Showing posts with label margaret atwood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label margaret atwood. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Top Ten Books I'm Not Sure I Want to Read

It's been a long time, friends!  But I thought today's Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) was an interesting one, so it's time to jump into the fun.  This week's focus is...

Top Ten Books I'm Not Sure I Want to Read

You know, books you bought but now aren't sure you want, books that get tons of hype and you feel like you SHOULD read them but are kinda iffy about, etc.  We've all got books on our lists like that!

1. World Without End by Ken Follett

Several years ago, I read Pillars of the Earth, back when EVERYONE was reading Pillars of the Earth.  And it was...okay.  I liked it, but it was kind of slow and tedious and OMG LONG.  And now I feel like I have to read the sequel...even though I kind of don't want to.

2. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Or really any David Sedaris book.  I read Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim a few years ago, and was so excited to laugh out loud, like everyone told me I would.  Aaaaand...I didn't.  I just did not get the Sedaris hype at all.  I feel like I need to give him another try though, because SO many people adore his work.  I'm just not super pumped about giving it a second chance.

3. 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James

I have read just enough excerpts from this book to feel like I can comment on my opinion of it with some authority.  (If you are unclear on my opinion, please feel free to go over to the search bar on the right side of my blog, search for 50 Shades, and enjoy the biting commentary that I have shared here over the years.)  However, there is a part of me that feels like I should read it, because EVERYONE has read it, and if I'm really going to pan it, shouldn't I read it cover to cover?  Even if it might make me die a little inside?

4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

This is a tough one to admit!  I've owned this book (and the next 4 in the series) for something like 5 years now, and never touched them.  I bought them because I heard so many rave reviews, how could I not read them?  But...historical fiction (especially LONG historical fiction) is really hit-or-miss with me.  (See book #1 in this post.)  And it's such a long I ready to commit?  It all seems so daunting.  (Katie from Words for Worms, I see you bursting at the seams over there, please feel free to unleash in the comments.)  :)

5. A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin

See: everything I said about Outlander.

6. The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

So hard for me to admit!  Because everyone knows I just adore Stephen King.  However, I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of his books that have a heavy sci-fi bent.  Like, Insomnia was kind of painful for me.  Even The Stand was a little tough at times (but was saved by the more solid "real life" story of those that survived Captain Trips).  King says this series is his magnum opus can I avoid it?

7. Extras by Scott Westerfeld

I read the Uglies trilogy a few years ago, and overall I really enjoyed it.  I saw that Extras is a companion novel to the trilogy, taking place after Tally's story is over with a new set of characters.  I feel compelled to read it because it's related to the Uglies trilogy...but I'm not sure I'm on board with a totally different protagonist after following Tally for 3 novels.  I feel this way about pretty much any "companion" novel to a solid trilogy.  Sometimes authors need to quit while they're ahead.

8. MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood

This is book #3 in the MaddAddam trilogy.  I read Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood a couple of years ago.  I liked them, but didn't love them.  Honestly, I read The Year of the Flood because I felt like I had to after finishing Oryx and Crake.  Now I feel the same about MaddAddam.

(This post is teaching me that I have a lot of guilt issues to get over regarding my tendency to not finish series.)

9. The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

Or pretty much any Philippa Gregory that I haven't already read.  Back in 2008, I discovered her work with The Other Boleyn Girl, and got fully ADDICTED.  I ripped through a ton of her books and adored them.  However, I think it was a case of burnout, because after a while I felt way overloaded on her stuff.  A lot of it reads somewhat similarly, so I got a little tired of her material.  Since then, I've looked at her other releases with a vague sense of yearning, but also a bit of uncertainty...will I enjoy it, or am I going to think it's too much of the same again?

10. Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

This is described as the Japanese version of The Hunger Games, which is why it's been on my TBR list.  It actually came out a few years before HG, but is way, way gorier (so I've been told).  Hence my hesitation.  I am outrageously curious about this novel, but not quite sure I'm ready for the blood and guts.  Same goes for the movie version!

Readers: what books are YOU unsure about reading?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Deju Vu Review (4)

The Deja Vu Review is hosted every Sunday by Brittany at The Book Addict's Guide.  It's a chance to mini-review books that I read in my pre-blogging days.  This week's topic is novels with strange names.  And both of mine happen to be dystopian!

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

I loved Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, so when I saw the unique title on her list of other novels, my interest was piqued.  And the first chapter helped, too--the main character, Snowman, wakes up in a world where it seems that all other humans are dead.  How can you not be taken in by such a scenario?

While I did find the book enjoyable, I wouldn't say it's one of my favorite dystopians.  As you learn more about Snowman's problematic situation, you get his backstory, which includes Crake (his former best friend) and Oryx, a woman they both loved.  After the initial "OMG what is happening here" moment in the first chapter, I felt that the plot got a bit slow and disjointed.  For a dystopian novel, it doesn't have a very energetic pace, and it jumps around in a way that is very confusing.  However, in the last quarter or so, things started to come together, and the climax at the end left me interested enough to seek out the novel's sequel, The Year of the Flood.  Overall, not the best dystopian I've ever read, but it's intriguing in terms of world-building, and you'll like it if you have your thinking cap on.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Oy vey, this book.  This book is the first book I ever (EVER!) did not finish.  This and Middlemarch (I gave up on them on the same day. It was a frustrating day).

I still feel I have the right to (mini) review it though, because I spent over 6 weeks on it.  Which is eternity for me!  It's 954 pages long and I read about 600 of them in that time, so I have to get a little credit here.

Most people I talk to ADORE 1Q84.  Cannot say enough good things about it.  I, on the other hand, found it extremely tedious and boring.  It centers on Aomame, a young hit-woman who enters 1Q84, a parallel existence to her life in the year 1984.  At the same time, it follows Tengo, a writer whose complicated story begins to mingle with Aomame's as time goes on.  The plot is much more complex than all that, but Aomame and Tengo's relationship is the basis for all else in the novel.

Why did I dislike it?  One, it was just so.darn.slow.  I don't mind wordy/long novels, if they actually take me somewhere, but I felt stuck in park for the majority of these pages.  And two, the characters.  They were weird and quirky in a way that made me completely unable to connect with them or their intentions.  Plus, one of them always speaks in a completely flat, monotone voice (always states questions, doesn't "ask" them), which drove me nuts.  I found none of them likeable and after a while, just couldn't muster the energy to care about their lives anymore.  Overall, a huge no-go for me.

Do you have any good books with weird names?
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