In the September 2022 newsletter, I asked readers what books they didn’t enjoy that others seem to love. Here are the responses:


Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

All responses will be listed in the October 2022 newsletter or on the website. Five random contributors will win a $25 gift certificate for Amazon as well – good luck! They’ll be e-mailed just before the newsletter is released and mentioned in the newsletter.


Graeme McGaw



There are a number of books that the world went nuts for that I just didn’t care for, and given the number of books I read in a year that doesn’t really shock me. I didn’t like “Where the Crawdads Sing” at all, and I don’t think I could even pinpoint a reason, it just wasn’t my jam. I don’t like Patterson, other than a couple of his recent collabs. They are just too rubber-stamp similar to me, and I am not a fan of short chapters, either. They distract the heck out of me, and make me lose my train of thought while reading. It’s like hearing a record scratch every time I get to the end of a chapter. Some other recent big sellers I thought were “meh” were “The Woman in the Window”, “The Girl on the Train”, and “Verity”. I am also the only one of my circle of reader friends who hated “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert, too. Bleh.

Jean: I also did not enjoy “The Chain” that much. But the book I really didn’t like that the world did was “Gone Girl.”

Virginia: The book I did not enjoy that others loved is Gone Girl. I couldn’t finish it. That was some years back and I’ve erased from my memory why I disliked it. lol

One movie I think translated good, as good as it could given the length of the book, is The Help. The funny parts, the sad parts…all of it.

AJ: For me that book was Flower in the Attic, by VC Andrews. I thought it was so bad I stopped reading it and gave it back to the person I borrowed it from, but then felt like I needed to know the ending and so borrowed it again to finish it and hated the ending as much as I hated the rest of it. I have never read anything else from this author. The other was The Beach House by Patterson and someone. That one was so disturbing in the subject matter that I stopped reading anything by Patterson afterward.
Thanks as always for a wonderful newsletter.

Tom: Maybe one book I didn’t get into was “Where The Crawdads Sing”…and it was even made into a movie which I didn’t want to see by my girlfriend did see it.

Terry: The book I couldn’t stand was Where The Crawdads Sing. Didn’t buy the premise of it and I’m the only one I know that didn’t like it.

Susan F: The books I didn’t enjoy unlike the rest of the world are the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child everyone I know loves them but I just couldn’t get into them

Susan: I seem to have an aversion to reading books that are lauded as classics etc etc as the rationale for reading them. There are all numbers of them that I’ve missed.

Stuart: On books the world loves and I didn’t:

Absolutely, 1000% agree with you on The Terminal List.

But then again, I’m one and done with the Gray Man series-I was rolling my eyes over the storyline 1/3 the way through.

Lessons in Chemistry – too long for too little. Muscled through it because everyone else loved it.

Less by Andrew Sean Greer – a Pulitzer ????? And now a sequel ????

Preston and Child’s Pendergast series

Sharon: What book did I really dislike that the rest of the world raved about?

It has to be Gone Girl. Absolutely! 🤔 really disliked it. I gave Flynn another chance reading Dark Places and disliked that too. So she’s off my TBR list. 😀

I really liked The Chain. 👍 and just read The Island and enjoyed it. Have to admit one of my favourite writers. Always looking forward to his books.

Phoenix: what books I’m not a fan of even though everybody else likes them. I really USED TO enjoy the No. Ladies Detective Agency books. I read every one as soon as they came out, and even paid full price for the hardback. But lately, it seems he’s just gotten too “preachy.” I started the one before last and just couldn’t get into it. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood. Now, you and I are definitely not on the same page when it comes to psychological thrillers. Not a fan. And while I love a good mystery and a good old-fashioned murder, I do NOT like blood, guts, and gore. I used to like Stephen King, too, but it seems his later books are full of the “f” bomb, and I just can’t read them. I don’t understand why authors seem to think they have to use profanity in order to get their point across. Ditto sex scenes that have absolutely nothing to do with the story. Maybe I’m just getting to be a prude in my old age. At the risk of being called a heretic, I know everybody loves the Bible, but I find it difficult to wade through. For Lent last year I decided I would read it from cover to cover. Not something I would recommend.

Patti: Jack Carr and his James Reece series; I was excited to read the first book, but when you talk about suspending disbelief, this book was at the top of the list. While I can appreciate his anger over the loss of his family and loved ones, it was just beyond the pale to read episode after episode of him brutally murdering individuals he held responsible. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t swallow it. I completely chalked that series off my list.

Nancy: I found “The Death of Jane Lawrence” by Caitlin Starling to be most
disappointing. I had seen this advertised as a great read with a high
number of ‘holds’ at my local library (generally an indication of a
good book). Unfortunately I found it to be too unbelievable and only
made it through about half of the book before putting it on my ‘return
to library’ pile.
In my younger years I would push myself to finish a book regardless of
quality, but as I’ve gotten older I realize that life is too short to
force myself to finish books that I don’t enjoy. And I have learned
to forgive myself for doing this. I suppose I used to feel an
obligation to read a lousy book just because someone took the time to
write it. But now I accept that there are so many good books in the
world that I don’t need to take the time to read the ones I don’t
By the way, I agree with you about “The Chain”. However, I did read
the entire book just to see how it ended.

Maureen: I couldn’t finish The Chain either. It certainly didn’t grab me and I was in a state of disbelief while reading it

Madeleine: I did not like nor finish The World According to Garp that everyone loved. Another was Hawaii by James A. Michener. I think there was one called The Source by Michenor that was also unfinishable. I do not like to leave books unfinished but I do not have time to waste as there are too many books out there to read.

Lynn: Have you read Hell and Back by Craig Johnson? I have never been quite so disappointed in a book I waited for. The author seems to have gone off in a new direction with Walt L. stories. Too bad because he had a great thing going in his earlier books. Please review if you have a chance

Louise: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. I enjoy this authors writings that bring interesting history into a story. In this story which dealt with a Vietnam vet’s

psychological issues and how they affected his family was nothing but distressing to me. For example, abuse was not enough of an issue, a horrendous accident which was described in nauseating detail, was also built into the story just to make it a little more terrible. When people recommend this book, I often wonder if they are just sharing the grief that comes with having read a novel that has no joy.

Linda: The question of what book did I hate that others loved is a hard one. I don’t read books I hate. If I start a book and it is not to my liking, I just stop. So, I can’t say I hate it if I did not finish it. There is one book that I did read that I really did not like very much is “Go tell the Bees that I am Gone” by Gabaldon. My friends all loved it. I only finished it because I have read all of the “Outlander” books and could not consider to stop them. I just won’t read a book that is not good. Now maybe in school we had required books to read that I did not like, but that was so long ago I do not remember. lol

Jon: Books that I did not enjoy that others did. There have probably been many, but three come to mind immediately:
The Room by Emma Donoghue. I knew within two pages that I was not going to like it, quit reading. Too many books to spend time on one that I do not care for.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Have tried three times to get through it. Three times it has proven impossible. Just not for me.

Cold Mountain by Charles Frasier. Started out great, continued for a few chapters. Finished a chapter, started the next and it was like going from a smooth flight and then crashing into a cold mountain. I continued for a while, but just never got into it again. Not sure what happened, almost like a different person took over the writing.

Joy: I am not a fan of Danielle Steel books. They all seem to be the same storyline -quite formulaic

Jessica: Hi. I’m not sure if this was a popular book, but I didn’t like 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese. My uncle thought my mother would want to read it to get her to change her lifestyle. She never read the book and it was lying around the house. So I decided to read it. I didn’t like it because one part of it didn’t sound right to me. I ended up looking up the book to see what people said and people said the same thing I felt. Another book was The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. At first, I thought I liked it, but then I didn’t like it because he wrote the book years later and he never said what caused him to convert to Christianity. One popular book series I stopped liking was the Anita Blake book series by Laurell K Hamilton. My mother kept talking about the book series was reading and I ended up asking for some of the books for my birthday. I liked them at first until the weird sex and I had to stop reading them.

Eliece: The book that I recently read and really, really did not like is “Girl, Forgotten” by Karin Slaughter. I have read almost all of her other books and have loved them, including the one that comes before this one called “Pieces of Her”. I can’t believe that they were written by the same person. The only other book that I so remember disliking by a previous favorite author was “Blowfly” by Patricia Cornwell. I hated that one so much that it was years before I tried another one by her.

Denise: Thank you for your honest reviews. I have also gone against others that claim a book is so wonderful. For example, I was not that impressed by “Where the Crawdads Sing”. Maybe I’m just too old and cynical to appreciate a ‘coming-of-age’ story. Everyone can’t like every book, right!

David: I did not enjoy the C W Sughrue series (books 1-4) by James Crumley

Daphne: You asked in this month’s Newsletter books that were all the rage when they came out and you did not like or found boring.
For me that book was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn that I tried to read and got to about page 25 and realized that the story line
to me was boring and the same old same old plot. Close friends and acquaintances were amazed that I did not like the book.
I listened to their arguments and read all the hype about it but was still unmoved by it all.
Of course I did not watch the movie.

Christine: I thought Wicked by Gregory Maguire was just totally bizarro. I know it was a “Popular” 🎼 book, but It was definitely not for me. Ironically however I loved the Broadway Musical. It was like the playwright picked through the book and put things together in a magically fun story.

Alberta: The Da Vinci Code. I did not like ANYTHING about this book. I could not bring myself to ever read another book by this author after forcing myself to finish this book. I hung in there till the end trying to find what everyone else thought was so wonderful. Total waste of time when I could have been reading something else.

Bonnie: The book everyone loved but I didn’t – Gone Girl. I thought it was the most despicable book I had ever read. It had not one redeeming feature. It abounded with loathsome creatures. The plot twists didn’t matter because they just made the story worse. I just felt sick when I finished. I am a hard core murder mystery fan with some spy genres (like Silva’s Gabriel Allon) and thrillers thrown in so it’s not an aversion to violence or the dark side of human nature. I could not find one single thing to like, not a character who seemed remotely humane! When I read I’m looking for a reason among all the evil to still have hope and a bit of faith in mankind – to know good people are out there, caring and trying to make the world just a tiny bit better even if they don’t always succeed.

Chris: I hate to admit that I really disliked a book that most people raved about: The Poisonwood Bible. Barbara Kingsolver’s writing was excellent, as always, but I found that the storyline simple depressed me so much that I had to keep putting the book down. I found the characters mostly annoying, especially the parents, and overall, reading it just kept me in a foul mood. I didn’t like getting rid of a book that I’d paid good money for, but there was no way I was going to prolong an unhappy experience by reading it in its entirety, just to justify buying it!

Chrissie: I really felt cheated by Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. It was beautifully written – evocative, lyrical, great character development – and then it turned into a mediocre murder ‘mystery’ and I was so disappointed. All the beautiful character development and relationships were dropped like hot rocks in favor of an unbelievable (to me, based on my perception of the characters thus far) plot progression that dragged the whole book down and turned it into a second rate melodrama. I almost didn’t want to finish it. I was sorely disappointed when I did; and kinda mad.

Order of Books » Newsletter » Books You Hate Everyone Else Loves

4 Responses to “Books You Hate Everyone Else Loves”

  1. Linda Latimer: 2 years ago

    I have been reading ever since I was a small child. However in 4th grade my teacher read about 30 minutes of an adventure series and really enhanced my reading appetite. I would walk to our mobile library About 5 blocks from our house in rain snow or shine to come home with a bundle of 6 books (6 was only amount we could check out at a time.) They were always read by the time the library came around again. I mostly stick to thrillers and mysteries, but have dabbled in other genres at times. So my motto is “Give me , life, liberty and a closet full of books. ” I read about 100 a year or more. Never audible. I want to see what I am reading.
    Thanks for another newsletter full of promise. I read the “No Tomorrow” and loved it. Victory showed another softer side to him.. I loved the interaction for him and the girl who he was trying to keep safe. Now I am on to the next Victor book. I also read the latest Rapp book and loved it, too. Keep on writing them, Kyle. Reading is the substance of what you need in your present and future. I got another few books from the newsletter that I will read. Happy Fall.


    • Graeme: 2 years ago

      Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

      All responses will be listed in the November 2022 newsletter or on the website. Five random contributors will win a $25 gift certificate for Amazon as well – good luck! They’ll be e-mailed just before the newsletter is released and mentioned in the newsletter.

      It’s neat hearing of the inspirations for reading – it’s mostly parents or teachers. Always so cool to hear 🙂


  2. Joyce Buker: 2 years ago

    Thank you for another great newsletter. I look forward to them.
    I have been reading books since I learned to read. My parents both read a lot and they always read to me. Since I am now 92 yrs old, that’s a lot of books.
    I grew up in Washington DC and in those days there were no branch libraries so we had to go downtown to get our books. Once a week my mother and I would take the streetcar downtown to the big library. She would pick out her 3 books and then we would go to the room with the children’s books. I remember going into that room with the huge doors. I would get to pick 3 books and my favorites were The Little Engine that Could and the story of Ping the little duck on the Yangsty river. I realize now that the doors were not that huge but to a 5 year old they sure seemed like it. Another favorite was Millions of Cats.
    We finally got a branch library in our neighborhood that we could walk to. In those days (1935-1945) we could not afford to buy the books so the library was a life saver. I still love to browse in a library.
    I still spend a lot of time reading and I love your recommendations.
    Have a great October!

    Joyce Buker
    Fairfax, V


    • Graeme: 2 years ago

      Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

      All responses will be listed in the November 2022 newsletter or on the website. Five random contributors will win a $25 gift certificate for Amazon as well – good luck! They’ll be e-mailed just before the newsletter is released and mentioned in the newsletter.

      I love this story – especially about the doors and how you felt they were huge. I can picture that in my head 🙂


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