Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Thought I'd Like More/Less Than I Did

I've decided to jump on board with Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week the topic is: Top Ten Books I Thought I'd Like More/Less Than I Did.

Ok, I'm going to do two lists. Here goes:

Books I thought I'd like more:

1. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness - I did like this one but I didn't love it as much as everyone else seemed to. It was just a tad bit too melodramatic for me to get there. 

2. The Watchtower by Lee Carroll - considering how much I enjoyed the first installment of this trilogy and generally enjoy the books by the Carroll half of this husband and wife team, this was a surprising disappointment. 

3. Abandon by Blake Crouch - the synopsis on this one was definitely intriguing, but the book as a whole just didn't work for me. 

4. House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski - I might get tarred and feathered for this, but I kind of hated this book. It wasn't the quirkiness of it - that was cool - but overall I just did not like the story. Everyone else seems to really like it but I didn't. At all. 

5. The Keep by Jennifer Egan - this is another one that landed on a lot of lists and seemed to be pretty much loved all around, just not by me. On bad days I feel this is a testament to the fact that I may not be smart enough for books like this. In general I just think it wasn't for me.

6. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman - yes, I know. I love this movie. It's one of my favorites. It's also one of the few cases where I have to say that the movie was much better than the book. At least the approach to the story was one I preferred in the movie. I also found the characters in the movie much more endearing.

7. Cloudland by Joseph Olshan - this one sounded like it was right up my alley but turns out it wasn't. Really an outstanding disappointment as a whole. Things I liked about the book took a big backseat to things that didn't work in the book. I felt bad saying I didn't like it, to be honest.

8. Dark Magic by James Swain - yet another that seemed right up my alley but just didn't work for me for a number of reasons.

9. Slights by Kaaron Warren - this was a solid DNF for me. It was just too weird. I struggled and fought through more than half of the book before abandoning it never to return.

10. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells - I don't honestly know if I expected to like this one or not. I think because it was set in Louisiana and so many folks seemed to like it that I thought it was worth a shot. In truth, I didn't like either the book or the movie in the end. 

Books I thought I'd like less:

1. Following Polly by Karen Bergreen - I actually didn't know what to expect from this one and it turned out that I loved it!

2. Whiplash River by Lou Berney - this was another one that I wasn't at all sure what to expect. It was the second in a series, which worried me since I hadn't read the first. Turned out it was quite a fun read. 

3. Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin - this one's probably a surprising inclusion considering I'm such a nerd for the series. The truth of the matter is that I tried to read this book years ago and couldn't get past the first chapter. And now, well... that early attempt just wasn't the right time for me, clearly.

4. Wired by Liz Maverick - I was sent this book as part of a job interview. They said it was a new romance imprint and I immediately worried about how I'd receive the book. Turns out it - and the whole doomed Shomi line - was pretty awesome. 

5. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa - I have a history of being let down by books that have been really hyped up. By the time I came to this one, all three books in the initial series were out and I was certain that I'd be let down. I wasn't! It was fabulous and worth every ounce of hype in my humble opinion. 

6. Black and White by Jackie Kessler & Caitlin Kittredge - so this is another one that I just didn't know what to expect with, mainly because I hadn't heard anything at all about it. It was wonderful, folks, and deserves way more attention than I think it's gotten. 

7. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier - I used to be part of this online book club that sent out samples of a different book each week. I'd come across Daughter and the rest of the Sevenwaters trilogy many times and passed them up based on the synopsis, but the sample intrigued me and I bought the book. I'm so glad that I did. Marillier is excellent and the synopsis of the book just did not do it justice. 

8. The Scent of Shadows by Vicki Pettersson - when the ARC of this book came out, there really wasn't much of a description on it at all. So yet again I had no clue what to expect. It really is the best way to go into a book, though!

9. Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude by Neal Pollack - this one makes the list because I just don't read a whole lot of non-fiction at all. This is a yoga memoir. I laughed so freaking hard while I read this book! I read passages out loud to my husband and raved about this book to anyone who would listen. 

10. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld - I didn't think this would turn out to be  my kind of read. It was another case where the book had generated a massive amount of buzz that I was sure it would turn out to be a disappointment for me. I was actually never planning to read it. I did finally pick it up while shelving one day and after reading a chapter (on the clock!) I decided I had to buy it. It was well worth the buy!


IYamVixen2 said...

I listened to DISCOVERY OF WITCHES. It was good, but not as good as others were making it out to be. I liked ABANDON...freaked me right the heck out.
I have BLACK AND WHITE on Mt Git'r'Read and now need to find it and read it. I love both authors and intrigued by the collaboration. I have THE IRON KING on the WWBL. I loved the entire Zodiac series, especially the first and last one. Such a fab premise. GAME OF THRONES...listened to as my sister sent it to me. I liked it, but don't think as much as everyone else.
A cool Top Ten listing!!

Book Blather said...

I started Deborah Harkness' novel and then it fell by the wayside - reading it felt like work and after considering the page count I just couldn't do it. I LOVE the movie Practical Magic too, and every so often I'll think to myself "I must get the book" - but maybe not, huh? Thanks for the tips!

La Coccinelle said...

I couldn't even finish A Discover of Witches! Did anything ever happen besides the main character continually going to the library to avoid checking out that magic book? I think I got about 100 pages in, and the author kept repeating the same scene... so I gave up.

I read Practical Magic years ago. I remember liking it, but also being struck by how different it was from the movie. I think both the book and the movie have their strong points.

Jenn @ A Glo-Worm Reads said...

All I've read on your list is AGoT and The Iron King, I love both! They're both just so good!!! I have A Discovery of Witches, but haven't read it yet.. :P Great lists!

Carmen B. said...

I haven't read most of the books you listed but I loooove Daughter of the Forest! I read it in German a couple years ago and still think about it every once in a while :) The Iron King didn't blow me away but the sequels were a lot better!
My friend's been urging me to read Discovery of Witches and I'm certainly going to try, but I must admit I'm a bit scared now that you said it's overdramatic because I'm not a drama girl...
Thanks for stopping by my post yesterday!