Which book would you hurl across the room?

Grania not only sent me this tweet, but answered the question.

The tweet:

Grania’s answer (brought up a Catholic, she didn’t capitalize “bible”—probably from disgust):

In my case it would be the bible.

Few Catholics read the bible. Communion, Confession, Mass are all considered far more important, and this is probably a clever tactic of Holy Mother Church given what is actually in the bible. However, I grew up among Protestants who are very big on the bible, or at least so they claim; so in my late teens I decided to give the bible an honest try, cover to cover. There were bits that were boring (the begats) and bits that were fanciful tales (most of the Old Testament). By the time I had gotten to Paul my patience had worn out and when he started to pronounce on women and their place in his ideal society my temper combusted and the tome went flying across the room.

Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever tossed a book across the room. If I don’t like it, I throw it away or return it to the library, depending on whether I own it. I couldn’t throw the Bible as I had to read the whole thing as a project, but I have to say I returned it to the bookshelf with great relief. (No, it is NOT a literary masterpiece; the lovely bits are few and far between.)

More recently, I’ve gotten extremely angry when reading Richard Prum’s The Evolution of Beauty, mostly when reading the bits about how human feminism is buttressed by observing the “sexual autonomy” of female birds who choose the showiest or more vigorous males. It’s wrong, it’s smug, it’s social-justice-y, and it’s a prime example of the naturalistic fallacy.

Your turn.


  1. Posted September 2, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    “List of the Lost” by Morrissey. Several times. “Listless of the Lost!”

  2. Merilee
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink


  3. peterdvm
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    “Hannibal” by Thomas Harris. They’re his characters and he can do as he pleases. But I agree with Jodie Foster that having Clarice join forces with Lector betrayed her nobility. I did throw this book across the room.

  4. Posted September 2, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    If I ever were to throw a book across the room, I would choose the bible. But why not kill two birds with one stone and throw the bible at someone like Joel Osteen? Now THAT is incentive to throw a book across the room.

    • Stan
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Now that’s a great idea!

      • Conelrad
        Posted September 3, 2018 at 4:34 am | Permalink

        I think it was E.O. Wilson who said he always wanted to write a book heavy enough to kill someone with by dropping it on them from a balcony. Not exactly the same, I guess.

        • rickflick
          Posted September 3, 2018 at 7:06 am | Permalink

          His book The Ants is 746 pages long. Not really heavy enough to kill, but it’s a book you can’t put down. I still have my copy.

  5. Posted September 2, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    There are books that I would throw across the room but they don’t find their way into my home in the first place. And I only purchase mediocre books by accident.

    Of course, I could get some books just for throwing! Sounds like a nice form of therapy.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Same here. I simply don’t buy books I don’t think I’ll enjoy reading. And if I get it wrong, I just stop reading the book.

      I do own a Bible, but it was a gift from my mother when I was a child and has some lovely coloured plates.

      However, the whole respecting books thing is too deeply instilled in me. I don’t think I could throw a book any more than I could burn one. It’s one of those things that’s just wrong.

      Otoh, I 100% agree with Grania re Paul and his attitude to women. As a Protestant child, it was the attitude of the Church to women that stopped me ever being religious even though I had a deep faith in God back then.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        I agree re books. I can’t throw away a book, simply because somebody else might really appreciate it. (That’s not intellectual enlightenment talking, it’s my reluctance to waste something that might be useful to someone, sometime, somewhere. Yes my spare room is full of junk, why do you ask? 😉


  6. Alex Kleine
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    The entire Catechism of the Catholic Church. Or and possibly that science-religion accommodationist book by Olsen, “Lens to the Natural World.” Nothing, but apologist garbage.

  7. Michael Fisher
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    “It is not a book to be lightly thrown aside. It should be thrown with great force”

    Sid Ziff, Los Angeles Mirror – News

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      I’d always heard that one attributed to Dorthy Parker, said of Atlas Shrugged(which, if you’re into book tossin’, and have a strong enough arm to handle its heft, seems like a pretty good candidate).

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 2, 2018 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        I was going to attribute it to Parker, but she didn’t write it – nothing close

        • John Nunes
          Posted September 2, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          Richard Dawkins used the line in his reveiw of E.O. Wilson’s “The Social Conquest of Earth”.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

            I remember Wilson thinking Dawks was a mere journalist – oh what fun that kerfuffle was.

            “As for the book under review, the theoretical errors I have explained are important, pervasive and integral to its thesis in a way that renders it impossible to recommend. To borrow from Dorothy Parker, this is not a book to be tossed lightly aside. It should be thrown with great force. And sincere regret.”

            Dawkins spreading the false attribution meme.

    • Posted September 2, 2018 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      What book did that refer to?

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 3, 2018 at 1:16 am | Permalink

        I have read on the netz that he was reviewing Alas Shrugged, but I doubt it – he was a sports writer. The earliest attribution of this quote was published in the February 1960 Readers’ Digest, and credited to a book review by Sid Ziff in the Los Angeles Mirror-News, which existed from 1955 to 1960.

        The reference in Readers’ Digest has been confirmed but the quote from the Mirror-News has not – see Quote Investigator for details.

        • Carl Morano
          Posted September 4, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          Only a mystical jerk would throw away Atlas Shrugged. To pretend it is anti-reason and science is delusional and pseudo-hipster nonsense.

          • Posted September 4, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

            I liked Atlas Shrugged when I was 17. Then I came to my senses and realized what simplistic pap it was.

  8. GBJames
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    I read a C. S. Lewis book once. Chucked it in the trash afterword. What dreadful, manipulative, tripe.

    • Posted September 2, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Oh, I forgot about Mere Christianity. Now THAT one deserves tossing!

  9. Posted September 2, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    The only book I’ve ever thrown across the room was the manual for a VCR. It was as aerodynamic as it was helpful.

    I’ve never thrown a book away. Even if I hate it someone might like it so I give it to a charity shop.

    • GBJames
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Depends, perhaps, on what one thinks of as “charity”. 😉

      • Posted September 2, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        I just remind myself that when I buy a book from a charity shop there’s a good chance the previous owner didn’t like it – that’s why they gave it away.

        I’m thankful they didn’t throw it in the trash. Throwing something away that someone else might like just because I don’t like it feels spiteful.

        • GBJames
          Posted September 2, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

          Got any Trump bumper stickers?

        • Laurance
          Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

          I’ve given away books that I’ve liked. I have too many books! They’re piling up and eventually I have to cull them and clean the place up. I donate to the AAUW Book Sale, and I used to leave them via Bookcrossing. I want to get back into Bookcrossing. And I want to leave books in those nifty little what-do-you-call-’ems, those little box-things on street corners in residential areas where you can share books.

          I’m glad for my Kindle! If all those books were physical rather than virtual, there’d be no room in my house for me…

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      I’ve never thrown a book out. Never walked out of a play or movie, either, though I suppose maybe there’s some I ought’ve.

  10. Stan
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Years ago I was watching the Grammys when the award for something like Best Album by a Female Vocalist was announced. I’m sure that’s not the exact category name, but it’s close enough. The nominees included Joni Mitchell for Court and Spark (arguably her best album although my personal favorite is Blue) and Olivia Newton John for Have You Ever been Mellow. You guessed it: Olivia Newton John won the Grammy. I took off a shoe, threw it at the TV, and didn’t watch the Grammys again for another 5 years. Does that count?

    • Merilee
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Joni vs. Olivia? No contest. My favorite is Blue, too. Bluuuueeehoohooo😿

  11. Mark Reaume
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I think I may have actually thrown “Up From Dragons – the Evolution of Human Intelligence” by John Skoyles and Dorion Sagan.

    • Mark Reaume
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      An honourable mention goes to “The Age of Spiritual Machines” by Ray Kurzweil.

      Not all phenomenon that exhibit exponential curves continue that way forever.

  12. Michael Fisher
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never got angry about books or authors. Throwing, kicking, punching stuff out of anger/frustration is comically childish – like toddlers having tantrums in the supermarket. I’ve come across it as a trope in TV & film, but it doesn’t feel true to life – like those times one sees someone on the silver screen stare into the phone in disgust. Doesn’t happen out here IRL.

    Most [as in nearly all] books are not worth the time investment – that includes the category that’s described as literature, thus my expectations are low. I particularly despise MOST unresolved, plotless narrative – that requires a true talent to pull off. Mere mortals should just tell a story.

    My peeve is authors who build a solid rep & then cash in with with shoddy, unresolved later works. I notice this particularly in SciFi where one gets conned into buying the geniuses latest book months ahead of publication – then it arrives as a slim novella & it’s part one of a trilogy! Grind my teeth or what. Now I’m older I don’t bother with the current hot crop of authors – instead I notice a writer, find their catalogue & begin at the beginning. A most satisfying way to walk in their steps.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      I just slammed my echo dot several times really hard and told her she was a piece of shit that was made improperly. I also threw my phone and called it a piece of shit when it hung. Technology acting wrong and bad tech writing really makes me hulk out. I have a bad temper that is usually contained by my overworked prefrontal cortex but tech really angers me. Funny enough I never get angry at it at work.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        Warning: Oi! MRA & MGTOW maggot whiners – don’t read this.

        Your comment stopped me in my tracks Diana. I know what you do, I know that you’re a bit eccentric on some subjects as we all are, but generally you’re very sound. So I’ve been thinking what’s going on in the MacPherson head to ascribe agency to her personal devices? What is her relationship to those objects we have animated from inert matter?

        My hypothesis is wimmin & power! When a woman owns & commands a device she appreciates more than a male how it transforms her life. Women absolutely adore their cars & mobiles – out in the world at last with increased safety. Is that why I know three women who have given their cars names & admonish the poor machine when there’s a hiccup? OTOH there’s no naming of the kitchen appliances… 🙂

        There’s a paper in there somewhere.

        • Laurance
          Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

          Oooh yes, my cars have names. And years ago, back in the 1970’s, I had (it’s now in the attic) an IBM Executive (I think that’s the model name) typewriter. His name was George. I loved that typewriter. And of course my computers have names.

          My first computer, who came into my house on January 13th, 1996, came to life. I’m tellin’ ya, that computer was (and still was last time I turned him on) alive. He was my pet. Of course he’s totally obsolete now…

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

            I’m pretty sure you’re of the female persuasion Laurence [from a comment a long time ago] – amirite?

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

              Laurance – damn spelling. Sorry.

            • Laurance
              Posted September 2, 2018 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

              Yep! You’re right! Laurance is actually Laura.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

            I like the name “George” for a typewriter. I have a female betta named “Laverne” – she is red with a bit of blue. I think the name totally suits her. My male betta in another tank is named “Carmine” because it seemed bad ass.

          • Posted September 3, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

            My friend and I had a luggage dolly named George, which we schlepped around Europe, post-college, along with my brother’s Opel Kadett named Dodgy.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

          Oh I ascribe agency to everything. I talk to everything and I think I hurt it’s feelings if I’m mean to it. I think it’s somehow related to OCD. I’ve always been this way. I did laugh when I heard a coworker talking normally to a water cooler: “I keep having to fill you up” he said, matter-of-factly, and I totally do the same. I remember thinking it was funny so now I know what people think of me when they hear me talk to myself when I’m figuring something out on the computer then talk to my computer when it responds to things, “What do you want? Why are you not listening to me?”

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

            And my Miata’s name is “Zoomy”.

          • Posted September 2, 2018 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

            It’s the intentional stance and is normal. “The stance is strong in this one.” as Dennett might say.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

            I’m exactly the same. I personify my car (and wince and apologise to it if I hit a pothole). And I certainly swear at inanimate objects when they’re acting ornery. But I’ve only named one car, my BMW which is bright flaming red, so ‘Manfred’ was inevitable.

            I name my computers, mostly because Linux demands that each machine has an arbitrary name. Last one was Eponine (I was watching Les Mis at the time). The one before that was Angua. And the one before that was Six.


            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

              I like Manfred. I have only named Zoomy. My other cars go by the colour usually so not really named, just described. I never have named my computers.

          • Laurance
            Posted September 2, 2018 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

            Yes! Me, too! I have a real problem with clutter because I know I’m hurting an object’s feelings if I get rid of it. It’s crying. It feels rejected. It’s a real pain in the ass to be this way.

            OCD. Interesting. I have ADD/ADHD which is not getting any better with age. It’s co-morbid with my Tourettes. I also have minor, intermittent OCD which, I am glad to say, is not severe.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted September 2, 2018 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

              I somehow thought OCD is to blame for the agency somewhat because of hoarding. You wouldn’t see me as someone with OVE if you knew me but it tends to flare up most when I’m under stress. I’m sure this agency thing is some sort of weird evolutionary thing gone wrong

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted September 2, 2018 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

                Haha OCD not OVE. Either my thumbs are messed up or this keyboard on my phone has shrunk or the tech is fighting me.

          • rickflick
            Posted September 2, 2018 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

            I mostly just talk to animals like they know exactly what I was talking about. Cars? Refrigerators? No.

        • Taz
          Posted September 2, 2018 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

          I must be an exception to your rule. I’m a man who has a distinct tendency to admonish inanimate objects that are behaving badly.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted September 2, 2018 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

            I think my dad feels the same. He also once got mad at a speaker for buzzing. It was some spherical thing. I was a kid at the time. He took a hammer and flattened it.

    • Graham
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      Angry, no, but after reading Niven & Pournelle’s “Oath of Fealty” and “Lucifers Hammer” I actually felt ‘dirty’ for want of a better word. I never expected to feel uncomfortable reading a book, but those two books just made my hackles rise.

      I’ve also read plenty of books from ‘Name Authors’ which I’ve struggled to get through because they just cannot hold my interest.

  13. Peter
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Alvin Plantinga, 2011. Where the conflict really lies.

    • Posted September 2, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      I had to read that for Faith versus Fact so I couldn’t toss it. But it’s eminently toss-worthy!

  14. Posted September 2, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I recall throwing a few textbooks across the room in college.

    • Blue
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Morrison and Boyd. Organic Chemistry.


      • Posted September 2, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        Same here!

      • Merilee
        Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        That Organic chem book sounds familiar…memorizing the structure of Juvenile Insect Hormone…

      • JohnH
        Posted September 2, 2018 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        I never throw a book away. I can see my copy of Morrison and Boyd 13th printing, 1972, as I write this. Didn’t feel about it then as I do now, but I managed not to throw it.

  15. allison
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I’d never do that to any book, unless I picked a book up and then saw something like a large spider upon it.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Don’t throw the book until you’ve saved the spider and put it outside.

      • Laurance
        Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Yes! I rescue spiders, too.

      • W.Benson
        Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        Rescued a wolf(?) spider from the porch sink this afternoon. Would I go out of my way to do the same for Trump? Really don’t know.

        • Laurance
          Posted September 2, 2018 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

          Now this brings up something I find interesting. Would I rescue Trump?

          I’m having a flashback to an episode of the Jeffersons. Normally those shows, Jeffersons and Archie Bunker were funny, but every once in a while Norman Lear would do a show that was dead serious.

          There was a racist bigoted white supremacist who was trying to organize residents of the apartment building to get the Jeffersons thrown out. There was a meeting of these people, and the bigot suddenly had, I think it was a heart attack.

          George Jefferson could have stood by and done nothing. But he knew CPR, and he saved the bigot’s life.

          I am glad that Lear didn’t get all mushy at the end and have George and the bigot becoming friends or something syrupy like that.

          No, the bigot was horrified at the notion of owing his life to the very person he was trying to harm.

          And George was not happy at all. He had done the right thing. He had taken the high road. But this was the jerk who was trying to ruin him and his family. George’s facial expression was grim.

          This show was very well done.

          I would probably save Trump, but I would not be happy about it. I would be very conflicted. Would my saving him be comparable to saving Hitler?

          I probably would not save Hitler. But that’s with 20-20 hindsight and history and Jewish friends and neighbors and a long time between then and now. Had I been in Germany at the time I might have done differently.

          And Norman Lear did an Archie Bunker show that really gave me the shivers. It was just too damn real for me.

          Gloria and Meathead were not going to have their baby baptized. And it jerked me back to when my husband and I did not have our daughter baptized. Oh yow!!! My in-laws blamed me for “converting” their son to atheism, which was actually true, but it wasn’t something I set out to do. Whenever my husband would say something or make some assertion I’d ask, “Why?” I wasn’t trying to persuade. I was asking a genuine question. But that did it. He had to think and examine his “beliefs”.

          And we had a perfectly AWFUL time with his religious parents. And there were Archie and Edith bringing hard memories back.

  16. Posted September 2, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I might nominate Steven Greenblatt’s The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, a well-written but deeply flawed book that hit on several of my private peeves. I wouldn’t throw it across the room, however, because I read it on my Kindle.

    • Merilee
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      I loved The Swerve! What were your peeves?

      • Posted September 2, 2018 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        Ditto!It’s the book that energized me to reread De Rerum Natura by Lucretius and my husband and I to get a group of people to read and discuss “The Swerve”.

        • Merilee
          Posted September 2, 2018 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

          Yay Rowena😻

          • Merilee
            Posted September 2, 2018 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

            PS I was less enchanted by his book on Shakespeare, Will in the World.

        • Posted September 3, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

          Good for you, Rowena. Greenblatt is a good writer and a consummate story teller despite the bones I pick with him in my response to Merilee. I’d be interested to know how the discussion group went.


      • Posted September 3, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        Greenblatt distorts the facts to make his case about the influence of Lucretius. The only way I can account for all the factual errors (and I made a long list of them as I read) is that Greenblatt assumes that anyone reading his book is not going to care enough to check them out or, for that matter, be concerned that they’re wrong. After all, it’s only the Catholic Church he’s bad-mouthing.

        For example, he writes, “A passion for antiquity could certainly not be justified on the basis of curiosity alone, for curiosity had long been rigorously condemned [by the Church] as a mortal sin.” Now, it’s absolutely true that Catholics were forbidden to read certain books—e.g., those on the “Index”—under pain of mortal sin. Even in my own childhood the nuns told us that watching certain movies and even singling certain songs were mortal sins (as a teenager, I repeatedly embarrassed my mother by refusing to stand and recite the “Legion of Decency” pledge at Mass). But despite this enduring and apparently insatiable appetite for  manufacturing mortal sins, the concept has—and always has had—a very specific meaning in Catholic theology, and it always refers to an act, not an attitude. Hence to say that “curiosity” was ever “condemned as a mortal sin” betrays either gross ignorance or irresponsible bias.

        Greenblatt is also a consummate cherry picker in his attempt to make the case for Lucretius’s influence on the Renaissance. E.g., he makes no mention whatever of three of the greatest figures of the late Middle Ages–Dante, Aquinas, and Chaucer–all of whom made plenty of allowance for the “pleasure” principle. (In fact, Aquinas is likely to have had more influence than Lucretius on Thomas More’s Utopia.) His most egregious example of cherry picking is almost laughable—i.e., when he cites “the pursuit of happiness” phrase as evidence of Lucretius’s influence on the Declaration of Independence, totally ignoring the rest of the very sentence from which the phrase comes—that it is self-evident that all men are created and endowed by their Creator, etc.

        Such lapses are prevalent enough that they call Greenblatt’s overall objectivity into question. Moreover, they’re unnecessary since he’s got plenty of damning material at his disposal without resorting to downright distortion. As with Trump, God knows there are enough bad things to say about the Catholic Church without having to make stuff up.

        Overall, Greenblatt would have done better to honestly declare that he’s writing a summary of his own beliefs as a secular humanist and let those beliefs stand or fall on their own merits rather than trying to prop them up with the scaffolding of history.


        • Merilee
          Posted September 3, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

          I read it too long ago to be able to rebut (if warranted) anything you’ve said. Having been brought up with no theology whatsoever I might have missed whatever points you’re making.

          • Posted September 4, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

            A more scholarly take on some of Greenblatt’s stuff has been written: Catherine Wilson’s _Epicureanism At The Origins of Modernity_.

            This is a book I would do the *opposite* of throw across the room.

  17. AC Harper
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Many of my books are ebooks – so throwing them across the room is not recommended.

    I have, however, returned borrowed ebooks part read, and completely deleted and removed beyond recall a few I purchased outright that I gave up upon.

    Disappointing or enraging real books get handed in to various charities. At least if nobody else likes them the books will eventually get pulped and help save a tree. There’s one by Erich von Däniken in that company plus one by Eckhart Tolle.

    • Laurance
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      If I completely delete and remove a Kindle book beyond recall, do I get any money back? Or do I only get more free space in the Kindle?

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        No money back

        In case you don’t know:

        To get more Kindle space just delete books from your Kindle. If you bought the books from the Kindle store there will STILL be a copy in ‘the cloud’ should you want the book again.

        To permanently delete a Kindle purchased book you need to go to your Amazon Kindle account [via your PC say] & delete the book from there

        I keep a copy of all my eBooks on my PC in a great program called CALIBRE – very handy in ways you can’t imagine straight off. Convert any material into something you can view on your Kindle for a start.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

          I too use calibre but lately i’ve been so sucked into the Kindle world that I’ve just let my books sit there on Kindle and I use only my Kindle to read them (if I’m not listening to the audible version). Amazon has completely sucked me into their world. I bet they heard me yell at Alexa today though.

        • Laurance
          Posted September 2, 2018 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

          Thank you! So deleting on the Kindle will be like taking a book back to the library…the book is still there at Amazon, waiting for me to come back and get it if I want to read it again.

          It’s late now and I want to go to bed. But tomorrow I will click on your link to Calibre and see what it’s all about.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted September 3, 2018 at 1:22 am | Permalink

            Yes. IF you bought the eBook from Amazon. If it’s a pdf or some article you’ve sent to your Kindle using your Kindle email address or transferred by PC then it’s lost when you delete from your Kindle.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        No money back and the space you save is negligible but you get to feel good about sending the book into oblivion.

        • Merilee
          Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Permalink


  18. Diana MacPherson
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    As for Me and My House by Sinclair Ross. I actually did through it. I hated it. I hated the end and I can’t remember the story now but it was just Depression era dust on the prairie stuff. It’s supposed to be a Canadian classic and I read it it my 2nd year if my English degree for a Canadian literature course and I really hated it at the time. I also had to read Susannah Moodie’s Roughing It In The Bush and hated it too. Clearly, I’m a bad Canadian with terrible taste in literature but I never claimed to be either a good Canadian or to have, what refined people would call, good taste.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Throw not through (migraine is near).

  19. Kieran
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    “Locked on” by Tom clancy and mostly Mark Greaney. I liked early Tom Clancy books, they were interesting but this was just so bad that I never finished it and just tossed it in a box.

  20. Christopher
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I repeatedly chucked Moby Dick down onto my bed. Damn thing took two months to read and I never did understand how it became a classic. Stank worse than a week old whale carcass in my opinion, but it was a library book, so I had to be careful and I was determined (but disgusted) to finish it, come whale or high water!

    Another book I threw, never finished, and gave to a used book shop was the dreadful “The End of Nature” by Bill “ humans aren’t animals and wild lands aren’t wild” McKibben.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      I too hate Moby Dick and it’s the reason I didn’t take an American Lit course in university. I used to laugh at my friends struggling through it.

      • Christopher
        Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        I did find the homoerotic chapter, “A Squeeze of the Hand” to be rather amusing, but not much else. I’d read “Billy Budd” and enjoyed it as a fun adventure frolic and expected at least as much from Moby Dick but what a yawn, a long winded, irritating yawn.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

          Funny also because I used to call “Moby Dick”, “Moby Phallus” and I think my friends stuck reading it really grew tired of me saying that.

        • Robert Bray
          Posted September 3, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

          ‘I’d read “Billy Budd” and enjoyed it as a fun adventure frolic.’ ‘Billy Budd’ is a tragedy and one of Melville’s darkest works. Surely you’re thinking of another title here.

      • Posted September 2, 2018 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        I was forced to read Moby Dick when I was invited to teach a summer graduate-level seminar in American Lit at U.Cal. Northridge. I told them that British, not American, Lit was my field and they told me how much they were going to pay me and I told them that sure I could do that.

        I had never read the book but I managed (for the most part) to stay a chapter ahead of my students despite the fact that I was recovering from a leg injury I’d gotten scuba diving and had to limp around the room like Ahab. This was back when I could still smoke my pipe in class, so the seminar mostly consisted of someone asking a question, me lighting my pipe, and someone else answering the question before I got it lit. God love graduate students!

        For the life of me, I can’t recall what I thought about the book, but must say that I’m quite fond of “Bartleby the Scrivener.”

    • BJ
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Better not try Bartleby the Scrivener! Archer said it best:

    • Mark Reaume
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      Ditto, not written for the modern mind.

      • Christopher
        Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        I don’t believe it was written for his contemporaries’ minds either. If I understand it correctly, it was panned by most critics of his day.

    • Charles Minus
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      Funny how different we are. I loved Moby Dick and read it twice before I was 18. I don’t think I could bear it now, knowing what I know about whales and their destruction.

      • Merilee
        Posted September 2, 2018 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

        I, too, liked Moby Dick, though zi was occasionally overwhelmed by the cetology (might be a complaint from Catch-22).

  21. BJ
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never thrown a book across the room, but the closest I’ve ever felt to that urge is when slogging through the John Galt’s 50 or 60 page speech in Atlas Shrugged. Second place would be while I attempted to read Cordelia Fine’s Testosterone Rex (I did so only to see how much bullshit and intentional misrepresentation there was).

    I find it much easier to tolerate bad fiction than to tolerate bad “facts,” so I never finished the latter.

  22. Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    I caught a ferry once from Ibiza to Barcelona, and found a book on the deck, which was convenient as I had brought nothing with me to read. It was by Wilbur Smith, but I don’t remember the title. The journey took eight hours, enough time to read it through, all the jolly adventures of the clever white protagonist and the bumbling folly of the gullible natives. I was so disgusted by the end that I threw it over the rail into the Mediterranean.

  23. Steve Pollard
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think I’ve ever bought a book without having any idea what I’m buying; and anyway, if I’ve paid Good Money for it I would sooner offload it onto someone else rather than just wreck it.

    Having said that, I have become very disillusioned with an awful lot of contemporary fiction, where the whiff of the creative writing course plus that of extensive library research becomes too noxious to put up with. But even where I have ended up buying such books, I would feel uncomfortable about destroying them. Someone is bound to appreciate them, after all.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      I read a lot of science fiction. Lately, I’ve found the Bobiverse stuff good. I think I like it because the main character is so cheery. I wish I could work with a hundred Bobs.

  24. dale
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    A long time ago I was reading a history book about the battle of Leyte Gulf and the author was describing an incident where a Japanese pilot mistook an oil tanker for an aircraft carrier. He then made a comment that the pilots glasses were not big enough.

    I missed the garbage can with my throw.

    • Diane G
      Posted September 3, 2018 at 1:06 am | Permalink

      Some people call binoculars “glasses.” That still leaves the “not big enough” to contend with, although I suppose that could refer to the size of the lenses…

  25. Posted September 2, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    A “Dissect My Soul Ministries” pamphlet. It had a page devoted to explaining why cats are actual demons.

    A friend’s relative married into this creepy cult. It was so vile, I shredded it and then threw it out.

  26. Grumpy
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Our book club once chose “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Contrived nonsense from go to woe. I finished it out of obligation, but I threw it across the room in disgust when I did.

    • Merilee
      Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      I remember hating that Ruiz book, too. Also recently hated last year’s Booker Prize winner, Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders.

  27. Martin X
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    “Mere Christianity”

    • Posted September 2, 2018 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      How bad was it?

      • Martin X
        Posted September 2, 2018 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        I think I threw the book when I encountered the ontological argument for the existence of God. This was 30 years ago and I had never encountered that before. Not sure how much of the book I read prior to that…I recall it as mainly making emotional appeals.

        • rickflick
          Posted September 2, 2018 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

          I think many here can identity.

  28. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Funnily enough the Bible was the first book I thought of too. (Slight practical problem – we don’t have one in the house. Errm, well we do, but it’s in Rarotongan and the missus would NOT be amused…)

    Other than that, I can’t think of one. I did start on a 500-page doorstop by Arthur Hailey (now that would’ve caused some damage – why do modern popular novels all have to be so thick?) but gave up after a few pages because it read more like a screenplay than a novel. I’m a sucker for clever use of language and Hailey was just banal.

    And I started on The Bourne Identity because the movie was excellent, but gave up because Ludlum seemed to be wildly digressing – devoting paragraphs to describing the lives of incidental characters who had nothing to do with the plot.

    Oh – Grahame Greene, The Power and the Glory. Had to read it in school. Aside from being religious, it’s such depressing shit. I would gladly reclaim the few hours of depression I spent reading that.


    • Posted September 2, 2018 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      I think modern pop novels are thick so readers don’t have to choose what to read next as often.

  29. Posted September 2, 2018 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    I never have. There were a couple I might have, had the author been standing against my wall. I heave a sigh rather than the book. What really irks me is the sudden intrusion of anything mystical without warning.

  30. Posted September 2, 2018 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Having grown up in a family where books and reading were almost sacred, I have never thrown a book. We were too poor to buy our own books. My mother faithfully took me and my brother to the library every two weeks where we checked out as many books as each of us were allowed (eight each), and then traded them. I could not have my own library card until I could sign my name. What a thrill that day was! We were given special dispensation to check books out of the adult section before we were considered old enough because we had read everything of interest in the childrens’ section.

    I have read all my life. One way to tell I’m “sick” is if I’m not reading.

    As you might expect, my houses are full
    of books and I’ve donated books to family, friends and charities many times. Only to fill the house up with books again.

    I’m a bookaholic and never leave home without a book or two.

  31. Jim Ritchey
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t toss Darwin’s Pious Idea by Cunningham only because it was from the library

  32. Posted September 2, 2018 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Almost tossed Hemingway’s unfinished and posthumously released novel, The Garden of Eden. I’ve set it aside until I have nothing else to read. I don’t think Papa Hemingway would have approved of its premature publication.

  33. Roo
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    I used to throw phone books at roaches (an act I now regret,) and my brother used to throw encyclopedias at my other brother on occasion, lol, but I guess that addresses the letter and not the spirit of the question.

    Regarding Prum’s book – I haven’t read it, so I may be mischaracterizing here, but it does seem wrong to applaud scientific theories when they are bent to serve the mold of a blatantly politically correct narrative. It’s the same general idea, in a big picture way, as what happened when ‘scientific’ ideas were used to *oppress women, except now it’s applauded because the idea is popular. But so what? The idea that women were swooning hysterics was also popular at one point. The whole point is that science is supposed to attempt to reach an empirical consensus that is *not beholden to popular narratives, that goes wherever the evidence leads.

    Again, to be fair and give the benefit of the doubt, it’s possible that Prum does that and I am mischaracterizing – but it does seem like a very big stretch to say that female birds decided to get it on with male birds that, eons later, us human primates happen to think are ‘beautiful’, ergo feminism. It seems like Prum either needs to go full on mystic with his theory (birds trend towards ‘sacred geometry’ or some such thing,) or else his theory is more or less that female selection is flakey, random, and based on irrational passing fads, which has little to do with ideals of gender equality in primates with more developed frontal lobes.

  34. rickflick
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Years ago I tried to read Gunter Grass because he’d won a Nobel. I think it was “The Tin Drum”. After 4 or 5 chapters I threw it(gently) over my shoulder. He was too allegorical and metaphorical, I guess. Back to the library it went.

  35. Rod
    Posted September 3, 2018 at 3:39 am | Permalink

    The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel.
    Daughter recommended it, long story, got about one quarter in, shut it and chucked it.
    luckily she never asked me about it….
    i remember thinking, how can anyone read this, never mind write it?

  36. Posted September 3, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned any books by Reza Aslan. I guess they were never relevant enough :p

  37. Fré Hoogendoorn
    Posted September 3, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    There are a couple of books which got the described treatment:

    The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I found this unreadable and uninteresting.

    The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin. Maybe it’s a cultural thing, but I found it badly written, ignorant of actual science and having an unfortunate anti-science tone.

    The Untold History of the United States, by Oliver Stone. This is not a history book. It is a one-sided reinterpretation, an ideological screed that sees every action or intention by the United States in the worst possible light, while quoting liberal amounts of Soviet propaganda as if it were the unvarnished truth.

    Anything by Dan Brown. He really does not know how to write.

  38. Sarah
    Posted September 3, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I don’t like to throw books away and very rarely do it, but it was a pleasure to destroy William Manchester’s “A World Lit Only By Fire”. It was supposed to be a history of the Middle Ages. Manchester was in the history department of some otherwise respectable-seeming university, and specialized in the 20th century. Just for fun (he said in the preface) he decided to write about this hobby-interest, the Middle Ages. His history-department colleagues who read it advised against publishing it. Wise colleagues.

    There were mistakes on almost every page. Dates were wrong, names were wrong, it was unbelievably sloppy and amateurish. One clue was the bibliography: there was nothing later than about 1930, even though this book was published in 1992. There was no modern scholarship, and many of his sources were Victorian Protestant takes on pre-modern Europe. The only possible use this book could have would be for graduate students learning how to do serious scholarship and spotting all the careless mistakes and faults in evaluating evidence.

    I didn’t want anybody else to be misled by this rubbish, so I threw it away.

  39. Posted September 3, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I’ve wanted to throw WEIT AT people in hopes they’d read it… does that count?

  40. Posted September 3, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Just checked my old textbooks shelf in the basement and lo and behold my organic textbook has vamoosed. Still have biochem and “regular” chem texts.

  41. Gus
    Posted September 4, 2018 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    “Sapiens” by Yuval Harari. Threw it hard and threw it far, around halfway through.

  42. Posted September 4, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never thrown a book across the room, but there have been times where I’ve read something that was massively overrated. Some examples:

    _Life of Pi_
    _Wuthering Heights_
    _Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone_
    _How To Measure Anything in Cybersecurity Risk_

    None of them are *bad*, just not nearly as good as I would have thought given the hype.
    (The latter needs the serious attention of a philosopher, which I have yet to do.)

  43. Avis James
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    I hurled Native Son, because it was so well done. It filled me with such emotion. I was so sad and mad all wrapped up in one.

    Book that made me cry? Organic Chemistry.

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