Now that I use Goodreads to keep track of and rate what I read, I've noticed how my views on books change over time. Recently the director of my library asked us all to provide 1-3 of our favorite books from 2012 for a newspaper article, and when I started looking through my Goodreads list I was quite surprised. Earlier this year I gave 5-star reviews to a few books that I barely remember the details of now, and others only received 4 stars yet I still think about them and recommend them. I left the 5-star reviews as is, because although my love may have been fleeting it was strong at the time and that means something. Perhaps if I read them again I'd fall in love with them this time too. As for those 4-star reviews that seem more deserving in retrospect, I bumped them up to 5 without hesitation.
When I read Age of Miracles, I was totally blown away. I devoured that book like it was cake. When I was done, I closed the book and stared off into space, shaking my head in wonderment. I can remember that, but can't quite grasp the details of what spurred my reaction. Maybe I've just forgotten too much after this much time, and would feel the same if I read it again now. The same with A Land More Kind Than Home. Fantastic book, and it really stood out but again, it's hard to recapture exactly why.
On the other hand, The Dog Stars has stayed with me in a way I didn't expect. I knew it was a very good book, but it didn't pack the punch of the two I just mentioned. However, it had an atmospheric quality that is somehow very easy to recapture.
Wild has grown in my estimation since I first read it. I loved it right away anyhow but didn't think it was a favorite. Now though, I keep thinking about how amazing it was for a slightly unprepared and emotionally fragile person to have the determination to do what she did alone. It's really inspiring.
I always wonder how much my book reading experiences would have been different had I read the book at some other time of my life or if I was in a different mood, but that maybe entirely overthinking it.
So as not to leave you hanging, the 3 titles I submitted for work were Gone Girl, Where'd You Go Bernadette?, and Born Wicked (the sequel to which has been pushed back to June. June!)
This week at work I posted a more complete list of my favorite books of the year (restricted to those published in 2012), with links to reviews back here on my own blog. Because I'm lazy like that.
Do you feel like your views on certain books change over time? Are you ever surprised to realize you can barely remember a book you were effusing about a few months ago? Or read a book that you thought was good but not outstanding, only to not be able to get it out of your head later?