May 28

BTT – Pass the Brain Bleach Please

Booking Through ThursdayThis week’s Booking Through Thursday question:

Is there a book that you wish you could “unread”? One that you disliked so thoroughly you wish you could just forget that you ever read it?

In my wild and crazy youth, I would finish every book I started no matter how badly written or how hackneyed or annoying the storyline. Now that I am more mature (and have far less spare time on my hands), I find myself being far more discriminating in my book selections. As a result, I really haven’t read much in recent years that I would like to erase, simply because I never let it get that far.

The Twyborn Affair by Patrick WhiteIf I had to choose one book, it would probably be Patrick White’s The Twyborn Affair. I read this for a university subject when I was pregnant with my second child. I was already on an emotional rollercoaster (got to love those pregnancy hormones) and the raw emotions and sexual identity and gender confusion/conflict of so many characters in the novel just pushed me over the emotional cliff.

I found myself only able to read a few pages before having to put the book aside to focus on something less heartbreakingly intense. I realise that this probably indicates that the book was well written, but at the time I was traumatised rather than impressed.

I probably wouldn’t still harbour lingering scars if the book had ended differently, but having tenaciously continued through the various traumatic emotional experiences of the central character, I was left feeling less than impressed by the abrupt ending that didn’t even give me the opportunity for even a small degree of emotional closure.

If it were possible to “unread” a book, The Twyborn Affair would be at the top of my list.

Do you have a book you wish you could erase from your memory? Something that still makes you mentally shudder in pain and/or loathing? List your unreading book selections in the comments below and include a link to your Booking Through Thursday post if you have one.

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  1. Rebecca

    I don’t really have a book I wish to unread. I guess I never had one that I had that strong an adverse reaction to. I really loathed a couple, but still I learned something from loathing it, you know what I mean? Here is what I said:


  2. Novroz

    yeaah finally…reading everyone replies made me look like a bad guy coz they kept saying they have no book to be unread…I’m the only one who have… nice to see another person has this answer

  3. The Kool-Aid Mom

    Was the author of said book your professor, perhaps? lol… School is definitely one of those places for bad-book reading, surprisingly. One of the few unfinished books I have was a book I was supposed to read for my college history class.

  4. Violet

    This might have been a book you couldn’t even stop reading as it was for a university subject. I don’t have a book I wish to “unread”

  5. The Social Frog

    I have never heard of the book you listed but I will make sure to stay clear of it,lol.

  6. Yvonne

    I’ve had books I didn’t particularly like and even a couple I didn’t finish (which is rare for me), but none that I wanted to unread.

  7. gautami tripathy

    The Alchemist tops on my list!

    Booking through Unread

  8. jess

    I usually stop reading a book after 100 pages if I don’t like it. But there have been some exceptions — In the Woods by Tana French (hated the ending) and Souvenir by Therese Fowler (had to read for book club).

  9. Missy



  10. GiGi @ Incrementum

    I haven’t heard of this book.
    I guess I’ll make sure it stays off my “To Read” list!

    Happy BTT!
    I played too =0)

  11. Matthew

    I haven’t encountered something that is irredeemably bad. Books that I want to “unread” are ones written by authors whose previous reads I have enjoyed. Sometimes they just have a bad day I guess. I would like to defy time and start over again with another book.

  12. Nithin

    For me, Kingsley Amis’s book Lucky Jim is on top of the list. But even with that one, I’d rather remember the book so I can avoid the author next time.