Last week I did a post about the 10 Best Books I Studied at University so I’m back with the Worst Books I Studied at University this week. Once again I’m splitting them up into the year I studied them. However, I won’t be including any from my MA / fourth year because I loved them all.
Small disclaimer: I don’t actually hate all of these books. Some of them were just taught badly and so they’ve been added to this list. I’ll indicate these books when I get to them. However, I do genuinely hate some of the books mentioned. I apologise if you like them.
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
I’m really sorry if you’re an Austen fan but I’m just not. I don’t like studying her novels because I don’t like reading them. I mean, I studied Mansfield Park in my second year and somewhat enjoyed it but I just don’t like Northanger at all.
I reviewed Northanger Abbey last year so you can read about why I don’t like it if you want to.
Fight Club by Chuck Palahnuik
Where do I even start with this book? Ugh.
I just hated it. The teaching wasn’t bad (in the first year, it was terrible when I did it again in third year) but it’s an awful book with awful films. I wasn’t even impressed with the film because I don’t find Brad Pitt attractive. Also, the author is a massive douche.
Solid Geometry by Ian McEwan
In first year I had a module called ‘Writing for Academic Success’ which should have been subtitled ‘For People Who Don’t Know How to Use a Comma Properly’ because they literally taught us how to write an essay. Anyways, it’s not the story that I dislike but the teaching that accompanied this story. I had arguments with my lecturer about it because the story says ‘Maisie appeared to turn in on herself like a sock’ and my lecturer was convinced that she folded into so many pieces that she disappeared into thin air. I was convinced that she had died because it’s a story about a man who murders his wife.
Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
Okay, the reason I hated this book is because we studied it for six weeks. Just this book for six weeks. It was so bloody annoying. I just wanted to read something different. Also, reading a book like this on a schedule is awful. I may re-read it one day but I’m still traumatised from the first time I read it in 2013.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I actually love this book but I still don’t know why it was included in my university education. My lecturer wasn’t impressed either because he just complained about everything being a bread pun. When your lecturer doesn’t want to teach a book then you’re basically screwed. The Hunger Games shouldn’t be on a university reading list in my opinion unless there’s a clear intention about why it’s being used.
Eclipse of the Century by Jan Mark
This was on a module about classic children’s literature even though it’s not a classic children’s book. Only my class studied it. None of the others did. I’m still confused even to this day.
It’s not the best book ever written and it’s a bit weird to be honest. I may re-read it to see if I like it better when I’m not being forced to read it.
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
I’ve written about how much I dislike this novel before so I had to include it on the list. I just don’t get the appeal of this book. I hated every ‘character’ and the ‘plot’ was boring too. I don’t care if the way Kerouac wrote it was different or weird or whatever. I just didn’t like it and no one in my class did. Sorry
The Passion of New Eve by Angela Carter
I mentioned this book in another post last week and I will repeat what I said then: this book made me feel like I was hallucinating. It’s just weird and awful. I don’t like most of Angela Carter’s work and this is the worst thing I’ve read by her so far. I don’t enjoy her writing style at all. I understand why it was on the module (Gender & Sexualities) but it’s just a terrible book.