Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday # 2

This Top Ten Tuesday list comes to you from me, the idea is courtesy of The Broke and The Bookish, if you'd like to find out more, click here.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is:  Top ten books I liked more or less than I thought I would.

I could possibly come up with 10 of each, but decided to keep strictly to the limit of 10 books, and so here are six books I liked more and four I liked less than I was anticipating. Sorry for the uneven split, it's just the way it worked out.

The 'More' list first....

1. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. You're going to see this a lot on my Favourites list, as it's FAB! This was a recommendation from my Book Spa at Mr B's, and it sounded good, but I don't really consider myself a fantasy fan, so I wasn't sure if I would really take to it. I LOVED IT!!! It far surpassed all expectations, and to slightly misquote Locke himself "It's so much f***ing fun!". My review can be found here.
2. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier. I had tried to read Rebecca and had failed miserably, so when this came up as a book club choice I was not holding out much hope. But I devoured it almost whole. This was the first time I remember reading about a character I detested but still loved their story. There was a lot of debate in the club about Rachel, and even more than a year later I still am not decided if she was an evil conniving calculating bitch or not. I want to see the best in her, but she doesn't make it easy.
3. The Collector by John Fowles. Another book club book, one I wasn't sure I would like, but it was really good. Very unsettling, well written, and one of these days I will read some more of his work.
4. Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote. This is a hard one to place. I thought I wouldn't enjoy it as I find the film (and Holly) vain, irritating, frustrating, meaningless, and the book is just like it. Some of the time I do think I didn't enjoy it, but actually when I analyse how I think about it, it's a really good book. I might want to strangle Holly Golightly, slap some sense into her, but I also can't help but think she's a wonderful character. My review can be found here.
5. A Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine. Yet another book club read I was not expecting to like, but it gets you and teases you, and by the end you're hooked. Another one of those books that leaves you wondering about the characters and their motivations. It's incredibly well written, and we discussed it at length and still no closer to a conclusion. My review can be found here.
6. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. Possibly the best book I've ever read!!  Who could have anticipated that? I'd heard it was good, I'd seen it recommended, lots of positive reviews but I had no idea it would affect me the way that it did. It's pure magic.  I recommended it to the book club, and it was the only book we've read that everyone finished and everyone loved.  The first book I suggested was not well received, so when everyone liked this I felt like I'd earned my place again.

The 'Less' list:

1. Two Caravans by Marina Lewycka. The book club seems to be a recurring thing (and we're not done yet). It came up because nearly everyone had enjoyed the Tractors in Ukrainian book and thought they'd give this one a try. I tried, I really did. I didn't get far though. I don't think I read more than 2 or 3 pages at a time, and I wasn't keen on the style, and then the dog appeared in the story, and apparently it was a good idea to list the dogs thoughts, in CAPS, and I totally lost interest. We read this one the month after The Book Thief, and the result could not have been more different. Not many finished it, and everyone hated it. Bad, just. Bad!

2. Our Man In Havana by Graham Greene. Not a bad book at all, but a victim of hype I'm afraid. I've heard so many good things about Graham Greene that I was expecting wonderful things, and it's good, but it's not as good as I'd hoped. My review will be posted after our book club later this week.  Who knows, maybe by then I'll have been converted by my fellow club members.
3. Advent by James Treadwell. Recommended from a favourite bookshop, again it was good, but not as good as I'd hoped, or as good as the raving comments on the back cover. Though there may be mitigating circumstances in that I had to stop reading half way through and then recommence a while later. It seriously broke the flow. My review can be found here.
4. The Jewel In The Crown by Paul Scott. Another book club choice. I was looking forward to it, and what I read of it was good, but way way too much detail to get through for a book club time-sensitive read. Maybe one day.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I had Man in Havana sitting on my shelves for years and I never could bring myself to read it. I finally gave it away. Apparently a good move.

    Here's my Top Ten List of Books I Never Expected to Like.