@Al Cracka Oh, man, yes! I had a little inspiration from this and wrote a wee bit on my blog about the book, so had a moment to think about it. While admittedly I remember little of what I did read, I am pretty sure the big turn-offs were, one, the science was just too far on the side of "batshit insane" for me to suspend disbelief for even five seconds (at least in Timeline his batshit insane science made sense in the context of the book and the way the time travel functioned), and two, glancing at a few excerpts around the point where I gave up on it, it seems like the book is actually about nothing? I never really remember getting a sense that it had a point of any kind, it just went on and on and on interminably with the insanity and the boring characters. Ugh.
I don't necessarily think I have "better" taste than anyone; I do think I have a better sense of what I like than some people. So I don't cringe at the thought of anything I've read, at least not because I read it. I usually am cringing on behalf of the author.
Take Michael Crichton, for example, mentioned upthread. I have no shame: I love his books, and I own most of them. I know it's not high art, but it is what really got me into reading "adult books" when I was 11, and Timeline is partly to blame for my longtime love of theoretical physics. However, I hated, hated, HATED Prey, and never even finished State of Fear. The place where I left off in the latter book is still marked, seven years later. The experience made me so leery that I still haven't read his last three books despite owning two of them, and that makes me sad.
Douglas Adams is another example, because on average I love the Hitchhiker books, but So Long and Thanks for All the Fish is DREADFUL, and for years I never bothered to read Mostly Harmless because I couldn't make myself finish that book. I am pretty sure I still haven't finished it, but I did finally read Mostly Harmless right before And Another Thing... came out, then read And Another Thing..., so I don't really care if I ever finish it.
nth'ing Goodfellas, I'll watch that anytime. Independence Day -- it is pretty much always on, so it's exactly like having it on DVD, except with commercials and no pause button, because I live in 1960 and don't have a DVR. And anything with David Strathairn in it. LOVE HIM. And also James Bond movies. SyFy (why?) was showing Goldeneye recently and I couldn't not watch it.