Worst nonfiction book you ever read?

In terms of style, I’m not sure. In terms of logic? Free to Choose. (I am fond of telling laissez-faire conservatives about the logic textbook I read which used a quote from Free to Choose as an example of what not to do…)

Wait a minute- what am I saying? I’ve read Hal Lindsey’s Satan Is Alive And Well on Planet Earth! That scores major points for both style and logic. (For those who have only read The Late Great Planet Earth, in SIAAWOPL Lindsey takes it for granted that all native African religions are outright Satanism.)


The Hundredth Monkey by Ken Keyes Jr. A small “book” on the dangers of nuclear weapons and power.

Warning signs should have lit up when I noticed that the book title was based on the told to death story of the monkeys and the islands, but still I persisted in actually paying fifty cents for the book. I was the forced to sit through juvenile rants and poems with the occasional picture of a monkeys saying something deeply unprofound. I didn’t actually read the whole thing, but the Amazon entry says it provides a possible connection to the UFO phenomenon.

I disagree with you on the Hal Lindsey, but only because I find paranoiacs and conspiracy theories intrinsically interesting.

Worst? Maybe not, but still pretty darn bad was The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff. His first book The Tao of Pooh was fairly interesting and amusing, as it demonstrated the relationship (at least as the author saw it) between Pooh and Daoism.

In Te, however, Hoff forgets everything he wrote in his first book and goes on a whinging rant against Republicans, teachers, computers, feminists and Christians, that had absolutely nothing to do with either Daoism or Milne’s characters. All in all, I was very disappointed at having wasted my money on this book.


Gee, I Loved the Late Great Planet Earth and all the rest of Lindsey’s books.
The worst one I’ve read, however, was called Fascinating Womanhood by a Helen Someone.
She says the best way to be a woman is to cater to your husbands every need adn want, forgetting all about yourself, cause the woman doesn’t really matter, just the guy. Sigh.

Without a doubt, my vote goes to Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom. Total schlock. Trite. Cliche. Gag.

An interesting side note for those of you who are familiar with the book. This was given to me by a friend of mine who was extremely ill with a rare liver disease at the time. She asked me to read it and tell her what I thought (I read voluminously, and this is a service I don’t mind performing for my friends), because the book had been a gift to her, and she didn’t feel like reading it so she’d take my word for it and have an answer ready when/if the gift-giver ever asked her about it. I thought that giving a book about a dying guy to a possibly-dying woman was in extremely bad taste. Is it just me??

“Sugar Blues” by William Duffy. Pure weapons-grade baloney-um. It’s a pathetic rant against the evils of sugar. It’s hard to know where to start with this . . . work. It’s filled with unatributed quotes, meandering narratives, unsupported conclusions, raving paranoia, and flat-out mis-information. Pathetic.

My employer recently handed out free copies of Who Moved My Cheese?

Only 2 good things about it–it can be read in under an hour, and (for me) I didn’t waste any money on it. The author has taken the rocket-science concept “you’ll be better off if you can deal with change” and padded it to (extremely short) book length.

I was utterly stunned and dumbfounded to see it listed as Amazon’s #1 business bestseller. If this is hot new business thinking, sell your stock now.

Barbara Mandrell’s autobiography, ugh!! I finally gave the book away, I couldn’t bear to have it in the house!! My other books were shunning it. :wink:

The Rules…got it as a birthday present from my well meaning grandmother.

To give the Cliff Notes version…a woman’s only goal is to get married. To reach this goal pretend you are something you’re not.Act like the heroine of a 50’s beach party movie at all times-play stupid and tease that man!

I’m waiting for the sequels…What To Do When Your Husband Sees Your Real Personality, You Trapped the Moron-Now What? and …Then the Drugs Wore Off.

“Takedown.” Very interesting subject matter (he helped with the investigation to nail Kevin Mitnick, notorious hacker), but the writer kept adding in this additional plotline about this sort-of girlfriend he had. I just wanted to find out who his editor was and kick his ass. The book was okay otherwise, but it just ground to an awful halt whenever he’d start talking about that relationship and other interpersonal stuff. shudder

“The Factor” by Bill O’Reilly. I got it as a joke from a friend because he known how much I hate the guy. Anyway, I’m not sure it qualifies as non-fiction cuz I’ve got a feeling that ol’ Bill makes most of that shit up.

hands down Lana Turner’s autobiography. Even with a ghost writer, her self absorbtion came shining through.

For example, she has a child (who was primarily raised by Lanas mom), and it seemed like every 58 pages or so, she’d suddenly remember she had one and would interject a line about how all of these details were irrelevant 'cause it was her daughter that was the main focal point in her life, then go on describing some dress she wore, some man she f***ed etc.

My favorite, however, was when she wanted her mom to move out of her house (and take the daughter with her). according to Lana, she was “too kind hearted” to tell her mom in person she wanted her to move, so instead, she went on a vacation to Mexico, and had her attorney sell the house while she was gone to ‘evict’ mom (and of course, buy her a new one seperate from Lana’s new house). I laughed for days.

I was taking a Intro to PCs course.

We were given The Manuel From Hell.
It was the tech manuel for the computers we were using in the class. This was the only textbook. No glossery. No subject-oriented index. Not organized sequentialy for study purposes. :mad:

The professor was a very experienced tech-head & geek, who knew computers but had never taught a class for beginners before. He couldn’t understand why we dropped out of his class, or why the others all flunked. :rolleyes:

I don’t love my alma mater. Professors like this swine are a big reason why.

I’ve never heard of this one. What was it about?


Bill O’Reilly is a political commentator, a self proclaimed Voice-Of-Reason in America and generally a loud mouthed shnook. He has a prime time daily show called “The O’Reilly Factor” on one of the network channels (can’t remember which). He likes to claim that his show is a “no spin” zone. What her really means is, no spin other than his own.

O’Reilly’s main schtick is to spend at least half his air time bashing the Clintons. Not that there is a lack of stuff about which to criticize the former president and first lady, I just don’t think it’s something to base a career on. The worst thing to happen to Bill’s career will be when the Clintons finally fade from public interest.

More than that, Bill likes to encourage everyone to think for themselves but immediately lapses into his own Catholic-Irish-American-lower-middle-class-root views on a given topic. If you don’t agree with his point of view, then clearly there is something wrong with you. In addition he loves to recite annecdotes at the expense of some famous people he’s met but these seems like thinly veiled disguises to get you to recognize that he rubs elbows with famous people.

In short, the guy is a slick showman but with very little else going for him.

As I’ve discussed recently in other threads, this has to go to Mind Seige by Tim LaHaye, in which he really stretches the description, “non-fiction.”

Look! A secular humanist! Boo!