Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Three Books You Thought You Would Hate

This week's topic is three books you thought you would hate, but that you ended up loving. Once again, The Book List comes from Lost In Books.

Oh boy. This one was challenging for me. I generally avoid books that I think I will dislike. My TBR list is 532 books long, there's no time for stuff I have no desire to read. In fact, the only things that make me read books I am disinclined to read are when they are assigned course readings (and I've been out of school for seven years now-yeesh, I feel old), or were selected for my book club. (And even then if I really don't want to read it I don't. More on that later). But there have been a few that fit this bill.

First off is Holes by Louis Sachar. I ended up reading this for my Children's Literature course in graduate school, and I have to say that left to my own devices it is highly unlikely that I would have read it. This is the beginning of the product description on Amazon:
"If you take a bad boy and make him dig a hole every day in the hot sun, it will turn him into a good boy." Such is the reigning philosophy at Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention facility where there is no lake, and there are no happy campers. In place of what used to be "the largest lake in Texas" is now a dry, flat, sunburned wasteland, pocked with countless identical holes dug by boys improving their character. Stanley Yelnats, of palindromic name and ill-fated pedigree, has landed at Camp Green Lake because it seemed a better option than jail.
Ahem. This does not produce a burning desire for me to read this book. In fact, this makes me want to run in the opposite direction. However, Holes is NOT a problem novel. It is, instead, an adventure story and one that I can highly recommend.

Another book that I approached with trepidation was Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. It is, after all, a book about a rundown circus set during the Great Depression, both topics which give me pause. (I don't like sad. I cry easily and it is not an accomplishment to achieve this reaction.) At any rate, I read this book because my beloved aunt recommended it to me. We don't always see eye to eye on entertainment (she loved the film the Accidental Tourist, I hated it), but when it comes to books I trust her. So I read this and I LOVED it.

Finally, we have The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. This one was selected for my book club, and while the title had intrigued me repeatedly, the subject matter did not. I found it to be very well written and surprisingly compulsive reading. After reading it I made a point of thanking my parents for everything they had ever done for me. I'm really glad that I made myself start reading this, since as I mentioned previously I sometimes commit major avoidance with the book club selections. However, while I would recommend this book, I wouldn't reread it. Hmm....I guess it doesn't truly qualify in the love department, but I liked it when I thought I would hate it.

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