Challenge: 50 Books discussion

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Friday Questions > Question #8: No way. No how. Not now. Not ever.

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message 1: by Danine (new)

Danine (dulcemea) Happy Friday Fellow readers!

Is there a book you flat out refuse to read? As always, why?


message 2: by Bishop (last edited Jul 18, 2008 03:17PM) (new)

Bishop (a_bishop) | 152 comments Specific books? Not really. Authors? Yes.

I read a James Patterson novel out of desperation once at work during a mind-numbing 12 hour shift working security in college. It was the only paperback left behind at the desk we used.

I'll never read another...you can't make me.

There are others that I won't read by reputation alone (Left Behind series, Stephanie Meyer, Ellen Hopkins, etc.) which is arguably ill-advised, but in Patterson I feel somewhat justified.



message 3: by Tana (new)

Tana Harrison The James Frey book, something about a million pieces or whatever. Some people have told me that they liked it and all the drama that went with it is just too stupid. I have no want or need to get into it.


message 4: by Andrea (new)

Andrea (andiesmith) any book that is part of Oprah book club.


message 5: by Judith (new)

Judith (jloucks) "The Breast" by Philip Roth

If the reason isn't obvious, it's not likely explaining will help!

I have to ditto the Left Behind Series and anything by Ann Coulter or O.J. Simpson. I put both these on the same rung of the ladder in our society.


message 6: by Beth (new)

Beth (bethwerling) Judith--In response to not reading anything by Ann Coulter. She actually has a warped sense of humor. I don't agree with much of what she says, but the way she says it is mildly humorous. But if you truly hate her, I can understand not wanting to open anything she's written.


message 7: by Danine (new)

Danine (dulcemea) Ha! I feel that way about Oprah books too.


message 8: by Bishop (new)

Bishop (a_bishop) | 152 comments I have a pretty intense dislike for Oprah (for a variety of reasons).

However, she has chosen some good books: The Sound and the Fury/As I Lay Dying/A Light in August, East of Eden, The Bluest Eye (among other Morrison novels), Anna Karenina, The Road, etc.

Yes, a good number of her selections are fluff, but there is some good stuff there...if you are willing to look.

That being said, I've never read a single book because Oprah told me I should.


message 9: by Sydney (new)

Sydney (sydneyh) I'll probably get flogged for this...
Harry Potter, Twilight, Lord of the Rings. Just not into them. I get that people love them. I'm just not in to fantasy.

Also not going to read James Frey just on principal. Dude totally lied in calling his book a memoir. What was he thinking?


message 10: by Emily (new)

Emily | 74 comments Yeah, I'll probably get flogged for mine too.

The book I have for years refused to read (although I've recently changed my tune and have decided to pick it up someday) is The Grapes of Wrath. I have been assigned the novel three times and three times bullshitted my way to an A with insight gleaned from the film.

It's tragic. I know.

(I would also like to add that Oprah has chosen some mighty fine reads.)


message 11: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle The Twilight series is good without being really fantasy. At least that is my take on it.

For me, its NOTHING ever again by Joyce Carol Oates. Never. Not even torture could make me read another book by her.

I too will never read James Frey. Never.

That said, I think I am pretty open to anything else,if I don't read it,its mostly just because I don't like the author or the genre. :)


message 12: by Abby (new)

Abby I too am in the camp of never wanting to read James Frey's "memoir," but I picked up his new book Bright Shiny Morning and really enjoyed it. (Amusingly, there is a big disclaimer at the beginning saying that everything in the book is a work of fiction.)

I don't think I'll ever read the Lord of the Rings trilogy or anything in that genre. Fantasy's just not appealing to me. (Sydney, you're not the only one!)


message 13: by Jamie (last edited Jul 21, 2008 07:43AM) (new)

Jamie Sydney - No flogging from me, but I must say that I felt the same way you do about Harry Potter before I gave in and read them (I still agree about the fantasy genre, though, and won't be picking up LOTR!). I read the HP series because my kids were interested in reading it, and I figured I should check it out first. The series is now one of my absolute favorites!

I also won't read anything by Joanne Fluke or Wally Lamb. I've read one book by each of these authors and hated them (The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder and She's Come Undone); I don't feel like trying again!


message 14: by Mary Todd (new)

Mary Todd (marytodd) | 924 comments I'll read anything...it's a curse...I've been known to pick up Sports Illustrated if there is nothing else around, which is seldom because I go to the library constantly and have a stash of emergency books.


message 15: by Danine (new)

Danine (dulcemea) Ok Bishop I think what you said summed it up. Maybe that's what I was trying to say. I did notice some of Oprah's pics where classics and I should appreciate that she actually gets millions of people to read. And, yes,. Ive never read a single book because Oprah told me to. :)


message 16: by Rachel (last edited Jul 24, 2008 02:13AM) (new)

Rachel Brand I was forced to read the second Harry Potter book at the age of ten in primary school, but even if that hadn't happened, I just would not have been interested in reading them at all.

I also have no desire to read The Da Vinci Code either.

Oh, and the Gossip Girl books. Having flicked through them, I could understand why my school librarian put off putting the books on the junior fiction shelves for so long.


message 17: by Beth (new)

Beth Moby Dick.

No. Just no.

I assign myself 1-2 classics a year and I’ll probably spend the rest of my life passing on old Moby. The plot has zero appeal to me. I can’t be convinced.



message 18: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 335 comments I agree that Oprah has picked some great books and although I too won't read a book because Oprah told me to-I do think she's gotten a lot of people to read books that they probably would never have picked up which is good. Plus it must be a huge deal for an author when she does pick his/her book.

I will never read the Lord of the Rings books nor will I see the movies-tried, can't take more that 20 minutes. I won't read Danielle Steele, read two back in high school and that was enough-dreadful. I also will never read Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, Robert Ludlum or anyone else who writes spy/espionage/intrigue/action novels-yuck.


message 19: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments VC Andrews books are sick and wrong. I always get stuck sleeping in a room at my in-laws' house where some creepy person has been reading one of those books. Creepy, incest, freakshow people! I'd take any book off of Oprah's list over those (I think the books stink, but there's probably some disturbing association with being at the in-laws' house, too!).


message 20: by Danine (new)

Danine (dulcemea) I am laughing out loud (I guess that would be LOL) reading some of these posts!

Beth-I thought that way about Moby Dick. I think my aversion to Moby Dick started in high school when I was assigned to write a report about Herman Melville. I hated it. In fact, I probably need to go back to counseling for even talking about it again. ha. I think I do want to read Moby Dick though. I'll think of you if I do. I also love that you assign yourself classics every year!

Joanie, Joanie, Joanie- I admire you for admitting to the world that you will never read or watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy. That was brave of you. I've never read it either. I also have to say that I'm with you on not wanting to read Clancy, Cussler or Ludlum. Will we make enemies by confessing all this!?

Leslie-I almost spit out my coffee reading your post. Joanie and I recently read 'My Sweet Audrina' for the Trashy Novels Goodreads group. "Creepy, incest, freakshow people" sums it up rather nicely BUT yeah I still want to read them. Thanks for making me smile :)


message 21: by Danine (new)

Danine (dulcemea) Alright. Time for me to weigh in. For me, the book I will not read is 'Atlas Shrugged'.

I've known people whose lives have been changed by this book. People will defend this book tooth and nail. Well, all the people I've known who claimed this book changed their lives turned out to be meanies or the scary conservative (NOT knocking conservatives I'm just saying the dude wasn't all there if you know what I mean)

Now. If anyone has anything positive to say about this book it may convince to MAYBE consider reading it. I'm just not willing to read 1200 pages of a book that might turn me into a meanie Satan.


message 22: by Bishop (new)

Bishop (a_bishop) | 152 comments I was watching The Daily Show once when Jon Stewart mentioned that people who read Ayn Rand always turn into "insufferable assholes" (or something to that effect) for about a month. I've read them all (Anthem, The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, etc.) and even as a leftist-liberal-progressive-pinko-etc. I know what he means. Ha!

As for Oprah, if I was an author, I'd be BEGGING to have her choose my books. Any "book club" that has the clout to warrant an entirely new edition to go into print HAS to be good news for a writer/publisher.


message 23: by Cindi (new)

Cindi | 20 comments Never say never! But I would have to have read everything else before I willingly picked up a "romance" and I'm not too fond of sci-fi/fantasy.


message 24: by Terri (last edited Jul 29, 2008 01:23AM) (new)

Terri Hjelm | 4 comments I usually resist Oprah's picks because I'd rather go to the dentist. Then this spring/summer I succumbed to her on line class and book. I read the first chapter and was reminded of how unhappy reading Martin Buber made me in college. Her pick kept referencing Buber in the first chapter. I actually like his books better than Eckart's book. Now I'm really done with her picks.


message 25: by Chris (new)

Chris | 85 comments I hereby swear NEVER to read anything penned by L Ron Hubbard. I will also never read a cookbook or anything related to travel.

I will never read my obituary either, which is somewhat disconcerting.


message 26: by Liesl (last edited Aug 01, 2008 08:47PM) (new)

Liesl (lieslm) | 9 comments I absolutely refuse to read American Psycho. Just the reviews about how twisted this book is scare me off. I read to be entertained and I don't find sick violence entertaining. No way. No how. Not now. Not ever!


message 27: by Liesl (last edited Aug 01, 2008 09:16PM) (new)

Liesl (lieslm) | 9 comments Danine -- Atlas Shrugged is one of my all-time favorite books. It is a book that really makes you think about man's relationship to man. Bottom line, I believe, is that Rand simply advocates personal responsibility and doesn't think that the government should run our lives (I know that's REALLY oversimplified, but this is a topic that could easily take pages to discuss thoroughly). I think Rand's ideas are very misunderstood by many people. Nowhere does she say that kindness and compassion are bad or wrong -- but the motives behind them or the methods of achieving them may be. Believe me, if you don't want to become a "meanie Satan" you won't just from reading this book and in my opinion it's well worth the investment of the time it takes.


message 28: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 734 comments OK I have to admit, that my dream job is picking books for Oprah. I have wanted to do that since she started way back when. You might not like her selections, but she has certainly done a lot of the reading world.

Books I won't read --- mysteries. I hate them.


message 29: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 25 comments I'm on board with LOTR. I batled my way through The Hobbit (as an adult) and I'm just not the right person for all of that. Which is odd, because I love a lot of fantasy/alternate world mysticism stuff. BUt no, I don't see that I'll ever willingly subject myself to it.

There's not much that I refuse to read, except maybe really boring historical accounts, like war books. (Not that war is boring, but the accounts are always so dull to read!)

Oh wait, I do have another -- Anna Karenina. Urgh and sheeshijiggleyuck.


message 30: by Symbol (new)

Symbol | 14 comments I can't think of any specific titles off the top of my head that I'd flat-out refuse to read. I like to think that I maintain a fairly varied literary diet.

I've never been able to bring myself to read a romance. However, I might eventually be convinced to take a look at one if someone whose opinion I respected recommended it to me. So far that hasn't happened.

Aside from that, with books, as with people, I try to steer clear of the popular crowd. I hate jumping on the band-wagon. I hate being anywhere near the band-wagon. And most of all, I hate when one of my favourite books gets snatched up by all the bleating sheep on that damnable band-wagon as it trundles past!

I don't necessarily hate the books from Oprah's book club. I do hate all the hype and hub-bub that ends up surrounding the books she chooses. All of the sudden everybody is reading this book, not because they found it, not because they are interested in it, not because they put any intelligent thought into deciding to read it, but because Oprah liked it. Oprah thought it was good, so it must be! Right?

It drives me nuts when I see so many people that seem to be incapable of intelligent thought or decision-making. They look to the media to tell them what to eat, what to wear, what to like, what to think! I feel like we are forgetting how to think for ourselves. That's one reason why I like Goodreads so much; it seems like most of the folks here still remember how to use their brains.

Anyway... that's my two cents' worth!


message 31: by Melynna (new)

Melynna Symbol, the reason no one whose opinion you respect has recommended any romances is that, as far as I can tell, they're all lousy. They're either skanky with no plot or mushy with no plot. They're badly written. The only "romances" I've ever enjoyed were books that were not marketed as romances at all. These books generally have some other thing that drives the story, the characters are well developed, and there happens to be some falling in love going on, often not until farther on in the book. It's amazing -- you can actually see why they like each other, and you like them, too! But really, those books seem to be few and far between and, sadly, very difficult to find. I mean, you don't generally find lists of books that meet that criteria.


message 32: by Coqueline (last edited Aug 04, 2008 11:28AM) (new)

Coqueline If a book has a summary that starts along the line of: "X was a young, successful [insert trendy job], a loving husband and X beautiful children. She seems to have everything in life, until one day..."

I'll avoid it like the plague.

Oh, I have never and will never want to read one of those 'Chicken Soup' craps.


message 33: by Symbol (new)

Symbol | 14 comments Melynna,

That was my general impression of romance. I felt a little guilty completely discounting the entire genre without ever taking a closer look at it though. I know that a lot of people have a very low opinion of sci-fi. And, yes, there is a lot of really bad sci-fi out there! But there's also some excellent sci-fi. It's just a matter of sifting through all the crap to find the ones that are actually worth reading.

I wondered if maybe romance was like that too. Lots of stuff that's just a waste of time, effort, and paper but, every once in a while, if you look hard enough, you might unearth a real gem. So far though, I haven't found or heard of any gems hiding in the romance slums.

Unless I someone shows me something absolutely incredible in the genre pretty soon, I think I might soon be able to really believe that there aren't any good romances without that niggling twinge of guilt that's been plaguing me. Excellent!


message 34: by Karen (new)

Karen | 57 comments I won't read vampire stories. Just not my taste...so to speak.

I can't do biographies of sports heroes either. I'd rather read a math textbook.

I don't watch Oprah so I don't have that particular paranoia.

Ayn Rand's books? Read them all. Never had the epiphany others did. Maybe that's because I'm already a meanie Satan.



message 35: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Don't tell Ilyn Ross that. She's a "True Believer" when it comes to Ayn Rand.


message 36: by Julie (new)

Julie (onetrooluff) Anything by Wally Lamb... Like the person toward the start of this thread, I read She's Come Undone and detested it.

The Gossip Girl books. Picked one up at a book sale on bag day to put out on BookMooch, and ended up flipping through it - I was HORRIFIED that that disgusting crap is being marketed toward teenage America.

I'm generally fairly open to other kinds of books. I have read a handful of mysteries in my time, and biographies, and I suppose even a couple of romances although I never read the bodice-ripping variety.

Oh, and I will most likely never read anything by Danielle Steele. I read one that my grandmother said she liked and didn't enjoy it; also got trapped into listening to one on CD on a long car trip - torturrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre.


message 37: by Melynna (last edited Feb 25, 2009 02:15AM) (new)

Melynna Okay, I've been thinking about this question for a few days and hadn't come up with anything. Now that I'm halfway through this Breaking Dawn piece of crap, I can firmly say that I will never, ever, EVER read another crappy Twilight book! The others were badly written and frustrating, but at least they made me want to keep reading. This one is the most disgusting, macabre, ridiculous, trashy piece of garbage I've ever laid hands on. This is vile trash. I'll finish it only because it's a personal pet peeve not to finish a book I've started, but that's all. It feels like torture. I wish I could throw it back up.


message 38: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand Oh, I almost forgot this! I sat beside this girl for half of my fifth year of high school (junior year equiv.) and she was reading a Khaled Hosseini (sp?) book for her English Personal Study, and recommended it to everyone in sight.

Sadly, this girl turned out to be a total b!tch and a truly horrible person, and because of this, I really don't want to read The Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns. They may turn out to be really good books, but because of my experience with someone who read them, I just don't want to go anywhere near them.


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

I will never read Jodi Picoult, Stephanie Meyer or JK Rowling. I read about half of Atlas Shrugged and now I will never read Ayn Rand again. Also, though I've read his stuff before, I will never read another Chuck Palaniuk.


message 40: by David S. T. (new)

David S. T. I'm not sure if there is anything which I refuse to read. I guess the problem is that there is so much that I want to read that there is a good chance that I'll never make time for something like Rowlings, but at the same time if I refused to attempt some of their books how would I know that I hate it? So priority wise its pretty low but maybe not something I'd refuse.

As for Oprah, I wonder how many of her selections has she actually read? Did she really read those Faulkner books?


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

Or Anna Karenina for that matter.


message 42: by Mary Todd (new)

Mary Todd (marytodd) | 924 comments I'm not a huge Oprah fan, but she really is smart. She isn't just a bit of fluff chosen for her looks. I'm thinking she did read those books...what else does she have to do? My god, the woman doesn't do laundry, cook, clean, do her own hair, grocery shop...think how much reading we would do if the chores were done by some one else!


message 43: by Tera Marie (new)

Tera Marie | 231 comments I avoid anything by VC Andrews (of course she's not writing the books anymore). I do, however, have My Sweet Audrina as one of my fav books of all-time. I really identified with the poor girl in that story in a few ways.

I will also never read another book by Terry Pratchett....hated The Color of Magic and have no desire to pick up another one of his books.


message 44: by Tracy (last edited Sep 15, 2008 07:39PM) (new)

Tracy | 36 comments After finishing "The Alchemist", I swore that I would never read Coelho again: No more reductive spritualism for me! However, there seems to be a lot of love for this author in various groups... in weaker moments, I have entertained the notion that I could be missing something. Could someone explain his allure?


message 45: by Sarenna (new)

Sarenna (djsthree) | 44 comments I read the first of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich and could not stand it. I have not read another one. All of my friends adore her books, say they're hilarious, but I just can't seem to give it another shot for some reason. The weird thing is that I almost feel guilty about not giving it another try.



message 46: by GeekChick (new)

GeekChick | 1 comments Hi all! I just joined the group, as your posts on this one made me smile!

I will generally read anything, especially if it's that or nothing, but.....I don't think I can ever read anything by Maureen McCullough (I think that's her name?). I tried reading Caesar's Women, because I am a huge Rome-o-phile, but it was horrid. Low class. Crass. She's written a whole series on Rome, which I would really like to read, but I just can't.

As for Oprah -- I picked up my first Oprah book at a library sale for 25 cents. It was great. I wouldn't read anything just because she told me so (Dr Phil, anyone?), but I WOULD give one a look just because it had her Book Club stamp on it. They are fluff, sure -- but I use them for my brain candy.

I will never, ever, ever read anything by Danielle Steele, simply on principle.

I loved the comments on Harry Potter. I swore I would not deign to read them -- after all, they are children's books -- but my daughter received the boxed set, so when she's ready I'll read them with her. I understand that they're not your average kiddie book, but why would I waste time on that when I could read Nobel laureates?



message 47: by KrisT (new)

KrisT I love books, any books! some I might not care for but I wouldn't know that unless I READ it so I have to say I would read anything and do! :)


message 48: by Ray (new)

Ray | 2 comments I don't know why, but I have never been able to finish a book by Leon Uris. They seem to drag on and on. I don't even try anymore.


message 49: by Maria (new)

Maria (minks05) | 84 comments the two that come to mind are actually books i was required to read at one point in time.

the first is A Tale of Two Cities. i had to read it in high school my senior year, and i flat out refused to. i had attempted it about 2 years before that, and couldn't stand it, so i wasn't about to try it again.

the second is Mrs. Dalloway, from Virginia Wolfe. actually, any of her books are on my "do not read" list. i had a professor in college who wrote his PhD thesis on her writings, and we were to read 3 of her books for one of his classes. gag me!


message 50: by Sallie Ben (new)

Sallie Ben Attar (sallieben) | 3 comments The Five People You Meet in Heaven. I just won't. I started it and everyone who was gushing about it was someone who repelled me so I felt justified quitting it.

Absolutely anything by Robert James Waller. That dude is laughing his ass off at all of the poor saps who fell in love with The Bridges of Madison County. Uh-uh. He should be ashamed of himself. Not even Meryle Streep could save that tripe.

Oh and Billie Letts. Yeehaw! I couldn't stand Where the Heart is and I don't mean to be so critical but I get tired of all of the colloquialisms in those back kuntry kinda books. Bout as tiyad assa two dolla whore onna sattiday night!


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