Books I Loathed discussion

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Books you LOVE that everyone else loathes?

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message 1: by Claire (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:04PM) (new)

Claire Monahan (deborahclaire) | 17 comments I definitely am one to jump on the bandwagon to loathe some commonly hated books here ( Prep, Great Expectations, The Lovely Bones are first ones that come to my own mind - gag), but are there any books that you adored that seem like everyone else in the WORLD despised?

I have to admit that I was an enormous fan of The Memory Keeper's Daughter. It hit close to home with me on various levels, which might explain my liking, but I just was enamored with the author's prose and the solitude of the characters. Another one I find myself regularly defending is The Scarlet Letter, but maybe that's just because I don't know anyone who has reread it recently. (I think many are just still carrying a grudge from its required reading in high school.)


message 2: by Andrea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:04PM) (new)

Andrea (outlanderbookfan) | 10 comments I loved The Scarlett Letter as well... Very vivid and moving to me, although I didn't read it until college.


message 3: by Janet (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:04PM) (new)

Janet Mitchell | 1 comments I did enjoy the Scarlett Letter. There were parts that dragged, but the overall message was wonderful. One that I find myself defending often is The Awakening. So many people hated the ending, but I feel like it made the most sense. What else was she supposed to do?


message 4: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:04PM) (new)

Jessica | 3 comments I read The Awakening in high school. Loved it. I guess I felt like you, Natalie... I felt she just *had* to do what she did.


message 5: by Chrystal714 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:04PM) (new)

Chrystal714 | 47 comments I love the secret life of bee's.


message 6: by Rachael (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:04PM) (new)

Rachael | 10 comments I loved the Scarlett Letter. Most everyone else in my class hated it.


message 7: by Bryan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:04PM) (new)

Bryan I didn't like The Awakening. BOR-RING.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

I loved The Awakening! I guess I have totally wasted my degree in English because liked The Secret Life of Bees, Memory Keeper's Daughter, The Red Tent, and I didn't completely hate The Lovely Bones (I didn't like the "I must sleep with my boyfriend before I can be at peace" business, but I didn't hate the whole thing.). None of these are favorites (except The Awakening), but I enjoyed reading them.


message 9: by Foxthyme (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:05PM) (new)

Foxthyme | 17 comments Well I found it odd that until I came here I just figured everyone loved Life of Pi...well that doesn't appear to be true. But I love it no matter. And I also really liked The Lovely Bones.

And weird thing, one of my most fave author and series, Jo Clayton and the Diadem series, seems to be so unbeloved that it's falling into obscurity. Same with my other fave R.A. MacAvoy. Love her stuff.


message 10: by Courtney (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:05PM) (new)

Courtney Stirrat Well, The Great Gatsby for one. I love the imagery of the Green Light as the thing Gatsby longed for, that far off thing he constantly attempted to reach.


message 11: by Clare (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:05PM) (new)

Clare | 53 comments I think I have liked nearly every book I have ever read. Even the bad ones have had something in them for me to learn. I found that the books I read in school were absolutely ruined for me. In looking back I realize that it was because we were supposed to read a few chapters, analyze it to death, read a few more chapters, analyze them to death, etc. I like to sit down with a cup of coffee and read a book in a few nights, sometimes one night if it's one I love. If I had to do school over again (oh please, no!)I would read the book the way I want and then just do the analyzing crap for the teacher. Shakespeare, Silas Marner, and The Great Gatsby were all ruined for me by school. I have to say that the only book I ever truly hated is Less Than Zero by Brett Ellis Easton. I perused American Psycho and found it to be even worse. I cannot for the life of me understand how the man gets published. I loved The Lovely Bones but thought the end was a cop-out. I loved The Mermaid's Chair and The Secret Life of Bees. I really loved Catcher in the Rye because I read it in the 1960's when I was the sterotypical "good girl" and Holden Caulfield was a rebel whose thoughts about authority mirrored some of my own secret thoughts. I think I need to read that and Gatsby and some Shakespeare again. I think I'd enjoy them all.


message 12: by Bronwyn (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:05PM) (new)

Bronwyn | 29 comments I love The Red Tent by Diamant. It seems like everyone hates it but I thought it was interesting.


message 13: by Claire (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:05PM) (new)

Claire Monahan (deborahclaire) | 17 comments I didn't realize there was hate on The Awakening, either. That's another one I do love...

And people don't like The Great Gatsby? WELL, way to be un-American. Just kidding...


message 14: by John (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:05PM) (new)

John I felt She's Come Undone was worth reading, depressing though it may be.


message 15: by Michelle (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:05PM) (new)

Michelle (literarilyspeaking1) My jaw dropped when I read there are people who hate Gatsby and the Awakening. I LOVED those books, and I've read Gatsby probably five times since first reading it in high school.

I also loved the Scarlet Letter, but I can see where people would not like it, especially if exposed to it in school.

As for Prep, I thought it was okay. Nothing spectacular, but not worthy of burning. Perhaps it's just my deep-seated desires to attend prep school that swayed my opinion...


message 16: by Rachel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:06PM) (new)

Rachel love secret life of bees, the awakening and frankenstein. i was definitely floored when i found out there are people who don't like frankenstein...


message 17: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:06PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Hated Gatsby, loved Awakening.

I've recently been defending Dickens. I love A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations. I don't love all of his work, though.

I've also been defending John Irving and all things chick lit. Chick lit is just like any genre. Some is good and some is bad.

I think the bottom line is that everyone's tastes are different.


message 18: by Jason (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:06PM) (new)

Jason I've gotten a lot of shit for saying this, but I loved "The Legacy of Luna" by Julia "Butterfly" Hill.

I think its great philosophy, has incredibly informative history, as well as is a well-written memoir.


message 19: by A.C. (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:06PM) (new)

A.C. | 3 comments I really enjoyed both the awakening and the great gatsby. I thought both of those books were very good. Additionally, I did like prep, primarily because it did remind me of going to a prep school and existing like the protagonist: fitting in but not really.

The only questionable reading choice that I can defend is I Am Charlotte Simmons. While it is not a flawless piece of writing, it isn't as awful as everyone says it is. Additionally, I found myself getting really attached to the story of the title character as she went through school. So, there.


message 20: by Christina (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:06PM) (new)

Christina | 17 comments I have to admit I loved "Queen of the Damned" and "Memnoch the Devil."

I don't think either book was particularly well-written or should be in literary cannon anywhere. I liked the creation myths used in "Queen" and the view of Memnoch was particularly interesting.


message 21: by Servius Heiner (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:07PM) (new)

Servius  Heiner  | 8 comments I loved “The Fountainhead”, and “atlas shrugged”, even though most people think the characters are flat, and in-human, I think they are determined, and yes a bit selfish.


message 22: by Claire (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:07PM) (new)

Claire Monahan (deborahclaire) | 17 comments I hear ya on Charlotte Simmons. I read it a couple months ago and thought it was ok - didn't change my life, though. I guess what really bugged me the most was the ending. If we had been able to have an epilogue or something to let us know about the characters' futures, I would have been cooler with her ending up with that dude. But when I read the last chapter I was just like, wait - seriously? It felt like a cop-out to me, since she was starting to get really interesting.


message 23: by T.K. (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:07PM) (new)

T.K. Kenyon | 15 comments Orlando, by Virginia Woolf, might be my favorite book, ever. I reread it every year. Even tho I generally prefer long novels, Orlando is wonderful.

My second favorite book is probably Lolita by Nabakov. Some people really hate that book, but the writing is so beautiful that I can't help but love it. I tried to hate it because pedophilia is so despicable that anything about it should be, but Nabakov was a genius.

TK Kenyon


message 24: by ScottK (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:07PM) (new)

ScottK I never realy thought anyone could HATE Dickens but apparently alot of people do .....WHAT"S WRONG WITH ME !!!! Just kidding but I have loved every Dickens I have read ( Granted they were only A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. But difference is what makes the world go round. And just to fit in a bit beter there were Parts of all of the above that I did not like but as a whole I loved them. Although the only movie of A Christmas Carol I can watch is the one with George C. Scott as Scrooge.


message 25: by Maria (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:07PM) (new)

Maria | 19 comments T.K., I love Lolita too, except I haven't met anyone who hated the book. Everyone I know loves it.

I also must point out that his name is NabOkov. The stress falls on the 'o', so I don't really understand why every other person misspells it.


message 26: by Kate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:07PM) (new)

Kate (katiebobus) | 136 comments Mod
Scottk, I also loved A Tale of Two Cities. It was so exciting! But I could not STAND Great Expectations (however, I have enjoyed seeing stage performances of it).


message 27: by Emily (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Emily (emmy1066) | 4 comments Rabbit, Run, Rabbit Is Rich, and Rabbit at Rest. (Hated Rabbit Redux though). My friends make fun of me for reading so being so fond of this old, white misogynist, but he can be great.


message 28: by K (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

K | 4 comments Time Traveller's Wife - so trite and poorly written!


message 29: by Claire (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:14PM) (new)

Claire Monahan (deborahclaire) | 17 comments Time Traveler's Wife's cover really intrigues me, so I'm slightly tempted to pick it up. I get all these ___'s Wife and ___'s Daughter books mixed up...there need to be more ___'s Husbands out there.


message 30: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:14PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I loved The Time Traveler's Wife.

But I do agree that there are too many The Occupation's Relatives out there.


message 31: by peg (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:14PM) (new)

peg (mcicutti) | 15 comments I have to say that I can't think of a book that I really hated except for Beowolf and part of my loathing for that book has to do with the fact that we were forced to listen to big chunks of the book as it was read in old English which I couldn't begin to understand.

One of my favorites which seems to be appreciated by very few is Confederacy of Dunces. It is one of the funniest books that I have ever read.


message 32: by Melody (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:14PM) (new)

Melody (runningtune) I loved Confederacy of Dunces the first time I read it (long, long time ago). Then just recently it was selected as a book group read. I was so thrilled to re-read it and was very surprised when I didn't enjoy it at all the second time around. But it did make me check out his first book - The Neon Bible - which was very dark and gripping.


message 33: by Deborah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:14PM) (new)

Deborah | 3 comments On "Time Traveler's Wife" I really did love it - couldn't put it down, but ...



[semi-spoiler space]


























































The ending disappointmented me. I wanted more/different.


message 34: by Chrystal714 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:14PM) (new)

Chrystal714 | 47 comments I loved a lot of books that are loathed and put down by people here. At first it made me feel insecure. Like I am so mentaly slow I couldn't recognize the bad writing. Now however I am glad I am not so heavily critical of literature. I am able to enjoy the books I read all the more for it.

Anyway I loved "The Time Travelers Wife", "The Secret Life of Bee's", "To Kill A Mocking Bird" is one of my all time favorite books, the Stephanie Plum novels are wildely entertaining they make me laugh out loud. I do recognize that they are no great works of literature but they are totaly fun.

This list could get really huge as so many of the books I like get critized here, but my breakfast is getting cold and you guys get the idea.

Ha I have outed myself as a junk food for the brain reader.


message 35: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:14PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Chrystal, I like junk food for the brain too. I love chick lit. I even like bad chick lit. It's a sickness. :)

But, I don't think it's any worse than people who watch South Park or the Simpsons or any of that other juvenile TV garbage.


message 36: by Chrystal714 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:14PM) (new)

Chrystal714 | 47 comments um... Family Guy is my favorite show. Now I will go hang my head in shame.


message 37: by Ivannah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:14PM) (new)

Ivannah | 1 comments Okay, I am going to go out a limb here - and risk potential abuse, and alienation. I've been lurking for months, and afraid, very afraid to voice my opinion. I first attempted to read A Heart Breaking Work of Staggering Genius a few years ago in college, and I didn't get very far. I'm not sure why, but I just couldn't get into it; however, when They Shall Know Our Velocity came out I rushed to Book Soup (Cali) to pick it up, again I couldn't get pass the first few chapters, but I refused to take it off my shelf. This year when What is the What came out I again rushed out to find it - it was really difficult to find, but I prevailed. I absolutely devoured that book. I read it in like 3 days, so I thought I would give Eggers anohter go, and I started in on AHBWOSG, and not only finished it, but I adored it. I won't go as far as to say it's one of the best books ever, but man was it a good solid read. He writes much the way that I think. I honestly think it would be worth while if you gave it a chance - sure he has a fairly enflated ego, and seems only slightly less enamored with himself than Hilter was with himself. If you have a copy, please for your sake give it another go


message 38: by Liz (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:15PM) (new)

Liz (liosaidh) | 9 comments Maria, check out the "Books Against the Wall" posts if you haven't already... Lolita shows up on there a few times.

As for me... I can't help it — I like the early Xanth novels by Piers Anthony (especially Night Mare). I know, he's completely sexist and the books get repetitive, but I can't seem to get rid of them.

Also (please don't smack me), I'll admit to Clan of the Cave Bear and The Valley of Horses. Not so much the Ice Age sex, but I'm a sucker for wilderness survival stories.


message 39: by Claire (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:15PM) (new)

Claire Monahan (deborahclaire) | 17 comments Lianna, I need to hear more about these wilderness survival stories. I haven't read any since Hatchet and My Side of the Mountain (both read probably over 10 years ago in elementary school). I tried to start Robinson Crusoe this summer but wasn't in the right mood at the time to get into it, so I quit.


message 40: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:15PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Do you like Jack London?


message 41: by Elinor (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:15PM) (new)

Elinor | 3 comments I have a few categories of these books that I love that seem to be unloved by many.

First off, there are books that I love and that I continue to love over time, even though I can understand (and respect, for the most part) why others may not love them. In this category, I’ve got A Tale of Two Cities, Lolita, The Stand, The Lovely Bones, Gone With The Wind, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Angels & Insects, The Secret History and a few others.

Then there are the books that I love and will always love, even though over time I have seen their flaws. These tend to skew toward fiction of the 80s… books that I read when I was a teenager or college student; books changed the way that I viewed and read fiction. I understand why these are loathed, but I will probably never stop loving them. In this category, I have Bret Easton Ellis’s Less Than Zero & The Rules of Attraction, Jay McInerney’s Story of My Life & Brightness Falls and many others of the Vintage Contemporaries paperbacks from the 80s.

Finally, there are the books that I love that aren’t so much loathed by others as ignored by others. Peter Taylor’s A Summons to Memphis is one of those, as well as the U.S.A trilogy by Dos Passos. I really don’t mind that much when my favorites are disliked, but I find that it does bother me when I’ve read something that I love and I can’t find anyone else that has even read it. So Yay, Goodreads, where I there are 60-some-odd people who have read “A Summons to Memphis.”


message 42: by Cameron (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:17PM) (new)

Cameron | 7 comments Lianna--I totally devoured every Zanth novel I could find at some point. For me it was the corny puns that made the stories. As a parent of an 11yo I've gotten him to start them and still get tickled when he points out some of the puns. Oh well, if a book can't expand your horizons, at least it should make you smile!


message 43: by Claire (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:17PM) (new)

Claire Monahan (deborahclaire) | 17 comments Jack London...I read the Call of the Wild a million years ago and thought it kind of ridiculous. Maybe I just didn't appreciate it at the time?


message 44: by Melody (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:18PM) (new)

Melody (runningtune) I had totally forgotten about these books (although I guess I thought it was only one book). My dad had a Firefox book and I remember sitting by the bookshelf in the hallway and pulling out that book, searching through the index and then reading something like how to make hog's head cheese or kill, cook and eat a bear.


message 45: by Lori (new)

Lori Anderson (LoriAnderson) I like The Red Tent, too. You're not alone! :-)


message 46: by Lori (new)

Lori Anderson (LoriAnderson) I just started reading this one and saw how highly rated it was but it's not at all what I expected, either.


message 47: by Chrystal714 (new)

Chrystal714 | 47 comments Lori did I miss something? You just started reading which one? What isn't want you expected?


message 48: by Lori (new)

Lori Anderson (LoriAnderson) I'm sorry, I am new to how these messages post and I thought I was posting directly below the one about "The Time Traveler's Wife" -- I'll be more careful in the future!


message 49: by Chrystal714 (new)

Chrystal714 | 47 comments Oh I really enjoyed that book. It wasn't what I expected either, but it was good.


message 50: by Sunil (new)

Sunil Parashar (bysunil) Book I loath that everyone else loves:

The Alchemist. :)




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