In the September 2016 newsletter we asked our readers what the worst book they ever read was.

Here are the responses:

Brenda: I cannot believe I also started Gray Mountain & got halfway through it & put it aside who needs to know all the details about fracking etc sooo boring, just left it.

Brian: Gerald’s Game – Stephen King

Carol: I look forward to reading “Order Of Books”. I have read many good books from your recommendations. I wish I could tell you the worst book I have every read, however, I cannot….because I never finish the “bad books.” The best book I have read is by Stephen King – The Stand. I am 80 years young and will read until the day I die!! Thanks for all you do for all of us.

Caroline: I hate to confess to what is probably a major league sin for a book lover, but the worst book I ever read (and have never gotten over) is the “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Since it is written in the “vernacular of the day” it was so doggone hard to read, but I had too as it was assigned reading 50 years ago in my high school (and to this day, I still haven’t recovered!) Please don’t judge me too harshly.

cbrta: Even though I read it in college (43 years ago), Watership Down was the worst book I ever read!! I still can’t figure out why I even finished it!! Thanks for reminding me!!!

Donna: Like Elizabeth my Mom used to have to tap me on the shoulder to get my attention. I’m now 80 and I still can’t start reading a really good book first thing in the morning or “Leave theDishes in the Sink, Ma” as well as the unmade bed and even my computer (which I have to set my alarm to get me off)

I don’t have one specific book that puts me to sleep but the “mystery” books that contain a lot of “the romance with the “bad guy who turns out to be a good guy” aren’t worth my time. A re-read of any one of the 300 books in my apartment can grab me all over again. (Michaelly Connelly, Lee Child, Anne McCaffery,Mercedes Lackey, Isaac Asimov, and, my current favoite, David Weber. There are lots of other great authors out there that I’ve read and plan to spend the next 20 years of my life finding some of the ones I haven’t read. God bless GOOD authors.

Earl:
I think it’s a tie—both were Pulitzer prize winners on top of it—COLD MOUNTAIN and LONESOME DOVE…I loved the LONESOME DOVE TV movie and try as I did I could not get into the book and I tried at least three times…I’ve talked to a couple of other people and they said the same thing…As for COLD MOUNTAIN, my mother read it and loved it and gave it to me to read…I think it’s the only book she ever recommended that I just couldn’t read…Got more out of LONESOME DOVE and further into it than COLD MOUNTAIN…I’ve found that sometimes reviewers look for deep meanings and prose more than a good story and they fall in love with something that’s not entertaining.

Gerald: Worst book ever – FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY. THERE ARE ONLY SO MANY WAYS TO ENGAGE IN SEX…….reading this book was like watching the news about the election; repeat, repeat, repeat, etc. Actually I did not read the book, could only get thru far enough to determine that nothing good would result from continuing the misery. And females thought it was great?

Jan: Hi Graham! Boy, what a choice…..there have been several. But I think the worst disappointment was “Inner Circle” by Brad Meltzer. I love his TV shows about uncovering bits and pieces of lost history and “questionable ” history. I’ve never missed an episode. So, using blind faith I got the first in his series. I believe if you are going to start reading an author you need to start at the beginning. You have to get to know the characters and general,plot line, etc. (The Longmeir series is like that. Ive read every one …even before the show….and it’s my favorite ..next to the Jefferson Bass -Body Farm novels). But…..I eagerly started the book. Usually I Give a book 60 pages to “get into it”. Dear God, 160 pages later I was doing laundry and folding socks just to have something else to do. It was drawn out, repetitive and plain boring! Needless to say, all future books from this series have been placed on my ” Not to Read” list. Even a nice glass of Riesling didn’t help!

JM: Can’t tell you the worst book I ever read; I tend not to finish them and then try to forget them. But, okay, I do remember thinking Gone Girl was pretty bad. Didn’t finish it, but reread the reviews and then tried, unsuccessfully, to finish it again. Then there was Girl On A Train. Did not like it one bit although I was happy that I got it from the library rather than spending my good money. And note to authors and publishers out there: if you have Girl in the title I am not interested.

I just discovered Julia Spencer-Fleming! Finished her first book, In the Bleak Midwinter, about an hour ago. Definitely my kind of book! Loved everything about it. Can’t wait to read her next one.

But meanwhile Louise Penny’s latest, A Great Reckoning, just came to my mailbox and I am really looking forward to getting into that one. Slowly, if that’s even possible.

I too liked Before the Fall and am looking forward to Home.

Joseph: The worst book I ever read is considered a classic: Charles Dickens Bleak House.
Jarndyce and Jarndyce and the the story being partly told by the heroine Esther
Summerson and a narrator, and the sub-plots.
It took multiple attempts at reading the book before I could complete the novel.
One should not be relieved upon the completion of reading a book.

Karen: I am probably one of a very few who hated Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I don’t care how good or clever the storyline is, if I don’t like at least one of the characters then I don’t like the book. Needless to say, I didn’t like any of the characters.

I love the Myron Bolitar series. Harlan Corben and James Patterson are two of my favorite authors.

Katherine: The worst, most horrible set of books I have ever read were the Fifty Shades of Grey. Repetitive, terrible use of grammar, lame story line (The Story of O was MUCH better), limited imagination, and if any of the characters smirked any more, their faces would freeze. Apparently, smirking was the limit of the author’s emotions for her characters. I skimmed the books for the non-sex parts, hoping that the other story would be more interesting, but not even close. Pure torture to get through, and to think that someone believed it would make a money-making movie.

Loretta: Gone Girl.

MH: Although it’s very popular, I COULD NOT STAND The Girl on the Train. I hated it so much I couldn’t finish it. I picked it again (the book is so popular, it had to be me, right?) and I STILL couldn’t finish it. I don’t even want to see the movie!!

Also-I’m with you on Cold Mountain, I couldn’t finish it either.

Mary S: I love your emails. You asked what is the worst book I’ve ever read and it is World Without End by Ken Follet. It is the second book of The Pillars of the Earth series. I embraced the first book and just couldn’t wait to read this book and so disappointed. I can’t put my finger on one thing, but it just droned on and on and just like it’s title it would not end. The book didn’t have the excitement of the first or the thrill of building the cathedral. World Without End is right up there on my list of WORST.

Mishawn: I read (tried) Laura Lippman’s “Life Sentences” and it took me about 2 weeks to do it. Just could not get into it and found it very boring. But, once I start a book I will not stop until it is read, whether I liked it or not!

Nancy: The Orchid Thief. One of my book group’s selections and absolutely, by almost unanimous comsent, the worst book we ever read.

Pam: Good evening? Speaking of John Grisham? Painted House about killed me. I used to think I had to finish if I started a book, but the librarian’s bill of rights says, quit if you can’t stand it. I think I made myself finish Painted House, but skimming can be helpful and beneficial.

I might include Chesapeake by James Michener as a worst book, but I only laid it aside for about ten years, but picked it back up one day and finished it and was glad I did, so it doesn’t qualify as a worst.

I started a shelf of My Books on Goodreads for books I’ve abandoned, but pick up again some day. They might qualify as really, really bad.

I do start many, many books, but get distracted and go on to something else. Most of them I come back to eventually and give them another try. They aren’t necessarily bad, I think I am easily distracted. I am interested in the author you wrote about this month, Stephen Leather. My libraries, including interlibrary loan, don’t have the first of either of his series, so I bought the first on my Kindle and have a sample of Nightfall to try it out. That’s the only bad thing about my Kindle – I order new books with wild abandon, then forget them for a while.

Craig Johnson’s Longmire is indeed an awesome series. I am always first in line to reserve the new one from the library. I enjoy the television program as well, but the books are much better. That almost always seems to be the way. We would talk about that in my classroom. The kids would complain, as would I when the movie didn’t fit or do justice to the book. We decided to divorce the two and enjoy the movie for what it is, and love the books for what they are. I continue to share that opinion with anyone who brings up the topic. Books rule, but I love movies as well.

Thanks for an awesome resource and interesting authors to explore (not that I need any, but oh well, why not?)

Pamela: Hi –

Hands down the worst book I’ve read in quite awhile is Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. It won several awards and was highly recommended so I slogged through it. Boring boring boring. I should have stuck to my rule of putting a book down if it doesn’t catch my interest after 50 – 75 pages

Oh, and thanks for recommending the Longmire books. I picked up the first one in a tiny bookstore in Laramie Wyoming (the people working there hadn’t read it!) because I like the tv show so much. Now I’m really looking forward to reading it.

PKITTY: Two books to miss.

1. The Rocks by Peter Nichols.

The publisher betrayed the readers. The book cover is an inverted version of the rocks from the cover of Beautiful Ruins which was excellent. From what I got on Goodreads, I was not the only one betrayed with this crap. So much wrong. None of the characters were sympathetic or empathetic. Story dragged and seemed to be pointless. One inappropriate and sickening sexual relationship too many. The only good thing about the book was the first 15-20 pages. At least, the beginning was different.

2.1974: Red Riding Quartet Book 1 by David Peace.

Short book but nasty. On several lists that aim to expand your reading horizons. Once again, there are no sympathetic characters. The story seemed to derail and never get back on track. I decided life was too short to read the remaining trilogy.

Rhea: The worst books I ever read were the Clarity trilogy by Loretta Lost. I wanted to like them – the concept of the story was good. It is about a young woman who is blind and lives on her own, as a writer. A doctor wants to perform surgery on her and give her sight back. Sounds like the old Bette Davis movie, right? Wrong. She gets her sight back and of course, falls in love with the doctor. But then it’s just the worst illogical writing. She finds out that this guy who tried to rape her is married to her sister and her sister is pregnant. She tells no one, she tries to just avoid him but he attacks her again. Her sister loses the baby. Her family is there but not there. So much doesn’t make sense. In the second book, her sister is raising a baby – the baby she lost in the first book!!!! I really don’t understand why the readers gave these books all these 5-star reviews, it really made no sense in so many ways. I do think I can say these were the worst books I ever read.

Sandy: When I get a book and cannot get into it in the first 100 pages, I stop reading it.
Why waste good time trying to read a bad book when you can pick up another one and enjoy it.
Good reading

Monica: I have always been able to read a book in a day and a half, at the most two days, depending on the length. The book I just finished took me FOUR days to read. It was “Truly Madly Guilty” by Liane Moriarty. It was the first time I had ever read a book by her, and the only reason I did is because our local Library had a program going called “A Blind Date with a Book”. They cover the books so you can not read about it and find out who the writer is, they just tell you a little brief thing about it. This one said: “Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?” Sounded interesting to me, so I grabbed it. It just seemed to go on and on forever. I was so glad when I finally finished the darn thing. Sad thing is it was only 415 pages, and took me forever to finish. All the other books they had as Blind Dates, that I picked up I loved and found new authors to read, not this one. Oh well, maybe her other books are good, but this book just turned me off of her. Hope I do not offend anyone who may like her or this book, she and the book were not my cup of tea.

Vince: The absolutely worst book I ever read was Gone Girl

Wendy: one of the worst books was “the goldfinch” horrendous. only kept reading hoping it would improve. at this point in my life i no longer feel compelled to finish books i am not enjoying. life is too short. and i still have a pile of books next to my bed to read ( and this has increased substantially with this newsletter and suggestions for new authors and series).this is only reinforced by that lovely letter by the woman with macular degeneration. i would be curious to see the list of all the panned books.

buster: Something Happened- by Joseph Heller. I kept reading and reading and reading, waiting for SOMETHING to happen but, alas, nothing ever did. One of the very few books I’ve read that I was actually angry for wasting the time to finish it.

Kenicia: The worst book I ever read was “Yankee Doodle Boy; a Young Soldier’s Adventures in the American Revolution, Told by Himself.” In the 6th grade I had to read an autobiography, and it was the hardest book I’ve ever had to get through. By the time I realized how boring it was, I had no time to choose another book. I was up until after midnight the night before the book report was due finishing it. I have only ever had that happen once, for which I am extremely grateful!

pren: August flew right by me and I missed responding to your “book I couldn’t put down” question. For me, I could NOT put down Gone Girl.
The worst book I ever read that comes to mind is Tenth of December by George Saunders. I had never read any of Saunders and this one was highly praised, but the collection of short stories were, for the most part, weird! I forced myself to finish the book, just to finish it and hoping for redemption. It didn’t happen. Saunders is considered a genius so, I may give him another try but not in the near future.
I will join you on Coben’s Myron Bolitar series. I did read Live Wire last year but didn’t realize that there was a series. I’ll definitely go back and start with Deal Breaker. Thanks for the recommendation and the list!

Shirley: Books that don’t grab you – I belong to a bookchat group, and a useful rule of thumb with reading, if the first pages – numbered 100 less your age – can”t keep you interested, dump them. I am finding it a bit difficult since I have to make the decision in the first 19 pages. tata..

Steven: Graeme;
I can’t say if this is the worst book I ever “read”. I tend to purge all thoughts of them unless a title is thrown at me.
However, your question is timely. I try hard not to dislike a book- and sometimes surprise myself by plugging along and finishing.

But that’s not the case with “Ten Days in the Hills” by Jane Smiley. I gave up at about p. 50.

Here’s a new author(s) and books for me and I recommend to you.
Jason Matthews-Red sparrow, Palace of Treason,
Mark Henshaw – Red Cell, Cold spot, Moscow Station has Fallen

Deb: The worst book I’ve [recently] read was THOSE GIRLS by Chevy Stevens.
It was a stupid book about stupid people making stupid choices, birthing stupid people making stupid choices, birthing stupid people . . .
Yeah, ‘those’ kinds of girls – and the kinds of guys they chose.
I usually like Stevens’ work, but not this one. UGH!

Merrie: I’ve never replied to the newsletter but felt I should today. Elizabethe’s email reply about reading while you can, hit a nerve. My 95 year old Mother has always read books the same as Elizabethe. She also has Wet Macular Degeneration but waited too long to see a doctor. She lost the sight in her right eye and now gets the shots in her left to save what sight she has. She still reads but needs a magnifying glass. Large print and Kindle books (Large font) help her to continue to read everything she picks up. She has six children and we all read and yes she only read late at night after we were in bed.

The importance of reading can not be said enough, whatever it is. Our grandchildren don’t like to read and I never did either, I only have sight in one eye since 18 months old. School was difficult because my brain couldn’t put the letters in the right order. I memorized a lot of them. The first book I really read and enjoyed was “Stranger in a Strange Land”. It took me almost a year and constant prodding from my boyfriend (husband) to finish, but I did. Since then I have read all kinds of books and if I can’t get into a book I stop and move on to another. Life’s too short and there are so many talented unknown authors out there, waiting to have their stories read. Thank you for your site because I try to read series in order. It drives me crazy to already know what happened beforehand. I get most of my books from the local Library or Overdrive for my Kindle but I have read a lot of the free books available. I can enlarge the font on my Kindle where regular books have made the print too small it makes it too hard to read for me now days.

Thanks again for all you do for us readers.

Judy: I was so looking forward to reading Gone Girl after all the hype. By the end of the book I wanted to strangle both the husband and the wife. Both were totally unlikeable and selfish. The story was great up to the end and then I wanted to throw the book at the wall.

ikla: Worst book I read lately was Station Eleven. I know it got rave reviews, but I was totally bored by it. The best book I have read lately is The Murder House by James Patterson. I don’t always read the newest books out and I love to do binge reading . Right now I am reading the Alex Berenson “John Wells” series. It is somewhat complicated at times, but thouroughly entertaining. I just finished the whole Jack Reacher series and loved them, too. I love Order of Books newsletters and all the recommendations. Thank you for such interesting recommendations. Have tried several and have not been disappointed yet. Keep up the good work.

Loretta: Hi:

My worst read ever is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. This book received awards and was touted as a great read. I found it confusing, and the wording choppy. At times I did not know who the author was portraying, and had to go back and forth. I had to force myself to finish this book, and truth be known there were many paragraphs that I skipped or skimmed.

I have read Alison Weir’s book on Henry VIII and may others, and liked each one of them, as well as other books on English historical fiction.

It was a struggle to read, The Magicians by Lev Grossman. I am not a magic person so this might just be me.

On a positive note, I read Reconstructing Amelia, a debut novel by Kimberly McCreight. It is a today novel, and peaks your interest from start to finish. There has been some comparison with Gone Girl but I did not see it, but then, I did not like Gone Girl.

I read The Snow Child, also a debut novel, by Eowyn Ivey. This story will pull at your heart for many reasons. I would rate both of these books a 4 out of 5. Both of these books are not a put-down and read later book.

Thank you.

Sandra: The last worst book I read was also Gray Mountain and I finished it. Grishom sits in one of his comfy homes, either in VA or Mississippi, powered by…coal… and denigrates the coal industry. I live in the Appalachian Mountains of southwest VA, have seen mountaintop removal and it’s ugly. I know men who are working in 36 to 42 inch seams…meaning they go into the mines on their backs and come out the same way but only after working an 8 to 10 or 12 hour day. If Grishom wants to change things, perhaps he could start with a hefty donation of his own money or downsize his environmental footprint…right after he gets both feet out of his mouth about “excusing” child porn. Apologizing after the fact reeks of getting caught and going, “Uh oh.”
For these two things alone…Gray Mountain and his idiot comment re. child porn…he’s never welcome in my home again.

Last week the county library featured C. J. Box and one of his Joe Pickett, Wyoming Game Warden, book. “HOOKED” doesn’t begin to describe it! I’m a huge Longmire, Jack Reacher and anyone who writes about the Good Guys winning fan but have to say…I’m totally enthralled with the Pickett series. I’ve read a book a day since finding C. J. Box and am only doing the farm work necessary to keep animals alive. The rest can wait.

lk: Worst book I read lately was Station Eleven. I know it got rave reviews, but I was totally bored by it. The best book I have read lately is The Murder House by James Patterson. I don’t always read the newest books out and I love to do binge reading . Right now I am reading the Alex Berenson “John Wells” series. It is somewhat complicated at times, but thouroughly entertaining. I just finished the whole Jack Reacher series and loved them, too. I love Order of Books newsletters and all the recommendations. Thank you for such interesting recommendations. Have tried several and have not been disappointed yet. Keep up the good work.

Loretta: Hi:

My worst read ever is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. This book received awards and was touted as a great read. I found it confusing, and the wording choppy. At times I did not know who the author was portraying, and had to go back and forth. I had to force myself to finish this book, and truth be known there were many paragraphs that I skipped or skimmed.

I have read Alison Weir’s book on Henry VIII and may others, and liked each one of them, as well as other books on English historical fiction.

It was a struggle to read, The Magicians by Lev Grossman. I am not a magic person so this might just be me.

On a positive note, I read Reconstructing Amelia, a debut novel by Kimberly McCreight. It is a today novel, and peaks your interest from start to finish. There has been some comparison with Gone Girl but I did not see it, but then, I did not like Gone Girl.

I read The Snow Child, also a debut novel, by Eowyn Ivey. This story will pull at your heart for many reasons. I would rate both of these books a 4 out of 5. Both of these books are not a put-down and read later book.

Phyllis: I think I may be calm enough to write this now. I’m going to have to take issue with you over your review of a book you didn’t finish, Gray Mountain. Yes, John Grisham has a bee under his bonnet with that book, and the folks of Appalachia are glad he has it. You have NO idea what strip mining, mountaintop removal or whatever other term big coal is using to try and make their desecration more palatable, has done. I invite you to do a google search of mountaintop removal, then click on images. If you want to see why I’m upset, click on West Virginia. I have to live what was done to my home state. What you won’t realize in some of those photos, are that family cemeteries were also blasted to kingdom come, in the name of greed. You may not care about blowing up beautiful mountains, but some of us do. You do a disservice to your readers to characterize John Grisham’s book in such a dismissive way. I personally would have preferred it if you had just kept it to yourself.

Janet: Patricia Cornwell’s Book of the Dead. I have been a fan of hers since the first book Postmortem. You could always count on the story line to be one you had trouble putting down.

At first I thought what the hell, had she been abducted by aliens, was she on drugs, did someone else write this?

The story line was disjointed and jumps all over the place. It’s overly full of medical detail that added words to the story but nothing else. But I kept thinking the story would evolve after a few chapters. I know it was delusional by the time I read half of it. But still hoping a story worth reading would miraculously appear, I plugged along to the very end. The plot, what little there was, was hard to follow. I kept going back to make sure I hadn’t missed pages or chapters.

After that disappointing book I was gun shy about buying the next one. I went to B&N, got it off the shelf and read the first 100 or so pages before I decided to buy it.

Sue: The WORST book I ever read was Catcher in the Rye soooo depressing!!!

Jill: The worst book I ever started was “Hotel New Hampshire” by John Irving. I got so frustrated with it that after 4 weeks of slogging and only having read about 100 pages, I threw it out. Usually I will put a slow book back on my shelf
and try it later. I had no desire to try again with this book. Just awful.

Lia: I must say that the most disappointing book I have read of late is “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”. It hurt so bad! I saved it to read on my birthday, and was devastated. Harry had turned into a sad, Ministry wonk who couldn’t find his words and his son Albus was a whiny pill. Damn! I couldn’t get past the scene where he jumped off the Hogwarts train with Scorpious….it was so awkward. I gave the book away because it pained me to such an extent that I could not have it in my house.

Kobla: My last can’t put down was AMERICA by Stephen Coonts.I don’t finish boring books,my closest to a boring book was Executive Orders by Ton Clancy,the yarn never seemed to end.Thanks.

Regina: I’m a brand new subscriber! I found your site while looking for Orson Scott Card’s Ender books in order. Thanks so much for that!

The worst book I ever read was Robert Heinlein’s JOB: A Comedy of Justice. It was the most heretical novel I’ve ever read. After I finished it (I was in such shock I had to see where he was ultimately going with the story) I threw it in the trash and I’ve never read another one of his books! I am a Christian and the concept that God and Satan are brother gods in a competition for our souls was extremely offensive, to say the least. I read all kinds of books, not just Christian ones, and I’m not overly sensitive to non-Christian thinking. Everyone has the right to believe as they choose, but his book Job took atheism or Scientology, which ever you want to call it, to a whole new level!

Thanks for letting me vent! I read that book over 20 years ago.

Phoenix: The worst book I ever read? Easy. That would be “True Grit.” The dialogue was positively hideous. “He said.” “She said.” No replied, responded, bellowed, yelled, or any such thing. Just “said.” It was so boring, I don’t think I even finished it.

Now, for last month (I wasn’t a member yet) – the last book(s) I couldn’t put down were the Outlander series. A friend recommended them to me, so I got the first one at the library. But the print was so small (I’m no longer in the “spring chicken” category), I took it back. Then, o joy of joys! I got a deal whereby I was able to purchase the first seven novels on my Kindle for $1.99. Not $1.99 each, but $1.99 for all of them. I can control the font size on my Kindle, and I was immediately hooked. I read them all straight through. I’m dying waiting for the next book!


Order of Books » Newsletter » Reader Mailbag: The Worst Book You’ve Ever Read
  • kmalbie

    I am new to the site, but was intrigued by the questions. I felt the same way about Grey Mountain, Gone Girl and Girl On The Train. I have almost stopped reading any book on the best seller list knowing it is going to be awful – don’t you feel betrayed when an author you like says “Best book I ever read” and you think it is terrible? I have found that some books are best on audio, like anything from Allende or Brian Doyle, books that are largely narratives. Love mysteries the most, and just finished the Stuart Neville’s Ghosts of Belfast series, looking forward to the next. These days I stick to my favorite authors and work backwards – even Lee Child seems a bit tired.

  • Mongoose218

    I agree with Kmalbie that “Lee Child” is tired, I’ve given up the series, it just got too repetitive…same with Patricia Cornwell…..!

    The person who hated HuckleberryFinn, often considered the greatest American novel, should re read it as an adult….I DON’T think kids are ready (most of them) to “get it”……its about two misfits, a “wild” boy, an orphan, and a runaway slave, their relationship and how the boy, who is white, has to finally decide to go against his entire life’s training/ teaching/ beliefs, and help the slave escape or not. Remember, its set in PRE-CIVIL WAR America, in the South……

    I never read “Gone Girl”, “Girl on a Train” , “50 Shades of Gray” etc because at this point in my life I can pretty much sense when a really hyped book is junk or not, and all of them gave off that “odor”……..

    I DID try the first Hilary Mantel book, and though I love English history, and books set in Tudor times and earlier, I couldn’t finish it either…..

    However the series by C.J. Sansom, about the dissolution of the monasteries in Tudor England, is excellent, highly recommended. First book (need to be read in order) is:
    Dissolution: A Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery (Matthew Shardlake Mysteries Book 1) by C.J. Sansom. Five books in the series.

  • ACeeKayWa

    Agree with you, kmalbie, some books are much better on audiobooks. Some of the “classics” fall in that category. I read very fast, which is fine for contemporary fiction, but doesn’t work as well for the older stuff as I find myself skipping over the usually heavy, long descriptions that are often integral to the story. Somehow this same description is perfectly fine when listened to. (P.S. If you haven’t listened to the Harry Potter series, grab them immediately. The man who reads these is superb and makes great books even better.) As to books I couldn’t stand: Gone Girl was the absolute worst. I hated all the characters and at the end wanted to throw the book in the street and run over it with my car. And at the risk of appearing shallow and unintelligent, I’ll admit to hating anything written by John Steinbeck.