Reader Voted Books That Should Be Thrown Out of a Moving Car

We came up with a list of The 10 Books Most Likely to Get Thrown Out of a Window for our readers and boy did you respond! The comments on that article are an education in what readers don’t want to see (authors, take notes.)

There were so many good comments that we decided to write another post showcasing the books you lovely readers wanted to hurl out of the closest open window.

*curtain pulls back*

*fanfare from the orchestra*

*house lights dim*

Without further ado; here are the top 14 books BRMW readers would urge their fellow bookworms to steer clear of. (Some ending spoilers possible!)

Tying for the Top Spot:

The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer


With seven different comments, the Twilight Series earned the top spot for vapid teenage-martyr angst, a love triangle (seriously authors, stop it with the love triangles) building a paranormal set of rules, then breaking them, and a build-up to the big fight in the final book that fizzled out into a big let-down.

50 Shades of Grey by EL James


Tying Twilight with seven different commenters all hating on it, 50 Shades of Grey was re-named in the comments as “50 Shades of OMG, did an editor ever look at this manuscript!” (thanks, Kathleen!) Other commenters assure us that there are much better soft porn options out there if that’s the book you’re looking for.

2. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling


Coming in second with three votes, The Casual Vacancy should be thrown out for no character development, zero likable characters, no plot and nothing good to redeem it. Ouch!

3. I Don’t Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson


The two voters for this book said it had a wildly unrealistic, Hallmark movie finish that left them wishing for an ending that wasn’t quite so bright.

4. The Goldfinch, & The Little Friend by Donna Tartt

Two commenters voted to leave The Goldfinch to the mercy of gravity because of its wandering, aimless plot and characters that couldn’t inspire them to care. The Little Friend also rated a mention, putting Donna Tartt fourth on our reader-voted list.

5. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier


Two votes for this one because of the emotional ending that felt like a stab in the back to readers.

6. Angels and Demons, & DaVinci Code by Dan Brown

Dan earned reader enmity with two books for this list. Angels and Demons made one commenter want to throw it out of their morning commute bus, and DaVinci Code angered one with an unrealistic ending that felt tacked on.

7. Feersum Endjin by Iain Banks


Should be tossed because the whole thing is written phonetically. Unless you’re into avant-garde experimental writing, the only thing phonetic spelling will leave you with is a headache.

8. Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby Jr.


One commenter suggested Selby’s book for Frisbee practice because they felt you spent hours of your life struggling through this book just to find out that addiction always wins. The message isn’t lightened with even the tiniest shred of hope.

9. Titus Alone by Mervyn Peake


The fourth book in the Gormenghast series got a vote from one commenter who found it a disappointing end to the books that lacked character development or direction. Basically, as a finale, it was the book equivalent of a sad trombone noise. Authors here’s where you take notes: the last book can make or break your series. But no pressure!

10. A Man in Full, & I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe

Tom’s two books each got a mention for plots full of long, boring, nope.

11. Age of Innocents by Edith Wharton


Made the list for characters that refuse to change, content to stay unhappy forever.

12. Anathem by Neal Stephenson


Rated a toss for world-building that was too obviously just normal things given a quick sci-fi sounding update.

13. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James


Earned one vote from a commenter who felt that 400 pages to follow a character who does not develop or change her situation was 399 pages too many.

14. Jaws by Peter Benchley


The final book on the list ended up there with one commenter vote for too many extraneous side-plots that did nothing for the story. Maybe there was something in what we said about it in 9 Movie Adaptations That Are Worthy of Their Book?

Honorable Mentions

  • Faulkner, or anything written with excessive use of stream of consciousness
  • Anything by Danielle Steel (fair enough)
  • Books by Daphne Du Maurier, because of her endings just . . . end.


8 thoughts on “Reader Voted Books That Should Be Thrown Out of a Moving Car

  1. Surprised that Catcher in the Rye didn’t make your list. Besides just being a horrible piece of dreck that I, and avid reader, couldn’t get past the first couple of pages… making it required reading in high school is a sure way to take away the joy of reading for borderline readers!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have just read a hideous book that definitely should be on this list. Nutshell by Ian McEwan. The whole book is narrated by a foetus!! I found it abominably tortuous turgid torpid tosh!!


  3. I wrote a review of Jaws because it definitely belongs on this list for the ending. Yes, the movie did it very well, and I was excited for the book’s ending (after all the side-plots like you said). I love my books–they’re my friends. But I admit I actually threw this book against the wall and stomped on it a few times after I finished that awful ending. I couldn’t believe it. That’s the only time I’ve ever done that.


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