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Unread 01-28-2011, 10:47 AM   #1
Flora88
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Best and worst book you ever read?

Okay, since there's no board on which to talk about books, I figure here is as good as any.
So. Best and worst books you ever read, and why.


Best: The Last Unicorn. I know it sounds girly, but, seriously, guys, this book is badass. It is extremely well-written. The lessons each character learns are new, poignant, and interesting. The characters are well-created, the imagery is vivid, and the plight of the King and the Red Bull is sad and horrifying and intriguing all at the same time. This is a book that treats its readers as though they are intelligent. It infers, but does not state. And the draw from many different folklores adds this sort of patchwork quality that's just beautiful.

Favorite part: ...all of it.

Worst: Eragon. Hands down. It's A New Hope with dragons. Seriously, I didn't find a single original idea in that entire book. He doesn't even change the name of the Empire. It's still the Empire. The names were stolen from Tolkien. The dragonriders were stolen from Anne McCaffrey. And Eragon was probably the least likable main character I've read...ever.
And before anyone goes there, no, it's not "good for a fifteen year old." I've read far better novels by fifteen-year-olds. One's writing is supposed to grow and mature as he grows and matures. And one is always supposed to revise during that growth. There was neither maturity nor growth in this entire book. I didn't dare read the other two.
Furthermore, the "I'm God's gift to fantasy" attitude that Paolini had did not help his case. Especially after he bashed Tolkien, the father of the fantasy genre.

Favorite parts: "The egg was smooth and frictionless." (No, it wasn't. If it was frictionless, it would have slipped out of his hand and slid around the world forever.)
"The sun was a glorious conflagration of pink and yellow." (No, it wasn't. A conflagration is a huge, destructive fire. He's talking about the beauty of the sun. Conflagration doesn't work here.)



What about you guys?
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Unread 01-28-2011, 11:22 AM   #2
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The WORST book I have ever read would have to be the Twilight series. Bella gets everything she wants, and she doesn't have to loose anything to get it!! Also she is a whiney brat... Edward is an emotionless pedophile that also gets whatever he wants with no effort or struggle. Jacob is a creep. He "fell in love"with a NEWBORN!! A freaking baby!! That author has serious issues... Not to mention all those stupid fangirls ,who've never read a real book, that think Twilight is the greatest thing ever created

Favorite part: When it was finally over and I could read something good.


The BEST book is harder to pick... Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games, and Maximum Ride are some of my favorites. They are all well-written with unique plots, believable characters, consequences for the character's actions, and good use of vocabulary.

I have to agree on Eragon. It only got published because of his parents, and only became big because he was fifteen. More of a case of "the dog can speak, not the dog can speak well."
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Unread 01-28-2011, 11:57 AM   #3
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YAAAAY FINALLY A BOOK THREAD ALL MY DREAMS ARE COMING TRUE.

I don't know if I can pick a favorite book. When we got married, my husband and I named all the tables after our favorite novels; the table we sat at was Good Omens, because it more or less brought us together. My own favorite may be Wise Child, by Monica Furlong. Almost no one has read it, but it has a tremendous amount of personal significance and I've read it at least once a year since receiving my first copy at age 11.

Favorite part: Probably when Juniper is explaining the value of work to Wise Child, how daily labors like washing and cleaning ground you, help keep you in touch with yourself and the earth. "But men never do those kinds of chores," Wise Child says. "Exactly," replies Juniper. XD

I've read my share of terrible books, too. Eragon was awful, as were the Twilight books I managed to finish. Twilight was the first book I read that made me so angry I literally punched it. I punched a book. I'd punch it again.

A friend gave me a copy of Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs, because sometimes when you find something really bad you feel compelled to share, and I found that especially offensive for containing werewolves and witches, which I normally enjoy reading about, and making them absolutely abhorrent. I mean, at least in Twilight, the werewolves aren't really werewolves.

Favorite part: The protagonist, Anna, speaks Latin to comfort herself. Yeah, that really happens. Right after the climax of the plot, she quips, "Crep, strep, venefica est mortua." She just said "Ding, dong, the Wicked Witch is dead"... in Latin. Bad Latin. FFFNNNNGGG.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 12:00 PM   #4
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Admittedly, I haven't read a book in *years* when I used to spend every day reading parts of one. Do I have a favorite amongst all of them? Not really, I read through a lot of books from the series of Bob Morane, Perry Rhodan, Maigret, passing by Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms. None of those disappointed me and I absolutely adore devouring each and every chapter they offered me.

I do, however, have a worst book ever : L'Arrache-coeur by Boris Vian.

The entire thing is one big wierd metaphor --- from life in the boonies being unchanging with no real way to tell the passing of time, to parents caging their childs in golden cages to protect them so they cannot 'fly freely in the sky'.

Adding to that 'geriatic auctions' where the old people are put on sale and treated like objects. To a dude swimming in the local river, picking out rotten/dead things the townfolks throw in there to wash themselves of their sins.

...honestly, it felt like a drug trip. Worst book I ever read and it really put the final nail in my belief that each and every 'required reading' in class would be bad.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 12:09 PM   #5
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The best book I've ever read was Dante's Divine Comedy. I adore that book, I've read it lots of times, and never get tired of it. My other favorite is Lord of the Rings.

The worst book....honestly and I hope you don't throw me stones, is Harry Potter. I tried reading the first one. Honestly tried. But never even finished it. Bored me so bad! That and Twilight. I read all the books to see what was the fuzz about, but....nah, not that good either.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 12:13 PM   #6
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On twilight.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 12:13 PM   #7
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Best?-
I'd have to say that at the moment, my favorite book is rather difficult to pick. Can I say a series?

If I can, I'd have to say the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan is the best so far in my personal opinion. I'm only halfway through the fifth book and so far it has yet to bore me. Normally I'm a 'speed demon' with books and finish them far too quickly, but with each of these books, I've been able to read more slowly, absorbing in every little detail. I'm rather fond of some of the characters. Like the Far Dareis Mai(Aiel Maidens of the Spear). They keep Rand in line as much as they can.

Favorite quote so far: "The Maidens cluster about him as though they owe more to him than their own clans...For the first time ever, they have allowed a man beneath a Roof of the Maidens." -book five, The Fires of Heaven

I also am rather fond of the Vampire Hunter D series...


Worst book-
Oh gosh. So many I don't like. The Twilight Saga is on the top of that list though. I despised how she changed almost everything about vampires. I mean honestly.. And now having to sit through presentations when people do that for their independent book projects in class...Seriously, I'm a senior in high school and still have to sit in class and listen to girl freak out over "omg Edward!" "No Jacobs better!" =3=; Lets just say I am pleased that we're reading Dracula at the end of the year.

Eragon was foul as well. Not as bad as Twilight obviously, but still rather foul.




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I like this.

Last edited by HidingintheMist : 01-28-2011 at 12:17 PM.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 12:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kildread View Post
Worst book I ever read and it really put the final nail in my belief that each and every 'required reading' in class would be bad.
Aww, I didn't think all of our required reading was bad. Not in grade school/high school, anyway. I hated some of them (Great Gatsby and Catcher In the Rye-- I know that's like sacrilege or something, but I thought everyone in them was just so unsympathetic and I hate reading about characters I can't relate to) but others were really enjoyable and engaging. I mean, I guess they're classics for a reason, right?

Sometimes they give you really arty books that are supposed to be all profound, though, and it's just agonizing to try and get through that crap.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 01:33 PM   #9
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Best: The best book I've ever read has got to be the Lord of the Rings (yeah, I'm a LotR fangirl). Though Tolkien goes into extensive detail about just about everything, he pretty much set the playing field for all fantasy books. Anybody ever notice that the symbol on most of his books is actually his initials?

Worst: Definitely Twilight. I read a 3 paragraph summary of the series and it was way more interesting than the actual series. When I reached the end of the last book I went "Did I seriously just finish the series? That was the worst piece of crap I've ever read and extremely boring." I was expecting at least a little excitement. And sparkly vampires? Seriously? *shoots book*
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Unread 01-28-2011, 01:43 PM   #10
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I can't really name a worst book, because if it's really bad, I put it down and don't waste my time.

Best book, first one that comes to mind is River Town by Peter Hessler. Absolutely fascinating, and you sense the author's change and growth in the change of his style of writing and depth of observation, rather than anything that is overtly stated.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 02:08 PM   #11
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Wow, all the hate on Twilight ;A; I'm not a fan, but... TEAM CHARLIE *is shot*

Anyways. I can't contribute to this topic too much right now, as i haven't read much. But i shall try~

Best: The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs.

Best book i've ever read. Hands down. I always suggest it to people to read. Its the story about AJ Jacobs (true story, the book is pretty much his diary), who decides to follow the bible word for word for an entire year. 8 months of old testament (as he was raised jewish), and 4 months of new testament. The beauty of it... is that its not a bible bashing book. Its great for those who are religious and who aren't. Its such a controversial book, yet not at the same time. And its wonderfully written. He's so snarky sometimes, its a fun read. I finished it in two days because i just couldn't put it down.

Favorite part: Here's a few good quotes

"I am officially Jewish, but I’m Jewish in the same way the Olive Garden is an Italian restaurant. Which is to say: Not very. I attended no Hebrew school, ate no matzoh. The closest my family came to observing Judaism was that paradoxical classic of assimilation: a Star of David on top of our Christmas tree."

and then a quote that really sums up his journey:

"You can’t immerse yourself in religion for 12 months and emerge unaffected. At least I couldn’t. Put it this way: If my former self and my current self met for coffee, they’d get along okay, but they’d both probably walk out of the Starbucks shaking their heads and saying to themselves, 'That guy is kinda delusional.' "

As for worst book... i have yet to read a book fundamentally terrible. So *shrugs*
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Unread 01-28-2011, 02:14 PM   #12
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I haven't read alot of books. I'll just share my best.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupťry.

Favorite part: Every journey he had with all those planets, wherein the author was describing an adult's attitude. What a person will most likely be when he grows up. Also I like the part where the little prince was caring for his rose. In the part where he told a random rose "You're lovely, but you're empty," he went on. "One couldn't die for you. Of course an ordinary passerby would think my rose looked just like you. But my rose, all on her own, is more important than you altogether, since she's the one I've watered. Since she's the one I put under glass. Since she's the one I sheltered behind a screen. Since she's the one for whom I killed the caterpillars (except for two or three for butterflies). Since's she the one I listened to when she complained, or when she boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing at all. Since she's my rose."
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Unread 01-28-2011, 02:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
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The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupťry.
That ranks among my favorites, too; I cry every time I read it. This is my favorite chapter.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 03:00 PM   #14
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That ranks among my favorites, too; I cry every time I read it. This is my favorite chapter.
Ah so nice to hear from a fellow Little Prince fan. ^^ I like it when the Little Prince never lets go of a question if it is unanswered.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 03:18 PM   #15
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The only book I can pick up from my childhood and enjoy every bit as much as an adult remains: "The Last Unicorn" by Peter S. Beagle. Every word still strikes me as just about perfect :3

I can't name a "worst book". All books are worthwhile provided the right person finds them *shrug*
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