top ten tuesday that artsy reader girl

Books I Disliked But Am Glad I Read – Top Ten Tuesday #11

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl at the start of this year.

Oh boy, so I knew this would be a toughie the second I saw it because … I mean there are two kinds of books you dislike:

  1. The ones you can go on a rant-page (see what I did there?) about because there is just so much that grates against you it hurts and there aren’t enough words or …
  2. The ones you don’t care enough about to really hate you just don’t … like them. There are too many words. You just … have nothing to say.

I have an even mix of both and as I’ve aged and written more myself, I’ve realised it can take something of a cruel streak to do the first and not counterbalance with anything nice. Them’s not fighting words! No no! I mean I’ll put my hands up, the internet is a deadly and easily accessible weapon especially in publishing and when a book has rubbed me the wrong way I’m guilty of succumbing to the allure of #1 and I’m ashamed of the few times I have because editing or not, words cannot be taken back once said.

I’ve got some strong feelings on unbalanced reviews as you may be able to tell. I don’t believe in the censorship of opinions we all have the right to have and I realise the trust placed in the hands of reviewers giving their honest ones but as time passes the more I realise the hard work and love that goes into a creator’s work and the responsibility of reviewers (especially influential ones, but also less widely known and consumers alike) understanding, there is good and things to love in everything even if you personally have to look hard for it.

To this end, I would like to say that all those listed below are books I, myself, did not enjoy and that’s not a judgment of their quality as a piece of writing but just on how much I enjoyed them, if you love them – that’s great I’m so glad someone else is enlightened enough to see what I did not.

Enough with the heavy (but still lighter than TTT #7 when I talked about my predictions for the downfall of humanity, no? If you haven’t read that one, do, it’s a real cheery one) and on with the list!


Steinbeck, J - Of Mice and Men10. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Why I Disliked: Ugh, I do not get Steinbeck’s deal. I know he writes about the depression and it’s meant to be depressing but I can’t even anymore, we’ve parted ways.

Why I’m Glad: I wouldn’t have passed my English Literature GCSE without having read it – even if it did take, way too long.*

McEwan, Ian - Atonement9. Atonement by Ian McEwan

Why I Disliked: Two words: Briony Tallis. I hated that deceitful spoiled little brat. Further evidence to my long-standing argument that kids really ain’t all that and are actually quite awful creatures. (Yes, I am aware I was one once. Yes, I was absolutely as bad as all other children, maybe worse. No, I don’t doubt I will feel differently about my own but that will likely be because that same child will suck every rational thought out of my body and use my intelligence against me during their teenage years to piss me the hell off.)

Why I’m Glad: The same reason as Of Mice and Men but insert ‘A-Level’ in place of GCSE.

Wiking, M - The Little Book of Hygge8. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking

Why I Disliked: Meh. It was a bit repetitive and didn’t actually teach me anything all that useful.

Why I’m Glad: It’s so pretty and it looks pretty on my shelf and it earned it’s spot there since I didn’t DNF it so……*

Galbraith, R - The Cuckoo's Calling7. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

Why I Disliked: Too much dialogue, slightly dull, made a better TV show which is like, the ultimate betrayal a book can commit. The books should always be better. It’s bookish law.

Why I’m Glad: I can say Harry Potter isn’t the only J.K. Rowling I’ve read?

The Stereotypical Freaks by Howard Shapiro6. The Stereotypical Freaks by Howard Shapiro

Why I Disliked: Not a bad graphic novel, for sure but Cancer just isn’t what I want to read it, understandably, makes me sad and I like to be happy.

Why I’m Glad: I’m glad to read any independently published graphic novel, even if it’s not my thing.*

Harvey, S - Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man5. Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey

Why I Disliked: It kind of discusses and almost promotes some not so great stereotypes and sexism that could use less publicity, but mostly because it’s not really relevant to me.

Why I’m Glad: It’s good companion material to the Think Like A Man (2012) movie with Kevin Hart which I really enjoyed.*

Lee, H - Go Set a Watchman4. Go Set a Watchman Thoughtlessly Published by Some Relative of the Amazing Harper Lee

Why I Disliked: I went back and forth about even reading this book because it felt wrong. The significance of To Kill A Mockingbird being Lee’s only novel was important. This was unfinished and not for public consumption and felt disrespectful to the ageing Harper Lee as a cheap way to make a lot of money off her before she passed. It makes me sad to know I contributed to that.

Why I’m (only minorly) Glad: I’m probably as guilty as those who published it for feeling this way but … it felt like literary history in my lifetime and I wanted to be a part of it. A sequel to a solo debut novel by a treasure of American Literature published 50 years later? I often feel I was born in the wrong time but then. those who lived our history probably didn’t recognise it as in the making either.

Doyle, A. C - A Study in Scarlet3. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

Why I Disliked: I peeked behind the curtain, I mean sure I didn’t necessarily dislike what I found there but the illusion of Doyle was still shattered and as the first book I read, this is what I tie it to. I liked the others far more.

Why I’m Glad: I feel like less of a fraudulent Sherlockian fan – the look die-hard fans get when you utter the words ‘I’ve only seen the BBC adaption’ is haunting. Yeah well, sugarplum welcome to the Potterheads world. Or Game of Thrones or LoTR or … oh never mind, just welcome to books.

Collins, S - Catching Fire2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Why I Disliked: It’s my least favourite of the Trilogy and felt very much like Jurassic Park 2 – just why?

Why I’m Glad: It got me to the last book which I loved!


Logan, K - The Gloaming1. The Gloaming by Kirsty Logan

Why I Disliked: Okay, so if you read my other posts you’re sick of hearing about this book, trust me I’m sick of hearing me talk about it too. It’s just one of the most recent and therefore the forefront of my mind. In short: it dragged and it made me sad.

Why I’m Glad: The book held a beautiful meaningfulness even if I didn’t really get it and perseverance mostly, I was proud of me, for finishing it.*


So that’s it! Any books in common on our lists? Any books you loved? Let me knwo in the comments and post links to your lists! I’d love to read them!

Until next time!


2 thoughts on “Books I Disliked But Am Glad I Read – Top Ten Tuesday #11

    • I think I’m that way with all trilogies, the middle book always feels like a bridge to get to the third to me. Don’t read Go Set A Watchman – the guilt was not worth! Mind you, I know a lot of people who pre-ordered it through Amazon got first editions with a printing error that cut off the last 3 or 4 lines on each page – they should be worth a pretty penny in 100 years or so!

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