Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Top Ten Books I Enjoyed More Than I Expected


Today's Top Ten list is a list of books that surprised me. These are books that I did not expect to like at all but read for one reason or another and ended up really enjoying them! I read these books based on recommendations from friends or family or, in many cases, because they were book group selections. This is what I like most about being in book groups - I end up reading (and enjoying) books that I never would have picked up otherwise.

So, here are the Top Ten Books That I Enjoyed More Than I Expected:

  • March by Geraldine Brooks – before I read this, I didn’t think I liked historical fiction
  • Ender’s Game and its sequels by Orson Scott Card – my first adult foray into science fiction, another genre I didn’t think I’d like
  • Replay by Ken Grimwood – another science fiction book recommended by my husband which is now my favorite book of all-time
  • Still Me by Christopher Reeve – I don’t normally enjoy celebrity memoirs but Reeve’s book was so inspiring!
  • Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins (author of this year's hit The Hunger Games)– It sounded gross but my sons were interested. We ended up reading the entire series out loud and loving every single book!
  • Baker Towers by Jennifer Haigh – my neighbor lent it to me and I read it to be polite and ended up loving it and recommending it to my book group. Haigh is now one of my favorite authors.
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen – read for book group; the description just didn’t sound interesting, but I was glad to be proven wrong
  • River of Doubt by Candice Millard – fascinating nonfiction account of Teddy Roosevelt’s trip up the Amazon River; read for book group
  • The Lost Years by KristinaWandzilak and Constance Curry – honest & painful memoir by a mother-daughter about the daughter’s addiction to alcohol and drugs; read for book group
  • The History of Love by Nicole Krauss – ironically, many in the book group did not like this book, but I had bought it and missed the meeting, so I decided to read it anyway and really liked it.
How about you? Are there any books that surprised you (in a good way)?

P.S. If you like Top ten lists, check out Ten for Tuesday at Great Books For Kids and Teens, where I listed the top ten books from my childhood.


  1. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M Pirsig. I picked it up because I was about to embark on a long train journey across Australia. I'd resisted reading it because it was trendy - and I don't like to do what everyone else is doing. But it had an impact on me. Of course it is all knitted up with memories of the train trip, which was fairly amazing in itself. The book is about a journey too. But it is also about having a philosophy and it changed my thinking about what that might mean.

  2. Anonymous11:42 AM

    That's also one of my favorite things about being in a bookclub- reading books I never would have picked up otherwise.

    The Lovely Bones is one that I didn't want to read, but ended up really enjoying. I know there have been others, but I'm not remembering what they are!

    I put Replay on my list, and will check out some of the other books you listed.

  3. What a great idea, to do a list like this.

    I feel exactly the opposite on Water for Elephants, unfortunately. I remember thinking it sounded so interesting, and then it never lived up to the hype. Oh, well. I agree with you on a lot of the others, though!

  4. Great list. I enjoyed: History of Love, Water for Elephants and Baker Towers as well.

  5. I totally agree with Water For Elephants. I had no idea going into that book that I would be raving about it for months afterward!