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Tuesday Top Ten

tuesday top ten

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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:

  1. 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?
  2. Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes – I know it won the Booker Prize, but I just couldn’t make myself care.
  3. Appointment in Samara by John O’Hara – For me, awful and boring, I don’t care if it’s considered a classic.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.



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