Four Books I Didn’t Like That Everyone Else Loved

Unpopular opinions
“I have unpopular opinions.”

I’m always disappointed when I read a much-hyped book that all of my favorite reader friends loved, only to find that I just didn’t get it.

I mean, I understand that everyone has different tastes. Books come into your life at the right or wrong time. Every reader is unique. Et cetera. Et cetera. So not liking a popular book says nothing about the book itself. It just means it wasn’t for me.

The Hobbit
“You are a very stupid book, but this coffee seems fine.”

Still, it bums me out when I don’t love popular things because I always feel like I missed something obvious that everyone else can see.

Like Star Wars. I’ve seen three of the 400 interminable movies and they are just dumb and boring, right?

Same with Lord of the Rings. I saw the first movie and found myself wishing I was watching paint dry–or worse–watching golf.

I tried to read The Hobbit in junior high and decided I’d rather read my algebra book. Around the same time, my best friend lent me her beloved copy of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I couldn’t get past the magic closet.

It’s pretty clear that I just don’t do fantasy well. I read the first three Harry Potter books and heartily agree that they are charming, imaginative, and well-written. I just didn’t care what happened. I don’t like reading anything where an elf or a magical wood sprite or something could appear at any moment.

Unsurprisingly, I tend to avoid fantasy books, but occasionally I’m willing to try magical realism, especially if trusted readers recommends something. Here are four (relatively) recent books that the world loved but that gave me Hobbit vibes.

4. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
I was really disappointed that I didn’t like this one because I love Saunders’ short stories, especially the kooky ones. But this novel just made me feel like the voices in my head had ADHD. Too many people. Too much talking. Too much chaos. If I wanted that, I’d socialize on the train at rush hour.

3. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I should have known this one wasn’t for me because I hate magicians. I feel like they are always just waiting to pull a rabbit out of a hat when I’m not looking. The writing is beautiful, of course, but it just wasn’t for me. Maybe if it been, say, The Night Library or the The Night Movie Theatre, I would’ve liked it more.

2. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
This book made me feel the same way I feel when a couple I don’t like hold me captive and tell me their uncondensed how-we-met-and-fell-in-love story. I get it: You overcame odds. You are still insufferable. Please stop telling me your “love” story

1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (RIP)
On the plus side, there was no magic, no talking dead people, and no time travel. On the negative side, there was a mediocre white man solving mysteries while objectifying a manic pixie dream girl. My favorite parts where when Blomkvist was making sandwiches. I estimate that was at least thirty percent of the book. I’m classifying this as fantasy because I don’t believe Blomkvist would ever be irresistible to any human woman.

What books did you hate that everyone else seemed to love?

4 thoughts on “Four Books I Didn’t Like That Everyone Else Loved

  1. Haha, I hate fantasy too, the Hobbit blew, even when I was in high school. I recently gave in to peer pressure and tried to read A Song of Ice and Fire – that Game of Thrones thing… Awful, just awful.

    50 shades of Grey – more like too many pages of “I should burn this”, I wondered who on Earth would read something less believable than porn.

    Still, it’s better than people recommending TV shows I guess, we should be happy to have friends who can read. Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. the catcher in the rye… As of today, I’ve read this book three times, trying to understand what the hype is all about. I read it as a depressed teenager—which seems to be the ideal time to relate to this book—and hated it. Then tried it again as a boyfriend in college said it was his favorite book ever. Then, at a sociology class in college while everyone raved about it, I raised my hand and said “I don’t get it. I didn’t like this book at all.” and my professor urged me to read once again and she believed I’d change my mind. So, foolishly, I read the damn book a third time. And it still majorly sucked. I brought it up with said professor after class one day (and she was one of my faves) and we had a very long discussion about how I was wrong about everything and the book as awesome… *eye roll*

    I’m glad I read it because I know what this famous book is all about and what it means and represents in pop culture. But I still fucking hate it.

    PS: I love the hobbit. And lord of the rings. And time traveler’s wife. 😛

    Like

    1. You are a good fantasy reader. I just don’t have the imagination. That’s the reason I couldn’t read books with talking animals as a kid. I couldn’t get past that.

      I love Catcher in the Rye, but I absolutely get why some people hate it. I support you!

      Like

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