Lori's Book Nook

Five Books I wouldn’t be caught dead reading in public

Posted on: February 16, 2007

Taking part in engtech’s promising 5 things contest…But also, if any book-minded people want to add their own books to the list, please do.

Here I go:

  1. Anything by Dan Brown. Any person who had read a book before they picked up the DaVinci Code has claimed that it is badly written. Plus, from what I hear, it’s utterly derivative. Umberto Eco already wrote that story line, in Foucault’s Pendulum.
  2. Anything with “Oprah Book Club” on the cover. Pretentious of me, I know. She’s done wonderful things for reading in the United States, and yes, if she ran for President, I would make moves to get a green card to be able to vote for her. But I try not to let famous people choose my reading material
  3. LOTR, post-movies. Love the books*, love the movies, but I’m in the class of geeks that 1) refer to them as “LOTR”, 2) read the books every year since I was 13, and thus hate the idea of anyone thinking I’d just discovered them. [*I use the plural -s only because of the convention, started by Allen & Unwin, to divide the story into 3 physical volumes.]
  4. Ulysses. While I intend to read this book one day, I would try to read it privately. I’ve seen too many pretentious asses, or people I’ve assumed to be pretentious asses, read this book in cafes and on buses. I’m already plagued enough by my own pretentiousness, I don’t need to add to it.
  5. Any self-help book. Need I explain?

So, who’s next?

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20 Responses to "Five Books I wouldn’t be caught dead reading in public"

Agreed 100% on Dan Brown. I read it as part of a book club and people honestly thought it was non-fiction.

I thought Oprah’s book club got better when she started doing stuff like Anna Kariniaiaiannaina (sp)? I don’t pay that much attention to Oprah though.

The biggest problem with self-help books is that people read them without applying any of the techniques inside them. Reading the book isn’t going to solve your problems. Some of them like “7 Habits for blah blah” actually have some good advice inside of them.

Oh, I agree. I’m currently into “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. Just google ‘GTD’ for a (overwhelming) sampling.

I’m just saying I wouldn’t read self-help in public. πŸ™‚

Harry Potter – own every one of ’em too.

LOTR – best read in the quiet of one’s home, perhaps with the sound of rain rattling on the roof. I first read it while on vacation at a rented cottage near a lake in New England. It rained the entire time I had the place of course.

Any history book with Hitler on the cover – I have an interest in history, but people sometimes mistake an interest in how such a person came to power with admiration or fascination with the individual or his ideology.

A book by Bill O’Reilly that a conservative friend gave me a few years ago – actually, I have no intention of reading it period.

Ah, a book by Bill O’Reilly — that’s a whole different list, “books I don’t even want to sell or give away, ’cause other people might read them”

It’s a dilemma. I haven’t quite figured out what to do with it. Burning a book by a “moral” conservative would have a certain dark irony, but I could never bring myself to burn a book. I’ve tucked it away in the cellar for now – if I ever get a bird I can always use the pages to line the bottom of the cage.

What kind of bird do you want? (for next time I’m feeling flush, I’ll buy you one!)

:p

Actually, I don’t think I could keep a bird. I’d wind up feeling sorry that it was cooped up in a cage. I had a betta fish once that my cousin gave me. She assured me that they like living in little tiny tanks, but I kept worrying that he didn’t have enough room and finally bought a massive tank with all kinds of neat colored gravel, fake scuba guy – the whole nine yards. Darned thing died the next week.

I’ll probably get another cat. The last one I had lived in feline splendor for 14 years after showing up on my doorstep and insisting that he lived here. Boy, did he ever pick the right human to adopt.

I can’t think of any book I’d read in private that I wouldn’t read in public. Perhaps The Da Vinci Code. I only read that one out of a somewhat morbid curiosity – just to see what all the fuss was about and if it was truly as bad as I’d heard. It was. Painfully bad. And yes, done waayyyyy better years ago by Eco.

i like the da vinci code, as much as people slag it off. it’s just plain entertaining if you don’t take it seriously and try to spot wrong facts based on the bible. but i so agree on oprah book club’s tag and self-help books. i’ve read two oprah book club books and i didn’t like them at all.

http://sulz.daria.be

@sulz
Oh, I can read anything if I suspend my disbelief…but I’m I’m such a snob, that I wouldn’t read it in public!
Oh, and I like the fact that you have “a penchant for dark chocolate and sexy bits in a book”! My kinda gal!

@azahar
You and I definitely have similar tastes — Davies and Eco, for starters. πŸ™‚

@rich
Have you gone to my other blog? Celebrating the Absurd — which does descend into catness periodically, as does Azahar at Casa Az. Just in case you needed a support group!

Yes, you’re very welcome to talk about cats over at ‘casa az’ any time you like, Rich. Just look under the ‘animals and pets’ category.

I’m afraid I can’t agree with you about the Da Vinci Code being entertaining, sulz, but never mind. Obviously millions of others do agree with you. Apart from everything else (predictable plot, two-dimensional characters, etc) it was just so badly written that I cringed and winced most of the way through it.

I feel the same way about that other guy who writes best sellers, mostly about lawyers, and has had lots of films made of his books – can’t remember his name. Anyhow, I read one of his books once and was appalled at the writing.

Meanwhile, I did think of one thing that I wouldn’t be caught dead reading in public – Hello! magazine. Does that count?

@az
I hear you about the gossip rags. Gack! Why oh why are we so interested, as a population, in those who are famous for being famous?

Any book that’s too heavy to carry in my bag… textbooks, more specifically. >

Consider me the oddball, but I’ve actually liked a couple selections of the Oprah BC books–well, one in paticular being Tara Road. Though, I admit I didn’t read them because of her. The book itself (and sequel Quentins) appeared interesting, and I’m still glad I read them. Overall, I’ve found for many people it usually depends on the hype and the interest (for me, definitely the latter).

@joy
True! Heavy, wrist-damaging books… πŸ™‚

@thepearlady
I think the only things I have against Oprah books are the relentless people-overcoming-hardship theme they all seemed to have for a bit, and the “Oprah recommends” label — like I need to have permission from some pop icon to read. Ah well. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, thanks for stopping by!

*lol* I hear you on that…I’m not much of a label-reader, either, though they can make for interesting talk in the media circuits when something goes awry. As for me, I browse and go by story interest more than anything. πŸ˜‰

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In regards to the β€œbooks I don’t even want to sell or give away, ’cause other people might read them” comment:

Honeymoon with my brother.

Bookshelves line every wall in my house. I considered getting an old library catalogue just to keep track of them. I tore this book asunder after reading just 20 pages. I then tossed the pages in the recycling where they may later become something useful… like buttwipe.

Ah, thank you lalunaazul (lovely handle, by the way!)…I’ll keep away.

πŸ™‚

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