sex in a complete sentence doesn’t make it art so let’s stop pretending it does.

  6. I’ve only read one book on your list – The DaVinci Code. It was years ago, but I quite liked it. I read it after I saw the movie, so I knew what was going to happen, but that didn’t bother me at all.

  7. Ha! Loved this list. I refuse to even read Eat, Pray, Love because I know I won’t like it. Should have refused to read 50 Shades – did refuse the follow ups

    If find prize winning novels and lists often have me pondering what I had missed in the novel that made me think it was average and the prize judges raving!

    • Yes, I refused the follow-ups to FSoG. I only read it in the first place because I was interested to see what the fuss was about in the digital publishing world. I was STUNNED to see it in print weeks later AND walking off the shelves. Honestly, I still don’t get it…

  8. Pingback: A top ten of top tens. I know, ace. | booksaremyfavouriteandbest

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