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3 Books I Should Love, But Don’t

April 13, 2010

This meme is hosted by Rebecca at Lost in Books. I’ve been having fun reading the responses:

The Book List is just a short and fun meme that allows you to share books and make a list of books!
**Don’t forget to vote for the Participant’s Choice Topic via the form at the bottom of this post!

This Week’s Topic is:

3 Books I Should Love, But Actually Hate

1. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand –O.K. — I’m gonna get told off for this for sure. 🙂 My grandma gave me this book when I was in high school — one of those novels every educated person should read and absorb. I am sorry to say I didn’t get around to reading it until I was in my 30s. So many people, including my sister-in-law are enamoured with this book and with Rand’s philosophy. It is a novel many people cite as being life changing in some way.

I will concede that Rand’s an interesting writer, but I struggled to get through this novel. Some aspects of her philosophy ring true, I guess, but on the whole, I found it abhorrent. So much of it struck me as thinly veiled elitism, self-centeredness and intellectual snobbery. And what’s with Dagney Taggart? She was supposed to be such a strong, amazing woman, yet she thought it was a turn-on to be practically raped in the forest.No more Ayn Rand for me.

2. The Wings of the Dove by Henry James — James seems like one of those authors at whose feet any true bibliophile should worship. I have heard that he’s a challenging writer but worth the effort. But I confess — I didn’t even make it 50 pages into this one before giving up.

3. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer — On a different note, practically all the “chicks” I know, including those in their 20s or 30s, love this series. My 15-year-old daughter and I forced ourselves to finish this book. After all, we wanted to know what all the brouhaha was about, and we wanted to give it a fair chance. We. forced. ourselves. to. read. every. word. If I were Bella, Edward wouldn’t have needed to bite me and drink my fragrant blood. I would’ve died of boredom long before he ever got close to me. As far as I could see, he had no personality, no charm, no sex appeal — and WTF is up with lurking outside a girls window? Is stalking “hot” now?

My daughter insists that the odd relationship between Oskar and Eli in Let the Right One is a much healthier relationship than Edward’s “thing” with Bella. “At least Eli didn’t keep commenting on how good Oskar smelled!” Ick!

21 Comments leave one →
  1. April 13, 2010 8:42 pm

    I have not read Atlas Shrugged, but my husband has (along with a couple other of her books) and he feels the same way as you. The getting-off-on-rape scenes (which apparently are a recurring thing?) really bother him. I've never read Rand and the only one I want to read is Anthem. It also happens to be the one Jason HASN'T read, so hopefully it's a bit different from the others…

  2. April 13, 2010 8:47 pm

    Amanda, I have heard that the rape thing *is* a recurring theme in her novels. This from a woman who professes to be all about superior strength and independence. 😦 I have Anthem on my shelf. It might be different, and it's short! I felt that Atlas Shrugged could have benefited from a good editor.

  3. April 13, 2010 8:58 pm

    I don't think you *should* love Atlas Shrugged 😛 I haven't read it, but Ayn Rand's philosophy horrifies me, and is absolutely the opposite of everything I believe in and stand for.I also haven't read Twilight, but the stalking thing IS creepy.

  4. April 13, 2010 9:13 pm

    I haven't read the first two books, but I'm totally with you on Twilight. I just don't get it. I guess I'm spoiled by all of the so-much-better books I've read in the vampire genre, and then, there's the movie, which was even worse…So, my books would be 1. Wuthering Heights (couldn't stand that broody, feeling sorry for himself guy–what's sexy about that?) and 2. Pride and Prejudice (I read that in 4th grade and am still irritated that the teacher made me read it!) 🙂 and 3. Twilight (although I really shouldn't love any of these!).Fun meme.

  5. April 13, 2010 9:29 pm

    Nymeth — I am in agreement with you on Ayn Rand's philosophy. And it is certainly antithetical to the way I was raised — it kind of surprises me that my grandma chose it for me.Janell — Thankfully, I've been spared the Twilight movies. And i agree with you about Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights. Seriously creepy guy!

  6. April 13, 2010 10:37 pm

    I never tried to read Atlas Shrugged but I did try to read the Fountainhead several times but gave up. I also couldn't stand Henry James. I was supposed to read some of his work for college and I relied on Cliff's Notes even though I was an English major. Your comments on Twilight made me laugh. Edward is annoying (really who would want to be with an ice cold marble-like statue that wanted to drink your blood and ordered you around?) and Bella was a wimp.

  7. April 13, 2010 10:45 pm

    HOLYSHIT, I KNOW RIGHT??? All Ayn Rand writes about is how she hates poor people and jerks off at the thought of getting raped. Bitch is psycho.

  8. April 13, 2010 10:51 pm

    My daughter and I are right there with you on the Twilight thing…

  9. April 13, 2010 11:15 pm

    Dannie, Wow — your summary of Ayn Rand's work is similar to mine but so concise and to the point. ;-)I am getting a kick out of this whole discussion. It's amazing how much fun it is to have an excuse to be snarky.

  10. April 14, 2010 12:27 am

    It's funny, when Marina read the Twilight series, she liked New Moon best, which was the one that probably had the least Edward. She's never had any desire to see the movies, though. She and her brother like to make fun of the movie. :o)I never read Twilight. Don't know if I ever will. I never seem to lack for a book I'm really interested in, and I'm not really that interested in reading Twilight.Peace and Laughter!

  11. April 14, 2010 12:50 am

    I plan to read Atlas Shrugged, but I don't expect to like it!I agree with you about Twilight. Stalking =/= sexy! Not at all!

  12. April 14, 2010 1:39 am

    There's another good book by the author of Let the Right One In, except it's about zombies and the general undead. Has a great creepy feeling.Here's my list:1. Little Women.2. Anything by Jane Austen.and probably 3. Harry Potter. I sort of have a lukewarm feeling towards him.It would be great to read about things we love but we 'shouldn't'.

  13. April 14, 2010 4:47 am

    I read Fountainhead a few years ago after hearing so much about Ayn Rand. I saw the merit in the book for discussion purposes but found her characters unlikeable. I haven't cared to read any of her other books.I tried to read Twilight because so many of my students were reading it and I wanted to know why. Couldn't get past the first 2 or 3 chapters. No thanks.As for James, well I haven't read this particular one so I can't really comment. I had planned to read Portrait of a Lady this summer. I'll see how that goes.Great topic.

  14. April 14, 2010 11:38 am

    I've never read Ayn Rand but she is on my TBR list. I've heard that she's an author you love or hate and that her work is difficult. I admire Henry James and do like his work. I really loved Washington Square and recommend that if other James don't tempt you. And Twilight! Your teenage daughter have excellent tastes! 🙂 I couldn't get past the first page. And it probably sets back the woman's movement 50 years.

  15. April 14, 2010 1:03 pm

    I have Atlas Shrugged on my TBR list. Each summer I say I am going to read it, but somehow find other books that capture my interest. One day…. I read all the Twilight series because my students were reading them and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I am glad I did as it gave me an opportutnity to discuss with them just how unhealthy the relationship betweeen Edward and Bella is. We had several fantastic discussions about it over the past two years. It has also become a regular discussion at our book club meetings – identifying healthy and unhealthy relationships in books.

  16. April 14, 2010 3:39 pm

    LOL. Love this post. I suffered through every page of THE FOUNTAINHEAD, because it was one of those books I thought I *should* read. Now I wonder why I wasted my time.I like TWILIGHT, I admit it, although the intensity of the Bella/Edward relationship has always bugged me. I just read ALBATROSS by Josie Bloss, which she wrote in response to these obsessive love triangles that are all the rage in YA lit these days. Just for the record, I also can't stand CATCHER IN THE RYE and I've never made it through MOBY DICK. So much for books we *should* be reading, huh?

  17. April 14, 2010 9:12 pm

    I've read Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. While I liked the story and how it was written and all, I totally didn't like the philosophies much. I don't think I will be reading Atlas Shrugged.

  18. April 15, 2010 5:34 pm

    I won't even try Atlas Shrugged and I won't read Twilight. i do like Henry James but I never read Wings

  19. April 15, 2010 7:45 pm

    Yeah, apparently stalking is totally "in"! LOL. I have to admit to liking the Twilight series though I can completely understand why some people dig it. I read all four books a few summers ago, at a different point in my life, and wonder how I would feel if I were to re-read them now. That might be a good experiment for the summer…

  20. April 18, 2010 2:12 pm

    Stephanie! I love WordPress. I love that you’re still blogging and really, I just love you in general.
    I’m in such a good mood since I woke up this morning and I have no idea why. Just spreading the love.
    I subscribed my e-mail! And, for the record, I completely agree with you regarding Twilight. I liked the books, but they were never great. When the movies came out, and when Twilight turned into more of a cult than a book series, I just…I can’t even think about it now. It’s just shameful, to me.

  21. April 18, 2010 2:56 pm

    I HATED Twilight, so you are not alone. I really enjoyed Atlas Shrugged for the message but it is a difficult read and getting through John Gault’s ridiculously long speech at the end is a struggle.

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