Recommending Books I Didn’t Like

orangutan list

Well, I’ve been a bit negative lately, so I thought it would be a good idea to try and turn things around. I was completely inspired by an amazing video by Elliot Brooks over on booktube to start recommending books I don’t like. And since I always say that other people might like books I give 2 bananas, I thought it was time for me to put my bananas where my mouth is and recommend some books I don’t like… or something that sounds less like I’m just stuffing my face 😉 And I’m gonna try to do it all while standing on one leg not insulting any of these books. Wish me luck!


Love in a Time of Cholera– an exquisitely written book with distinct characters- I just didn’t like it because I hate stream of consciousness- but if that’s your jam, I’m sure you’ll love it!

mrs dalloway

Mrs Dalloway– similarly, no one can dispute that Woolf was an incredible writer (her twists on imagery is second to none), but I just can’t stand stream of consciousness.

sun also rises

The Sun Also Rises– again, I’ve made no secret of the fact I’m not a fan of pared-down writing. In fact, I’ve spoken at length about how I think there’s a Fitzgerald-Hemmingway divide– people tend to like one or the other! So if you’re not a fan of Fitzgerald, chances are you’ll love this. Plus, even I, with my biases, can see that the characterisation is incredibly realistic and fascinating.

lonely hearts hotel

Lonely Hearts Hotel– oof it hurts my soul that I didn’t love this book, because O’Neill is a very talented writer- I’m just not her target audience. This may well be for people who love post-modernism.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian

Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian– there were a number of reasons why I didn’t click with this book: namely that I was too old for this middle grade and it felt too rooted in American culture for me to get- sorry! But if you are the target demographic, it’ll probably work for you (goodness knows the ratings on Goodreads suggest as much!)


Dune– another one that pains me to admit I didn’t like! Dune is *classic* sci fi material- I just couldn’t get on with the writing style! But if you want interesting ideas, this is the way to go.


Watchmen– I’ve never been able to figure out why I didn’t like this one (even though I thought Moore’s other famous graphic novel, V for Vendetta, was incredible). Perhaps if you give it a go it’ll work better for you- there’s plenty of people that’ll tell you it’s a classic!


Steelheart– this one is *super easy* to recommend because 1) I love Sanderson 2) it’s brilliantly written and 3) the plot is amazing. The only reason I didn’t love it is because I personally didn’t connect with the characters- but that’s no fault of the book! So, if you’re looking for a genius take on superheroes, you can’t go wrong with this!

magician's guild

Magician’s Guild– kind of cheating, cos I ended up loving this series- but that’s why I continue to recommend the first one even though I didn’t like it! It gets so much better!!


Goldfinch– I personally didn’t connect with this because of its length, but having read (and adored) the Secret History, I’m actually pretty keen to revisit the Goldfinch. Regardless of whether it ends up being for me or not, I think Tartt is a class act and worth reading.

communist manifesto

The Communist Manifesto– yeahhh I’m going there, cos why the heck not? I’m definitely not recommending that you become a communist, but I trust people to check it out for themselves and not take my word for it that it’s *bad* (looks like I failed at not insulting the books on this list 😉)

Gosh that was a challenging post to do! Do you agree or disagree with my choices? (I know I’m certainly questioning everything I’ve written here 😉) And do you have any books you didn’t like that you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments!

Steelheart Book Review

SteelheartOkay, I finished this a couple of days ago and I’m still not sure what to make of this book. Which is not the best start. I mean, obviously I didn’t love this book, or I’d just go straight to raving about it, but I could see some merit in it. So I feel a little torn about what exactly I’m gonna say in this review.

I think I will have to weigh this up as fairly as I can…

The prosecution:

There’s no easy way to say this when you usually like an author’s work: I was bored stiff for half of this book. I had high hopes for this book, but in the end, it was just not very interesting. That was down to a number of things. Firstly, the main character and his (obsessive) descriptions of guns. Half the time I just wanted to yell: “I don’t care- get back to the action!!” But then the action sequences half the time did nothing for me and I wasn’t sure why that was… Until disaster struck in one of the later action sequences and I realised *I just did not care about any of the characters*. They were all just a little staid and a bit flat for my liking- none of them really felt like anything more than a 2D prop. Not only was I not enamoured by any of them, but I also did not buy their relationship with each other- particularly David and Megan’s relationship. I got that David was attracted to her, but I felt like Megan only warmed to him for the sake of the plot- and nothing else. Besides, she was never all that pleasant to him, so I couldn’t understand why he developed a crush on her- let alone full-blown love. It felt a little like (dare I say it) insta-love.

The defence:

But… some of it- particularly the prologue, the final fight scene and the epilogue- were phenomenally written. In fact, I never had any doubt that Sanderson could write well, given his other books. Also, to be absolutely fair, the world building was pretty solid- nothing too incredible, but nothing disappointing in that. And the twists and turns right at the end of the book had me on the edge of my seat. For that alone, I was reminded why I had enjoyed Sanderson’s other writing, and I just wished the rest of the book could have been like that. I mean, there were some parts at the end that almost had me wanting to read more of the series- almost. And I’m afraid that’s the clincher in this case…

Ok so what’s the Final Judgement?

*Jury goes out to deliberate* *Jury returns*

Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin- you have been weighed and you have been found wanting!


That’s a dorky way of me saying it wasn’t good enough. Also, of sharing this amazing Rembrandt.

Rating: 2.5/5 bananas

half bananahalf banana  half banana