Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ten Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This week is all about books that, a while after reading, your feelings develop in some way. I love this topic, because I think about it a lot, especially when I'm looking at old reviews or Goodreads ratings. Sometimes I'm quite surprised about what I thought of a book right after I finished it.

I have 10 books/series that I think much more highly of then right after I finished them:

1. The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
My blog review ends with "I thought it was good, and her eloquent writing elevates it a bit more, but I don't think it's a book that will stick with me." Ha! That was in March 2014 and more than two years later I still think about this book.

2. The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater
The books in this teen paranormal series are Shiver, Linger, and Forever. I gave the middle book 2 stars on Goodreads and the others 3 stars, but I keep finding myself telling people how much I liked it. Whatever was not so great about it didn't stick with me because I apparently only remember the good stuff.

3. Moloka'i by Alan Brennart
I gave this one 4 stars, but in my head it's a 5-star book all the way. I recommend it ALL THE TIME at the library. It's a shame that I didn't write a full review because it was just so amazing. Perhaps it hasn't really changing in my head and I was just conservative with my 5-stars at the time, but I don't know for sure.

4. The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
Here's another book I find myself recommending frequently, though I only gave it 3 stars when I read it. It was what I would call a quiet book - a lot of subtleties and not a lot of action. But I think it has stuck with me more than I expected.

5. The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology by Jack Kornfield
This is an odd one. I don't do spirituality, but I do listen to my aunt, especially when it's about books, and that's the only reason I ever picked this up. I keep wanting to re-read it actually because there was so much in it that I found useful that I want to go back and remind myself of. I gave it 3 stars, probably because it's a fun novel, but its value has grown over time as I remind myself repeatedly of the few things I do remember from it.

6. The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
I am perplexed as to why I gave this book only 2 stars. It was never my favorite growing up, but as an adult I definitely appreciate it more. It's not as strong as the others in the series for sure, but as I remember it now, it made me feel a lot better about the crappiness of adulthood.

7. What You See in the Dark by Manuel Muñoz 
Another book that I was surprised to see I only gave 2 stars to. In my review I mentioned that it is dark and moody and atmospheric, and I think that's why I think of it so positively now. As with many of these books, I don't know if my feelings have actually improved over time, or if my memory has just failed.

8. Going Bovine by Libby Bray
I remember exactly why I didn't really like this when I first read it, but what I don't remember is what my coworker (a teen librarian) said about it that made me change my mind. Either way, I have much more of an appreciation for this book than when I first read it. It's very unique among teen novels.

9. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
I do enjoy some chick lit, and I remember this one quite fondly. My review and rating was pretty lukewarm at the time. Part of what made me think a bit better of it was the follow-up. I had an issue with one of the characters, but the next book centered around her and made me much more sympathetic to her. Giffin may write chick lit, but she handles some complicated situations quite well.

10. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
The finale in the Divergent series brought everything to a satisfying end, but at the time I gave it (and the second book) a lower rating than the first one. Now I can't figure out why. It was really good!

These are all books that I remember liking more than I did, and in most cases I think there was just something that bugged me while reading that was ultimately rather unimportant. On the flip side, there are a few books I remember being completely engrossed by that just didn't stick with me at all. Most notably The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. I LOVED this book, couldn't put it down, and read it in a day. By the following week, I couldn't tell you why it was so awesome (and other people I know had the same experience.) It may have just been because I consumed it so quickly rather than savoring it. But I think the important part is that it was so amazing while I was reading it. I had similar experiences, though to a lesser extent, with other books like The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan and A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash. It's so interesting that we can feel so differently long after reading a book than we did upon first reading it. I wonder if anyone has scienced this yet.

Do you have any books about which your feelings have changed over time? Tell me in the comments!


Brona said...

You are the only other person I've come across who has also read Molokai. I loved it to (I actually read it during my honeymoon in Hawaii six years ago). I also read his other book based in Hawaii (name slips my mind right now - maybe Honolulu?)

Both were very moving and memorable.

Barb said...

Going Bovine is such a great read. Everyone seems to love this author, but no one really mentions this book so I recommend it every chance I get. I picked it up on a whim because of the cover and am so glad I did. Great list!

3goodrats said...

Yes Brona, Honolulu is the other book and I loved that one also!

Barb, Going Bovine is so different from Libba Bray's other books. I love the other ones, but even though I don't like this one as much, I do like many things about it.

CG @ Paper Fury said...

AHHH I'M THE SAME WITH THE SHIVER SERIES!! It didn't do that much for me the first time? But when I re-read I was entirely in love and now I can't stop thinking about them and I want to read them again. xD COLE IS SUCH A PRECIOUS THING. Here's my TTT!