I am an avid reader. I have enjoyed reading ever since I read “Green Eggs and Ham” and wanted to punch “Sam I Am” in the nose for pestering me to eat funny colored eggs. I love books of all shapes, sizes and genres. I like classics, I like modern fiction, I like non-fiction, I like poetry, and I like biographies. I always say, I just like books that are well written. And just because something is popular doesn’t mean it was well written. Just look at “50 Shades of Grey” which is one of the most trite, grocery store level, waste of time I have seen this year. I would get more out of reading Penthouse Forum.
This list focuses on some popular books, even some classics that I think are highly overrated for one reason or another. PS – I had a very difficult time just sticking to 5 books, but I managed.
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – I didn’t hate this book, but I wasnt over the moon for it either. It was an easy read with an easy message. It fictionalized Afghan culture and made it easy to swallow for us Westerners. I read it and found it just… eh.
- Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand – Ayn Rand is a divisive person to start with; you either agree with her or you don’t. But her “masterpiece” is just a slow-paced bummer of a book that lacks good writing. This book is a transparent political ideology in the form of fiction. Although a lot of people like it, that doesn’t make it a well written piece of literature.
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger – Ugh. Is there anything worse than the teen angst of an unlikable teen? I think not. Although this book is touted far and near as one of the greatest novels ever written, I have to disagree. I know you probably loved it when you were 16, but have you tried to read it as an adult? Go ahead and see what happens. I hated this in high school. I thought Holden was depressing and whiney – not attractive. I would recommend reading “Raise High the Roof Beam Carpenters” instead, or even a great little book called “King Dork” by Frank Portman. It is a modern-day book about being forced to read Catcher in school. I laughed. A lot.
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett – When I was reading this book I kept waiting for something to happen. This is another easy read with a message. A lot of people loved this book, but I found it to be pretty basic. It read like a screenplay… a bad screenplay. After the white woman saves the day you are just left with an uneasy feeling and left to wonder why you wasted your time.
- The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov – I know this won’t be a popular opinion but I am going to stick to it anyway. I think this book is very overrated. I get it – it is a satire, but I still didn’t think it was “all that”. I understood all of it. I got the “good versus evil” themes but something about the book just seemed way overwritten. Again, I know my opinion isn’t going to be popular, but I don’t care. All this book did for me was lull me to sleep every time I picked it up.