This week’s Top Ten I could have written about for pages and pages, and because of my tendency to read more than one book at once there could have been a much longer list. I will begin with the one that’s most recent to me, Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dreamby H. G. Bissinger This one I am wary about reading when I can’t invest a lot of time into it. I recently watched the first six episodes of the television series and I literally got emotional and near/in tears in every one of those episodes. So while I am very eager to read the source material, I have been on the opening two chapters for a few months now because I think I want to make sure I am emotionally ready. Weird, I know, but I get emotionally invested in almost everything very easily!
Breaking Dawn – Stephenie Meyer
I will admit to reading and somewhat enjoying the Twilight series, and even admit to an unbridled love of Jacob Black. However I do not want you to assume this means I am also “Team Jacob.” I am on Team Jacob, but the team that wants him to quick mooning over the ridiculous Bella Swan and go out and find himself a cute wolf girl (in my Twilight dream world this would be Leah), get his act together and realise the world does not revolve around Bella Swan. Or a foetus. Part of the reason I liked Breaking Dawn was that we got to experience Jacob’s point of view of a lot of events that I think would have been revoltingly broody from anyone (Bella) else’s. And so it was absolutely ridiculous to me that he suddenly realised why he was drawn to Bella was because of Renesmee. SO really what Meyer is saying here is that the pull of an egg in Bella’s ovaries was so strong that it caused Jacob’s feelings in the previous books? Ugh. But after a lot of “Nah, Nah, Nope” I did eventually finish the series and the final part of Breaking Dawn is my favourite of the whole series (and of the movies too!).
Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
I really like The Hunger Games however the ending of it stinks (to me anyway ) of “Hey author, the first two books in your trilogy have been great successes, please write the final book by this date so we can release it an make money off of it, love the publisher.” I feel like the ending of this book was rushed through, so much so that (and I will attempt to be vague so as not to spoil character fates) when we find out what happens to Finnick, I actually didn’t realise what happened until a few pages later, and was just very confused. And in a similar vein:
Allegiant- Veronica Roth
I really love the Divergent books (although the Four/Tris love epic errs on the side of Twilight at times) and it was such a disappointment when I finally read the third book in the series. I think firstly that there was just so many different ways to go with the plot given the ending of Insurgent and the one Roth chose, while certainly topical and within the modern zeitgeist, was a cop out. Similar to Mockingjay it feels like the book was rushed out to satisfy less literary focused people. Now I am not saying I want every author of a series to drag out their work to GRRM proportions, I just wish that the build up of the first two books in a trilogy would amply be utilised in the concluding story. Of course there is the other main reason that I almost refused to read the end of the book. Again, trying really hard not to spoil too much, while I understand the sacrifice made and the poetic justice it does as a way to make that character’s story come full circle, it also smells like “ZOMG I NEED TO SHOCK MY READERS WHAT WOULD BE THE BIGGEST WAY TO TURN EVERYTHING UPSIDE DOWN IN A MURDER OF ROGER AKROYD KIND OF WAY?” (If you get that reference, I officially love you).
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
I don’t really know why, but I had to start and stop reading this about five different times before knuckling down and persisting at it. While I am certainly not discrediting this absolute classic, it did take a lot of persistence to push through an almost dense and for me at times dull first few chapters. I like to be hooked by a protagonist or story almost instantly, I want to be able to know that the author will do this character justice (which might be the root of my problems with the above three books as well) and I was very sceptical upon reading the first few chapters of Jane Eyre. Admittedly this book first came to my awareness through The Princess Diaries where Tina Hakim Baba and Mia swear by it as their method of romantic pursuit. I really don’t see it!
A Dance With Dragons – George R R Martin
I would give my life for the final two books in the ASOIAF series (no, not a hyperbole!) if only just to find out what happens next. If the major incident that occurs involving the Night’s Watch and Jon Snow at the very end of ADWD had happened in the midst of the book (for example, at the end of Jon’s final chapter and then there is still about twenty other character chapters to go) then I would have had a small breakdown. I could talk about this series and its plots and theories for days (I may do in the future) but this particular event really sets me off. I would argue that, considering the popularity of the character both among book fans and (allow me to be a bit of a snob here) the unread TV masses, this event will be more internet-exploding than both Red and Purple weddings. My hope is that when it is eventually adapted into the show, that it is the final scene of that particular season, just so the TV fans can feel even a small bit of what I am feeling not having The Winds of Winter in my hands right now.
(I might list the next five, as I do tend to ramble A LOT when it comes to my book queries, and also because I have gotten myself very ASOIAF worked up and really want to go read a bunch of R+L=J and GNC theories )
And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie
Scared the crap out of me reading it alone at night.
Under The Tuscan Sun – Frances Mayes
Beautiful scenery and atmospheric descriptions, beautiful recipes, but a tad too dense on the architectural and historical descriptions for my tastes.
The Iliad – Homer
Currently in the “put down” phase for the third or fourth time. I love Ancient Greece and mythology and stories though, so it will get picked up again in future.
The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
Put down not because of quality, but because of all my tears. Love this book!!
Hope you too have a bundle of books that give you such a visceral reaction that you need to physically put them down!