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3 Books to (Not) Be Thankful For

Cassandra Neace

Staff Writer

Cassandra Neace is a high school English teacher in Houston. When she's not in the classroom, she reads books and writes about them. She prides herself on her ability to recommend a book for most any occasion. She can be found on Instagram @read_write_make

I’m not writing this so I’ll have an excuse to bash the books I hate. I try to avoid bashing books as a general rule. Every book has a reader – even if it’s just the author’s mom. To each his own. There are a few books, though, that I am eternally grateful that I do not have to read, or re-read, as the case may be.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

I never actually finished this book. I tried to read it. I really did. My English teacher tried to teach it. In the end, we just watched the movie and called it a day. I do not doubt that Melville was a great writer. I can respect his other works. I enjoyed some of it. But I loathe Moby Dick. It is one of those books that could find its way to a dusty shelf somewhere and be forgotten forever (a la Shadow of the Wind), and I would be okay with that.

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

I avoided this book in high school because I was afraid I would be one of those teenagers who read way too much into it. I was in an odd place then. I am in a much better place now, but I continue to avoid the book because I encountered too many teenagers who identified with Holden Caulfield during my time teaching high school. Those were the students that I just could not connect with, no matter how hard I tried. I doubt that I could connect with Holden.

An Exclusive Love: A Memoir by Johanna Adorján

I have a complicated relationship with this book. On the one hand, I really love it. It is well-written. It tells an interesting story. It is not your typical memoir.  It is a memoir about a woman whose grandparents commit suicide, and that hit a little too close to home for me. It took me nearly two months to finish the 185 pages because some parts were just too painful to read. That I felt such a strong connection to the writing is a testament to the quality of the book. I highly recommend the book to most anyone else, but I will never read it again.

Which books are you (not) thankful for?