I am a reader, book lover, and champion for active reading. I love to read books that will take me into different places and make me understand different points of view. My preference is mostly YA, but this is because I am a young individual and it is a genre that speaks to me. I have read a couple of really good Adult fiction books, but they tend to scare me for its content and page length. For the past couple of weeks, I haven't been enjoying any books. A couple of them are for school and it can be hard to enjoy something that is required. It can make people turn off from reading, which is a shame. For those who won't know what books to stay away from, here are three books I have had to suffer from for the past few weeks.
3. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
I really like Jane Austen as a person and an artist. She's a fascinating writer who tries to take down the conventions of her time. I listen to a scripted audio version Northanger Abbey. It is a coming of age story and a Gothic satire about a young woman named Catherine Morland who goes to Bath and gets involved with the drama between two families known as the Tilneys and the Thorpes. I wanted to listen to a story that fits well with the vibe of Dark Academia. It does fit well with that vibe, but only for its second half. I didn't engage with it because I found it boring most of the time. There was nothing in the plot that would make it a parody of all the other Gothic stories similar to Jane Eyre. It would only achieve that until halfway through. I guess I'm not into Jane Austen's work other than Pride and Prejudice.
2. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
The life of John Kennedy Toole is very sad as he was tormented with his sexuality and never got to see this book be published. His mother, Mrs. Toole, campaigned very hard to have her late son's book published. A Confederacy of Dunces did end up getting published in the late 1960s. The problem is this book is very offensive. It is about the misadventures of an obese man named Ignatius J. Reilly, his mother, and other characters. I honestly find A Confederacy of Dunces to be the most offensive book that I have ever read. It has stereotypical LGBTQ+ characters, a couple of female characters who work as strippers in a nightclub, and a black character that suffers systemic racism yet speaks very strangely. Ignatius himself is a horrible main character because he is selfish and arrogant with no character development. In my Literature class, my teacher talks about how this book is meant to be offensive for the sake of comedy. I don't comprehend that kind of logic. I also don't understand the reason behind reading this book in the first place.
1. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
This book and I have a long reading history. When I was in eighth grade, I had to read Lord of the Flies and I hated every single minute of it. It wasn't until high school that I had to read it again. I never actually read it in high school. I only used SparkNotes, which is not something a high school student is meant to do. In my defense, I hated it so much that I didn't want to read it again. It wasn't until this year for my third year of college that I had to actually read it again. For those who are unaware, Lord of the Flies is a British novel about a group of boys who get stranded on a deserted island. They try to work together to get rescued, but things quickly fall apart as the boys give into savagery and toxic masculinity. While the writing style is easy to read, it is a book based on its themes such are nihilism, dehumanization, and the power of the patriarchy. It also punishes good characters while implicitly rewarding characters who do bad things. Like other books mentioned, it is meant to be a critique of a dead genre. It is a fantasy subgenre where British schoolchildren going on magical adventures. For me, it is a book where Golding makes his readers lose faith in humanity after his war experiences in WWII. Lord of the Flies is an inaccurate look at how complicated human beings can be.
Those are the books that I had to read that I have not been enjoying. I do hope to get invested in upcoming books that suit well with my reading tastes. Once the school semester is over me, I can dive headfirst books I have been waiting to get to for a long time.
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