Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Book List Meme: Three Books I Thought I Would Hate

Rebecca has really made me think with this week's Book List.  I rarely pick up books that I think I will hate.  I'm a reading chicken of sorts.  So let's see what I can come up with for Three Books I Thought I Would Hate But Ended Up Loving.

1. The first has to be The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky.  I actually read The Brothers K by David James Duncan first (a Vietnam era re-telling of the story) and knew the general structure of the plot first but was still wary about the Russian classic.  I shouldn't have been.  I ended up loving it and hope to re-read it soon as it's been over a decade since I read it.

2. I hate to admit this but for my second selection I'm going to choose The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.  I first saw the book in the junior high library and couldn't believe how nerdy it looked.  Then, not at all a surprise, I noticed all of the GATE (honors) boys reading it and I wrote it off seemingly forever.  But, of course, life intervened and I ended up one day at college with nothing to read and this book staring at me from my boyfriend's book collection.  I decided "what the hay" and picked it up.  Now I think I've read it at least three times (not to mention the rest of the series) and I own the recent movie version.  Now I'm a junior high nerd boy.

3. I think the third book has to be The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie.  If this had been a year or so ago, it would have been on last week's list of books that have been sitting on my shelves the longest.  I put off reading it for as long as I could.  And then I read it ... and liked it.  I'll admit that it's still not an uber-favorite but it certainly ranks higher in my estimation than I ever thought it would.  I was really intimidated by it because I thought I didn't have enough background knowledge to understand the connections that Rushdie was making.  I'm sure I missed a lot but I made it through and kept it on the shelf for the next time I read it.

If this was a longer list, I would include Bridget Jones's Diary and Warbreaker, recent out of my comfort genre reads that I surprisingly liked.  What books would be on your list of surprisingly good reads?

Giving books a chance,


  1. Oh, The Satanic Verses for me too. Actually, most of Salman Rushdie's books! But The Satanic Verses in particular, because I had started it once before and not gotten very far before giving up on it. Then when I read it properly I really liked it.

  2. Do you know, I thought the very same thing about Hitchhiker's when I was looking through my GoodReads list for three books this week. I went for a very long time thinking it looked WEIRD, and of course I wouldn't like it...but then I did. A lot. Absurd humor is my thing, and I couldn't believe I hadn't read it up to that point. *sigh*

  3. Kristen, I never thought of you as a reading chicken! I beg to differ. Look at these heavy books you've read! I couldn't get through The Brothers K myself but I always wanted to try again. I am not sure if I will like Hitchhiker's or not but I want to try since so many people recommend it. The Satanic Verses is on my TBR list.

  4. I second #2. I loved it! I sat down and read every single book after I got through the first one.

    For me it was Moby Dick. Didn't expect it to be my favorite book ever.

  5. I can't think of three books I thought I'd hate, but loved, mainly because if I think I'll hate a book, I won't even try it! However, there is one book that falls into this category, and that book is...Pride and Prejudice! When I was in my early twenties, I'd never read any Jane Austen novels, because I hate(d) romance books and that's all I thought her books were about. And then my boyfriend lent me two books to read on the train back home - a six hour journey. one of the books he insisted I borrow was P&P, on the grounds that if I gave it a chance, I would enjoy it. And he was right!

  6. Glad to hear about The Brother Karamozov (or however it is spelled) as I plan on trying that at some point ... and it scares me!

  7. I loved The Brothers Karamazov as well, especially the last hundred or so pages. Very quotable, but also very scary. :)

  8. Jenny - Rushdie is definitely an intimidating author but I think most readers could find one of his books to enjoy.

    Cecelia - It did look VERY weird! And now I can't get enough of these sorts of books!

    Rebecca - Aww ... thanks! Hitchhiker's is very nerdy but also funny and fun. I think you would do okay with it if you like Graham Norton's brand of humor.

    Paige - I still have to try Moby Dick. It may end up on this list one day!

    Tracy - Loved your post. :)

    Jenners - I hope you do try it at some point!

    Seak - I will definitely try to re-read it in the next year or two.