Top Ten Books I Thought I'd Like LESS Than I Did

Tuesday, May 28, 2013



This week's Top Ten from The Broke and the Bookish asks Top Ten Tuesday Freebie: Top Ten Books I Thought I'd Like LESS Than I Did.

1) Case Histories: I was expecting a basic mystery, which I would probably like, but definitely not love. Instead I got a twisty beautifully layered novel with incredible characters.

2) Beat the Reaper: Violence and mob stuff, but it sucked me in and was so well written!

3) City of Thieves: WWII in Russia/buddy comedy, surprisingly violent, but I ended up loving it.

4) The Stand: I always thought I would hate Stephen King’s books. I don’t like horror at all, but I quickly found that the man writes damn good characters!

5) The Happiness Project: I don’t like self-help books of any kind, but this one was so wonderful. I wouldn’t even call it a self-help book, but more of a realistic look at practical ways to improve your everyday life.

6) Moby Dick: An entire book about a giant whale, yuck. But it was funny and deep and more about personal struggles and obstacles than just about fishing.

7) Life is so Good: This nonfiction book tells the story of a man who doesn’t learn to read until he is in his 90s. It’s so full of lovely advice about life that comes from his unique experiences.

8) The Good Women of China by Xinran: Honestly, I read this to fill the X category when I was reading one author for every letter of the alphabet one year. It looked interesting enough, but it ended up being a really powerful book.

9) Hannah Coulter: My very first book by Wendell Barry and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought it might be boring and slow, but it was wonderful.

10) My Life in France: Julia Child was just indescribably lovely. I was completely enamored by her after reading her memoir.


17 comments:

Ellie said...

Case Histories caught me by surprise too. Atkinson has an amazing skill for weaving separate story lines together. I love all the Jackson Brodie novels.

Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

You know what? I actually loathed Moby Dick, and I really, really thought I'd like it. I might review YA, but I love finer literary, as well, and this one just totally didn't measure up for me. It was bland. Great list this week!

Sandy Nawrot said...

I was totally delighted with the wackiness of Beat the Reaper...I have his next one Wild Thing but have heard he has all kinds of hidden agendas in that one so I haven't started it yet. I also loved Case Histories (want to read more of her) and The Stand. Stephen King gets a really bad rap, but he is an amazing storyteller. Simply amazing. If you haven't read (or better listened) to 11/22/63 then you must.

bkclubcare said...

I agree with Moby Dick. It really had some fun moments.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Ellie - I have the second one of my shelf and have been meaning to get to it.

Melissa - Maybe expectations are part of it. It also helped that I read Moby Dick as part of a readalong. I loved seeing everyone else's thoughts on it and it helped keep me motivated to read it all.

Sandy - I heard mixed reviews about Wild Thing too, so I haven't picked it up yet. You're so right about King. I had a very low opinion of him for years and The Stand completely changed that.

bkclubcare - I thought so! I was surprised by the depth of the descriptions too.

Carol Ford said...

Some interesting books on this list. Read my Top Ten here: http://meandu-justthinking.blogspot.ca/2013/05/top-ten-tuesday-2.html

Kristi said...

Yes to Case Histories! I didn't expect to love it nearly as much as I did. I read all four books within a couple weeks and I'm so sad that Kate Atkinson most likely won't return to his story. I want to know what happens next!

Roof Beam Reader said...

"I always thought I would hate Stephen King’s books. I don’t like horror at all, but I quickly found that the man writes damn good characters!"

I had exactly the same experience, and preconceptions! I really don't read "horror" (or even mystery, much), so I didn't think I'd be a fan of King. But I have really enjoyed all of the books I've read by him, so far.

Jenners said...

I felt the same way about Case Histories … but that book got me hooked on Kate Atkinson and I've never looked back.

LBC said...

I love it when people like Moby Dick! I'll admit that there are some parts worthy of struggle, but the book in the end, is so wonderful.

Bybee said...

I struggled mightily against Moby-Dick and Melville for years, but when I was finally ready for the white whale, it was a pleasure and a delightful reading experience.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Kristi - I have been hesitant to read the rest of the series because I loved it so much. I was worried my expectations were too high!

Roofbeam - Isn't it funny how an author's popularity or reputation for a certain genre can taint our whole perception of them!

Jenners - I want to read her new one soon!

LBC - I agree. It gets a bad rap.

Bybee - Ha, me too! There's just something incredibly intimdating about this book.

Kristi said...

Out of all of the Jackson Brodie books, Case Histories was my least favorite. I still enjoyed it though, but it took me a while to get into it.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Kristi - That's actually really good to hear, now I have ones to look forward to!

JoAnn said...

The Good Women of China has been on my wish list for literally years! Glad to hear it will be worth the wait. And I LOVED My Life in France, too.

Nikki Steele @ BookPairing.com said...

I can't say how much I loved The Stand and, like you, never thought I would be a "Stephen King" person. His character development, his huge scope, the impending doom. It was all so very very great.

The Secret History is another book I loved but didn't expect to like. A lot of bloggers were ecstatic about it, but the plot didn't seem like something I'd be interested in. That didn't turn out to be the case...

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

JoAnn - I had really low expectations for that one, but it was really powerful.

Nikki - I'm joining in the #DomeAlong because I'm officially hooked on King's books now!