Thursday, October 2, 2008


What, in your opinion, is the best book that you haven’t liked? Mind you, I don’t mean your most-hated book–oh, no. I mean the most accomplished, skilled, well-written, impressive book that you just simply didn’t like.
Like, for movies–I can acknowledge that Citizen Kane is a tour de force and is all sorts of wonderful, cinematically speaking, but . . . I just don’t like it. I find it impressive and quite an accomplishment, but it’s not my cup of tea.
So . . . what book (or books) is your Citizen Kane?

Perhaps the whole Toni Morrison oeuvre? I don't like her stories, I don't connect with her writing, and yet she's won the Nobel prize for writing, and Oprah loves her novels. I remember watching an Oprah book club for Song of Solomon and the members were so moved, and profoundly affected, and I was just "Huh?"

Also, Lolita by Nabokov. I read the annotated edition, and the layers and allusions and parallels in that novel were enough to make a whole other novel. It was well written, in that every word was selected for a reason, and had an important function. I don't like to work that hard for my reading. I could never decide if I liked the book, because it was well written, but without all the notes, I would have missed so much, even pertinent plot points.

Some writers, the ones that readers connect with, write the way that matches their brain, the way their brain thinks. I think of Nick Hornby and Ken Jennings for example, as writers that I just nod the whole time I am reading. Others maybe don't like or connect with their reading, but it just matches the way my brain processes information. Writers I don't get must have their brain wired differently than mine or vice versa. That's why other readers will like them - their wiring matches.


  1. Good point about the brain being wired differently.

    I listed three different titles, but after thinking about it, I could create a long list of do-not-want-to-read-at-any-cost books. Please come visit me.

  2. That was a good point! Sometimes I wonder why everyone loves a book I didn't.

  3. That's an excellent hypothesis for why some of us don't like authors who others did. As for Toni Morrison, I like her writing, but I don't enjoy her writing, if that makes any sense. She's not the kind of author I pick up when I want to feel good.

  4. I have hated many a book loved by all. It just comes down to our own personal preferences.

    My BTT post!

    Kill word Verification

  5. I have only attempted on Toni Morrison book but I totally didn't get it either!

  6. That should be one Toni Morrison book, not on! Never mind! Gives me a perfect reason to comment again to tell you that I have given you a blog award here

  7. I have had the same response to Toni Morrison

  8. I completely agree about Toni Morrison, but you should give Lolita another try. It's gorgeously written and just really, really good.

  9. I agree with you about Toni Morrison, I am not a big fan of hers. I do love Lolita and it is in my top 5 favourite books of all time and I hope you do give it another go. Glad to find another Nick Hornby fan :)


Thanks for commenting, so nice of you to visit.

(I'll try without the letters for a while - so please dont be a spammer! Let's try no anonymous users)