Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Paula's Top Ten Books She Liked More/Less Than She Thought She Would


For the future Top Ten schedule & how to participate go HERE!


Alright I figured I would split this down the middle and give you guys 5 books I thought I would like and didn't and 5 books I wasn't sure about and ended up really liking. Here it goes:

Books I thought I would like more than I did:

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

I am a huge Neil Gaiman fan and this is often picked as his best novel. But I think this is actually my least favorite books of his. When I finished it I had one of those "what am I missing that everyone else loves" moments.

Timeless by Gail Carriger

I actually just finished this one the other day. It's the last of Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series and I had high hopes- but I felt as though it was not as good as the other books and did not provide a strong ending to the series overall

John Dies at The End by David Wong

Another book I finished recently... it's a speculative fiction book written by the editor of cracked- I had very high hopes for this one. And while it still was good and I did laugh quite a lot- I was expecting a new favorite that I would recommend to all of my friends. Instead just felt meh about it and moved on.

Until I Find You by John Irving

It's painful to have your favorite author on part of a list talking about disappointing books. But I guess Irving can't win over my heart with each book he writes. This book was 800 pages of bad. And it was really painful to read.

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart

I didn't really have any expectations either way when I started this book- but it was one that always appeared on recommendation lists for me. And well even though I had no expectations for it to begin with... It didn't even meet those.

Books I liked more than I thought I would (yay the fun part!):

The Passage by Justin Cronin

I kept seeing this book everywhere and assumed it was an over hyped not actually that great novel. Then I picked up a copy of it for a dollar at a book sale and then it sat on my shelf for another year before I rolled my eyes and picked it up. And then I finished it in 2 days (it's 800 pages) kicked myself forever for letting it go unread that long

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

^ Read and repeat the story from above ^ seriously- this book hooked me from the first sentence. And then it ripped my heart out in the best kind of way. I thought it would be a good book but I was wrong. It was a great book.

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

I accidentally read Fforde's second series before I read his first. And so I didn't quite appreciate how brilliant the Nursery Crimes series was without the context of the Thursday Next books. So this series kept getting recommended to me and I half heartedly picked it up because maybe it would be a light read. OH MY GOSH THURSDAY NEXT AND JASPER FFORDE HAVE TOP SPOTS IN MY HEART. Sorry for the outburst. If you are a lover of books, book related humor, and subtle literary jokes... and you haven't read The Eyre Affair (or any of the Thursday Next Series) I highly HIGHLY suggest you go find those books now.  

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Speaking of Miss Eyre... I might as well mention the actual book. I had to read this book for a college class and I'm not sure what I was expecting. Probably to be bored. But then as I read and analyzed and wrote a paper about it I fell in love with it. Jane is such a spectacular character- in context of the time it was written.. she was fantastically ahead of her time for women. I was expecting boring class assignment book and instead I have now collected 5 copies of it on my bookshelf.

Feed by M.T. Anderson

I know I've mentioned this one before- but I think it works for this TTT as well. When I finished Feed I was not hugely overwhelmed by it. But it's one of those books that works its way into your head. And it has stayed there for years. Whenever I see new and potentially scary advances in technology this book pops into my mind. That's when you know an author has done a great job with a book. And I have developed quite a fondness for it because of that. 

What about you guys??



69 comments:

  1. I love this topic. The only book on your list I've read is Jane Eyre, and I love that book to pieces, but I'm pretty sure I expected to going in!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here. Jane Eyre is wonderful! :)

      Delete
  2. Gaiman's American Gods also made it on my list but it ended up on the other half of this week's topic. In my first read, my thoughts were the same as yours, I couldn't quite understand why people found it so amazing. It took a re-read for me to like it more, the worldbuilding is pretty subtle

    My TTT

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, I haven't read any of these! I do plan on reading Jane Eyre before long, though. Glad to see it pleasantly surprised you as a lot of classics, well...they intimidate me. :/

    I love this week's topic!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was really disappointed into John Irving's book too(but loved the Shteyngart). I hate to say it, but I think his older novels are where it's at.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I LOVE the first four Thursday Next books - and am in awe of Fforde's imagination and creativity. But, I feel like after the fourth book, it starts getting a bit... same-y? Stardust will always be my favourite Neil Gaiman, I think, though I want to reread Neverwhere because I've only got vague memories of it.
    Also this: "even though I had no expectations for it to begin with... It didn't even meet those" is a perfect summation of a number of books I've read. Love it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! It had been a while since reading the bulk of the series, and when One of Our Thursdays is Missing came out, I was so psyched to read it. It definitely didn't have the same punch as the first few, and I couldn't tell if it was because I couldn't remember everything that had happened in the last one or I new what to expect or it was same ol' same ol'.

      If you haven't read The Graveyard Book by Mr. Gaiman, that is my fav. Well, it has to be since it's the only one of his that I've read, but it is so touching and fabulous and grim and everything.

      Delete
    2. I have Jasper Fforde on my list...on the other side. After devouring the Tuesday Next series, I thought his new YA book, The Last Dragonslayer would be on par. I didn't like it and struggled to get through it. Which is funny, because it was just as silly and history-reinventing as Tuesday Next. It just seemed to be too much.

      Delete
  6. Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed Feed. That book is so resonant and powerful. Agree too with Eyre Affair. Jasper Fforde is delightful!

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is my first time to participate in the Top Ten Tuesday. I'm so excited! I hope you enjoy Book Blogzilla! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've never actually picked up American Gods, but I feel like I should. All my fellow Gaiman fans keep telling me to read it and that it's AMAZING. But I really don't know what to expect.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've heard people rave about American Gods maybe I'll pick a different one for my second Gaiman book!

    My Top Ten

    ReplyDelete
  10. This week was a little hard for me - and I couldn't decide whether to do a positive or negative list, so it's a hot mess :)

    Have a terrific Tuesday, here's my TTT post for this week.

    ReplyDelete
  11. How amazing is it when a book you study is actually wonderful?? Very rare. But Jane Eyre definitely fits into that category!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm a huge fan of Neil Gaiman, but I've never managed to get more than a couple of pages into American Gods, so if I ever read I'd probably agree with your assessment here.

    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love it when you find a book great that you have to study! Always a pleasure.

    ReplyDelete
  14. You know, I totally thought I would like Jane Eyre more than I did. I mean it was a classic love story afterall, but it just didn't have the draw for me. It was just too slow. I wish that I loved Jane Eyre as much as you.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks so much for all the reviews.
    I have used your site frequently as a source for books to read.
    Best wishes in all you do.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have American Gods on my list this week too, and for the same reason. For whatever reason, it just didn't work for me, even though I have friends whose book tastes I usually share who love American Gods more than any other Gaiman works. Fun topic -- expectations really can make a big difference. If I don't expect much to begin with and the book ends up being good, it feels like a big win -- but a much anticipated book that's only fair can be so disappointing.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm so glad you mentioned Jasper Fforde and the Eyre Affair. I'm a big fan, and hope to make it to Fforde Ffiesta soon. Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books, and a total surprise how much I enjoyed it. I only read it because of The Eyre Affair. Have you see Jasper Fforde's site The Toad? If you like his humour you'll love his site: http://jasperfforde.com/toad/iphone.html

    ReplyDelete
  18. American Gods left me unsatisfied as well when I read it, but I have been listening to an audio edition and am really enjoying it. A good reader can really make a difference to a story.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Really interesting picks!!! Love the topic!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. American Gods was almost on my list as well. I'm not a big fan of Gaiman in the first place, but people kept telling me this was the best one. I finished it not having any particular negative feelings about it, but also not being particularly moved. :(

    ReplyDelete
  21. I completely agree about American Gods. I don't really get why everyone finds it so great. Sure, it was quite good, but nothing amazing. There are much better Gaiman books. Nice to know I'm not alone in that view! :-)

    I really need to read the Thursday Next books. The Eyre Affair is high on my list!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Feed is high on my TBR list!

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is my first time linking up. I totally agree about Until I Find You. Really head-scratchingly bizarre. I loved Jane Eyre as well! I read it every couple of years and am always blown away by Jane's awesome and character and feistiness.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I kind of felt let down by Timeless too. I loved the first few books in the series but that ending was just odd. I wasn't a huge fan of Etiquette and Espionage either. It was fun but I expected more.

    I love Jane Eyre though at first it took me awhile to get into the story after she left for the school. I actually started reading it when I was in middle school but didn't finish it till after college when I decided to give the book another chance. Now it is one of my favorites :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. This is what I love about the broke and the bookish... all the different people posting means all sorts of different books to wade into. Great list!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Super Sad True Love Storyw as hard for me because I really did like certain aspects of it. I loved the writing style and all the satire but I felt like the story wasn't moving forward as much as a I wanted.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I definitely loved Jane Eyre more than I thought I would. It's a great story.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I still need to read Jane Eyre... It's just I'm scared of reading the middle part where everything goes wrong (this is why I've never watched Moulin Rouge).

    ReplyDelete
  29. This was a fun topic to do! I agree about Jane Eyre, I expected it to be kind of boring and dry, but it wasn't at all. And I totally fell in love with Jane.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Sucks that you didn't like American Gods as much as you expected. I haven't read much Gaiman, but everyone tells me how amazing American Gods is. I wonder if I'd have a similar experience, not liking it as much as I think I will! Too much hype? Are our expectations just too high when a book is praised so much?

    ReplyDelete
  31. American Gods is my favorite Neil Gaiman. I can not say I was so thrilled when I read it, but whenever I think about it I like it more and more. Just loved all that mythology woven into everyday life.
    John Dies at The End by David Wong was a total fail for me. It had funny moments, but usually I found it too gross and bizarre to enjoy it.
    I love Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte too. It's my favorite book by Bronte sisters. :)
    The rest of tMy top ten books that surprised mehe books from you list are still unread by me.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I actually haven't read any of these books, but I'll definitely be reading The Eyre Affair, it sounds charming!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I thought about putting American Gods on my list too, even though I put it down after 50 pages or so. I really wanted to like it, but it just wasn't working.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I thought about putting American Gods on my list as well, even though I put it down after about 50 pages. I really wanted to like it, but it just wasn't working.

    ReplyDelete
  35. My first Top Ten Tuesday - yay!

    I felt the same way about American Gods - I've read it twice in fact, trying to see what it is I'm missing. The Gargoyle and Justin Cronin are on my TBR list, so now I guess I'll bump them up the list :-)

    ReplyDelete
  36. My first Top Ten Tuesday! Answered in both Swedish and English, hope it didn't got too messy. This topic was a lot of fun ^^,

    ReplyDelete
  37. Loved The Gargoyle. Such a unique book. I loved it.

    ReplyDelete
  38. This was a fun one! It's a bummer about John Dies. I was just contemplating that book, but I'll just watch the movie instead. Agree about Jane Eyre!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thanks for sharing your list...I just added The Eyre Affair to my TBR. And Jane Eyre is yet another classic that I have yet to read even though it's been sitting on my shelf for soooo long.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I've been putting off the passage (it's so long!) but maybe now I'll have to actually read it. I have it on audio... but it's so long....

    ReplyDelete
  41. I've never read any of those books, but now I will =)

    ReplyDelete
  42. I loved the Passage as well, what a surprise that one was. American Gods is on my TBR after I heard about it being turned into a series on TV... wanted to read the book before that but we'll see. :) I can't believe I still haven't read Jane Eyre... really need to correct that. lol
    My Top Ten Tuesday!

    ReplyDelete
  43. I'm not a huge Jane Eyre fan (the book -- I like the character) but I do like The Eyre Affair. And I do like The Eyre Affair! Just finished Fforde's The Fourth Bear, which is good but not quite as tightly plotted as the books in the Thursday Next series.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I put The Passage on the other list... I WANT to love it, but it really lost me when it switched to all new characters. I got frustrated and set it aside, and I haven't been back to it. I feel like it's so universally loved, it makes me want to go back and give it another chance. Maybe if I just stuck it out a little longer?

    ReplyDelete
  45. As I long time fan of Jane Eyre, I loved The Eyre Affair and thought it clever and very enjoyable. Glad you got to read them both--they really do go together.

    Great meme, btw. Really enjoying doing these Tuesday posts--thanks for hosting.

    ReplyDelete
  46. YES! I love the Thursday Next novels!! I swear, I almost made the mistake of judging that book by it's cover (because seriously?, it's terrible) but I am SO glad I didn't!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Jane Eyre makes my list, too. Such a pleasant surprise (especially considering that the other two books I had to read for that class were absolutely awful)!

    ReplyDelete
  48. I, too, had a book by one of my favorite authors on my "I didn't like as much as I thought I would list," it's surprising when it happens but as you know it does happen from time to time.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I SO need to read the Thursday Next series! I really liked Fforde's MG/YA The Last Dragonslayer; it was wickedly funny in that slightly dry, somewhat ironic, and decidedly quirky British way.

    As for my list, I think I'm lucky. None of my "disappointing" books was truly awful, though one bordered on it. Most of them were just meh, or even "OK, that was all right" -- but I was expecting or hoping to love them. Maybe I don't have horrible books because I don't finish the really dreadful ones...

    ReplyDelete
  50. I felt the exact same way about both THE PASSAGE and JANE EYRE. Oh, and I really liked THE EYRE AFFAIR, too!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I'm glad to hear that you were pleasantly surprised by The Passage, I'm about to pick it up as one of my next few reads!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Interesting list, though I couldn't disagree more about American Gods. One of my favourite ever books and probably my favourite of all Neil Gaiman's works. I've done my list - I didn't think I'd be able to come up with many but in the end I was running out of slots.

    ReplyDelete
  53. American Gods was a disconnect for me,I loved The Graveyard Book, but haven't been as impressed with the other Neil Gaiman books I've read. I've been wanting to read The Gargoyle!

    ReplyDelete
  54. I love John Irving, but it's good to know which ones of his books I should avoid - I don't have time for an 800+ dud. Thanks for the list!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Oh how I do move some Jane Eyre!! :) I'd like to read The Eyre Affair :)

    ReplyDelete
  56. I enjoyed looking at your list. I have not read any of those books but I may have to look up a few of them. Thank you for hosting this. I am enjoying being a part of it.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I thought about putting Feed on my list. I didn't like it much the first time around, but then I had to read it again for a YA lit class in college and since I understood this time around that it was meant to be satirical (a fact that went completely over Teen Me's head), I was able to appreciate it so much more.

    ReplyDelete
  58. The Eyre Affair sounds great I'll have to check them out.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Sorry first time, didn't mean to do it twice, you can delete the 'KD' one. I'm excited to be a part. I have found some great reads from past TTT's and hope to get a bunch more.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I enjoyed looking at your list. I have not read any of those books but I may have to look up a few of them. Thank you for hosting this. I am enjoying being a part of it.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Late entry! I also loved Jane Eyre, although the third act really lagged for me. I haven't read American Gods yet, but as much as I hate to admit it, Gaiman's writing is very hit-or-miss for me. I still want to try it!

    ReplyDelete
  62. I just found these Top Ten post through a friend and I LOVE this idea. What an awesome Meme. Can't wait to be able to participate. Great Topic :)

    ReplyDelete
  63. Hello! I'm a new book blogger/reviewer from the Philippines who hopes to find new friends (happy nerds) all over the world :) I love this blog, following it already :) Oh and I can't wait to join the next Tuesday's Top Ten!!! :) More power!!! :)

    M x
    http://meggnifique.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails