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The three basic genres (not in order): Fiction, Nonfiction, and Football

The three basic genres (not in order): Fiction, Nonfiction, and Football

First of all, a dysfunctional literate is someone who is perfectly capable of reading high-brow literature but chooses instead to wallow in the muck.  Life is short, and if we’re going to read something, it had better be awesome!

Over the years, I’ve discussed, analyzed, and maligned numerous books and their authors (some unfairly).  Below is a list (always in-progress) of books and authors discussed and reviewed on Dysfunctional Literacy.

Dysfunctional Literacy Index of Books and Authors (alphabetized by author’s last name):

Alger, Horatio J.- Ragged Dick

Battle of the Classics: Moby Dick vs. Ragged Dick

Asimov, Isaac- I, Robot

Best Science Fiction Book Ever! I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

Austen, Jane- Pride and Prejudice

Why Should I Read This? Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Bad Sentences in Classic Literature: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Burroughs, Edgar Rice- John Carter of Mars books/movie

Conan the Barbarian vs. John Carter of Mars

Card, Orson Scott- Ender’s Game

Ender’s Game vs. The Hunger Games vs. A Game of Thrones

Carnegie, Dale- How to Win Friends and Influence People

Is This Self-Help Book Still Relevant? How To Win Friends And Influence People

Carroll, Lewis- Alice in Wonderland

Drugs and Writing: Was Lewis Carroll High when He Wrote Alice in Wonderland?

Collins, Suzanne- The Hunger Games

Ender’s Game vs. The Hunger Games vs. A Game of Thrones

Connelly, Michael- The Fifth Witness

Buried Prey by John Sandford vs. The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly

Cormier, Robert- The Chocolate War

Books That We’ll Keep Forever

Danler, Stephanie- Sweetbitter

New Authors Who Make Way Too Much Money

Diaz, Junot- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

How to Write an Award-Winning Novel starring… The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Dickens, Charles- A Tale of Two Cities

Bad Sentences in Classic Literature: A Tale of Two Cities

Dickens, Charles- Great Expectations

Best Books Ever By Genre!!! Part One

Dumas, Alexandre- The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers and… Charlie Sheen?

Egan, Jennifer- A Visit from the Goon Squad

How to Write an Award-Winning Novel starring… The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Faulkner, William- The Sound and the Fury

Books That Make Readers Feel Stupid

Franco, James- Actors Anonymous, Palo Alto

The Best and Worst of Celebrity Books

Franzen, Jonathan- The Chipotle Paper Bag Essay

Franzen, Jonathan- The Corrections

Books That Make Readers Feel Stupid

Gladwell, Malcolm- David and Goliath

Punishment Books

Goldman, William- The Princess Bride, Marathon Man

The Princess Bride vs. Marathon Man

Grafton, Sue- Kinse Millhone series

Sue Grafton’s A- Z Books and Authors Who Write Too Many Novels

Green, John- The Fault in our Stars

Great Books That Could Use A Rewrite

YA Lit Shaming

Grisham, John- A Time to Kill

A Time To Kill vs. To Kill A Mockingbird

Hawthorne, Nathaniel- The Scarlet Letter

Bad Sentences in Classic Literature: The Scarlet Letter

Henry, O. – The Ransom of Red Chief

The Worst Short Story Ever!- “The Ransom of Red Chief” by O. Henry

Hinton, S.E.- The Outsiders

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton: The Best YA Novel Ever!

Homer- The Iliad

The Iliad- Greek Mythology and Prophylactics Meet for the First Time

Howard, Robert E.- Conan the Barbarian books/stories

Conan the Barbarian vs. John Carter of Mars

Hugo, Victor- Les Miserables

Book Titles That Get Mispronounced: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Joyce, James- Finnegans Wake

Books That Make Readers Feel Stupid

Joyce, James- Ulysses

Why Should I Read This? Ulysses by James Joyce

King, Stephen- Different Seasons

Thank You, Stephen King!

King, Stephen- On Writing

Stephen King vs. the Adverb

King, Stephen- The Shining

Stephen King vs. the Adverb

Lee, Harper- Go Set a Watchman

Books that Make Readers Angry

Does This Book Need A Sequel? To Kill A Mockingbird

Lee, Harper- To Kill a Mockingbird

A Time To Kill vs. To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird vs. Aaron Sorkin

Lowry, Lois- The Giver

Books that Make Readers Angry

Martin, George R.R.- Should Readers Be Angry at George R.R. Martin?

Martin, George R.R.- Game of Thrones

5 Lessons Learned from Watching ‘Game of Thrones’

McCarthy, Cormac- The Road

How to Write an Award-Winning Novel starring… The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

McMurtry, Larry- Streets of Laredo

Books that Make Readers Angry

Melville, Hermann- Moby Dick

Bad Sentences in Classic Literature: Moby Dick

Battle of the Classics: Moby Dick vs. Ragged Dick

Nabokov, Vladimir- Lolita

Books Too Embarrassing To Read In Public

Patterson, James- Best James Patterson Jokes Ever!

Poe, Edgar Allan- Was Edgar Allan Poe Really That Weird?

Poe, Edgar Allan- The Raven

“The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe vs. The Raven: the movie vs. That’s So Raven by Disney

Remarque, Erich Maria- All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front- Great Novel from a Stupid War

Rowling, J.K. – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Bad Sentences in Classic Literature: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Salinger, JD- The Catcher in the Rye- Salinger

Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain vs. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Punching Out Holden Caulfield

Sandford, John- Prey series

Buried Prey by John Sandford vs. The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly

Silverstein, Shel- Uncle Shelby’s A, B, Z Book

The Best Children’s Book Ever!

Stoker, Bram- Dracula

Dracula by Bram Stoker- The Best Vampire Book Ever!

Sweeney, Cynthia D’Aprix- The Nest

New Authors Who Make Way Too Much Money


Here is a brief explanation of each category.

Best Jokes Ever!- That’s kind of self-explanatory.

Dysfunctileaks- A combination of political commentary and a couple old Dysfunctional Grammars that I didn’t get rid of (just to demonstrate what a Dysfunctional Grammar was).

Dysfunctional Book Reviews-The reviews are dysfunctional, not the books.  No, that’s not true.  Some of the reviews are actually pretty good, and the books stink.  I’ll tell you why without spoilers.

Dysfunctional Grammar- Uh, I don’t do Dysfunctional Grammar anymore.  If you’ve ever heard somebody say at the beginning of a brainstorming session that there is no such thing as a bad idea, well, that’s wrong.  Dysfunctional Grammar was a bad idea.  Remember, bad ideas can ruin blogs, get people fired, and destroy lives.

Dysfunctional Literacy: Commentary about important issues about literacy.

Etymology- Every once in a while, I get curious about where a (vulgar) word or expression came from.

Jokes/Generic: Today’s generic joke can be tomorrow’s Best Joke Ever, but most of the time it won’t be.  In fact, some of the older ones are really, really bad.

Literary Combat- Two (or more) books are pitted against each other, but nobody really gets hurt.

Long Story: It’s a serial (without cliffhangers) about an event that made me think about becoming a writer.  “Long Story” later became The Writing Prompt which is on Amazon.  “Long Story” is a little shorter than The Writing Prompt (if that makes sense).

Nice Things: I’m not really comfortable trying to promote my ebook Nice Things on my blog,  but if I don’t do it, nobody else will.

The Literary Girlfriend: It’s my second serial and my first romantic comedy.  It’s about a dysfunctional relationship centered (sometimes) around books, so it’s perfect for this blog.   I’ll probably convert  this into an ebook when I’m done.

If my efforts here can help just one person afflicted with dysfunctional literacy, then it will have been worth it. Please join me on my journey (yeah, this final paragraph was supposed to sound cheesy).


When I was a kid, I got my mouth washed out with soap for saying the word “crap.”

Looking back, that kind of ticks me off because now I know that…

Now available on the Amazon Kindle!

Now available on Amazon!

  1. The term: “dysfunctional” does not easily translate into the English (English) language. In England (England), we can only stand in slack-jawed amazement at the intellectual nuances of Americans like you who speak of “dysfunctional literacy”.

    After 32 years of driving trucks and trying to be a good Dad, I was delighted to find that my 18 year old son was offered a place at Oxford to read English Literature. With some trepidation, I met with the Dean of Faculty and Masters to discuss my son’s prospects.

    Somewhat overcome by the oak paneling and the Dean’s “Darth Vader” cloak and authoritative, crisp responses to my questions, I was finally reassured of his intentions.

    Despite his imposing attire and steely gaze, the man was clearly wearing a pair of Vans trainers. Also, his Head Tutor had an encyclopedic knowledge of Tupak Shakur and had recently completed a year’s study of American Rap Lyrics.

    I kid you not.

    You just gained another follower.

    Big Smiley Face!

  2. Hey, I don’t know if you do blog awards or not, but I’ve enjoyed your blog, so I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. 🙂 If you would like to claim, here is my post:

  3. Thank you for putting a name to my disorder. I’ve had a great deal of formal education and did once suffer through Moby Dick. Now I happily wallow in the worlds of Harry Potter and Sookie Stackhouse and may never read another book written with some deep meaning behind it. I’m glad to have been diagnosed. 🙂

  4. Thanks for stopping by thefirstgates to like a post.

    Your blog title and definition remind me of a friend, a very elegant souther lady with lowbrow tastes in literature. When anyone made a comment she would declare, in her Carolina accent, “I love my trashy novels!” I do too…

  5. Thank you for my laugh of the day! Love your blog.

  6. judy permalink

    I’ve always been proud of the fact my preference is reading first class trash. Is it OK to say I love your blog?

  7. Thanks for your recent likes of my posts. I get readers block on many of the blogs I check out. Not here. Very entertaining stuff.

  8. Hi – just thought I’d let you know that I’ve nominated you for a Versatile Blog Award because I love your blog 🙂 Don’t worry if you don’t want to take part, but wanted to let you know!

  9. Your ideas remind me of that movie ‘A Life Less Ordinary’ when Robert AKA Ewan McGregor tells everyone about the book he’s going to write. Everyone says that it sounds like a trash novel and he tells them that’s the whole point – to write a trashy, airplane novel. Ever since I saw that movie it has been kind of a dream of mine to write a trashy novel. I’m enjoying your blog, keep it up!

  10. I’ve been a dysfunctional literate since I stopped teaching high school English. Too many good medium-brow books out there to spend time on the Moby Dicks.

  11. You got me hooked with your tagline: Just because you CAN read Moby Dick doesn’t mean you should.

  12. Hey thanks for the like-age on my blog! I like the Mark Twain stuff. . .

  13. Hey. Thanks for stopping by and liking my posts. 🙂 I’d have to agree with you – some ‘classics’ are kind of dull. I could never finish A Tale of Two Cities.

    …Ok, actually I couldn’t finish the first page. But I was in seventh grade.

  14. I’m all for the Etymology.

  15. I like your blog, fun but serious in a light way. I know my grammar and literary reading sophistication have fallen…after I finished my BA in English Literature and Language um, over 30 yrs. ago.

    I haven’t read a novel in over the past 5-8 yrs. Just non-fiction.

  16. Hello, my name is Shelina and yes, I’m also a ‘dysfunctional literate,’ and gladly wear the new title.
    I feel that “The Old Man and the Sea should be added to the list of books suffered through in high school. I can’t tell you how many times that book hit the wall. It’s one of the reasons I started writing so young.

  17. Great idea for a blog and I love the name. Thanks for stopping by The Brass Rag. Come back and see us again soon.

  18. Is a coach reading self-help a “dysfunctional literate”? I’ve read a tremendous amount of self-help trash: before engaging in my literary studies (never could get through the whole of Moby Dick) and after giving up my English Lit. M.A. Bad habits die hard. I still enjoy and study books for the “happy few”. I am even working on a program :” Growth through the Canterbury Tales”. No joking.

  19. Thanks for following Kidz Showz! Sounds like you have a good sense of humor! 😀

  20. Entertaining blog you’ve got here. Thanks for checking out mine!

  21. Pretty fun stuff.
    Over at my blog, we tend to take our reading a bit more seriously.

  22. I nominated you for the Epically Awesome Award of Epic Awesomeness. Come read about my adventures accepting it:

  23. You just proved the point I was makiing in the piece you just liked! Great site.

  24. thanks for the visit! If you liked my latest post, i will be posting more soon! so please come and visit again!

  25. Hey, I nominated you for the Liebster Award! Please check out my post for the details:

  26. Hi, thanks for stopping by and liking my post! I sincerely like what you have here. I look forward to reading your posts!

  27. I’d like to nominate you for the Sunshine Award. If you accept, find the details here:

  28. Awesome work…following your blog 🙂

  29. Thanks for dropping by “Honey.” As I read your about page, all I could think about was how dysfunctional could be used to describe my life growing up and yet out of dysunfunctional, here I am, perfect! 🙂 Will be back to have a dig around, But right now, the fish are biting!

  30. Awesome site, man! Totally agree that literature should be cool! I like how you fuse humor and lit. I’m glad I came across this and am following it!

  31. I really enjoy reading your blog posts – I love your style. I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. It’s a ‘pay it forward’ kind of award, showcasing blogs to other bloggers. You say a little about yourself and nominate around 5-7 other blogs you like for the award. You can see how it works on my entry here If you want to join in, just copy the logo to your own post.

  32. Hey Jimmy (if that’s your real name). I had to nominate you for “Most Influential Blogger” because you “influence” me to try to be funny, even though I rarely am. You can nominate me for “Biggest Procrastinator” because I actually did this three days ago, and am just getting around to telling you about it.

  33. I have a dysfunctional book for you to review!!!!!!!!

    Life, Love & Everything

    By yours truly (Philippa Sue Richardson)

  34. Glad I came across your blog…looks like fun! Following…

  35. hey there I just though I would let you know that I nominated you for a very inspiring blogger award check out my post : and keep on being your awesome self

  36. This blog is a hoot. One of my favourites. Much respect.

  37. I totally agree. I was brought up on the likes of Dickens, Jane Austen and Shakespeare, but they just don’t do it for me. I love reading trash!

  38. Really like this blog! I have a weakness for 80’s Glam romance novels. One woman’s trash… another ones treasure! Xx A

  39. Hi! I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. I hope you don’t mind!

  40. Hi, I really enjoy your blog! It puts a smile on my face every time so now I will be following you. Don’t want to miss anything, right. Keep up the good work!

  41. This will be one fun follow.

  42. If you’re up for it, I’ve tagged you to be a part of The Book Blogger Test. Here’s my link for the questions if you’d like to be a part of it –

  43. John Castle permalink

    Great Blog

  44. As someone new the “author” blogging world I have been reviewing blogs….out there! Most bore me, the writing is atrocious (Yes, a world you could probably add to your list of “old” words) and the topics are mundane. Until I came upon yours…Chuckled so hard. Thank you for the reprieve. Keep writing, you do have a gift. You are worthy to follow!

  45. I have nominated you for the lovely blog award.  If you would like to claim this please see my post at ‎ for the details. I have shared your blog with my small list of readers.

  46. You’re very funny. I went to read your “about page” and am having a hard time reading “about you”…I’m thinkin’ maybe I missed something someplace…I’ve always been a “tad slow” at these things…Did I miss something somewhere?? 🙂

  47. I have nominated you for the Liebster award. You can find more information here

  48. Absolutely Awesome! Your blog is great. Keep up the great work! please Visit sometime, too. Thanks!

  49. mbviera permalink

    Hey! I nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award! The details are here:

  50. Hi there, how are you? Just tuned in to some suggested book review blog and decided to give yours a follow. I laughed out loud, I write book reviews sometimes too. If you’d like to return the favor/see what’s up in my world, visit me at Happy 2015!

  51. Hello, my name is Gregory Thomas. 🙂 I’m a writer and poet, and I also write stories as well. I put all of my work on my blog at “” please check them out 🙂 If you like my work, please let as many people know about my blog as you possibly can, thank you very much!


    your friend, Gregory Thomas

  52. Wondering if you consider guest posts?

  53. Hi,

    I truly enjoy reading your blog and have nominated it for The Creative Blogger Award. I sincerely feel your blog deserves this recognition. If you wish to participate, please follow the rules in the link below. Whether or not you choose to participate, I hope you will accept the recognition and my sincerest appreciation.

    Here is the link:

  54. I love your humour 🙂 Great blog!

  55. I love your humor 🙂 Great blog!

  56. NewLibraryGirl permalink

    You’re blog is awesome. I have spent years being harassed by my high brow colleagues who claim that, by reading books with footnotes and bibliographies, they are somehow more intellectual than I am. I, however, stand proud of the fact that I read YA romances, that I haven’t read a book where the protagonist is not a teenager in about four year despite the fact I’m in my 40s. and I refuse to be intimated when I am surrounded by preteens in the YA section of my library. Because of your blog, I finally have a name by which I can call myself: A Dysfunctional Reader. Thank you, author of Dysfunctional Reader. Thank you.

  57. NewLibraryGirl permalink

    BTW, I meant your, and not you’re. See? Dysfunctional.

  58. Hi. I nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award. Here are the details.

  59. Consider yourself loved. I have given you the Sunshine Blogger Award!!!

  60. Hi! Your blog is one of the few that I read regularly. So I would like to nominate you for the Infinity Dreams Award. It is totally up to you whether you’d like to participate or not, so cheers!

  61. No Contact Button? Alrighty then. I am reading “Crap” right now and when I am done I will be reviewing it on my blog. I thought I would ask if you’d like to do an author interview with that?

  62. Hi! Just letting you know I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award

  63. Not sure if you do all these award things (hmmm…that would be a cool topic)…but here it is anyway:
    I’ve nominated you for a Mystery Blogger Award if you would like it.

  64. I actually enjoyed Moby Dick when I was younger, though I’m not sure I’d read it today. Just yesterday, I decided to pass on The Divine Comedy, even though I could read it and would probably enjoy it. My middle-aged reading habits have become desperately perfectionist. No matter what I’m reading, I start thinking that I should be reading something better. Dante would give me a lot of time to lose my concentration in this way; so screw him.

    Gosh, have I developed a short attention span in middle age?

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Bad Sentences in Classic Literature: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens | Dysfunctional Literacy
  2. Mystery Blogger Award from Drew! | Thoughts All Sorts

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