Not Cease from Exploration

Friday, January 27, 2017

Books Everyone Should (not) Read

Business Insider published a list of 11 books that former President Obama thinks everyone should read.  You can find that list HERE.

If you had a similar listing, what would be on it?  Well, I already covered that, probably a few times, over the years.  Besides, what fun would that be?  So instead, here's a list of books that I simply can't stand.  These are, by the way, books that I actually read, or honestly tried to read.

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I truly despise this book.  Growing up it represented just about everything I hated, namely shallow rich people living in a world full of shallow problems.  The Great American Novel?  I think not.  This book is good for leveling a table, and not much else.  I would buy this book simply to burn it.  Even the name "Gatsby" is annoying.  Do yourself a favor, watch the Family Guy episode instead.

The Outsiders, by S.E.  Hinton
I actually got in trouble as a kid during a summer enrichment program for simply refusing to read more than the first few pages of this book.  It's like a crappy version of West Side Story, without the funny characters and the good music.

Return to Order, by John Horvat II
I think I've actually written a review of this book, to be found somewhere in the archives.  Unlike other books on this list, I actually read every single word of this "work".  Here's the premise:  Things were better in the Middle Ages, you know, back when the Roman Catholic Church was in charge and everyone bowed down to royalty.  Poor people need to know their place.  Yes, you read that right.

Every Mystery Novel Ever Written, by many different authors
Ever have a conversation with someone and you know that they have something to tell you, but for whatever reason, they just can't seem to spit it out?  Well, that's how I feel about mysteries.  I don't find the whole "whodunnit" thing even mildly entertaining.

Dune, by Frank Herbert
I so wanted to like this book, and I gave it a good 70 or so page try, but man, I just couldn't go any further.  So many characters with so much back-story that was unexplained.  I have seen the movie (the original, with Sting and Captain Picard) and found it mildly entertaining.

The Compensation Handbook, by Lance A. Berger and Dorthey R. Berger
It is as dull as the title makes it out to be.  Granted, books like this aren't intended to be "fun" reads, but this one goes above and beyond in terms of being dry.  It also happens to be 682 pages long.  I still managed to do well in my graduate Compensation class, though.


2 comments:

Sean Gowden said...

I can only disagree on Dune (hated Gatsby SOOOOOO completely, Outsiders was ok and didn't read the rest.)
Dune, now, is best enjoyed after having seen the Sci-Fi mini series and then the film version. By then, you know the characters and plot and can connect the dots of the really detailed world Herbert created.

From there, you'd probably really enjoy the next two books. Book 4 was ok and the whole thing was wearing thin by Heretics of Dune. The first 3, though...a world as rich as anything Tolkien every imagined and just as exciting.

Stephen Albert said...

Thanks Sean...glad we agree about Gatsby.

As for Dune, I tried to read the book after watching the movie for the third time, and it helped, but it was still a bit foggy. I'm likely not going to try. As a side note, LOTR doesn't interest me in the slightest.

- Steve