Thursday, October 02, 2008

Books I didn't like

I'm Not Mad I Just Hate You

I decided to do a Booking Through Thursday today. The question was what book/s have I not liked that were considered good books? My mind immediately went back to books I hated as a kid. Not that I haven't read or tried to read classics more recently that I could not warm up to. But as a kid I remember encountering a few books that were supposed to be good for me that I simply loathed. It would be interesting now to see if I liked them better or if my feelings would be the same. For better or for worse, I rarely hate a book now. If I think a book is awful, I simply put it down. So for truly intense emotions I go back to my youth.
Book 1:
Curious George.
Not exactly a classic but it was my younger brother's favorite series and I read it to him many times. I couldn't stand and still will not go near the Curious George series of picture books. It still makes me shudder internally.
Book 2:
Kim, by Rudyard Kipling. An elementary school teacher I much admired suggested I read Kim. Since I loved some of Kipling's short works (the Jungle Books and Rikki Tikki Tavi) I had a good attitude going in. I couldn't stand it. I really tried because I loved the teacher. Was I just too young?
Book 3:
Emma, by Jane Austen. The same teacher assigned this book. It is the only book I ever used Cliff Notes on. I couldn't finish it. Incidentally I loved Pride and Prejudice and enjoyed Sense and Sensibility well enough.
Book 4:
An American Tragedy, by Theodore Dreiser. I don't remember why but I couldn't stand it. I felt it was truly boring.

I'm reluctant to go back to any of these books because they left such a bad feeling. Maybe I should just to prove how open mind I can be. But so many books, so little time.


Smilingsal said...

I have three other titles for my answer. Come see. Happy BTT.

A Free Man said...

I was never an Austen fan, so I'll agree with you on that one. This is Banned Books week in the States, worth checking out the ALA's site.

A Paperback Writer said...

For me it has to be
The Giving Tree by Silverstien. I see it as one of those mother-martyr books, where the woman/tree just keeps giving and the male just keeps taking. It's a book about abuse, and it's horrifying.
The Catcher in the Rye by Salinger. I had to read it as a teen, and I thought it was pointless and boring. So, last year, I re-read it to see if it appealed to my mature mind. It didn't. I agree with my 14-year-old self; it's pointless and boring.
Intruder in the Dust by Falkner. Why, oh why does this man feel the need to write 4 and 1/2 PAGE-long sentences?!!!
Moby Dick by Melville. boring, pointless -- the most action occurred in the chapters on the anatomy of the whale.

Chris said...

You never know, you might like them today ;)

sarala said...

Paperback writer--I had the same feeling about Catcher in the Rye. In fact I hated it as a kid and was recently trying to reread it and didn't make it past the first page.
Amusingly my son is reading Moby Dick and liking it. I could never make myself read it personally although now I feel I should challenge myself.

gautami tripathy said...

I hate Austen!

My BTT post!

JL said...

I once had an argument with a friend about whether Curious George was an ape or a monkey. It went something like this:

Me: You know, Curious George. The mischevious monkey.

Her: Curious George is an ape.

Me: WHAT?!

Her: Monkeys have tails. Curious George doesn't have a tail, so he's an ape.

Me: You're insane. He's a monkey.

Her: Does he have a tail? NO! ergo, he's an ape.

Me: Well, then, he's... uh... misrepresented.

Her: He's an ape, I'm telling you.

(I hate ALL Shakespeare except HAMLET. Seriously. What an over-rated hack.)