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!