From the Broke and Bookish blog comes today’s top ten!! – 5 books I thought I would like and didn’t, and 5 books that I thought I would hate and liked.
I may not be able to come up with all of each, but it’s an interesting idea, so I am going to attempt to come up with a list. 🙂
Five books I thought I would like and didn’t (like much or like parts of)
Since I’m not a very picky reader, this is a little more difficult for me than it would be for some other people. I am going to modify this a bit.
1) Soulless by Gail Carriger – the first in the Parasol Protectorate series. I have to say that I am really enjoying the book as a whole (and it is currently being read – I’m close to the end but please, no spoilers!! ;)), but some of the parts just seem… overly sexual. I am not a fan of erotic passages in books that were otherwise very enjoyable, but that’s really the only complaint I have about this book.
2) My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara. You’d think that since I am an animal lover, and adore horses of all shapes and sizes, I would enjoy this book… but nope. I can’t even put a finger on why I didn’t like it, but I remember that I couldn’t even get through it when I tried reading it several years ago. I may have to try again at some point, since it’s a classic in its own right, and I may enjoy it more now than I did years ago – who knows.
3) Dune by Frank Herbert. I like the premise of the book, and I understand that it’s a classic sci fi novel, but I have a hard time following the politics in the world that Herbert created. I got about halfway through it before I couldn’t read any more, but I am planning on picking it back up when I have some time to actually dig in and spend time figuring out what exactly happens. I like Herbert’s writing style, though, I will admit.
4) Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey. I read this one with my online book club, and while parts of it were enjoyable, once again, overly erotic parts really ruined the book for me. Erotica has its place in the writing world, but it’s not something I enjoy (obviously) and I also wasn’t expecting it when I read this book. I hadn’t ever heard of Carey’s work before and didn’t know the reputation that her other books have (re: erotica).
5) La’s Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith. I love McCall Smith’s books, and while I really liked this book for the attention to detail that is inherently in all of his books, and while the premise was interesting… the last quarter of the book really dragged. I enjoyed the story for the most part, but the ending was awfully dragged out – as was the beginning – so I felt a little gypped when it came to the actual story of La’s Orchestra. I felt as though McCall Smith could’ve included more story about the orchestra itself (and what he did write was very moving, for me at least) and less introduction and less ending, and the book would’ve been much better.
Five books I thought I would hate but liked
This should be easier. 😉 Maybe… once again, I’m not really a picky reader so I don’t really go into books with the assumption that I will hate them.
1) Dune by Frank Herbert. I know, I know, it’s on both lists – what?! – but it deserves a place here because I avoided reading it for years because I was afraid that I would hate it when family members and my husband have all enjoyed it. When I finally picked up a copy, it was a lot more absorbing than I expected. Although I haven’t finished it yet, I am planning on finishing it when I have the time to get absorbed into a very detailed fantasy world.
2) The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian. This book was read for my IRL book group… it’s about a married couple in their 80s, both with chronic/fatal illnesses (cancer and Alzheimer’s), who go on a road trip. It sounded like an interesting premise, but I was a little put off by the fact that the protagonist was so old – I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to relate to her at all. However, as the book progressed, I became more absorbed in her narration of the story. Definitely a good read. I highly recommend it – it was surprising to see just how well Zadoorian managed to paint the lives of two elderly people when he himself isn’t that old. Also, it was surprising to my group how well he “got into the mind” of a woman, since the book is told from the perspective of Ella (first person).
3) Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. This one was another book that I read for my online book club. It was my introduction to the genre of steampunk, and I have to say, I truly wasn’t expecting to enjoy steampunk as much as I do. It was a bit of a bumpy ride, reading through this book (no pun intended ;)), but the more I read of it, the more I got into the groove of the story and the more absorbed I got in the plights of the main characters. It was definitely a good summer read.
4) Portuguese Irregular Verbs by Alexander McCall Smith. (See? I read a lot of his books. ;)) This book was very different from the other books by McCall Smith that I have read, and I was not prepared for just how different this one would be from his others that I’ve read. Since I come from an academic family, it was interesting to see a humorous perspective on academia from one of my favorite authors. I wasn’t actually sure what to expect when I first started this book – I didn’t expect to hate it, but after the first few pages I wasn’t sure if I would be able to finish it. However, by the end, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
5) Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I thought that this book sounded interesting from the get-go, but I wasn’t sure if I would actually enjoy it since it was on the bestseller list for so long, and often I don’t really adore books that are bestsellers. But this one I truly did enjoy, and I now have the sequel to it, waiting for me to read it. While I didn’t have any huge “Aha!!” moments while reading this one, it was a fun read, and was also fairly thought-provoking.
And there we go!! I actually managed to do the entire top ten. 🙂