Top Ten Great American Read Books I Don’t Like

Hey guys!  So whenever there’s a list of books that comes out purportedly being the Best Books of All Time, well, there are always a few that we tend to disagree with.  And there are certainly a number of these that I did not like, whether I was forced to read them in school or because I just didn’t like them.  So I thought I would share this list with you, just for kicks.

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Top Ten Great American Read Books I Don’t Like (or Recommend)

1. 1984 by George Orwell

My dad recommended this to me in high school and I hated it.  It’s not that I don’t see how it’s relevant to the world and all that, but it’s so depressing.  I can’t stand books that start at their happiest and just spiral down from there.

2. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

This was required reading in high school before my senior year.  And truth be told, there were parts of it that I genuinely liked.  But Rand tries so hard to push her political ideas through it that there’s one part that like 20 pages of this long speech about it all.  It’s ridiculous.  If I could just keep the parts I liked, this 1000+ page monster would be more like maybe 200.

3. Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James

Yes, I get that it’s been quite a game changer in the romance world, but the writing is absolutely horrible.  I just want to go all Gordon Ramsey on this and filet it.  I also can’t stand the sexism and abuse that the first book in particular has in it.  It bothers me.

4. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Ugh, of all the books on this list, this is the only one I didn’t actually finish.  It was a freshman year of high school required read.  It was horrible.  Dickens is incredibly wordy, especially when he doesn’t have to be.  (If I remember correctly, Dickens was paid by the word count for his serialized stories, which explains that.)  Couldn’t they have put A Tale of Two Cities on this list?  That, at least, was far more entertaining.

5. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

I had to read this 2-3 times in college for different classes because it showed colonization in Africa, specifically the Congo.  But dear God, it’s so racist.  Yes, that was the time period, yadda yadda yadda.  But that doesn’t mean I want to read it now.

6. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Believe it or not, I never really cared for this.  This was required reading my junior year of high school and while I sort of got into it, I never bought into it.  The characters felt like caricatures.  Gatsby is so disingenuous that it’s hard to see why I’m supposed to like him.

7. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

This was a pick of my own in high school because I’d found quotes by Douglas Adams and they were hilarious.  But as far as creating a story?  I didn’t care for it.  But I still like finding his quotes.  They are so entertaining.  His writing in that respect is brilliant.

8. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

This was required reading in college for one of my English classes.  I could almost see the appeal of this story at times, but the characters were so unlikable.  Some people say that’s the point, but characters make or break a story for me.  This one broke.

9. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

This was required reading in the same class I had to read Heart of Darkness.  Honestly, I don’t even really remember this story at all.  But when I think back on it, I don’t have warm and fuzzy feelings about it, and my Goodreads account says I gave it a 3 in a time when I hated giving negative reviews, so it was probably more like a 2.  That’s enough for me to know I didn’t like it.

10. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

This was a choice of my own.  I picked it up once to see what everyone was talking about.  Catherine and Heathcliff were so annoying.  They did everything to destroy themselves.  I don’t understand people like that.  And I don’t see the appeal of reading stories like that when you can literally see the same thing every day just by watching the news.  I’m reading to escape that.

4 thoughts on “Top Ten Great American Read Books I Don’t Like

    • Ha, why thank you! 😀 It was required reading for my senior AP English class, over the summer before school started. I didn’t have a good excuse *not* to read it. And I was *that* student. 🙂

  1. Wow we have really different opinions on a lot of these choices! I am WITH YOU on Atlas Shrugged and Hitchhiker, but the rest I really liked. I also had to read about half of these in high school, and then AGAIN as required reading in college, and that REALLY helped change my opinion on them. Great Gatsby and Things Fall Apart are two of my top favorites, on the whole 100 list, but I hated them both before I gave them a second chance. Would love to know your favorites, thanks for sharing!

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