Anthem: If you want to know what her philosophy is about, read this. It's super short, I think you are done in an hour, and it contains the main ideas of hers. It's really all you need to know, to get a picture of her philosophy. I also think, while there is bad romance, it's probably just badly written, and not horribly disgusting. But it's probably ten years, since I read this one. Due to learning about her on Talking Time, I might add - before I read about her here, I had never heard Rands name.
Atlas Shrugged: Too long, bad characters, but I enjoyed it as a bad dystopia, because I just like the genre, especially when it is about totalitarian governments. The whole "Who is John Galt?" thing is a neat mystery, though, but all the ideas are undercooked. In my damaged head, I can't help but think of it as a very poor version of how something like 1984 could come into being. Again, very poor. If you don't REALLY like totalitarian dystopias, don't read it, it's absolutely not worth it. Just know that the Rands idea of romance is awfully horrible (yes, that horrible), which alone should be enough to make you stop reading. Please don't read this. Aside from everything else, the characters are two-dimensional at best, if that. Every good person is pretty, every bad person is an ugly goblin. The names for the evil laws are laughable (I still remember the "Dog eat Dog" rule). And even aside from The Talk (which was the only part I skipped, because dear god), characters here LOVE to hold long monologues. The ideas are ridiculous, like how Captains of the Industry are the poor victims of the unfairness of Big Government, because Captains of the Industry are, of course, totally fair, and give people who are capable a chance, all the time. Again, please don't read this, it's probably her worst book. If you want a novel that is way too long, just reread Les Miserables, which is at least actually worth it.
The Fountainhead: The only one I didn't read, but a friend tried it. He stopped, because Rands idea of romance is awfully horrible, as bad as in Atlas Shrugged, and is, again, probably reason enough to never touch this thing.
We the Living: Caveat: My knowledge about the time the book plays at is pretty shallow, so maybe a lot of what happens is completely made up. But under the impression that it is mainly based on what Rand has experienced - perfectly honest, I think this is a decent book. No one is called a leech, and while it still contains elements of a soap opera (characters tend to be overdramatic, Rand should have just created a dystopian soap opera, that would have been great, if made tongue-in-cheek), there are true emotions there, that are from an understandable place. It probably has quite a lot autobiographical details in there (but also probably dramatisized, I have no idea how much of what happens, really was a thing, and what is blown up). But in general, it is mainly a critisicm against the way Russia developed into the Soviet Union. It's a bit, since I read the book, but if I remember correctly, it is less about how captains of industry are the real heroes, and more about how the political system developed in a horrible way, and how people suffered under it. It still draws its characters in black and white, and it already has too much of the "if you just work, you will make it", but it seemed to me that the hatred against any kind of help hasn't developed yet. It simply didn't feel that extreme, and in many places, I could really see the place from which a character came from. But, again, it's been some time, and maybe my knowledge of that time period is too restricted, and it is a really bad lie she tells here. I definitely know, that she DID embelish at least one part, to make it more exciting, and the heroine more badass. Also, while the romance is still bad, it's not at the level of horrendous as in the others (I think, at least - again, some time since I read it, so maybe my memory is faulty). Still might be enough, to throw the book into the fire. But if I had to recommend a book from her, than this one. It's certainly the best, or maybe more accurately, her least bad.
I really need to read more about the time period of the creation of the Soviet Union, to actually know how accurate We the Living is. Also, please don't read Atlas Shrugged. When I talked about it, and made fun of it, I seemed to have made it seem interesting, because people mentioned that they were now actually curious (I'm sure no one went through with it).