30 Day Book Challenge: Day 2

If you missed the start of the 30 Day Book Challenge, here’s Day 1. Since writing that blog, I’ve found a few other versions of the Book Challenge (so I’m not as clever as I thought!) and I may be using them for inspiration. However, they all vary without standardisation, so we’ll just keep playing our own, shall we?

Day 2 – Your Least Favourite Book

This prompt has been nagging at me for while. Does anyone really want to admit to the books they don’t like? With movies, you can always blame the directing, the acting, the terrible jokes, but with books, you’re criticising the author and their perspective on the world. I hesitate to say which books don’t speak to me for fear of sounding like a snob or, at best, incompetent. We should also consider that my reading history is likely completely different than someone else’s.However, I have made a choice. There wouldn’t be much of a challenge without an answer would there?

When I was around 15 years old, Mythology by Edith Hamilton was required reading in school. I ate it up and I couldn’t get enough. Athena, Icarus, Prometheus were names that I loved coming across while searching the internet (still a fairly new idea!) and browsing in bookshops. I fell in love with the hope of visiting Greece and Rome. I latched on to the idea that these stories explained human conflict and emotions. I loved the romance, even the violence of them. I gobbled up Homer’s Odyssey and dreamt about the fantastic creatures made up of half animals, like the Centaurs, the Sirens and the Chimera. I watched every film adaptation I could.

The Iliad by HomerThen I read The Iliad.

I understand that it’s not technically a book, but rather an epic poem. Epic it is. Engrossing it is not. I won’t go into much detail concerning this book because I know it is one of the most important texts we still have today, dating from the Bronze Period and providing insight into the world of the ancient Greeks and how they viewed life, art and war.

I’ll just say it was not my favourite book to read and I, as a young 15 year-old, probably attempted to grasp something out of my reach. That said, I still love the stories told in The Odyssey, but I have no inclination to ever pick up The Iliad again. I hope you do though! Maybe you can tell me what I’m missing. A prize might go to the person who can convince me to give it another go. Maybe I should have looked here before reading!

Runner up in this category: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad – well-written, but the racism and violent depictions of colonialism were not a pleasure to read.

So now that I’ve probably insulted some brilliant Oxford-based professor or writer, what is your least favourite? Post in the comments!

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