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FILE - The Bible. (MGN)

GQ faces backlash over inclusion of Bible in list of '21 Books You Don't Have to Read'

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WASHINGTON (CIRCA) - The Bible isn't required reading -- according to GQ.

The magazine is facing criticism after it included The Good Book in its list of "21 Books You Don't Have to Read" last week.

Compiled by GQ editors, the post laments that "the Great Books" aren't all they're cracked up to be: "Some are racist and some are sexist, but most are just really, really boring."

"Census" author Jesse Ball says the Bible (No. 12 on the list) is highly rated by people who claim to live by it but haven't actually read the tome.

"Those who have read it know there are some good parts, but overall it is certainly not the finest thing that man has ever produced," Ball writes for GQ. "It is repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned."

Christians disagreeing with Ball took to social media to defend the Bible.

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Each of the 21 books on GQ's list includes what people should read instead. Ball suggests "The Notebook" by Agota Kristof in place of the Bible.

Other books GQ says not bother with include "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien, "Dracula" by Bram Stoker, "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger and "The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway.

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