Disappointing ‘Must-Read Books’

Must-read book lists are everywhere. And the majority of the books on them are well worth reading. But what about those ones you read but didn’t enjoy. Is it fair to feel let down and cheated? With all the hype and buzz about apparent excellent ‘classic’ books, is it fair to assume that everyone will enjoy it? The simple answer has to be no.

Everyone has different tastes when it comes to life; reading included. One person may have loved one book or one film for instance, and another loathe it. We’ve all got our own opinions haven’t we? We’re all not bound to like the same books. But Must Read Books go beyond the simple recommendation between friends.

I’m saying this now so I don’t get shot down when I reveal two ‘must-read’ books that I didn’t enjoy. I was disappointed with them both, the second I found frankly irritating. And yes I did feel cheated. I’d settled down to really enjoy them, thinking that I would. But turning the final page, and reading the last sentence, well I felt utterly let down.

Number One disappointing ‘Must-Read’ is The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje.


Number Two disappointing ‘Must-Read’ is The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger.


I can’t really go into why I didn’t enjoy them: I just didn’t. And I know that’s not very reviewy of me.

I can’t be the only one who has been let down in this way?

What books have you been disappointed with?

7 comments on “Disappointing ‘Must-Read Books’

  1. I’ve been looking for The Catcher in the Rye for my library. Can’t find it in Nairobi. Now I’m not sure I should continue. Dark Matter by Peter Straub left me feeling dark with disappointment. So did The Poet by Michael Connelly and Everything’s Eventual by Stephen King.

  2. I too was disappointed by ‘Catcher in the Rye’, quite honestly found it a bit annoying. So glad I’m not the only one!

  3. Perhaps I was disappointed because of all the hype and everyone telling me how much I was going to LOOOOOVE it, but I was so disappointed in The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. I totally agree with you about Catcher in the Rye (and my opinion didn’t change the second or third times I was assigned the book in college lit classes), but totally DISagree with you about Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient. I was swept away by the lyricism of his writing.

  4. Oh no! I am really curious about The English Patient and even have it on my to-read list

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