Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Top 10 Tuesday - Books that I was surprised I liked...in a good way
Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly event that is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is 'Books That Surprised Me (in a good or bad way)', which I am interpreting as 'Books that I was surprised I liked...in a good way'. It's hard for me to think of books that I didn't like because I rarely finish books I'm not enjoying. Life is too short and so is our reading life, right? If you don't like it, D...N...F!! Ha!
I'm dividing this into two sections - more recent surprises and books that surprised me long ago.
1. Dog On It by Spencer Quinn - The first in the Chet and Bernie mystery series, it's told from the viewpoint of Chet - the dog. Yes, we see all the action from Chet's point of view. We read and discussed this one with our mystery group and it went over very well. I'm not so much of a dog person, but I loved this book. Chet would get distracted by smells and pretty much everything.
2. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson - This is non-fiction and I've said I'm not the biggest fan of NF. However, again, we read this in our mystery group. It was really, really interesting. Not only about the Chicago World's Fair, but the man who was murdering young women close by the event.
3. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast - One of the first graphic novels I tried. It's a memoir of Roz Chast's experience with her aging parents, their decline, aging, and the end stages of their lives. Chast was an only child and so she put her journey here. It's sad and funny and emotional. I've lived this book in many ways.
4. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel - This is the first book in The Themis Files and is classified as 'sci-fi', in my opinion. Like Transformers and Optimus Prime meets Iron Man, with a bit of epistolary novel thrown in. I recently talked about waiting for the 3rd book, Only Human. Very interesting story.
5. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett - I'm not sure who suggested I pick up this book, but I'm glad I did. And reading about opera singers and South America and Japanese industrialists and hostage situations - amazingly intriguing. The blurb said it is for literate music lovers. Who knew? I like music, but opera, not so much. Still, a good book.
Surprises From Earlier Years
6. The Mystery of the Haunted Pool by Phyllis A Whitney - I read this book when I was about 8 or 9. I ran out of library books at my grandmother's house and found this one. It belonged to my older cousin. Might have been my first 'real' mystery book. I loved it and it was one of the books that set me on my path to 'read all the mystery/crime/Gothic/horror books'.
7. 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King - My first Stephen King book. Bought it off the paperback rack at a grocery store while I was waiting for my car to be repaired. I was a junior in college and didn't have time for much fiction. However, I think I read all night long. Scared me witless. First experience with vampires. Loved it.
8. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton - I remember choosing this one at the library from the 'New Book' section. I didn't know anything about Crichton at that time, though I had loved The Andromeda Strain movie. After I realized that we were reading about dinosaurs, I told my husband - you have got to read this book. A dinosaur theme park. Quite the fun thing - or not. I was fascinated and knew that many, many people would love this book.
9. The Firm by John Grisham - When I picked this one up in 1991 or so, I told my husband the same thing that I did when I read Jurassic Park - this is going to be BIG. And so it was. Grisham had already written A Time To Kill, but it wasn't very well known. The Firm was his first big hit. And I had never read a legal thriller. I read all of Grisham's books for a long time after that.
10. A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr - As I said, I am not a big non-fiction reader, but I vividly remember reading this book in the mid-'90's. The court case to try to win damages for families of people who had health problems because of chemicals in their water was terrible and gripping. I had not ever read a book like this and couldn't put it down. It was outside my normal reading, but I was glad I tried it.
So, do you have books that surprised you...in a good way? Things I ought to read? Of course you do! Feel free to make suggestions. I'll put them on my list that runs from here to the moon. Probably literally. Ha!
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Always love a book that surprises us. My recent read, The Chalk Man, is such a case. Totally wowed by it. ☺ReplyDelete
And it's one I'm planning on reading very soon!Delete
I really liked Dog On It too... think I read one or two more in the series but they're not easy to find here and expensive on Amazon UK. I also liked The Sleeping Giant, but then I do quite like the odd Sci-fi book (not as much as I used to). I really, really ought to read out of my comfort zone more often, I'm sure I would find that I enjoyed books I wouldn't normally choose.ReplyDelete
I understand about reading out of your comfort zone. I want to do it and then I don't. I know what I like and there are only so many more books I'll be able to read. It's a dilemma. LOLDelete
Funny, but I found my way to Phyllis Whitney in a similar manner, but overload of gothics and mysteries (that’s all my mom read) had the opposite effect on me....I never want to read another one in my life. Funny.ReplyDelete
Yes, I think you and I have decided to read differently, right? I love the gothics and mysteries and you're all about reading other things. Bet your mother and I would agree on a lot of books. LOLDelete
I loved The Devil in the White City. I remember reading Jurassic Park when I was a teenager, and of course I've seen the movie a million times, but that would be a fun one to read again.ReplyDelete
I've thought the same thing, though I'm beginning to find I won't be able to reread everything I'd like to. Sigh.Delete
I've only read The Firm. I've looked at Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant but the art didn't draw me in so I put it back down. I guess I need to take another look.ReplyDelete
I wasn't sure I'd like it and actually avoided it, but when I did read it, it was pretty absorbing. You might try it from the library or something.Delete
I love Jurassic Park! I read the book after the film and keep meaning to re-read it. I loved the film version of The Firm but haven't read the book yet.ReplyDelete
Oh, you should definitely try the print version of The Firm. It was quite good. And no Tom Cruise. LOLDelete
I read Phyllis Whitney years ago and loved her books. Liked The Firm and Jurassic Park too.ReplyDelete
Yes, I bet we read a lot of the same things over the years. :-)Delete
Bel Canto and The Devil in the White City are two of my all-time favorite reads.ReplyDelete
Glad to know that, Catherine. Have you read any other books by Erik Larson?Delete
Loved Bel Canto!ReplyDelete
It was good, wasn't it?Delete
I'm a huge fan of Salem's Lot. Have you read The Shining? It has to be my favorite King book although I love most of them. I really need to read the Chet and Bernie books. I'm a huge dog lover (which you probably know from visiting my blog) so it's shocking that I haven't read these yet!ReplyDelete
First, I bet you would like the Chet and Bernie books. And, oh yes, I've read The Shining (REDRUM). Back when it first came out. I wasn't as big a fan of the movie. The first one - Jack....Delete
I love Erik Larsen's books, so I'm glad you enjoyed The Devil in the White City. It made me add the Chicago World Fair to my list of places to go to when they invent the time machine.ReplyDelete
A time machine - that's what we need. ;-)Delete
'Salem's Lot freaked me out, too. It's so much fun to be scared by a story sometimes. :)ReplyDelete
Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.
It was scary - and fun!Delete
Great list of books! I loved Salem's Lot. I've had The Devil in the White City for a long time but haven't read it. I want to read Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant and Dog On It. I've seen the movie A Civil Action but haven't read the book.ReplyDelete
You might try The Devin in the White City on audio. I didn't read it that way, but I bet it would work well.Delete
Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant has to go on my wish list. It's right where I am now. Neat to see it in graphic novel format instead of a novel or standard memoir.ReplyDelete
My hubby likes Salem's Lot. He reads a lot of Stephen King.
Hope many more good surprises come your way.
Cheryl, have you read Being Mortal? That book and Roz Chast's would be good companion books for parent care issues. And I have read a lot of Stephen King too, in past years though.Delete
I haven't read Being Mortal. I'll check it out. Thanks.Delete
I think it's an informative and important book.Delete
A Civil Action was so good wasn't it? I rarely read nonfiction books back when this one came out but this was one I couldn't pass up. So great and to think that stuff like this probably happens all the time!ReplyDelete
I bet it does. I remember I had not thought of those things and was horrified to read about it.Delete
I enjoyed The Firm,and my first Stephen King read was The Stand!!Believe it or not, I never did read Salem's Lot!!ReplyDelete
Oh, The Stand is one of my favorite books ever, ever, ever. I plan to reread that one this year.Delete
I'm so happy to see Jurassic Park on your list! I love Jurassic Park, both the book and the movie. :D Thanks for stopping by my blog.ReplyDelete
Yes, I couldn't ever forget Jurassic Park. So clever at the time.Delete
I will be adding some of the books you've listed to my ever growing reading wishlist!!ReplyDelete
Here's a link to my TTT post for this week: https://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2018/03/top-ten-tuesday-books-that-surprised-me.html
Good to know! It's nice that we all can add to our TBR right? LOLDelete
I am planning to read Dog On It sometime soon. My husband bought it and tried it. I have read The Devil in the White City, another book my husband bought and suggested I read.ReplyDelete
You should definitely try The Devil in the White City and also try Dog On It - very cute.Delete
I loved Bel Canto. It was a quiet novel, beautiful written. I savored every word.ReplyDelete
I thought Sleeping Giants was very good and I'm eager to read the next two! I need more hours in my days!
I remember reading The Firm when it was first out. I went back and read A Time to Kill and was hooked on Grisham. For a while. I'm not sure when I stopped, but I did.
One book that I always think of as a surprise is The Sparrow. It was probably the first science fiction book I'd ever read and I loved it. Read it two times and would read it again.
I was also surprised that I enjoyed Pope Joan as much as I did. Read that one twice, too.
My current book (The Soul of an Octopus) is this year's big surprise for me. I never would have thought I'd enjoy a book about octopuses as much as I am!
The Sparrow - I should have put that one on the list. A bunch of us read that way back in the day, right? And then you guys saw the author. I want to reread that one too.Delete
Yep, we must have read it in 1997 or early 1998, since we met Mary in '98 at the conference. It's worth reading a second time!Delete
I think so too. Maybe later this year.Delete
Wonderful picks Kay -- The Firm was the first Grisham I'd ever read -- I wonder for how many people that book is a first of his for them!ReplyDelete
A lot, I'd imagine. I ought to reread it.Delete
The Devil in the White City is on my TBR. Glad it was a good surprise!ReplyDelete
It really good. Non-fiction, but reads like a novel. Hope you get to try it!Delete
The Devil in the White City and pretty much any other book by Larson is on my TBR. I'm glad to see that it was a good surprise!ReplyDelete
It was indeed. I keep meaning to read all the rest of his books. Think The Devil is the only one I've read. I should at least read Isaac's Storm, about the hurricane that flattened Galveston in the early 1900's.Delete
I felt the same way about THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY. It was totally fascinating. Also, THE FIRM. I used to love John Grisham, but I haven't been as impressed with his books in recent years.ReplyDelete
Me too! About Grisham. I had him on that list of authors that I'm not going to read anymore.Delete
I like this topic. It's a part of the joy of being a rerader - finding books that take me to a different place and/or make me think in a different way. Good list Kay.ReplyDelete
I agree. It's fun to try new things and then be surprised at how much you enjoy them.Delete
I did love the Chet and Bernie book. I've read the first two in the series, and I look forward to reading more. And you know that I love the Roz Chast. One of the best books I've ever read. I love her, period. Just bought her Going Into Town A Love Letter to New York.ReplyDelete
So, Nan, I need to introduce you to Judy, one of our mystery group members. You and she would have a lot to talk about - dogs! Chet and Bernie was her suggestion. Ha!Delete