Friday, April 23, 2010

Top Ten Picks: Worst Books You've Ever Read

Top 10 Picks is hosted each week by Jillian @ Random Ramblings. This week’s topic is books you the top ten worst books you have ever read. Make sure to you stop by to see her list.
*Many of these books have high ratings, so feel free to disagree, but please try not to be to harsh on me, this is just a subjective list. :P

1. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Wow. Words cannot express how much I hate this book. In my defense, I read this when I was 16, expecting some divine revelation to come out of it. Instead, it was boring, dry read and I wanted the hours of my life I had spent reading it back.

2. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

This is the only book on this list that I had to read for school. I was in middle school, which might be part of the problem. Overall, it was very dry and difficult to get through. I haven't had the desire to pick it back up since.

3. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife was one of my top reads of 2009, Her Fearful Symmetry was one of the worst. It started out interesting enough, but never went anywhere. The ending was horrible and anticlimactic. This book was a total let down.

4. Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
I loved Brook's Nine Parts of Desire, and highly recommend it. Year of Wonders, however, is just plain awful. It was another book that started off well enough, but then took a turn for the worst and never picked up again.

5. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
This is yet another book I read around the age of 15-16. Perhaps it was the age, or just reading about war isn't my thing...Either way, I didn't enjoy reading this one and haven't picked up anything else by O'Brien.

6. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Ok, I loved the movie and I love Shirley Jackson. However, this was one book that was just horrible. Again, dry and trying to get through. I have read other works by Jackson, and will continue to. I like to believe this book was a one time mistake.

7. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

Ok, Brown needs to stop writing altogether. However, this particular book was extremely over the top, and totally unbelievable. I can not count how many times I rolled my eyes while reading it.

8. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
I felt this book went in waves. It would get interesting and then dull and back and forth. Eventually, I became too annoyed and gave up reading it altogether, which was pointless as I only had 50 pages or so left.

9. Specials by Scott Westerfeld

I'll be honest. I was not impressed with the series on a whole. The first book was predictable. The second was actually pretty good. The third...horrible. The main character was completely different and difficult to identify with. I never did finish it, nor have I picked up anything else by the author.

10. On Writing by Stephen King
Alright, King is one of my favorite authors. I was expecting the entire book to be his memoirs, but sadly, it was only the first half, which I enjoyed immensely. However, once it got to his advice on writing, I had to set it down. 1. I don't like people telling me how to write, and 2. it was poor advice, which is ironic considering how successful he has been. Whatev's. I still love you King, and I will continue reading your works! :)


  1. I have to agree on Her Fearful Symmetry -- such a poorly written story with blah characters!
    I also sort of agree with The Historian. Though I don't think it's one of the worst books, I have to say it was pretty bad. I like books like these, and the premise sounded interesting enough, but what a huge let down! The story didn't go anywhere at all, such a boring 'history textbook-esque' novel.

    I have not read #2 and #4, and now that you've mentioned it, I probably would never get to them either. Haha, great to have you participating this week once again :D

  2. This is awesome....Im so doing this list.....Love your picks...I agree...Cat& Rye terrible...The historian....awfull!!....Angels and Demons..baaaccchhhh...

  3. I gave up on book one of the series by Westerfeld. I just could not do. Blah!

    I did like Year of Wonders though. I have two other books waiting for me. I've heard the best book is People of the Book though.

  4. This list is so interesting because people seem to have much stronger feelings about books they don't like then the ones they do.

    I totally agree about Dan Brown. He needs to stop. Actually, he really need to stop before The Lost Symbol, which remains one of the worst things i've ever read.

  5. Oh, I liked On Writing. Of course I've read a lot of writing books and I think that you just have to glean what works for you when reading ANY book on writing. In this case, for me, his most helpful advice was: Read a lot, write a lot.

    I liked the memo stuff to.

    I'd been pretty concerned that Her Fearful Symmetry would be another depressing book (I liked TTW but it was depressed), so now I... wont' bother. :)

  6. LOL wow, my brain shut off for a minute there! I meant "I liked the memoir stuff, too." Where did you go, brain? Where...?

  7. @Juju
    Haha! Thanks love! :)

    I love this meme! I look forward to it every week! :P Agree with your comments on HFS and The Historian. Just awful. :P

    Yay! I look forward to your list! Finally!!! Someone agrees with me on Cather in the Rye. I always get confused looks when I say it is the. worst. book. i. have. ever. read. ever. Also, amen on A&D!

    I totally understand friend. Not really impressed with the series. I know a lot of people liked Year of Wonders, but I just could not get into it. :P

    Agreed. I know I at least have stronger feelings about books I don't like. :) I am so glad I didn't read The Lost Symbol. I just couldn't bring myself to go through it. The first 2 books of his were enough for me.

    I know a lot of people enjoyed On Writing. I just couldn't get into it. At least not the second half. HFS is terribly depressing. The whole book is really a downer. I don't know what happened. I really enjoyed reading TTW!

  8. Of course, as to be expected, I disagree violently with this series.

    My very soul felt hurt by the Tim O'brien on this list. :(

  9. I had only tried to read one of these books and it was Stephen King On Writing. I was disappointed big time!! I'm glad I haven't wasted time reading any of these others. Great Post!!

  10. @TJ
    I am not surprised. We have drastically different tastes. :P My apologies to your soul. :( Although, I still have yet to read Graceling and Fire, which I have high hopes for, specifically based on your reviews. :)

    Thanks love. I am glad you agree with my list. :)

  11. Is it really bad that I havent read all of the books you listed there, well I quess not as it seems it's the list with books you didn't like. :) I still am curious for the Uglies series..

  12. Love the list and your honesty! :)
    I've only read one of those books, but thankfully it doesn't seem like I've missed something! ;) I was a bit surprised to see Catcher in the Rye there, I've seen it on so many people's favorite books lists. I haven't read it though, and have no interest in doing so either!

  13. completely agree with the Catcher in the Rye...was expecting some awesome piece of teen angsty literature by what everyone was saying...and i skipped a good deal of it...

    the others i havent read...