What book do you regret reading?

We’ve all been there: Your dear ol’ aunt tells you about a wonderful book. You pick up it and read it. And as soon as you turn its final page, you immediately begin searching for a magical genie’s lamp that will enable you to wish back the 75,000 words you just consumed.

Yes, we all have reading regrets. (I, for one, will never get back the four hours I wasted reading James Patterson’s Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas. Can you say tedious?) That’s why it’s fun to head over to the blog Good Reads to see this user-generated list of books that readers most regret reading. Though it’s no surprise that the polarizing Twilight tops the list, I’ll admit that I’m quite shocked that more people regret reading J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye than Sophie Kinsella’s Confessions of a Shopaholic.

So your turn, Shelf Lifers: What book gave you pangs of regret? And remember, this is a no-judgment zone!

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  • meso soup

    Moby Dick.
    A complete waste of time. Melville be damned….

    • Celia

      I agree. I only had to read an excerpt and that was torture.
      I also deeply regret that I was forced to read the disastrous pile of sh*t known as Watership Down.

      • Graeme

        Oh my God, Watership Down. I hate bunnies now. That was terrible.

    • Allison

      Billy Bud- another Melville “gift” to the world

    • Pepper

      Oh my God, a load of crap. It was so boring and uninteresting and dull and lifeless… I’ve had more fun reading manuals.

  • Q

    Devil Wears Prada. A self-involved stream of whining by a spoiled brat who apparently never expected to have to actually go to work on time and work hard. Was it just me or did she seem more upset about the little miseries of the First Real job, and less about the really insane stuff about Miranda?
    I was so thankful the movie got the focus right.

    • Andy

      Agreed, the movie was better. Meryl Streep was absolutely fantastic.

      • Ben

        As always.

    • Lala

      The movie was definitely better. Meryl Streep and the rest of the cast can do no wrong! In the book, she seemed pissed that she even had to show up at all. I sided with Miranda after reading the book, because quite frankly running a magazine is a little more difficult than answering a phone, taking lunch orders and fetching coffee.

      • Tambrey

        Grade A stuff. I\’m unqsuetioabnly in your debt.

    • Audrey

      Totally agree! This was the first book that popped into my head when I read the topic. It’s one of the very rare instances where Hollywood does the story better.

      • Dawn

        the same goes for Nicholas Sparks The Notebook and Walk to Remember – the Hollywood versions were actually much better

      • Matthieu

        Anything by Micheal Crichton is better in movie form too.

    • April

      Yeah, the movie was WAAAAAY better.

      • charlotte

        Agreed. I was extremely irritated with the book but the movie was awesome.

  • Daphne

    Paul Auster’s Leviathan – It was very promising in the beginning but then it turned into this very melodramatic soap opera. It’s possible I missed the point of the book, but I wish I hadn’t wasted my time and money on it.

  • Elizabeth

    I think we can all agree that the books were forced to read in school are never fun. I will hold a deep-seeded hatred for my 11th grade english teacher after having “A Separate Piece” inflicted on me. I quit reading for pleasure after that experience.

    • Janine

      I feel that way about many of the books I had to read in high school, except for Crime and Punishment, Lord of the Flies, and The Count of Monte Cristo. I never would have read them on my own and they are my favorites now.

      • dpinmd

        Agreed — especially The Count of Monte Cristo! And add to that list The Great Gatsby. :)

      • G.R.

        I’m reading The Count of Monte Cristo now — it’s pretty awesome. :D

      • jmo

        Agreed. There are some books or stories that are better after you have more life experience. I read Brave New World in high school and I hated it BUT when I was 23 or 24 I re-read it. What a difference! On the other hand, I doubt Romeo and Juliet would have the same impact reading it at 24 instead of 14.

      • No way

        I hated Gatsby in high school but it’s become my favorite book of all time since college.

      • Celia

        I agree. I had to read Fear in Loathing in Las Vegas, Lord of the Flies, Catcher in the Rye, Jesus’ Son, In Cold Blood, and many other brilliant books for school (high school and college) and all of them are favorites now.

      • Amy

        The Count of Monte Cristo is a great book… until about halfway through when it becomes tedious. It makes sense in the context in which it was originally released (as an ongoing series published in parts over two years). But reading it in one piece, there are parts that are exciting and parts that I found incredibly dull.

    • Kristen

      I loved A Separate Peace. My only complaint about HS lit was the dominance of dead white guys in a class called “20th Century Literature”. I didn’t discover Toni Morrison until early 1990s. I will always love Papa Hemingway tho.

      • Luddite

        Couldn’t agree more. My class was “World Lit,” but it was still entirely dead white guys (the only woman we read was Sappho; no one of color, male or female).

      • Q

        So funny – i went to a progressive all-girls school, and we didn’t read any of the dead white guys! Now as an adult I have to go back and read Hemingway and Moby Dick!

      • Diggity

        Me too- I majored in English Lit in college and it was a lot different than I thought it would be- in a good way.

      • anb

        I love those dead white guys. I have read Beloved, Jazz, Paradise, and still find Toni Morrison almost completely incomprehensible. Of course, the two books that leap to mind when I think of ones I regret reading are Backlash and It Takes A Village.

    • BLM

      Completely agree. That book was boring and tedious, much like The Old Man and the Sea (Worst Book Ever!) and Heart of Darkness. I also regret getting involved in the Twilight madness–the writing is just awful, Bella is a pathetic heroine, and NOTHING HAPPENS!

      • Kevin

        Old Man and the Sea is the worst book ever?! It’s a novella, and a very short one at that…it takes all of 3 hours to read. And it’s heartbreaking and triumphant at the same time…there’s a reason it’s considered a masterpiece. Heart of Darkness isn’t an easy read but it’s quite good if you can get into the rhythm of it.

      • Mary Q. Contrary

        Old Man and the Sea is a beautiful story, but one of great subtlety. Maybe you need a more obvious story to actually get it?

      • Cardsgal

        Pretentious much, Mary? Old Man and the Sea is one of the three or four WORST books I’ve ever read. I also hate Faulkner and Kafka. That doesn’t make my tastes “obvious” or base. I’d just rather spend my time with Dorothy Parker.

      • keely

        YEAH Mary.

      • BLM

        I’m not stupid, I get The Old Man and the Sea. It’s just boring. It may be a novella, but it took me forever to read because I kept falling asleep.

      • Ben

        To Mary: Just because someone doesn’t like something does not mean that they don’t get it.

      • Jennifer

        Personally, I thought ‘Old Man and the Sea’ hit me over the head with its overt symbolism. It was the exact opposite of subtle, and I hated it so much that I refuse to touch anything else by Hemingway.

      • Kate

        That’s too bad, Jennifer – I also disliked The Old Man and the Sea, but read A Farewell to Arms on the recommendation of a friend and found it one of the most heartbreaking, well-written books I’ve ever read. Try it. Really!

      • Bedo

        Old Man & the Sea was pretty bad. And A Farewell to Arms (those people annoyed me- everyone was always walking & dying…in the rain). I also disliked Metamorphosis & The Stranger- very wierd & never understood them

      • sprayberry22

        ahhh…I was sitting here, thinking hard about the worst book I ever read and was coming up blank until I read your post – and you reminded me of the utter waste of brain space and time that Heart of Darkness was! Lord I HATED that book. I remember thinking at that moment that whoever decided certain books were “classics” and worth studying and others weren’t had no idea what they were talking about – and I’ve never listened to critics or scholars again on what to and what not to read.

      • tvgirl48

        Lol agreed. I read the Twilight series because I hate when people criticize things they’ve never read or seen. But you are so right, there was build-up for a climax that never came. Oh no, the Volturi are coming! We’ll just talk it out and everything will be fine. Oh no, turning you into a vampire will make you as uncontrollable as Jasper! Nope, no interesting conflict there, Bella is special.

      • kate

        I have to agree with you. Old Man and The Sea literally makes me want to vomit. Ugh it was so tedious.

    • ks

      Agreed! I hated reading some stuff in HS-Island of the blue dolphins?? HATE that book,all those all creatures great and small, where the red fern grows YUK. I did how eveer really enjoy Andromeda Strain. Guess it is all personal perception

      • Sarah D

        How could you hate Where The Red Fern Grows? That’s just Un-American (kidding). That book is the perfect love story (really NOT kidding).

      • Lizabeth

        I loved Where the Red Fern Grows, but I had forgotten about (blocked out?) Island of the Blue Dolphins until I read your post! I don’t remember much about it, except that I hated it!

      • Dawn

        When I was in 7th grade, my English teacher presented two books for the class to read – Where the Red Fern Grows and The Chocolate War. Everyone picked The Chocolate War except this one boy and me – and we loved it – it has always stayed with me and I started reading it aloud to my family in the last couple of months.

      • Emilie

        Oh my goodness, I competely agree with you, I hated Island of the Blue Dolphins. Ass to that the Witch of Blackbird Pond… couldn’t get into that book to save my life.

      • Emilie

        o my goodness… I totally meant Add instead of Ass… haha… to bad no edit button

      • Lucy

        hheeeyy, I like that book! Island of the blue dolphins was great!

      • tvgirl48

        As a seventh grader, Where the Red Fern Grows freaking traumatized me. Kids dying, getting lost in storms, dogs dying…it horrified me and made me wonder how that was appropriate for young readers when people worry about the curse words in Catcher in the Rye for high schoolers

      • Renee

        oh! Those (Where the Red Fern Grows, Island of the Blue Dolphins, AND the Witch of Blackbird Pond) are three books that I loved when we read them in school – and though I’m 22, I still make a point to reread them every now and then.

    • k

      i loved a separate peace! hated catcher in the rye.

      • k

        I love a separate peace as well I don’t know why people hate that book so much….

    • Irene

      A Separate Piece was one of my favourite forced books in school. To each their own!

      • Allie

        Will you fools learn to spell the title of this book? It’s “A Separate PEACE,” not “Piece.” GEEZ.

    • ZRob

      You gave up reading for pleasure based on one book you didn’t like? Your loss.

  • Pamela

    For me recently it was The Time Travelers Wife. I have heard that the movie is better than the book, but the hopping around is too much for me. I just soldiered through it because I had already started it.

    • Ally

      Time Travelers Wife is one of the worst books I have ever read. It was just so insanely depressing and poorly written. I also regret reading Confessions of a Shopaholic. I don’t normally like chic-lit that much, but it came highly recommended from a friend. I have never wanted to strangle a character in a book before. I’m sure there are others, but those two are fresh in my mind.

      • Ally

        Oh, The Lost Symbol was pretty disappointing too…

      • Barb

        YES! What shocks me the most is that there is more than one shopaholic book. I mean, how many times can you rack up thousands of dollars of debt and get out of the mess and NOT LEARN A THING?!

      • Lala

        I think I got to about page 50 on Confessions of a Shopaholic before I had to put it down. Maybe I’m just not a big “chic-lit” person, but I just couldn’t get into it.

      • i’m a lady

        I can’t believe we are in the minority about TTW. I seriously wanted to hurl that book out the window.

      • drsaka

        Agreed, I disliked both the main characters (bland bland bland) so there was little hope that I would like the premise. I also dislike “The Lovely Bones’…. a lot.

      • Renee

        I just finished the Lovely Bones – I also disliked it. Big waste of time. I felt like nothing happened in it and there was no sense of justice at the end.

        As for the Time Travelers Wife…I go both ways on it. I suppose it depends on the mood.

      • Dawn

        I love Time Travelers Wife!!! So unique, yes very sad, but wow, way better than the movie.

      • Emilie

        Oh I loved Time Traveler’s Wife and Lovely Bones… sad to see people not enjoy it. I also passed Lovely Bones around at work, and all my coworkers enjoyed it as well…

      • Laura

        I LOVED Time Travelers Wife. I read it years ago and found it difficult to get started but once in it.. it was GREAT!!

      • N.

        I hated The Lovely Bones as well- it started out good and then started descending into ridiculous melodrama about halfway through. And the scene at the end…amazingly bad.

    • Janine

      I liked the movie much better than the book. It was much more enjoyable.

    • Jessica

      Ditto.

    • Annie

      Yes yes yes! Someone who agrees with me! I was working at a bookstore when it first came out and everyone was absolutely gaga over it. When I finally ready it, I couldn’t believe how horrible it was.

    • LB

      For me the book was great and I heard the exact opposite about the movie (though I haven’t watched it b/c i don’t want to ruin the story for myself)–that it was horrible.

    • Laura G.

      I read The Time Traveler’s Wife twice. I read it again just recently thinking maybe I had misjudged it. I hadn’t. It’s terrible.

    • MAddy

      The Time Traveler’s Wife is easily the worst book I’ve read in years (following the twilight series of course) I did finish it, but it was only because I had to see if it ever was going have a single redeeming quality. It didn’t.

    • Zoey

      I actually really liked the book, but hey, whatever.

  • Janine

    Eyes of Prey by John Sanford. Not because it wasn’t a good book. It was. What wasn’t good was having my dad recommend it and then reading the sex scene that I knew he had read…that exact copy, too.

    • Ambient Lite

      ewww…. ;)

  • Emily

    I really regret reading “Oryx and Crake” by Margaret Atwood. I felt so stupid for actually finishing the whole thing. Also, “Life of Pi” seriously pissed me off. I thought that Yann Martel was cheating by not giving suggesting that the story was not real, or maybe it was, or what do you think? Ugh! You’re the writer – tell us!

    • Kevin

      Oryx and Crake was excellent!

      • Allison

        Totally agree. It’s one of my all-time favorites and I’ve read it multiple times and loved it each time!

    • i’m a lady

      emily…Life of Pi was a parable for religion. The whole point is that you have to figure it out for yourself.

      • Mariah

        That’s right! I loved it!

    • Matt

      Oryx and Crake and Life of Pi are two of the most interesting books of decade.

    • Domonique

      Emily you are so on about Life of Pi! I hated that book. I just was hoping the tiger would eat him and then I would be done with the book.

      • Tom

        Another way to be done with the book was to just stop reading it

      • Kara

        I had to read The Life of Pi in high school so I couldn’t stop reading it…and I thought it was a really boring book. I got that the ending was supposed to be up to the reader, but it was just so tedious…

    • pauldgallagher

      SPOILER ALERT: I’m believe that the “alternative” explanation Pi offers at the end is what really happened. We’re supposed to realize that the tale we’ve been hearing all along is Pi’s whitewashed version of the truth. That’s my take, anyway; I don’t think we’re supposed to conclude that it could be one or the other.

  • Sue Ellen

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the books that are the “Good Reads” link you posted are also on the “Regrets” list.

  • synth

    augh, seeing catcher on the list breaks my heart.

    • Q

      While I think it may be a little overrated, I agree, you just can’t call it a regret. Fail.

      • Hilaryy

        Its the ONE book I regret reading in a serious way. Its true that you either love or hate it, and I, sorry to tell you, fell firmly on the hate side.

      • Mary

        I’m with Hilary. I hated the book. Perhaps it was so hyped up for me that I was just let down. I found Holden Caulfield to be a whiny, spoiled brat. Plus, that book will always be associated with Mark David Chapman so that’s a bit of bad karma.

    • Lala

      I think people either love Catcher in the Rye or hate it, there’s not a big in between. I thought it was a terrific book, but I know plenty of people who didn’t like it as well.

      • John

        I think Catcher in the Rye is a generational thing. It seems Baby Boomers and the current generation (emo) dig it. I though it was the worst book I have ever read. Close second was Confederacy of Dunces. Keep in mind it’s my opinion and I’m only commenting on ‘literary’ works. I like the quick reads too, but I know what I’m getting with those.

      • Kelsey

        Same. I LOVE The Catcher in the Rye, but so many people I know hated it. Breaks my heart.
        I think being “forced” to read books in school ruins them for a lot of people. My junior year of English in high school killed Steinbeck, Salinger, Hemingway and Fitzgerald for a lot of people. Shame.

  • Jennifer

    I wish I’d never spent several days of my life trying to read “White Teeth” by Zadie Smith. All the reviews said it was terrific and a must-read. Man, did they lie! A few of the characters were interesting, but unfortunately not the ones with which the author was most concerned. This is the novel that made me decide to never again waste my time on boring books; if my interest isn’t engaged within a few chapters, back to the library it goes.

    • Nicki

      I thought I was the only one who felt this way about “White Teeth”

      • Jane

        Agreed 100%. I had to read it, unfortunately, for one of my college classes.

    • Kevin

      Loved it! One of my Top 10 favorites…well, of the 20th Century at least. I think I liked On Beauty even more.

    • Audrey

      Wow, it’s good to know I’m not the only one who hasn’t managed to slog through to the finish. What a waste of time… I always hate to abandon a book, but if the author can’t keep the attention of the reader long enough to get their important point across, that’s their fault, not mine.

      • Matt

        Maybe there’s something wrong with you and not the author. What keeps your attention? Sex scenes and violence?

      • Jennifer

        Actually, sex scenes and violence just for their own sake are very high on my list of what I don’t like about some books. I want characters whose narratives make me care about their outcome, regardless of whether they’re likeable or not. A book doesn’t have to have non-stop action, but if the author doesn’t make me want to know what happens next to the main characters (and in ‘White Teeth’ I most definitely didn’t), then I stop reading.

      • Matthieu

        Matt, that’s a rather snobby conclusion you jump to. Look, we don’t all agree, but being bored is a legitimate reason to stop reading half-way through a book. If I don’t see it going anywhere, I’ll give it another 20-30 pages and if it’s still going in circles I’m done with it. There are a lot of great books, and I’d rather just move on to something I enjoy.

  • Coconutty

    Anything by Jodi Picoult.

    • Missy

      YES! I threw “My Sister’s Keeper” across the room when it was done. Ridiculous.

      • Shay

        Ditto – I heard people were mad b/c the movie changes the ending. I like to say the movie FIXED the ending, even though I haven’t seen it.

      • Maddie

        Oh yes, SO TRUE! Everything about that book was so ridiculous…I cannot imagine any 13-year-old girl talking and acting the way Anna did. The “courtroom drama” seemed to be written by somebody who has never read, watched, or heard anything about how the legal system works, not even reruns of Law and Order. And the ending was WTF-worthy!

      • ian

        best.response.EVER

      • jem

        I SO agree – I love books, but I threw that one across the room like it was poison. The movie wasn’t amazing, but at least they changed the really stupid parts.

      • Laura G.

        I loved My Sister’s Keeper! But I grew up watching old tear jerkers with my mother so sometimes I like a book like that!

      • N.

        Oh, I hated that book. I’d never heard of Picoult, but I’m interested in bioethics, so I picked it up one day. Every other line made me cringe with how ridiculous the prose was, and the ending was a cheap, contrived gimmick.

    • kana

      Agreed. i planned on listing ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ as soon as i saw the title for this post. AWFUL.

    • Q

      Tried to read 18 Minutes, did not make it 18 pages…

      • SAM

        Perhaps you mean Nineteen Minutes

      • Timber

        I know what you meant, Q. And I agree. Every single character, adult and teen alike, had the same insipid look-how-clever-I-am” voice. Tedious.

    • Mary Q. Contrary

      Good lord, yes. I absolutely cannot fathom how her books sell as well as they do. They’re crap.

  • Kristen

    Definitely Catcher in the Rye. Pretty pointless book. I am glad I read Twilight because I can honestly report on how f’ed up it is. The big disappointment for me was The DaVinci Code. Sucked big wind. Angels and Demons was way better and less offensive. Luckily, I read them both before the movies because I would need to have my mind wiped to get rid of Tom Hanks in that role!

    • Kelly

      I wholeheartedly second Catcher in the Rye. It is, hands down, my least favorite book. EVER. It took me a month to finish it and it’s not even that long!

    • Juniper

      I also read Twilight because more than a few friends told me, “OMG! You HAVE to read it, it’s so good!” I sat down with the book during a brief period of unemployment and read the first book in one day. I was not the least bit tempted to read the next 3. It was awful. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that is so well-known and has such bad writing. I didn’t mind the DaVinci Code/Angels and Demons, but I did have a big problem with Tom Hanks’ hair…

      • Amanda

        Totally agree, doormat Bella and morman undertones aside that woman just flat out cannot write a coherent paragraph! Plus the dialogue reads like the rough draft of soap opera script.

      • Mariah

        Twilight was the absolute worst piece of crap ever. My only regret is that I tried to give the series another chance (because how could everyone be wrong?) and started New Moon (did not make it to the end). The only people who like this book are

        1) teenagers (the actual target)
        2) lonely ladies in bad marriages
        3) people who dont ever read books

        I also hated Lovely Bones and some Faulkner book about a dead mom, back in high school.

      • Kari

        So Mariah, I read twilight and enjoyed it, and I am none of those three things you described. I love to read and have a wide and varying range of favorite authors including Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and J.K. Rowling. Just because you don’t like a book doesn’t mean you have to insult everyone who does. I enjoyed it and got no fewer than ten of my friends and college classmates and their friends to also read and enjoy the saga, and in that number are English majors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, accountants, none of whom are teenagers or married and most of whom enjoy reading for pleasure and almost all were convinced they weren’t going to like it, before I endorsed it. Sure it’s not a masterpiece, but it’s not absolute crap and anything that can draw this many people in and make young girls want to read deserves some kind of respect. I regret reading the Da Vinci code. Total waste of time for me… but I won’t stoop to insulting anyone who did enjoy it.

      • Dawn

        Actually, not true. I’m 41, very happily married, and I love to read – a wide range of subjects from Ahab’s Wife to Jane Eyre to Crime and Punishment to yes, the Twilight Series – there’s a reason why so many people like the Twilight series and they are not all as you described. On a deeper level, the books are about friendship, denial, self – sacrifice, and loyalty. But if you’re truly into “weighty” reading, then a great book is The Year of Fog – absolutely beautiful writing though very sad.

      • DarkLayers

        Mariah, Twilight is not without problems, but what about these women?

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/18/AR2009111804145.html

        This article was highly resonant with readers, as they stepped up in discussions to talk about how they fit into this paradigm.

        I loved Monica Hesse’s article yesterday. I am a thirtysomething, happily married, professional woman who usually reads Philip Roth or Margaret Atwood for my fiction, and yet I LOVE these books. It’s fun to remember what it felt like to be a ridiculously emotional 15- year-old again.

        “I am a mid twenties female who loves the “Twilight” series as well. I do not think they are great literary works or have great characters but there was just something about the story that is very addicting. I pretty much like all vampire stories from Dracula to Buffy to Angel to Anita Blake and the Sookie Stackhouse series (“True Blood”).

        I like all the latter better than Twilight but they were not as addicting but more entertaining for the long haul. It is just really hard to explain. I do not consider myself obsessed but I will be seeing the movie this weekend with great anticipation. I kinda compare it to soap operas. So bad but yet entertaining.”

      • Grace

        actually mariah i loved the ‘Twilight’ series. yet i might be a teenager, but as far i i know, i am a great reader. i love to read. My english teacher who is a man, married and 43, was the one who recomended the series to me. The books are about self-sacrice, friendship and about true love… not in the sense of ‘oh i love my boyfriend’ but in the true bonds within family matters. actually sometimes you end forgetting you’re reading a vampire story… but i do regret reading I am the Cheese by Robert Cormier. Didnt like the ending.. and i would totally recomend reading ‘The Outsiders’ by S.E. Hinton its amazing and touching

      • Lovie

        Cool! That\’s a clveer way of looking at it!

    • Haldis

      I completely agree with DaVinci Code. I read it very fast, because of the intense thriller aspect, however the end was sorely disappointing. It was so terribly lame and a huge cop out. It was like Dan Brown wrote it so that some horrible movie producer could make an easy buck of the bad script/story.

      • N.

        I liked the Da Vinci Code, and I liked Angels and Demons. What I didn’t like is that they used the exact same plot devices and twists.

    • Mary Q. Contrary

      How can you not appreciate Catcher in the Rye? It’s full of complex emotion, the writing is SUPERB, and has one of the most visceral, raw narratives I’ve ever read. It’s in my top ten, maybe even top 5. But, I read it at 12, and I have often wondered if I had been forced to read it in high school, would I feel differently? And every time I find myself thinking that, I realize that the answer is a resounding YES.

      • Mary Q. Contrary

        I meant to type NO, btw. Lol.

    • anonymous

      Yeah, I’m kind of with you on Twilight. As much as I hated it, and hate that I’ve read it, at least now I can articulate why I think it’s so very, very awful. Also, I hated, HATED, Eat, Pray, Love. I don’t think I’ve ever read such a narcissistic, self-indulgent piece of tripe before. Truly painful.

      • Clary

        I know.. Atleast, I can say now why its total crap :)
        And IT IS.
        Harry Potter is so much better.

      • Shannon Marie

        Funny how people have such different tastes! Both of these books were life changing for me. Eat, Pray, Love especially.

      • Melissa

        I “read” Eat Pray Love as an audiobook (unabridged) read by the author – it was wonderful! Yes it was narcissistic in that it was a self-focused journey of exploration – it was all about a woman learning about herself, but that’s what I loved about it! Wonderful book, one of the best reading experiences I’ve had all year, especially since I did it while stuck in LA traffic! A little worried about the movie, though…not sure how it will translate & hoping they don’t mess it up.

    • April

      Your Tom Hanks quip is too true. I haven’t read The Lost Symbol, but I’m sure I’ll get around to it one day so that I can imagine Robert Langdon how I see him.

    • cathi

      the lost symbol is worse. you can drive a truck through the plot holes and the big twist is inane at best. biggest wast of time

  • Amy

    Who are the 11 people that voted for Hatchet?! They deserve to be put on a prop plane headed for the northern Canadian wilderness to visit their father, then have their pilot have a heart attack so the plane goes down in a lake and they’ll have to learn to survive!

    • AK

      I wasn’t one of them, but I support their initiative whole-heartedly. Gary Paulsen is just… painful.

    • Teresa

      Ooh, I support that too, and all the rest of the “woodsy survival” books I had to read in Grade 5. Just because I grew up in Canada didn’t mean I needed to read about people surviving in the bush.

    • Juniper

      Amy, I remembered Hatchet with fondness and was sad to see it on the list, too. I was also appalled at some of the other books. Dickens, Toni Morrison, Frank McCourt, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Arthur Golden do not deserve to be on the list. And Pride and Prejudice? Are you kidding me? I’m filled with despair right now.

      • Dawn

        I read Hatchet as an adult a couple of years ago because my daughter had to read it in school. I thought it was very good.

      • Zoey

        It seems like most of the books have been adapted as movies or shows or something…I’m thinking maybe the books weren’t what people expected after seeing some trash Hollywood version and so they didn’t like it. What fools.

    • Matthieu

      I’d like to add another canadian wilderness novel here: Maria Chapdelaine. I read it in French, but I’m sure it’s just as bad translated. About three chapters on cutting wood in the Quebec north, and in the end she picks the guy she doesn’t even like to marry her. It’s not even tragic, she just goes ‘meh’ and makes some tourtiere. There’s even less choice when you read in french so I’ve read some clunkers…

  • Magnificent2001

    The Crimson Petal and the White – by Michael Faber.

    It was just awful. The most depressing pathetic book…and I’ve read Billy Bud!!!!

    • Shannon

      I totally agree about Crimson Petal and the White. It was so good…and then it just…ended. All that work (and it was work) for such a downer with really no point.

    • Diane

      Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Hated that book to no end. I normally lend out my books but will not subject someone to that one ever. It was horrible.

      • drsaka

        Agreed. That was an ending? Blah…

    • Matthieu

      How did it end? I gave up on it around page 500, and still am vaguely curious as to what happens. Did she find a cure for her perpetually dry skin?

    • SV

      I am so there on this one! It is the first book I thought of when I read this article. All that reading to end up with pretty much no resolution whatsoever. I love to read and enjoy almost anything but this was a waste.

  • selawikheather

    I read all the Twilight books. In my defense I work at a high school and wanted to know what the kids were reading. The part that really bothered me about the books was that she kept talking about the characters gnashing their teeth. She never figured out different ways to say the same thing. It drove me nuts!!!!!

    • Mary Q. Contrary

      Exactly! How many times can you say that people giggle, instead of just laugh? Plus, I found it odd that the narrator, Bella, kept giggling. If the way she described herself was accurate, then giggling was extremely out of character. The sad part is that these complaints are just the tip of the iceburg.

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