Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books. And who doesn’t love lists?
So this week’s challenge was to list the top ten books that I almost put down, but didn’t. Here’s the thing – I ALWAYS finish a book once I start it. It’s just a thing with me. I’m not saying that it makes sense when there are so many things I want to read and so few hours in a day free for reading. But once I start a book I’m committed, even if the entire experience is painful. Maybe I keep hoping that it will turn around and it will eventually make sense, or make me care, or touch me in some way. So my list is a little weird this week – books that I almost didn’t pick up at all, and am glad that I did, and books where I stuck it out until the very end, and wish I hadn’t.
Books that I almost didn’t pick up:
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – My favorite book of all time, but for some reason I kept picking it up in the bookstore and putting it back down, not wanting to read yet another book about WWII. Finally, the bibliophile in me won out and I am ever so grateful.
- The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – I have to admit that I was late to the scene on this one, I just didn’t think that a book about magic aimed at kids could be all that wonderful. How happy I am that I was wrong!
- Burial Rites by Hannah Kent – 1800s Iceland? Beheadings? Sounds too awful and too depressing. And it was, but it was beautiful and amazing at the same time.
- Maus I & II by Art Spiegelman – My first real foray into graphic novels, I was amazed by the beauty and storytelling. Graphic novels are definitely not just the comic books of my youth!
- The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert – I did like Eat, Pray, Love in spite of my frustration that most people can’t just run away from their lives and tour the world in search of themselves, but I was unsure of her ability to pull off a fiction book of this magnitude and scope. I was pleasantly surprised.
Books that I wish I had put down:
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – It just didn’t live up to the hype for me and I really disliked every character in the book. Maybe the movie will actually be better? Maybe someone will be likable or sympathetic or not just plain awful or pathetic?
- Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes – I know it won the Booker Prize, but I just couldn’t make myself care.
- Appointment in Samara by John O’Hara – For me, awful and boring, I don’t care if it’s considered a classic.
- Wild by Cheryl Strayed – I wanted to strangle her. Bad decision after stupid decision interspersed with irresponsible and ridiculous behavior, and she gets a book deal and becomes famous?
- In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods by Matt Bell – The strangest story I’ve ever read, and no matter how hard I tried I simply couldn’t make it work for me even if his writing was beautiful.
I very nearly gave up on The Book Thief, but I’m so glad I didn’t!