Books I Refuse to Read

Anne Bogel’s excellent summer reading list over at Modern Mrs. Darcy got me thinking about books that should never be on anyone’s reading list. Not that any of these have a chance of being read; they haven’t even been written. But if they were, I’d advise against.


1983 – George Orwell’s little known prequel to 1984, where society is full of not nice people, but better than it will be the following year

Stan of Green Gables – The adventures and travails of a young orphan boy who wanders Prince Edward Island distressed that no one – including himself – can figure out how to spell his name with an E on the end.

Julius’s Caesar – How one ancient Roman invented the salad … and then got stabbed by a hungry friend, prompting the dying Julius to ask, “You ate too, Brutus?”

Jane’s Heir – After a poor governess inherits a windfall, she tries to find a suitable heir herself, but ends up blowing the whole wad rebuilding her blind ex-boss’s burned down wreck of a house.

The Agony and the Ambivalence – Michelangelo Buonarroti can’t decide whether to paint the ceiling or the walls. It’s agonizing.


Which books would you add to the list?


At long last, here is the long-awaited sequel: Books I Refuse to Read, vol. 2.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Books I Refuse to Read

  1. I would advise against reading these, too. Except maybe for Michelangelo’s bio–there’s too much for me to relate to in there to pass over it entirely. 🙂

  2. Jeannie says:

    Love these! I’d add the following (by the way, I hope Adriana’s reading today):

    – Tide and Prejudice: The Bennets’ housekeeper, Hill — resentful about barely being mentioned in all the P&P sequels, prequels, and adaptations — goes on strike and refuses to do the family’s laundry.

    – Can You Point Your Fingers and Do the Oliver Twist?: A young impoverished orphan is drawn into a strange gang of men known as the Wiggles. Instead of committing petty crimes, they sing, dance, and generally frolic. They also feed the boy cold spaghetti, hot potatoes, mashed bananas, and fruit salad. Spoiler: It ends happily.

    • Tim says:

      Does that mean the Bennets will end up airing their dirty laundry?

      • Jeannie says:

        This is a conversation I actually could see happening:
        Mr. B: “Then why not go without clothing altogether?”
        Mrs. B: “OHHHH Mr. Bennet, you take delight in vexing me!”

        • Tim says:

          Mr. B: “What I take delight in, my dear, is being left to my books in my library where, incidentally, I would have no need of clothing, clean or otherwise.”

  3. Nick says:

    Julius’s Caeser is my favorite. Thanks for spelling it correctly.

    • Tim says:

      I had to spell it correctly. I knew you might read it and didn’t want to divert you into making much ado about nothing.

  4. Mary Anne says:

    How about some of these from the Washington Post’s Merge-Matic Contest? Here’s a sample:

    From the Washington Post Invitational contest, Merge-Matic Books: Readers were asked to combine the works of two authors, and to provide a suitable description of the merged book.

    “Machiavelli’s The Little Prince” –
    Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s classic children’s tale as presented by Machiavelli. The whimsy of human nature is embodied in many delightful and intriguing characters, all of whom are executed.

    “Green Eggs and Hamlet” –
    Would you kill him in his bed? Thrust a dagger through his head? I would not, could not, kill the King. I could not do that evil thing. I would not wed this girl, you see. Now get her to a nunnery.

    “Where’s Walden?” –
    Alas, the challenge of locating Henry David Thoreau in each richly-detailed drawing loses its appeal when it quickly becomes clear that he is always in the woods.

    For the rest, go here:

    Actually, I think I WOULD like to read some of these . . . 😉

  5. Tuija says:

    Tim, how do you come up with these things? So funny! And the contributions of Jeannie and Mary Anne, too. 🙂
    Now how about:
    “The Top One Thousand Household Management Tips” by Lady Catherine de Bourgh. In this book, Lady Catherine reveals the one and only correct way to raise poultry, serve a joint of meat or construct shelves in a closet – and much, much (MUCH) more.
    For a super deal, buy now and get a complimentary copy of “The Collected Sermons of Mr Collins”.

    • Tim says:

      I think if you don’t order Lacy C’s guide for homemakers, they punish you by sending you TWO copies of Mr. Collins’s sermons!

      • Mary Anne says:

        Or you could order Everything Mr. Collins Knows About Women and get a great deal on totally blank book . . . 😉

        • Tim says:

          How about “Mr. Collins’s Guide to the Perfect Marriage Proposal”? Verbose, but empty nonetheless.

  6. Aimee Byrd says:

    I’m not clever enough for this blog post, but I would totally read Julius’s Caeser! Tehee.

  7. I’m with Amy… I have to say I favour “Green Eggs and Hamlet”.
    Thanks so much Tim and all. A bright note to a busy day.

  8. I don’t believe in banning books but if I did I would add Fifty Shades of Grey to the list.

  9. Adriana says:

    How did I miss this party back in May? Wow — these are brilliant! Thanks for linking it to FB today, Tim.

  10. Pingback: Books I’d Ban – volume 2 | Tim's Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another

  11. caramac54 says:

    Wah- wahhhhhhhhh. Jane Air. Will Jane’s incredible superhero flight powers catch air in order to save the day against the foreboding Mr. Rochester?

  12. Pingback: Breakfast Blend 11.27.14 |

Talk to me (or don't)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.