Committed: A Top Ten List

I am a committed reader. It’s really rare that I do not finish what I start, so it’s not a surprise that I can come up with ten books that I really should have given up on (as hosted by The Broke and the Bookish). They added nothing to my reading history except for loathing and the loss of satisfying reading time.

And Jane Eyre jumps off a cliff every time someone loves 50 Shades of Grey.
And Jane Eyre jumps off a cliff every time someone loves 50 Shades of Grey.

10. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I feel like this is a cop out answer, but it is what it is. And it was terrible.

09. A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley. Grueling. Not bad, and I don’t need to finish a book smiling, but good grief.

08. The Pact by Jodi Picoult. This book broke my heart. I haven’t picked up anything by her since then.

07. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Hated it.

06. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Want to see me avoid you like the plague? Tell me your favorite book is Atlas Shrugged.

05. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I will join the masses in voting this one of the most overrated books of all time.

04. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. As it is a classic, I’ve read it twice, but I still can’t stand it. And every time someone quotes this book at their wedding, I laugh. Unless you quoted it as your wedding. You are, of course, the exception.

03. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. I feel like this book is an exercise in an author’s vanity. I don’t dislike Faulkner, just start with Light in August or Sanctuary.

02. Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. Pynchon is tiring. I will side eye you on public transit if you’re reading this just to see if you look confused…

01. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper. How many of us tried to read this after seeing the movie and were sorely disappointed? I’m not ashamed to admit that it is a clunky, pretentious slog.

What book did you finish that you wish you hadn’t?

Image (and it’s available for purchase)

31 thoughts on “Committed: A Top Ten List

  1. Recently, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. It wasn’t awful but it felt not worth the effort – I would rather have spent the time reading something else. In general, I don’t feel compelled to keep reading books I’m not enjoying, The Da Vinci code being a case in point. At page 69 I threw it across the room and never picked it back up. (Well, I eventually picked it up, obviously, But I didn’t read any further). Just the thought of Eat, Pray, Love makes me shudder. I quite enjoyed The Pact but I find Picoult just a little cheesy for my taste. I’ll be sure to avoid these others!


    1. I haven’t even broached the The Luminaries yet, it’s premise didn’t exactly interest me, though it sounded like it had some promise.

      I think Jodi Picoult’s fairly formulaic, dramatic event + trial.


  2. This doesn’t happen very much anymore, now that I’ve learned to DNF without shame. But Life After Life is one of those that was so hyped I made myself power through it, only to wish I’d listened to my gut. This just wasn’t the book for me.


    1. I haven’t learned yet, but I’m getting better. I’ve been trying to do a better job of being more selective so I don’t feel the need to DNF as often, but still…


  3. Laughed out loud when i saw the pic above- unfortunately I currently live in the lovely state, so I know too well. I haven’t read any of these yet except The Pact- and it killed me. But I must be a masochist, because I like her others.


    1. My Dad’s family lives there too. The Pact was just so, so depressing. I just couldn’t with anymore of her books, just in case.


  4. I’ve become a chronic book abandon-er, especially with review copies. If I don’t love it, out it goes. Sometimes this is more like pausing than abandoning, because it’s just not the right time, but often I find it hard to go back to something like that. I actually can’t even think of something I’ve finished that has just been a downright waste of time…


  5. I’m finding I’m not overly picky within genres I enjoy. I didn’t mind the Twilight books at all, nor Ayn Rand. Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors! All of her books have ethical knife in the heart twists though, so if you didn’t like The Pact, don’t read any of her others. The Pact is light in comparison.

    I’ve only started to allow myself to DNF books and the last ear was the new Ann Brashares “The Here and Now.” I couldn’t get into it almost right away and couldn’t even tell you what it was about exactly.


    1. The Pact is light? Pregnant teenage girl, who was molested makes a suicide pact with her boyfriend, is light? No, I will not be reading her other. Yikes.


  6. This post is hilarious! I didn’t do TTT this week but if I did it would have been many “hyped” books that were disappointing or I hate to admit, most of the NA genre. I have tried desperately to embrace that newbie genre but can only think of maybe 10 that were worth my time. The rest are all just smut and angst with beautiful characters and mediocre writing.


    1. I’m curious as to which 10, because I haven’t really found any so far.

      “The rest are all just smut and angst with beautiful characters and mediocre writing.” Right?


  7. I’m usually compelled to finish books – I’m trying to break that habit and learn to abandon bad books… But it’s hard.

    One that I did abandon was Eat, Pray, Love. If someone tells me they loved that book, I judge them. And then I innocently ask if they read FSoG – that tells me all I need to know.

    I’ve read a couple of books by Jodi Picoult – all seem to follow the same formula. Boring.

    Twilight… I find it a little tricky to count this one as a waste of reading time. The writing was terrible, the story ridiculous. But as a reflection of what is currently capturing teen imaginations, I found it fascinating (even more so when I discovered that Meyer is a Mormon and the way that the themes of loyalty and abstinence are woven into the story is interesting).


    1. I’m trying too.

      As a cultural touchstone (not quite, but close – especially in the US…shudders), I find it fascinating. Especially the religious aspects woven in, though that was far more apparent in the final one.


  8. Eat Pray Love for sure.

    I’m not sorry I read Atlas Shrugged, because now I get to knowledgeably mock Atlas Shrugged. I read 50 Shades for the same reason.

    I’m… sorry you feel that way about Wuthering Heights. For the record, I quoted Captain Corelli’s Mandolin on my wedding program 🙂


    1. I like your Atlas Shrugged reasoning. I use it a little too…”You’re favorite book is Atlas Shrugged? Alright then. Moving on…”.

      Wuthering Heights, ugh. Not romantic!


  9. The Da Vinci Code is SO overrated. SO SO overrated. I do not understand how it became such a craze.

    I think I’d have to say that A Visit From the Goon Squad would be on my list (UGH), and mayyyybe Norwegian Wood – though sometimes reading something and hating it is good, if you can have fun hating on it later 😉


    1. The Da Vinci Code. I just don’t get it either. I kept thinking, “really?”.

      I’m glad I’m not alone on the Goon Squad. I feel like everyone loved it but me.


  10. I love the picture.

    I absolutely agree with Eat, Pray, Love. It was not good. That was back when I finished everything I started, and I can never get that time back! I enjoyed Twilight, bad writing and all.

    I have never read The Da Vinci Code. Good to know I shouldn’t bother.


    1. That’s exactly it, you cannot get the time back you put into a crappy book. And you could’ve been reading better books!

      No, definitely do not.


  11. I really didn’t like The Pact… Ugh. It was a long while before I picked up another Jodi Picoult. And Wuthering Heights? Oye that book. I read it. Once was plenty. I play favorites with my Brontes. Charlotte FTW!!!!


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