Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Decided I’m No Longer Interested In Reading

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I’m not the kind of reader who gives up easily when I stumble across something that doesn’t necessarily appeal to me the first time I try it. There are some stories that I finally learned to love after several attempts to finish them.

This technique works for me in many cases, but there are some books out there that I sadly don’t think I’m ever going to be able to get into. The first five novels on this list are classics, and the last five are from the fantasy genre.

1. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to get through Les Misérables. Based on the subject matter and rave reviews of it, I expected to love it the first time I read it. Sadly, I was never able to adapt to the long-winded narrator.

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

The idea of a family worrying about who their daughters will marry is bizarre to me even though I know it was a genuine concern for many families in the early 1800s due to the inheritance laws back then. To be fair, I almost never read historical romances in general, so I knew going into it that it probably wasn’t going to be my cup of tea.

3. Jo’s Boys by Louisa May Alcott.

I loved Little Women and Little Men, but the third instalment of this series had so little to say about the March family that I quickly lost interest in it. There are still times when I wonder what Jo, Meg, and Beth were like when they were middle aged or old women. I’m sure they never stopped trying to find ways to make ordinary life more entertaining.

4. Walden by Henry David Thoreau.

One of my high school English teachers was obsessed with this writer. She taught us a detailed unit on how Thoreau lived and why he wrote Walden. While I was amused by the fact that Thoreau apparently had food regularly brought to him by relatives while he was living alone by Walden pond, the contradiction between the deliveries of his meals and how self-reliantly he portrayed that period of his life makes it impossible for me to enjoy this book.

5. Uncle Silas by J. Sheridan Le Fanu.

I don’t like reading about children being mistreated. This is especially true when they are being harmed by their guardian and have no way to escape. If only Maud, the main character, had been an adult when she moved into her new home. The idea of attempting to outsmart a murderer appeals to me quite a bit, but I only want to read about adults taking on that task.

 6. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.

Due to how violent the first scene was, I never want to read the rest of Game of Thrones even though I liked the writing style quite a bit in general It only becomes more gory from there according to what I’ve heard, and I can only handle that kind of storytelling in small doses.

7. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan.

So many people love the Wheel of Time series in general that it took me a very long time to understand I’d never be one of them. The pacing of The Eye of the World was simply too slow for me to keep going to find out what the Wheel of Time was or why other folks enjoy it so much.

8. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin.

There are several Ursula K. LeGuin books that I really love, but A Wizard of Earthsea isn’t one of them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to change this. Normally, her storytelling grabs my attention from the very first sentence.

9. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett.

I’ve read multiple Terry Pratchett quotes that I found deeply amusing, but I’ve never been able to get into The Color of Magic or the rest of the Discworld series.  I will keep trying to find something else from him that suits my tastes, though.

10. A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony.

As cool as the covers are for A Spell for Chameleon and the rest of the Xanth series are, their writing styles simply don’t do anything for me.

What books have you given up on?


  1. Poinsettia says:

    Pride and Prejudice and Wizard of Earthsea are two of my favorite books! I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy them. I’ve only read Little Women, but never got around to reading the other two books. I am interested in Game of Thrones, but I’m a little on the fence about it. Nice list!

    • Thank you. 🙂 Little Men was mostly about the boys in Jo’s school, but there were some great scenes showing what life was like for her and her sisters as adults, too.

  2. I keep telling myself I’ll read the classics and I never do! It’s this whole debate how if you don’t read the classics then you’re not a true bookworm, but I just don’t feel motivated to read them…

    • I’d never heard of that debate before. How interesting. There are some classics that I really love, so that’s why I keep trying new ones. I don’t judge other people for making different choices, though. There are plenty of books out there to suit every taste.

  3. I can’t blame you for any of these, though I do enjoy Pride & Prejudice (I’m not normally a fan of the classics, though).

    • Good for you, and I mean that sincerely. It’s nice to know there are lots of people who do like that book. There are a few classics I really like, too.

  4. I also could not get into Discworld… the giant turtle was a bit too much for me. lol I was considering at least trying The Eye of the World… I think tor is doing a mass buddy read and thought that might help motivate me. It starts today though I just realized so maybe not. lol

  5. I’ve tried multiple times to read the “Wrinkle in Time” books, but even though there’s a new movie version coming out, I’m not going to. The didactic nature of the ponderous ramblings was too boring for me. Just like when I read aloud to my kids, all of the Narnia books, and when I got to the last few pages of the last book and my son realized that everyone was actually dead, and had been through the whole series, and this was heaven and we were supposed to be happy for them, he pulled it out of my hands, tossed it across the room, and yelled that he hated that series. Same with “The Golden Compass.” Tried a few times to read it aloud to the kids, but they were too bored and begged me to stop.

    I had to teach “Les Miserables” a few years ago, when I was doing a long-term sub job. I had never read the book, so I had to pre-read each chapter, so I’d be able to teach them. When the kids complained, I explained that there were a few reasons it was such a difficult read: 1) It was a translation from French, so that’s always going to lose nuances of language, 2) it was written long ago, when only educate people read books, and it was assumed that all were interested in philosophical discussions of the nature of man, and society in general, and 3) Hugo used a lot of complicated verbiage, because as I said, only educated people read in those days, and people had much larger vocabularies than today, when we all excel in “text-speak,” but use very few of the over half a million words in the English language. When we finally finished the book, one girl, who had complained every single morning for over a month about how much she hated having to work so hard to read a book, closed the cover and with a satisfied sigh, said,”That’s the best book I’ve ever read.” I just laughed.

    • Your kid’s reaction to the last Narnia book was pretty funny! It took me by surprise as well.

      Thank you for the explanation of “Les Miserables.” I didn’t know a lot of the stuff you said about it.

  6. I’ve read Les Misérables back when I was in high-school, and I liked it, but I’m not sure I would have tried it if I hadn’t to in the first place, so I see where you’re coming from 😅

  7. I forgot to mention “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman. That’s in a class by itself for sheer awfulness. My daughter had to read it for a college lit class, so I read it also, thinking we could discuss it together. I had to lash myself to the chair and prop my eyes open, forcing myself to read each word. It was a total chore. No interesting characters, nothing to redeem any of them, and I wanted them all to die, just to put me out of the misery of having to read about them. Seems my daughter felt the same way, and only read just enough to write her paper.

    Needless to say, we’re amazed that the book is now a TV show, and he gets lauded everywhere for being such a “genius.” Bleah.

  8. There are so many more books than any of us could ever read, I definitely think it’s good to know one’s own taste and not waste time on books you don’t enjoy. I like many of the Discworld novels, but NOT the first few. Basically anything with Sam Vimes in it is golden, and the rest is hit or miss. I’m sure I read Jo’s Boys and the other sequels when I was a kid 40 years ago, but I really only remember Little Women (and Eight Cousins, my other favorite Alcott of the time). I like Pride & Prejudice, slogged through Walden in high school, loved Wizard of Earthsea (though haven’t re-read as an adult) and have never heard of Uncle Silas.

    • You’re totally right about that.

      I had no idea that the Discworld novels could be read out of order. Which one would you recommend starting with that’s set later in that universe?

      Eight Cousins is one of those books I’ve been meaning to read but haven’t actually picked up yet.

  9. I’ve never read Jo’s Boys either, even though I’ve read Little Women several times. It never appealed. And I like Pride and Prejudice OK, but Sense and Sensibility is my favorite Austen book. As to your fantasy books, my husband is the one who reads those at our house. He read all the Jordan books I think and he read several of the Game of Thrones books. However, he stopped reading them way before they were filmed. His reason was that every time he got a character that he liked even a little bit, they died. And then there would be another and they died. Over and over. LOL

    I did read the Xanth books or the first several of them. He and I read them together very early in our marriage. Then I was done with fantasy. Ha!

    • Oh, I really don’t like it when favorite characters get killed off in a series over and over again. I don’t blame your husband for stopping the Game of Thrones series for that reason.

      Reading books together sounds nice, though. I’m glad you two were able to do that for a while.

  10. I loved Little Women, but when I tried to read Jo’s boys I could not get into it.
    Great list!
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    • Thank you. Jo’s Boys has a totally different tone when compared to Little Women. I understand why someone would have trouble getting into it.

  11. I’m not interested in reading Game of Thrones either, and mainly because a lot of themes in it really put me off. And I’m not bothered about Les Miserables either; the length of it really intimidates me.

    • Yes, the themes of it were another reason why I don’t want to read that series either.

      Les Miserables certainly is a long book, too!

  12. I’ve been debating whether or not to read The Wheel of Time series as well. I know it’s a classic in the genre, but I also am just not that interested…

  13. Great list! I’ve never been able to get into Terry Pratchett either, but I’m going to continue to try – I have a feeling I might enjoy his books more as audiobooks.

  14. I totally get where you’re coming from about P&P, but it does make me a bit sad because I love it so much. 🙂 To each their own, though.

    My TTT Post

  15. I’ve had trouble with Austen even though I generally like the movies they make based on her books. Reading them though is iffy for me. Game of Thrones is violent- too much so, unfortunately, because otherwise it’s a great series. And I agree completely about the Xanth books- some of those covers beckon to me but I’m not sure the writing style is for me. Plus I’ve heard iffy things.

    • What is it about Austen movies that you like more than the books? I must admit that I’ve never watched any of the movies based on her work.

      Yeah, I’ve heard good things about Game of Thrones in general. If not for the violence, it would probably be right up my alley.

      And thanks for the heads up on the Xanth series. I haven’t done any digging into it at all (other than trying and failing to read it).

  16. I like historical romances but for some reason I haven’t read Pride and Prejudice. I saw the movie and enjoyed it, that may have been why I haven’t read it.

    • Sometimes movies are better than the books they’re based on, although I have no idea if that’s the case for this series in particular. 🙂

  17. I don’t think I’ll ever read Les Mis. It’s too long and too intimidating for me…

  18. The “in your face”-writing of Game of Thrones definitely isn’t for everyone! I want to read all the books this year, but we’ll see how that goes. Pretty sure I’ll have to take a break after some of the very visual scenes..

  19. Most of these I had considered at one point or another but never seriously. GoT being the exception I never wanted to read just because I know the books have the characters much younger and I couldn’t imagine some of the things that happen being done to a younger character….

  20. I’ve wanted to read so many of the books on your list! I laughed out loud when I read your explanation of Walden– that contradiction would definitely make it difficult for me to read the book and take it seriously as well! 🙂

    • Heh, thanks. The writing itself was often thought-provoking, but the story of what was really happening behind the scenes totally threw me for a loop.

  21. I don’t blame you for any of these choices. I didn’t put any of them on my list this week, but I think I’ve subconsciously given up on Discworld, A Game of Thrones and the Wheel of Time books, too. Long books scare the bejesus out of me, and though Pratchett’s novels are all pretty short I just don’t know where to start when it comes to such a sprawling series.

  22. I think I might have read Earthsea at one point, but I can’t remember for sure lol but I do know I don’t have the urge to read Le Guin’s work though. *shrugs*

  23. I’ve read a lot on your list- but I had to read Les Mis when I was in high school (I was on the reading team and I picked it because we had gone to see the musical and I was in love with it… but the book is super long and full of political rants because Hugo was exiled from France when he wrote it), but I promise you’re missing very little if you just want to enjoy the movie or stage versions of it. And while I love P&P, Jo’s Boys and Game of Thrones, life is too short to waste time on books that aren’t your jam. Color of Magic is a book I’ve tried and failed too… but I still might give it another try, maybe. 🙂

    • That’s good to know! Yes, I would love to see the movie or stage version of it sometime. I’ve heard they’re both excellent.

  24. I have thought of reading the Terry Pratchett books. Haven’t made it there yet.

  25. Colour of Magic was my first Pratchett (I read them more or less in publication order) and I loved it a lot…but when I re-read it later after I had read his other book I always went ‘I remember this being funnier’. His later works are just much better

  26. That’s so good to know. Where would you recommend starting with his work instead?

  27. Have you only tried the color of magic? Discworld you do not need to read in order at all and you can easily pick up one of his later books to see if that is more up to your tastes. There is certainly a big difference in his writing between the first and later ones. 😀

    And yep, GOT is just gory in places.

    • Yes, The Color of Magic is the only book of his I’ve tried. I thought they had to be read in order. I’ll try one of his later books, though!

  28. LOVE “Pride and Prejudice” as film adaptations, but I don’t see myself ever reading the book. For me, it’s more about the difference in the writing styles over the stories. Also, I haven’t tried but there’s no way I see myself ever reading Les Misérables. It’s WAY too long (and likely intense) for that. 😉

    Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland.

    • You’re welcome.

      One of these days I’m going to have to check out a film adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice.” Good idea there.

  29. I got hooked on Discworld with Going Postal – Moist von Lipwig is an amusing character. 🙂 Still haven’t read Color of Magic though…

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