Thursday, March 26, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Best Bad Book

This week's BTT topic:
The opposite of last week's question: "What's the best 'worst' book you've ever read – the one you like despite some negative reviews or features?"
Another hard-to-answer question. I don't think I could really come up with one single "best worst" book. Over the years, I've read an awful lot of books that probably qualify for this category. When I was much younger, two of my favorite authors were John O'Hara and Louis Auchincloss; so I'm used to reading books that got panned by the critics.

More recently, one book that comes to mind is Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code (I suppose that's probably because I'm reading his Angels & Demons at the moment). I didn't read Da Vinci when it first came out, mainly because of all the negative press it got. But when I did finally read it a year or so later, I enjoyed it. Not the greatest book ever written, and Brown's style is nothing to celebrate. It would never make it to my list of favorites, but I thought it was a decent thriller – kept me turning the pages and held my interest right up to the end. Certainly no worse than many other bestsellers I've read; not really sure why it was singled out for so much criticism.



When it comes to the classics, the book that pops right up is Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables. I loved it when I first read it in high school. And then a couple of years ago, I re-read it and still loved it. But it gets mentioned on "Worst Book Ever Written" lists pretty consistently. Same thing goes for Hardy's The Return of the Native and Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. I seem to be on a very short list of readers who actually enjoyed those. Oh, and Eliot's Middlemarch, too. It seems very few people want to admit liking that one. I've got my husband reading it right now and I have to keep cheering him on to the finish line; but I thought it was a pretty good read.


15 comments:

  1. Wow, the fourth DaVinci Code today! I wanted to read it because of the subject matter but really couldn't get past the first few pages. The writing wasn't for me.

    I love Wuthering Heights too, though. :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. A lot of bloggers picked The DaVinci Code and I have to agree with all of you -- a fun and enjoyable book.

    http://barneysbookblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/booking-through-thursday_26.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. Many seem to be picking Brown, I never did read it when the hype was so big...maybe i should

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh yes, I've forgotten about Da Vinci code. I thought it was a ripping read and didn't understand why people were dissing it. Nobody was lauding it as a writing masterpiece so why the backlash? (probably the religious issues...) It got me interested in art history and I thought it was rather well researched.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I picked Da Vinci Code too! I thought it was a fun book.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I enjoyed the Davinci code, but never have gotten through the house of seven gables. Love what I have read of Middlemarch, but have not finished it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Haven't read any you mention, but I have heard that 'Middlemarch' is tough going, maybe I'll try it one day.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've never read it, but I picked up a beautiful brand new hardcover copy for .25 at my library book sale last month. I'm planning to read it this year.

    My answer will probably shock you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. You're the third person to mention Da Vinchi Code LOL I should re-read it, I must have missed something the first time through!

    I liked Wuthering Heights too.

    ReplyDelete
  10. These questions ARE getting harder!
    The DaVinci Code was part of my answer today, too.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Interesting answer! I picked DV Code last week as the Worst Best Book because of the deluge of positive reviews and ravings all over the media.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The subject matter of the Code stopped me from reading it or from seeing the film.

    I didn't even try to answer today's question.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I loved the DaVinci code. In fact, I took a lot of notes and did some research while reading it. Made it much more interesting and intriguing to me!! I have never watched the movie and honestly I don't think I will.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I haven't tried 'DaVinci' yet, but I too loved 'The House of the 7 Gables.' Part of it was that I read it for a class with a great teacher!

    Janet@acrossthepage

    ReplyDelete
  15. I loved Angels & Demons and the Da Vinci Code. Just because something was hyped doesn't mean it is on par with War & Peace or anything! What's wrong with some good old fashioned page turning, thought provoking drama that throws in some art and religion along the way? Conspiricy theories rock!

    ReplyDelete

Welcome and thanks for leaving me a comment. I love to hear from visitors.

Please note that A Little Reading is an "award-free" blog.