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Literary Blog Hop – Books You Hated

January 20, 2011

Literary Blog Hop

This week’s question is as follows:

Discuss a work of literary merit that you hated when you were made to read it in school or university.  Why did you dislike it?

My Answer:

It’s unfortunate that this answer has to be about a book of literary merit.  As a Zoology major in university, I only had the opportunity to take two literature classes and to me they were beacons of light in a time filled with chemistry, calculus, anatomy, and biology.  So I couldn’t bring myself to hate any of the books I read in my literature classes.  If I could talk about any book, I would go on long diatribes about my disgust for some of the door stopper sized molecular biology books I had to work in … but I digress …

I can’t remember what age I was in school when To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee was assigned to us, but this book gave me no end of trouble.  I don’t remember why I disliked it so much.  What I do remember is that the book seemed dull to me and I didn’t enjoy the story enough.  Oddly I remember wanting to enjoy it to please my mom, because the movie adaptation was one of her favorites.  For whatever reason I never grew fond of the book and after I sat it down I never picked it up again.

Today, so many people I know state that To Kill A Mockingbird is one of their favorite books.  Perhaps now as an adult,  I would read it and enjoy it or perhaps not.  I have probably ignored the book for long enough.  Much like foods I avoided as a child, I need to taste it again and see if my palate has changed.

30 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2011 7:14 am

    I have had such fun reading through the books which other people have hated and seeing some of my favorites! To Kill a Mockingbird has been a favorite since I was 12. My son has been reading recently so I just reread it, and loved it just as much as before. Some people complain that the first chapter is slow–but I do hope you’ll try it again soon!

    • January 20, 2011 8:49 am

      I know so many people who have said that To Kill a Mockingbird was their favorite from a young age, that I’ve begun to think that maybe there is something wrong with me 😛 … I definitely plan on giving it another go … I’m older and wiser (maybe) now and should be able to look at it with a new light.

  2. January 20, 2011 8:36 am

    I HATED the unabridged version of Moby Dick that I had to read in college. Normally, I am a fan of unabridged books, but Moby Dick is an exception. I think our English professor was a sadist.

    • January 20, 2011 8:52 am

      I have yet to actually read Moby Dick … I’m not sure why … I think … ocean … whale … and I’m just not interested … but I know it’ll be yet another book I will pick up eventually. 🙂

      I never had any sadist English professors thank god … but I think we all have evil professors while in college (The worst was named Rath – pronounced like wrath).

  3. January 20, 2011 9:20 am

    When I was about 12 or 13 years old we had to read The Illiad at school and I absolutely hated it. I remember finding the language complicated and the plot impossible to follow to a point that I did not bothered finishing it.
    It left such a bad taste in my mouth that I haven’t even trying to read it again.

    • January 20, 2011 9:41 am

      I remember trying to read the Illiad in middle school and totally not being able to get it, but then in college I took a classical mythology class where we studied the Illiad among a bunch of Greek classics and I found myself really enjoying the book. I guess it never hurts to try reading something a second time.

  4. January 20, 2011 9:30 am

    I read To Kill a Mockingbird, however I don’t remember one lick of it. I wonder if we all read books we read before 18 years old if we’d like them more now.

    • January 20, 2011 9:42 am

      Honestly all I remember about it was that I hated it :). I wonder that too … it’d be nice to see if our tastes have changed some.

  5. January 20, 2011 11:34 am

    I never read To Kill a Mockingbird until I was an adult… don’t know if I would have appreciated it in high school.

    • January 20, 2011 3:20 pm

      I think I was younger than high school when I read it … so I think that was part of my problem in appreciating it.

  6. January 20, 2011 12:45 pm

    I recently re-read it and liked it, but wouldn’t put it on my best-of list.

  7. January 20, 2011 1:38 pm

    I read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school and didn’t get the appeal. I couldn’t remember much about it other than I was bored with it. I read it again a few years ago and loved it. I don’t know why I didn’t like it the first time and was annoyed we never read it in my university classes.

    • January 20, 2011 1:47 pm

      This is a good thing to know. It gives hope for the book and I do truly intend on reading it in the future. Especially now that I’ve heard from someone who suffered from the same dilemma with it. 🙂

  8. January 20, 2011 4:57 pm

    I don’t know that I would have understood the appeal of To Kill a Mockingbird when I was young. Reading it as an adult was a good experience though. It’s amazing how bad timing can ruin a book!

    • January 20, 2011 5:00 pm

      I really got into some more “grown up” literature when I was younger, but To Kill a Mockingbird was just one of those that I really didn’t get. I think now that I’m older, I may have more incite into it.

      I agree – bad timing can definitely ruin your perceptions of a good book 🙂

  9. January 20, 2011 6:02 pm

    There seems to be a pattern here – even with my selection of the Great Gatsby. People that read these so-called classics in high school often end up hating them. But, if you read them later in life, they seem to be more appreciated. I read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time about three years ago and I loved it. But, I can imagine how I might have been bored with it in high school. Perhaps books that are force-fed down high-schooler throats aren’t really the most appropriate books? Then again, there were books I really enjoyed in high-school that many other people didn’t – Moby Dick comes to mind. I loved that book, whaling discourses and all. Anyway, good post!

    • January 21, 2011 6:12 am

      I think the problem most likely comes with how the books are presented to us perhaps and not the books themselves. Perhaps if at the time I was assigned To Kill A Mockingbird I had had a lively teacher who was passionate about the text I may have become passionate about it myself, then again perhaps not. I think as we grow older and have the opportunity to choose what we read, we can value it more because it is a choice we made.

  10. January 21, 2011 9:25 am

    Yay! I hated this one too – and I always feel uncomfortable when engaging in discussions about it, because it seems to be me versus the entire Universe. I haven’t re-read it recently, but I was in college when I read it the first time, so I don’t know that much would change. Maybe.

    • January 21, 2011 9:31 am

      Ha ha … isn’t that the truth … I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like To Kill A Mockingbird – well now I do! 🙂

      Honestly though I remember so little about the book that I feel like it deserves one more shot before it gets written off.

  11. January 21, 2011 2:44 pm

    Indeed, the palate change (I rediscover new food all the time in the restaurant I work). I liked To Kill a Mockingbird and have always wanted to watch the film. Sometimes I really think teachers get you to read books that you are not able to appreciate just because they are classics. I’m sure it has put off reading more than one pupil.

    • January 21, 2011 3:51 pm

      🙂 … I’m sure working in a restaurant has introduced you to the palate change exceptionally well. I think you are right about teachers getting you to read books just because they are classics and I think if a teacher doesn’t feel passion for something it really doesn’t translate well to the students.

  12. January 21, 2011 7:39 pm

    Wow that’s interesting, I think Mockingbird was one of the few required books that I could finish!

    • January 23, 2011 8:47 am

      I guess everyone has their own personal required reading obstacles and for me To Kill a Mockingbird was mine … I still plan on giving it one more shot.

  13. January 22, 2011 8:45 pm

    I really loved To Kill a Mockingbird. It somehow reached out to me.

    Some books are so difficult to get into. And those put us off that author too, for always.

    And my teacher spoiled A Passage to India for me. But I did go back and loved it!

    Here is my Literary Blog Hop: Disliked Book post!

    • January 23, 2011 8:46 am

      So many people have loved To Kill a Mockingbird that I know I need to read it again. I do think that teachers can really spoil some of the readings for us too and that may have been the case with To Kill a Mockingbird for me.

  14. January 23, 2011 5:41 am

    I loved To Kill a Mockingbird.

    My read was STONEHENGE DECODED…uggh. Did anyone else have to suffer through it?

    Stop by my blog if you like to see my full answer…I also have a giveaway that isn’t very literary, but check it out.

    • January 23, 2011 8:44 am

      Most people do love To Kill A Mockingbird. I’ve never heard of Stonehenge Decoded … I’ll have to check out your blog to see why it was intolerable.

  15. January 23, 2011 6:03 pm

    I really did enjoy To Kill a Mockingbird when I read it, though I can really see how it isn’t for everything. I know I’ve always tried to like The Sound of Music to please my mom, but it really just ended up with me buying her the dvd for Christmas one year and refusing to watch it because i hated it so much as a child.

    • January 24, 2011 6:56 am

      The Sound of Music … that’s a movie I too couldn’t appreciate as a child or an adult.

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