Books I Wish I’d Never Read

Sunny FrazierFools Rush In 2Returning guest blogger Sunny Frazier, whose first novel in the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries, Fools Rush In, received the Best Novel Award from Public Safety Writers Association, is here today to share her deepest thoughts…about the books she wishes she’d never read.   //

For my first blog of 2014 I decided to jump in with one of those “lists” that circulate around this time of year. Looking back over my life (one does that after becoming a senior citizen and while still lucid) I realized that there are certain books I regret reading. I’m not saying they were bad reads, just that they had a negative affect on me. Some I should have bypassed altogether, others I should have  waited for a less tender age to read.

Peyton PlacePEYTON PLACE by Grace Metalious
Yes, it was THE read in the ’60’s but I should never have read excerpts on a sleepover with my friend Leslie. I had to pretend to understand parts and snicker when what I really wanted to do was crawl under the covers and stay twelve-years-old forever.

Jane EyreJANE EYRE by Charlotte Bronte
Really, Mr. Sedgewick? You let everyone else in eighth grade read “OUR HEARTS WERE  YOUNG AND GAY” and made me trudge through Jane’s angst and a crazy wife locked away because you thought I was smart? It was pure crime and punishment.

Rosemary's BabyROSEMARY’S BABY by Ira Levin
I was sixteen and Mary Ann loaned it to me. Halfway through, I called her at midnight to let her know I was too scared to read the rest of the book. She told me how it ended. I couldn’t sleep that night or for several nights after.

Portnoy's ComplaintPORTNOY’S COMPLAINT by Philip Roth
I thought I was mature enough at seventeen to handle this very adult book. I will never look at Jewish boys or liver the same way again. And no, I will NOT watch “American Pie.” I’m scarred for life.

War and PeaceWAR AND PEACE by Leo Tolstoy
I’ve only met one person who actually finished this book. I’m sure the story is magnificent but oh, those Russians have names and variations of names until I have no idea who’s who. Just give me the Reader’s Digest version.

Tropic of CancerTROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller
Was there a plot or just a string of obscenities?

Going HomeGOING HOME By Danielle Steel
I have a hard time admitting I even read a Danielle Steel novel. In my defense, a woman at work pushed it on me and asked every day how I liked it. Excruciating.

To Kill a MockingbirdTO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee
I loved this book. However, when I volunteered to be part of The Great Fresno Read, I did not expect to be assigned a reading time of 3 a.m. I vaguely remember going to the library in my pajamas with a coat thrown over and trying to stay awake long enough to read 15 minutes of prose.

The Catcher in the RyeTHE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger
Imagine my surprise when, in chapter 13, a prostitute named “Sunny” appears. Nice to have a namesake. I honestly don’t understand the lure of the book and I’m sure John Lennon wishes Mark David Chapman hadn’t read it.

ScarlettSCARLETT by Alexandra Ripley and Stephens Mitchell
A book that should have never been written. Frankly, my dears, we didn’t give a damn for a sequel.

Choke 2CHOKE by Chuck Palahniuk
Definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. However, reading it brought the realization that I would never have the guts to be as brutally honest in my own writing. Maybe that’s a good thing. Still, the temptation to cut loose and lay it all on the page is strong.

The Other Boleyn GirlTHE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL by Philippa Gregory
We never knew Anne had a sister. Once Gregory opened that can of worms I could not control the urge to dive into historical fiction and non-fiction. Just ask me to name the Plantagenet line-up. My TBR wish list is 225 titles and counting. I received four for Christmas, picked up two more at the library and just found three at the used book store. Nine in one week. I’ve gone from interested to obsessed.

Game of ThronesA GAME OF THRONES by George R.R. Martin
I’m now on book four. I’ve survived the beheading of Rob Stark and the Red Wedding. I’m hooked like a junkie on crack. I worry that George Martin might die before he finishes what he started. “You know nothing, John Snow.”

InfernoINFERNO by Dan Brown
There’s no way to make Dante’s Inferno an enjoyable premise. I made the mistake of reading the book during the Christmas season. Okay, maybe an orchestrated plague WOULD solve the world’s overpopulation but it’s not exactly tidings of comfort and joy. A total yuletide buzz-kill.

For better or for worse, those are the books that either wasted my time or the timing was just off. Would love to read your list.