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9 Book Recommendations For People You Hate


Here’s hoping you don’t really hate anyone.

But let’s assume you have a “strong dislike” for someone in your life. And let’s further assume that this person recently asked you for a book recommendation.

You, the holder of all book-related wisdom, have a decision to make. Do you give them an honest recommendation, or is this your chance for revenge?

If you’d like to give them the old literary screw job, then I’m here to help.

Here are 9 book recommendations for people you hate:

Your annoying mother-in-law who loves light-hearted romances between scantily clad beefcake men and sexually frustrated soccer moms.

Recommendation: Deliverance. Tell her there’s a heated romance scene in the woods that she’ll never forget. She really won’t ever forget it.

Your douche bag brother, the businessman, who is a die-hard capitalist.

Recommendation: The Grapes of Wrath. Tell him it’s a true story based on the Robert Mondavi vineyard in California. Capitalist businessmen love wine. Whatever you do, you must not mention this is a SOCIALIST novel. See if he notices.

Your know-it-all co-worker who “doesn’t have time to read.”

Recommendation: Infinite Jest. Tell him it’s a funny novel about tennis. If he happens to look it up online and questions the length, simply say “Don’t let the page count and the small font fool you. It goes by really fast, like a five set tennis match.”

 Your weepy friend who’s obsessed with all-things-Twilight.

Recommendation: Mrs. Dalloway. Simply say: “It’s short and easy to read, just like Twilight. You can’t read the first page of Mrs. Dalloway without clearly seeing how Stephanie Meyer was HEAVILY influenced by Virginia Woolf. Plus, Mrs. Dalloway is about a party! You’ll love it!”

Your egotistical cousin who always brags about how many books she reads a week.  

Recommendation: A Dance To The Music Of Time. She’s probably never heard of it. Who has other than the guys who picked the books from the Time list? It’s 3,000+ pages and 12 volumes. “You’ll love it, Cousin Sally! I think you could easily read it in a week!”

Your prudish aunt who lectures you about tattoos and piercings at every family get together.

Recommendation: A Clockwork Orange. It’s a heart-warming story about a group of tattoo-free teenagers who take an interest in helping their community. They even have a lovely, inoffensive way of talking to each other.

Your representative/senator in Congress. [Note: This works for politicians of all parties, and in all countries.]

Recommendation: All The King’s Men. This novel is the poster child for corrupt politicians everywhere. If the corrupt politician with questionable moral values in your life hasn’t already read All The King’s Men, it’s time to change that.

Your psychopath ex-girlfriend.

Recommendation: Gone With The Wind. If your annoying ex-girlfriend asks you for help coping with the recent breakup, send Gone With The Wind her way. Attach a note saying, “Read this book. If you ever equal Scarlett O’Hara in craziness, it’ll be an improvement.”

Your psychopath ex-boyfriend.

Recommendation: An American Tragedy. If your annoying ex-boyfriend asks you for help coping with the recent breakup, send An American Tragedy his way. Attach a note saying, “In this book, Clyde Griffiths throws his fiancé overboard on a canoe. You’re lucky we never went on a canoeing trip.”

Once you recommend these books, sit back and enjoy the show.

I’m sure you’ll be hearing from your detestable friend/co-worker/ex-boyfriend soon.

What’s the worst book recommendation you ever received?

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44 Comments Post a comment
  1. Is it terrible to say I’m using this list for my Christmas gift giving?

    November 8, 2013
    • Perfect!

      November 8, 2013
  2. Sot weed factor

    November 8, 2013
  3. Oh no! Someone recommended Infinite Jest to me, and added that I shouldn’t skip the footnotes. I may be a know-it-all, but I have lots of time to read – including the 3 months it took me to get through IJ ;)

    November 8, 2013
  4. Starship Troopers comes to mind, but that’s just a recent one.

    November 8, 2013
  5. I hope you don’t mind me reblogging this on my blog. It’s a great subject and so hilarious. I am trying to think about which books I would recommend to someone I didn’t like. The Boy Who Fell to Earth by Kathy Lette counts high on the list, definitely. And anything by Virginia Woolf.

    November 8, 2013
    • Go for it!

      November 8, 2013
  6. Republicou isso em Curiosidades na internete comentado:
    Add your thoughts here… (optional)

    November 8, 2013
  7. How about “Gone Girl?” This disturbing book was recommended to me by a lovely young lady I sat with at a Sonoma winery wine tasting. After just finishing the book, I think she was having serious doubts about marriage. I’ve been happily married for 41 years and so glad “Gone Girl” was not around when I was contemplating marriage.

    November 8, 2013
  8. That was really funny! Especially Mrs Dalloway reference because I find that book hideous haha. Thank you

    November 8, 2013
  9. American Psycho is another great one to toss around. Yeah, there’s a film adaption, but it’s existence has slowly faded away with the younger generation. But really, some of these books I actually want to read now, is that bad?

    November 8, 2013
    • Not at all! Many of them are actually really good…they just might not work for some literary tastes.

      November 8, 2013
  10. Thanks so much for the laugh! I now have a vivid mental image of my mother-in-law (I don’t actually hate her) reading Deliverance, her head snapping up. “Ooh. Yuck-o.” which is her standard reaction to anything “not nice.”

    People never stop recommending Nicholas Sparks’ books to me. Even when I’ve been very vocal about my feelings for his novels. “But this one is different. I know you’ll like it.”

    November 8, 2013
    • Imagining any middle-aged woman reading Deliverance (or watching it) is frightening.

      November 8, 2013
      • I am beyond middle age. Which means that I saw the movie when it first came out. I would NEVER read the book.

        November 8, 2013
        • Ditto A Clockwork Orange.

          November 8, 2013
  11. hilarious! Thanks for this.

    November 8, 2013
  12. I love this! Such a great post. “Infinite Jest” was infinitely frustrating. I do not know what all the hype was about. You made me laugh. Thank you! Jen

    November 8, 2013
  13. Thanks for the Christmas gift ideas!!!! :)

    November 8, 2013
  14. I strong-armed my partner into reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. She hated it, and now I feel guilty. I thought everyone liked Jane Austen.

    November 8, 2013
  15. Denise #

    The top worst recommendation has got to be The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. My siblings love this series and I made a valiant effort but it’s absolutely the worst drivel I’ve ever suffered through.

    November 8, 2013
  16. Ha! This list made me laugh out loud, especially the A Clockwork Orange recommendation. I think I’ll be using that one this year!

    November 8, 2013
  17. Reblogged this on Letters from the Mezzanine.

    November 8, 2013
  18. Lee #

    Uylesses by James Joyce. I don’t think I’ve ever been so confused in my life.

    November 8, 2013
    • You obviously haven’t read Finnegans Wake…

      November 11, 2013
  19. haha!

    November 8, 2013
  20. I laughed myself silly just from the title. Then the blog got even better. Here’s a few. Naked Lunch for your brother who is always stoned. The Inferno for your accountant. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich for your nephew in prison and remind him how good he has it. There is no tv in Siberian prisons. Midnight Express for the co-worker who is going overseas and is always bragging about what a great time he has while you have to stay home and do his work. And Finnegan’s Wake for that aunt who is always doing crosswords. Tell her it is the ultimate puzzle. But she may just get her revenge. She might just do something academic’s have been trying to do and not succeeding.

    November 8, 2013
  21. aktifistri #

    Hi there! I love this style of wrapping this books recommendation, smart and amazingly creative. While for the content, the 3rd from the bottom is what inspired me the most simply because I just HATE all politician and how they work – well in my homecountry anyway. I feel sooo lucky that I was considerate enough to not jump in right away when I had a big chance to join them (they’re all around me in the circle). As much as I feel lucky I also feel bad for my friends who’s chosen to be politician and seems so proud of doing and being so. :( I wil definitely read ‘All the king’s men’ for my knowledge. And probably recommend it to some of my polticians friends who likes reading – it’s really a good idea, thanks!! :)

    November 8, 2013
  22. Great post! that way you described each book had me laughing out loud. :) Fortunately every recommended book for me turned out to be a good choice.

    November 9, 2013
  23. I think my aunt knows what Clock Work Orange is. She once cave me the entire Left Behind series, to remind me about God and such.

    November 9, 2013
  24. Somebody recently recommended the Night World series to me. It started in the 90’s, still isn’t finished, and likely will never be finished.

    November 9, 2013
  25. Reblogged this on How Not To Suck and commented:
    Here’s how not to suck at getting literary revenge.

    November 9, 2013
  26. Lol like the Clockwork Orange inoffensive language bit. The put-downs in it are brilliant.

    November 9, 2013
  27. Brilliant! Lol

    November 11, 2013
  28. I would say the worst thing anyone ever recommended to me was Twilight, but I never read it…

    November 14, 2013
  29. jennifer morrow #

    The worst recommendation I’ve gotten was someone giving me a Charlaine Harris because she loved it so much. Maybe it’s another one for the list, for the person you want to spend their time questioning everything they thought they knew about you.

    November 15, 2013
  30. Must have this list around for birthdays! ;) Haha. This was a really clever post. Just stumbled across your blog and, being a fellow lover of books, it’s been great! Never stop writing!

    November 18, 2013
  31. Great list! My approach is just to give MY favourite books, as I don’t want to pander to bad taste ;)

    November 29, 2013
  32. This is amazing. Thanks for the very clever ideas :)

    December 27, 2013

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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