This weekly meme is hosted by Jillian at Random Ramblings. This week's theme is the "worst books you've ever read". Now clearly this topic could incite a lot of discussion, since reading preferences are rather personal. I'm going to go with books that I read but did not like, which may or may not be poorly written.
1. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man-James Joyce
Really, you could probably put any title of stream-of-consciousness fiction in this place and it would still be one of the worst books I ever read. This one I had to read for a class, and I was mad about it all the way through!
2. Flowers in the Attic-V.C.Andrews
This is actually an example of a truly terribly written book that I loved-because I read it when I was 14. All that salaciousness felt truly exciting . Now, of course, I recognize the ridiculousness of the whole thing.
3. Anything by Danielle Steele
I have never understood why people love her books so much. I'm not huge into romance anyway, but I have read some good ones. Hers are all the same-beautiful woman, with some kind of messed up family situation, looking for love in all the wrong places, being taken advantage of by someone, until saved by the love of one good man. Really you could just read one of her books and say you've read all of them.
4. On Strike for Christmas-Sheila Roberts
...and any other women's fiction book that takes a "playful" look at the "battle between the sexes" but really just reinforces and perpetuates every sexist stereotype out there. You can read my rather scathing review of this one here.
5. State of Fear-Michael Crichton
I usually like Crichton, but this book frankly pissed me off. He purported to be giving some scientific argument about the "myth" of global warming, but despite all of the charts, tables, and appendices, what science is in the book is disputed by every major climatologist. All he did was muddy the waters and give some global warming deniers some flawed ammunition.
6. The Witching Hour-Anne Rice
I will admit to not really liking most of Anne Rice's books. I think that she is too wordy (and considering how wordy I am that is saying something!). I liked Interview with a Vampire, and The Vampire Lestat was OK. What I really enjoyed was her historical fiction, but I seem to be in the minority (did you even know she wrote historical fiction?) This particular book is especially egregious in both its verbosity, and its shameless ending designed to make you buy the next book.
7. Hannibal-Thomas Harris
Seriously, Clarice falls in love with Hannibal Lechter and runs away with him? I don't think so!
8. Little Altars Everywhere-Rebecca Wells
I made the mistake of reading Ya Ya Sisterhood first, and expected that the charming older southern women I met in that book would be the same in the first book. Apparently I thought wrong. I couldn't even finish Little Altars. I could not find one of those women to like!
9. The Mammoth Hunters and Plains of Passage-Jean Auel
I read these as a teen, and even then I recognized that the first two books were interesting pseudo-history, and the last two were really just an excuse to put the main characters into interesting places to have lots and lots of sex.
10. Out of Africa-Isak Dineson
I saw the movie first, and I thought that it was a beautiful love story. Then I tried to read the book, and it was dry and emotionless...what a disappointment!