Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesday Thingers: Least Favorite Books

Tuesday Thingers is hosted by Wendi of Wendi's Book Corner. This week, she has a whole handful of questions about least favorite books:
What is your least-favorite book(s)? Is your least-favorite book listed in your LT library? If it is listed, do you have anything special in the tags or comments section? How have others rated your least-favorite book?
This doesn't have to mean a book that you hated, or one that you didn't finish, although it might be.
This is a tough one. I always find it much harder to answer questions about books I dislike than it is to talk about my favorite books. For one thing, as I've probably said many times, I don't generally finish books that don't grab my interest pretty quickly. But it seems unfair to say that a book is your least favorite book if you haven't read the whole thing, right?

I guess if I had to pick one least favorite book, it would probably be The Scarlet Letter. And I don't like to admit that, because I've really loved everything else I've ever read by Nathaniel Hawthorne. He was a great writer, and his works are rightly considered classics. Even The Scarlet Letter is rightly considered a classic – I recognize that. But I just really didn't like it, and if it hadn't been assigned reading, I never would have finished it. I do remember throwing my Signet edition (or was it Penguin?) across the room several times, in sheer frustration. But I think I was in the tenth grade at the time, so that was probably just a hormonal frenzy taking over. I imagine if I tried re-reading it today, my reaction would be a little less extreme.

Or maybe not.

Yes, my LT library includes The Scarlet Letter; in fact, I have a couple of different editions, one in the Modern Library Complete Novels of Nathaniel Hawthorne, and another in the Library of America edition of Hawthorne's novels. I don't have any special tags or comments attached to either of the editions: just "American literature, fiction."

Looking at the statistics for the book, it seems it's owned by over 10,000 other LT members, and it gets a three-and-a-half star rating! So clearly, a lot of people don't have my reaction to it. However, I also notice that in the discussion group Awful Lit there's a discussion string called "Books to be struck from HS reading lists!" and guess what – The Scarlet Letter is the first book mentioned!


  1. I've never attempted The Scarlett Letter. Don't really have any desire to either!

  2. I really don't get why most of the classics used for high school are required. Granted they're great pieces of literature but if the students are intellectually or even socially ready for the read why shove it down their throats?

  3. It's funny, when I read the title of your least fav book a veil of gray fell over me, lol. Took me right back to early high school english.

  4. I actually like The Scarlett Letter as I remember. But it was a loooong time ago.

  5. That is one book that I've always wondered about, but more because of its status as a classic. You are the second person I've seen so far that had that as a least favorite. :)

    I'm trying to learn to put a book down and not feel bad about not liking it. I'm getting better, but it is hard for me not to finish a book - I keep thinking it will get better!

    Thanks for stopping by and participating in Thingers last week Joy! I've got the post up for this week, have you seen the new customizable widgets on LT? ~ Wendi


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