top ten tuesday

Books that defied my expectations

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.

This week’s topic is Books That Defied My Expectations and I’ve got five books that exceeded my expectations, and five that failed to live up to them.

Starting with some books that disappointed

Paul Cartledge – Ancient Greece: A Very Short Introduction. It takes… a certain amount of skill to take a subject as exciting as Ancient Greek history and make it as dull as dishwater to read. Cartledge has that skill in bucketloads!
Olivie Blake – The Atlas Six. Booktok raved about this book for months. It was queer, it was dark academia, it was beautifully written. It had magic and mystery… yeah no. I found it boring, nothing happened, I couldn’t tell the characters apart, didn’t touch it for months because I Did Not Want to pick it up.
Kerry O. Ferris & Scott R. Harris – Stargazing: Celebrity, Fame, and Social Interaction. There was nothing wrong with it, it was very interesting but it all felt a little surface level on how fans interact with celebrities, and nowhere near enough of the sociology/psychology/social anthropology (not sure which is the right ology LOL) behind it. I wanted… more.
Tabitha Carvan – This Is Not A Book About Benedict Cumberbatch. Considering the tagline is ‘the joy of loving something like your life depended on it’, there was a decided lack of joy in Carvan’s fannishness and far too much angst about it instead. It could have been so good but, sadly, didn’t quite work for me.
Kaleb Cooper – The World According To Kaleb. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t know what the point of the book was, other than to make money. He has no life/world experience, the whole book fell flat – except for the few times he talked about farming.

And now we move on to 5 books that exceeded my expectations.

Sarah J Maas – A Court Of Thorns and Roses. I started coming out of a huge mental health breakdown/reading slump at the end of 2020, which is also when I discovered the online book community. I was feeling a little floundery, didn’t know what I wanted to read so picked it up to see what the fuss was about. And fucking loved it!
Jeremy Clarkson – Diddly Squat: A Year On The Farm. I knew I was going to like it. I did not expect that I would find it completely unputdownable and finish it in one afternoon!
Juliet Ashton – The Fall and Rise of Sadie McQueen. I was expecting chick-lit, and based on that assumption, I thought I knew how the story would go. I was wrong on both accounts. It was so much more filled with mystery and surprise and heartbreak and family and found family and was just amazing
Matt Haig – Notes On A Nervous Planet. I read this in the midst of going through therapy for agoraphobia, and it turned out to be just the thing I needed to read, exactly when I needed to read it. It wasn’t preachy, and Haig didn’t try to ‘fix’ me, he just understood, and felt very soothing and calming.
Nancy Warren – The Vampire Knitting Club. I had no idea that paranormal cozy mysteries were a thing. I’d been trying to get into cozy mysteries for a while but having no luck. I found this on my Kindle, having checked it out on KindleUnlimted at some point and completely fell in love, read it in one afternoon and introduced me to a whole new subgenre which I LOVE!

20 thoughts on “Books that defied my expectations

  1. Juliet’s book looks interesting! One I need to read up more about because between your description and that cover, I’m curious. πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for visiting my website today.

    1. I definitely want to find more of Juliet Ashton’s books after reading Sadie McQueen. There are definitely some content and trigger warnings in the book but it’s well worth the read

    1. I have an entire Amazon list called ‘Kindle Unlimited Books I want to read but my Kindle Unlimited is full’ and most of them are paranormal cozy mysteries that I’m excited to read πŸ˜€

  2. I enjoy a good cozy mystery and almost dipped my toe into the paranormal subgenre, but I haven’t found a good one to start with. Looks like I’ll have to check out The Vampire Knitting Club!

    1. I’m not a huge YA reader, I’m not a fan of fantasy, and I’m not a fan of The Hero’s Journey so it REALLY surprised me how much I’m loving ACOTAR

    1. There’s two books – one that goes with each season of the show. A Year On The Farm is the first one, and Til The Cows Come Home is the second, and they’re mostly a collection of the newspaper column he was writing along with it. So it’s a different POV of some of the stuff that happens on the show, but also stories that happened when the cameras weren’t there. I absolutely loved them both

  3. I like that you did a mix of books that you liked and didn’t like. I’ve been debating about reading The Atlas Six because of how popular it is, but a friend of mine read it and didn’t like it either.

    1. I started off with just a couple that I didn’t like, because the books that don’t work for us are just as important to note, but I didn’t want it to be a fully negative post. And I love it when books are surprisingly really good!

    1. If you do pick it up, I hope you enjoy it. I started reading it from my library but ended up buying it because I didn’t want to give it back to them!

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