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--Martin Luther

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Top Ten Tuesdays: Books I Liked MORE/LESS Than I Anticipated

Today I'm doing something a little different and joining up with a reading link-up.  The Broke and the Bookish has a weekly link-up inviting bloggers to list their top ten of something book-related.  This week's topic is books you liked more/less than you thought you would.  I couldn't think of ten of either, so I've divided the list in half.

Books I liked MORE than I anticipated:
Moby Dick by Herman Melville: I bought this for my Kindle on a whim because I thought it was one of those books I just “ought” to read some time, but it was surprisingly interesting. I skimmed through a few of the chapters focusing on whale biology, but I think I learned a lot nonetheless.
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell: Another Kindle purchase. I anticipated liking this book but ended up being unable to put it down. I just loved Margaret Hale and her steely spirit.
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova: I bought this on sale for the title only and it sat on my shelf for years. I finally forced myself to read it before one of my moves, and it was fantastic. I just can't resist a mystery that involves both nerdy scholars combing through archives and train travel through Eastern Europe.
The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis: My mom lent this to me and I had no expectations about it, but it turned out to be laugh-out-loud funny. Probably most entertaining to Canadians with some knowledge of the political system.
The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer: I read these because the girls at youth group were so obsessed, I had to see what the fuss was all about. They are certainly not the best books I've ever read, but did hold my attention through my vacation.  I even bought the third book at the airport in Honolulu and finished it by the time I got to Toronto.

Books I liked LESS than I anticipated:
2666 by Roberto Bolano: Someone recommended this one to me, but either I'm not intellectual enough or the entire book makes no sense.
Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy: Well, I knew it wasn't supposed to be uplifting, but I enjoyed Far from the Madding Crowd so thought I could handle it. I was wrong. So depressing.
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller: I didn't find this book nearly as hilarious as my colleague promised. Maybe it's military humour?
The Castle by Franz Kafka: One of those books I read in my teens to show how cultured I was. I thought it would fit in with my feelings of teen angst, but instead I got bored.  Maybe I should try it again one of these days...
The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro: Ishiguro is a master of stories where you don't really understand what's going on at first, but they gradually become clearer as you get deep into the story. Except in this one they never get clear. It's like a never-ending series of trippy dreams.

23 comments:

  1. Totally with you on Tess - was glad I was reading it for a book club by the end just to have someplace to vent about it afterward.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I remember describing the book to a colleague, who was like, "Why would you keep reading it if it's so depressing??" Guess I'm a masochist for finishing books that I start!

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  2. I began reading the Twilight series because our three girls were reading it and, like you, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I ended up reading all four books. Definitely not literary masterpieces, but good beach reads.
    While I've read parts of Moby Dick over the years, I'm thinking I should dust it off and give it a go-- cover to cover!

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    1. I was a bit embarrassed to read Twilight, but glad I did in the end.

      To be honest, I think I managed Moby Dick since we were on vacation. It's fun to read about sea travel when you're on a lounge chair gazing into the Caribbean... Hmm, now I want to go back. :-)

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  3. I agree with the Twilight books... not the best written but enjoyable nonetheless. :) I've actually not read any of these, although I did start Catch-22 and Moby Dick once. I couldn't do either of them at the time.

    Brandy @ A Little of the Book Life

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I think Twilight is like the candy of books. It's not good for you, but it's fun once in a while! Catch-22 was recommended by a friend as the funniest book he ever read... I just don't get it. Oh well!

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    2. That's a great way to look at it... candy for your mind. :)

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  4. Funny, I have the Historian on my list too - in my disappointed section! I loved North and South too. Did you see the BBC version?

    You can find me at: http://gwynnethwhite.blogspot.com/
    cheers
    Gwynn

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    1. Thanks for coming by! I still have to see the BBC North and South. It's on my to-watch list for sure.

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  5. I loved the Historian too! Great list.
    New follower
    Beth | The Reading Vixens
    Vixen's Top Ten!

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  6. Great list! There's several of these on my TBR pile.

    New Follower :)

    My TTT

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    1. Thanks! I liked your post too, but I'm having trouble commenting as I don't use Google+. I'm definitely with you on The Hunger Games. I picked it up to skim through as my friend was reading it. All of a sudden I was 50 pages in!

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  7. LOL - I felt the same way about TWILIGHT. When people first started recommended it to me, I was like, "A teenage romance about vampires? Yeah, right." But when I read it, I was totally sucked in (ha ha - vampire pun)! Total surprise.

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    1. You're so right. It's one of those books that sounds ridiculous at first, but once you start you just can't put it down.

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  8. I did not think that I would ever hear anyone say they did not enjoy Catch 22. Its sad. I did Love Twilight though.
    Thank you for dropping by my TTT :)

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    1. You're welcome! I actually did like Catch-22, but from my friend's recommendation I expected it to be uproariously funny. Perhaps it was just my style of humour or the fact that I had trouble laughing when it was such a depressing subject in the end. I did think it was a good book though.

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  9. The Historian sounds like a really interesting read, as soon as I read what you wrote about it I added it to my tbr. Definitely sounds like something I would enjoy.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I hope you like it. I saw it on a couple of peoples' lists of books they expected to like more, so I guess not everyone loves it.

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  10. I thoroughly enjoyed Moby Dick, even the whale biology chapters, but I don't think I would ever read it again.

    I too came to Twilight with low expectations, having decided to read it to see if it was as trashy as I had been led to believe. I found it to be one of those stories which, however bad the writing, are difficult to put down.(I posted about it at length: http://52books.blogspot.com/2010/11/late-to-party-as-usual-discussion-of.html)

    Tess just made me angry and whenever a discussion turns to the biggest jerks in literature, I pitch in with a vote for Angel Clare.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I really enjoy your blog.

      Gosh, yes, Angel Clare made me so angry. I still get mad thinking of him.

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  11. I loved North and South. The miniseries is really good as well.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. I'll definitely try to find the miniseries. Looks like they have it at the library, yay!

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