Books You Shouldn't Read

Teresa Edgerton

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It was written in 1868/9, and I wouldn’t think it particularly fair to judge its title on our present day views of what’s sexist or not.
Especially since Alcott was very much a feminist for her time. She didn't think that women had to be married to be worthy, was for solidarity among women, women pursuing higher education, practicing medicine, etc. Throughout her various novels it becomes plain that while she admired women who were homemakers and cultivated domestic skills she was equally admiring of women who went out beyond the home and worked to fulfill their dreams. She didn't pit one type against the other, and considered "womanly" to be not a word denoting weakness and frivolity but one expressing maturity and strength. (And note that the title refers to her teenage protagonists as "women" not "girls.")

On the other hand, the book is extremely sentimental (not surprising considering when it was written) and also big on the everyday practice of Christian virtues--very religious in a non-traditional way--so definitely not to everyone's tastes.
 

tinkerdan

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I'm not much of a fan of telling people which books they should or shouldn't read.
Sounds a bit 451 to me.
If I'm reviewing a book and find myself even close to telling people they shouldn't read the book, its a big red flag that says I shouldn't be reviewing it and should just let everyone else judge it fairly.
 

Extollager

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I have no doubt there are many books that most people would be better off not reading. That deplorable forgery, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, would be an example.

I understand it is quite popular in parts of the Muslim world, etc.


But I wouldn't say nobody should read it; there are those who have a legitimate, wholesome interest in the psychopathology of anti-Semitism, etc.

As for some other books that most people would be better off not reading, I suppose that labeling them as such would attract some people to pick them up and give them a try.

Some people have griped here about books they had to read, but I hope they can make a distinction between having been made to read something not to their taste or appropriate for the reading ability they had then attained, and thinking nobody should read them. Someone mentioned War and Peace! I've read that several times, and it would be a keeper if I had to cut my personal library by 90%.

Happily, I don't remember that I was ever made to read a whole book that repelled me, bored me terribly, etc. Once, when I was a grad student, I had drawn up a list of books for an independent study in the classic British novel. I read a generous chunk of Vanity Fair and asked the professor-tutor if I could be excused from continuing with it, and was allowed to drop it. I didn't hate it, but I felt that I probably had read enough of it to see the author's agenda, etc. But who knows, perhaps I will try it again sometime.
 

tegeus-Cromis

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I hesitate to mention that I even did read this, though it apparently had a period of being in fashion among the intelligentsia in the '60s (for example, Susan Sontag gives it as an example of porn with high literary value), but The Story of O. I felt like throwing up after I finished it, and I don't mean that figuratively.
 

BAYLOR

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Speer was the only one to be acquitted at Nuremberg wasn't he?
Speer wasn't acquitted . He admitted his guilt and complicity in the crimes of the Nazis but, he left things out. By doing what he did , he managed to avoid the hangman noose and instead, got 20 years in prison . After his death, they found out that he had known far more about the Final Solution and Holocaust then he admitted at his trial and in his memoirs . Speer should have been hanged .
 
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OHB

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Anything written by Lois Duncan. She seemed to be incapable of writing likable characters.

Duncan: Here is our perfect, goody two-shoes, Mary Sue MC. She's best friends with these spoiled brats who do horrible things and get away with it because they have money and are the most popular kids in their high school. Don't you sympathize with them?

Me: No. Let them all DIE!
 

Karn's Return

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One entry here to top the list: Pornucopia. Out of sheer curiosity, I decided to take a look at it one day, and I have to admit that it had some of the most disturbing and disgusting subjects to it that I've ever come across. Any of you unfortunate enough to have ever been in the same boat as me in this, you'll know why. Changed my opinion of Piers Anthony some, though I still go back to older Xanth entries from time to time just for an easy, light read.
 

BAYLOR

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Pamela or Virtue Reward by Samuel Richardson was assigned in one my college English courses. Boring and insipid.
 
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soulsinging

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Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous. Absolute fictional drivel presented as non-fiction memoir but completely ghost written by a reagan-era propagandist. Morally reprehensible.
 

BAYLOR

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Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous. Absolute fictional drivel presented as non-fiction memoir but completely ghost written by a reagan-era propagandist. Morally reprehensible.
Did they make that one into film ?
 
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