Author: Luisa Perkins
•4:35 PM
That Pezmama, always stirring up trouble. Today she wants me to reveal what my ten least favorite books of all time are. She knows how confrontation-averse I am, yet she wants me to write a controversial post on a highly subjective topic. Ay-ay-ay, as Pez herself is fond of writing.

I'll do as she requests; I'll give you ten books (or series) I hate. It's not hard to make a list. Astute readers will notice that even a couple of my favorite writers are not exempt from making the occasional glaring mistake. As Joe Queenan wrote in The New York Times not too long ago, "bad books fall into three broad categories: the stupid, the meta-stupid, and the immoral. Each has its own inimitable charms." So I'm not going to tell you why I dislike the following books; I'll leave you to figure out to which category each belongs.

Just so we're clear, #1 is my least favorite book of all time; the others are slightly less egregious.

Okay. Deep breath. Here goes.

10. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown
9. A Great and Terrible Beauty, by Libba Bray
8. The Alexandria Quartet, by Lawrence Durrell
7. His Dark Materials (trilogy), by Philip Pullman (Yes, that includes The Golden Compass)
6. Portnoy's Complaint, by Philip Roth
5. Winter's Heart, by Robert Jordan
4. The Tommyknockers, by Stephen King
3. Earthfall, by Orson Scott Card
2. The What to Expect series, by Murkoff, Eisenberg, and Hathaway
1. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

No protests or arguments, please! Really: you have no idea how Capitol-Hill-Gangish this post is already making me feel.
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On 25/11/07 , Kimberly said...

You are still loved. There now, exhale dear.

I agree with the few of those I've read, possibly for different reasons, but I do agree.

On 25/11/07 , PEZmama said...

sniff, sniff [dabbing eye with tissue]

I am so proud of you.

Really I just needed you to do that so that I didn't feel like I was the only whiny one around the blogosphere. But we both know that (except maybe for some of the things I was forced to read in high school) I could never write a list like this because, unlike you, I have never had the patience or the commitment to FINISH a book that I hate.

So, while I can console myself that I got you to complain a little, I am well aware that this list proves, yet again, that your character is far superior to mine.

(It's just that I was SO hoping you'd include "Catcher in the Rye.")

On 25/11/07 , painted maypole said...

brave of you to share. thanks

On 25/11/07 , Who Am I? said...

I thought I was the only person on the planet to have both been pregnant and to have disliked #2. While it lacked a lot in the way of medical advice, I far preferred Vicki Iovine's Girlfriend's Guide.

On 25/11/07 , Jen of A2eatwrite said...

LOL, Luisa, I'd bet this was hard for you. And I agree about #2 - I was paranoid all through pregnancy.

On 25/11/07 , Melissa said...

What about The Old Man and the Sea? Am I the only one who didn't like the book? I reread it last year to see if I had changed my mind. I hadn't.

On 25/11/07 , Luisa Perkins said...

Melissa, that probably would have been #11.

On 25/11/07 , Alice said...

The Old Man and the Sea is not only the worst book I have ever read, but the worst book I've ever been forced to read. By the law aka school. I didn't understand my English teacher's undying faithfulness to that horrid tale and I still don't understand it.

She loved it so much that she bought each of her students their own copy (that she collected at the end of the quarter). She also made it painfully clear that she had spent her own money buying the books. Probably because our school board wouldn't put up with wasting their money on this story.

On 25/11/07 , Mary said...

Bad news... I have to read Of Mice and Men for English this year.

On 25/11/07 , Luisa Perkins said...

Pez, I'm so sorry. I really do like The Catcher in the Rye, though it's not my favorite of Salinger's books. But I do feel your pain.

Mary, that's a big bummer, but I'm not surprised; it's pretty standard high school reading. Good luck with that.

On 25/11/07 , Radioactive Jam said...

Y'know I'm almost positive Tommyknockers had many redeeming qualities. Though I can't seem to recall...

Whoa. Just had a momentary flashback to last night's hotel-based dream. Of course I can't remember any of that piece of work either.

Wait! It was that cute little Tommyknockers song; it totally carried the whole book! How could you not love it?

On 26/11/07 , Dedee said...

Amen Sista! I think Earthfall completely turned me off to OSC!

On 26/11/07 , Goofball said...

don't know them, except for the Da Vinci Code which I loved. All the others are unknown to me.

On 26/11/07 , anjmae said...

I did not like the Tommyknockers AT ALL--I still have dreams where all of my teeth fall out. I do agree about many of the others, though. I haven't read Portnoy's Complaint, however. Should I, just for the experience?

On 27/11/07 , Brillig said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh, it only makes me adore you more. Though, while I've never read The Alexandria Quartet, it was the reason that I spent an entire summer in Avignon, France. My father is a lecturer with the Lawrence Durrell Society, doncha know. :-D So I love it.

I admire your courage, dear. Lovely list.

On 27/11/07 , Sirdar said...

The worst book I have ever read was the Usborne Complete Puzzle World by Susannah Leigh. It wasn't so bad the first 20 times...but by the 1000th time reading it, I didn't even have to look at the book to tell the story...and the kids didn't even need to hear the story to find the answer...but they loved it...or they were out to get of the two.

On 27/11/07 , Catherine said...

Oh, oh OH! I hated Mice and Men. I cried IN my eight grade classroom when I finished it.

And, I'm currently on book three of His Dark Materials, and I'm already writing a post about it in my mind. On the one hand, an griping fantasy tale. On the other hand, if I could banish it out of existence, I would do so.

On 28/11/07 , dawn said...

Truly, I have not read one of those. With my track record, I never will. I will say, there are a couple I have preconceived ideas on, so would choose to not read them, if the opportunity arose to read them.