top ten books i almost put down (but didn't)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 |
Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where we all get to exercise our OCD tendencies and come up with bookish lists.  If you’d like to play along, check out this post.

top ten tuesday

I tend to decide whether or not I'll read a book within the first few moments of picking it up.  I look at the cover (I admit to being unduly influenced by shiny, pretty things), I read the back cover or flap copy, and if there is still any doubt, I try the first few pages.  From then on, I'm usually fairly locked in. If I put a book down after the initial choice, it's not likely that I'll pick it up again.  Sometimes I'll finish a book out of reading spite, but that's getting rarer as the days go by.  What I'm trying to say... is that this week's Top Ten Tuesday topic was hard to put together.  I had to remember my early moments with each of these (awesome) books and try to think of why they had seemed iffy at the time.  As this is a top ten list, you know that I ended up loving them.  In fact, several are beyond fabulous.  Get reading!

Top Ten Books I Almost Put Down (but didn't!)

1. Mortal Fire by Elizabeth Knox – Mortal Fire is a complex, intelligent onion of a story. It has an unusual setting, an observer-extraordinaire of a heroine, and a magic that remains mysterious and awful. My reaction upon finishing the book? Impressed!

2. Sidekicked by John David Anderson – The reason this one made the list is because it had the bad luck of being in rotation when I fell into a reading slump - nothing to do with the content itself (delightfully gray, instead of black & white).  

3. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – I almost put this one aside because it made me weep on an airplane.  The flight attendant pretended not to notice, but I was WRECKED and the cocktail napkin couldn't begin to mop up all of my tears.  An emotion-packed and beautiful book, for all that.

4. Larklight by Philip Reeve – I should perhaps have done a bit more research on this one before picking it up.  I saw 'middle grade steampunk' and immediately braced myself for adventure.  The only thing is this one starts weirdly, and is narrated from an odd perspective, with a decidedly old-timey accent.  

5. Rot & Ruin by Jonathna Maberry – Teenage angst boiled up all over the first few chapters of this one before it got down to business.  I'm glad I kept on reading!

6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – I started reading the Harry Potter books just before book 7 came out, so the publishing hype was mostly lost on me. I probably would have given up on this book if I hadn't heard that you had to 'get through the first one, then they're a LOT better.'  I've since learned to appreciate it for itself.

7. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angelberger – I finished this book because it was on audio and I was on a roadtrip with my brother Lincoln.  He made me press play when I got too awkward. *sigh* Sometimes siblings are the best.

8. Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai – I started this story and was immediately struck by the free verse that Lai employs rather than prose.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to finish the book.  Very good decision to keep reading!

9. Plain Kate by Erin Bow – There wasn't anything wrong with this one.  It was just that I could tell within the first few pages that main character Kate was a very lonely girl.  I had a few moments of indecision before I convinced myself to live along with her and that loneliness for the duration of the reading experience.

10. Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede – I waited patiently for this release.  I've never NOT liked a book Wrede has written.  But then it arrived, and I was all, 'What is going ON?'  It took a couple of chapters to decide that I did, in fact, like it.

What books would make your list?


Ula said...

Oh wow, I never had trouble reading HP! True, I started the books when I was eleven, but I still love them to this day, rereading them every year.
I must start A Monster Calls soon, I got it ages ago. :)
Happy reading!

Katherine P said...

Fun list! There's books I need to pick back up or reread because they were started at a bad time too so I completely understand Sidekicked! I hate when I pick emotional books to read in public! I would've definitely considered putting it down too!

Greg said...

I feel that way about HP too, I read the first book (just recently)and liked it but wasn't blown away by it- but I've heard they just get better and better as they go. I might have given up too for the same reason.

Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies said...

Great job -- I actually gave up on putting together a TTT list this week. Either I read it or I don't, for the most part, so I couldn't come up with any books that were almost DNFs. Glad to hear you liked Thirteenth Child! I'm in the middle of it now (w/my 11yo) and we're enjoying it, although I agree, it takes a bit for the world to really come together. I loved A Monster Calls, but I can see why reading it on a plane would be a big mistake! I've had the experience of being all weepy over a book during a flight -- I was too upset by the story to realize that I should have been embarrassed... at first. :)

Liviania said...

Oh man, there's a distinct embarrassment to crying in public due to a book.

And there's plenty of books I've picked up again because I know I probably didn't give them a fair chance due to my mood.

La Coccinelle said...

Mortal Fire sounds interesting. I read another book by Elizabeth Knox that I really enjoyed; it was complex and imaginative.

I've only read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Inside Out & Back Again from your list... but I've got Plain Kate in my TBR pile. I've heard good things about it!

Jenny @ Reading the End said...

I kept on nearly giving up on Harry Potter because of the popularity. I started reading around the time the third book came out, and I thought I was too good for the goofy covers. :p But I'm glad I persisted -- I ended up getting very into them and waiting for the books at midnight and everything, and that was great fun.

Tales of Whimsy said...

So many good ones. Some I've read and others I need to.

I reallly like Origami Yoda.

Leslie @ This is the Refrain said...

This is such a good idea for a list! I'm a big DNFer of books, but when I push past something that's making me want to stop reading and end up loving a book, I wonder if I missed something with all those other books I didn't read? I like to think my instincts are good, but who knows?

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