For Love of Books and Story

The week where I decide to try some books I’m sure I won’t like.

The week where I decide to try some books I’m sure I won’t like.

Book blogging has opened my eyes – opened my eyes to what a curmudgeon I am! I’ve only been doing this for a few weeks, and I’m seeing all these books that I have never heard of or considered before. Why? Because I don’t like the cover, or it’s YA and I HATE YA. But what book blogging has also done is made me approach books in a more thoughtful way, and this is making me want to branch out a bit. Maybe if I approach that classic or that YA from a more thoughtful perspective, receptive to whatever message it has to give, I can enjoy books that I previously thought had nothing to offer me. Maybe I can stretch my brain a bit to see the value in a different way of telling a story.

Or maybe I’ll continue my streak of disliking every YA book I read, the point is to grow and try! So that’s what I’m going to do this week. I’m starting two books that, although I’ve heard good things about them, I’ve been avoiding because they are not the type of books I usually read. We’ll see! But first, let’s look at what I finished this week:

What I Read (and one DNF)

Night: I have no words for this. I don’t feel like anything I can say or write can even touch the meaning and importance of this book. I’ve read my share of WWII novels, but never a memoir written by someone who experienced the camps  (I just remembered I read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom). I had this book on hold at my library for an entire year! Never have I had to wait that long for a book, but it was well-worth it. I listened to this on audio, and it was superbly narrated. I was excited to read or listen to the rest of the trilogy, but I see the other two books are not memoirs. I guess they’re novels? Or novellas? I’m a little put off by that and sort of confused. If anyone has read the entire trilogy, please enlighten me in the comments. In any case, I can see why Night won the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Marsh King’s Daughter: I dropped this one. It seemed like an interesting concept to me, but something about the way the narrator was telling the story and the pacing was annoying.

Lucky Boy: If you read my review you know I loved this! Excellent book club book.

What I’m Reading Now

Young Jane Young: First of all, I hate this cover. I avoid books like this like the plague because to me it screams chick lit! and saccharine! I also haven’t read A.J. Fikry because it seems sweet and cuddly. I realize that I am probably way off-base about both books. From what I’ve read, there’s more to Young Jane Young than what meets the eye. I noticed it was on Hoopla, so I’m going to try the audio. Also, maybe I need to lighten up a bit.

Kristin Lavransdatter: It’s a classic. I don’t usually do classics. But 14th century Norway! Just hearing those three words makes my geek heart flutter. And the plague! Give me a book with the Black Death and I am so all over that. Seriously, I think I’ve read most of them (hmmmm, maybe there’s a Black Death books blog post in the future?), but if you can think of any please share in the comments. Why do I have this weird fascination with medieval times and the plague? I’m not sure, but when I read those books I want to eat a trencher of bread and stew and wash it down with some mead while someone sits there and plays the lute. Also, if I count this as one big book instead of separating it into three (I’ve seen it done both ways), this comes in at over 1,000 pages and is definitely a very big book. 2018 is my year for reading BIG books, so I’m diving into this one. Pass me the mead.

What I’m Reading Next

My next read-with-my-eyes book is undecided, and I may be reading Kristin Lavransdatter for awhile, but this is up next for my ears:

My family and I will soon be doing a lot of driving (LA to Vegas, Vegas to Grand Canyon, Portland to Olympia), so if I can get my kids to listen to something else with headphones my husband and I might have this going in the car.

  • Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned?
  • Have you ever been rewarded for reading outside of your comfort zone?
  • I’d also love to know how your reading week went!

I’m linking up Books of the Week with the Sunday Post over at the Caffeinated Reviewer. Come over and visit for more book-related posts and announcements! 

American expat in Taiwan, book lover, wannabe writer and Mandarin language learner, homeschooling mom to two boys.

19 thoughts on “The week where I decide to try some books I’m sure I won’t like.”

  • I am eclectic too, but I don’t tackle books with subjects as “heavy” as some of yours I’ve checked out on your blog here. By the way, I’ve been blogging off and on for at least 6 years and all I can say is.. if I’d never started, I would never, ever have opened my eyes to all the delicious sub-genres lurking around out there! I am always trying to stretch out of my comfort zone. I used to also say I hated certain genres, but why? Was it based on perception, reading just a couple of titles, or what? I’m giving YA fantasy a try this year between my other books.

    I see your book about Norway and the black death and it actually appeals to me. I’m weird that way but I would love to read more books about that region and I enjoy some historical fiction. Here’s a title (not about the plague) that perhaps you haven’t read. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. Not as dense as the book you’re reading now, but based loosely on a true story and set in past Iceland.

    Welcome to the blogosphere!

    • Dang, forgot to say my adult son and I read Night a few years ago, what an impression it made. And I also DNF Marsh King’s Daughter. I DNF a fair chunk of my books as I race along, but don’t bother mentioning them.

    • I’ve never heard of Burial Rites, and it sounds so interesting. Thank you! I do like heavy books. My husband makes fun of me for reading so many “depressing” books. I want to learn how to appreciate all kinds of books, though. Even in the short amount of time I’ve been blogging, I’ve discovered so many books that I never would have heard of otherwise. Thanks for the warm welcome!

      And you’re probably right, I’m saying I hate YA based on a couple titles. Actually I’m lying. I LOVED The Hunger Games but then never liked another YA book after that (Lunar Chronicles, Red Rising). It’s like once I read The Hunger Games all other YA books couldn’t cut it for me.

  • You know, it was exactly the same for me when I started out 🙂 I disliked YA too, but found out that there can be different YA than I thought there was.
    Also, did you read my review of The Plague Charmer? It was spectacular! If you have a fascination with the plague and such stories, I would seriously recommend it 🙂

    • I’m going to go over and find your review right now! Yay, another plague book! I haven’t heard of that one. This is why book blogging is so great.

      I’m also starting to think I should give YA another chance. I just need to choose carefully, I guess!

    • I have the same problem with assigned reading! To this day I’m annoyed that I was assigned To Kill a Mockingbird when I was an immature high schooler, and of course I just watched the movie and read the cliff’s notes. Now I know too much of the story to read the book, and I totally ruined it for myself! Anyway, Night is so good and very short, so I say definitely give it another chance. I loved it on audio.

  • So true, I’ve found some YA books that I’ve really liked since I started blogging. Prior to that I didn’t read ANY.

    I was curious about the Marsh King’s Daughter too, bummer that it didn’t quite work for you. 🙁

    • Marsh King seems to have okay reviews on Goodreads. It isn’t a very big commitment, so maybe just give it a try! And it’s true, blogging puts so many more books on our radar. It’s exploding my TBR. Thanks for stopping by!

  • First of all, kudos for using “curmudgeon.” A sorely underutilized word, IMO.

    I’m the worst at judging books by their cover – or even title. But I’ve been proven wrong so many times that I really need to get over it. I’m not a big fan of the Young Jane Young cover, either, but I’ve seen some really great reviews for it, sooo… hopefully it will be a winner for you.

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    • Ha ha, you just made me feel so good about using “curmudgeon”, thank you! Its is a fun word, isn’t it? I call my husband a curmudgeon sometimes, but what a thrill it was to get to apply it to myself in this instance.

      I finished listening to Jane today and I ended up really liking it (maybe wouldn’t go so far as to say “love”). I’m glad I gave it a shot!

  • I have been rewarded by reading out of my comfort zone. Contemporary is not my thing but so far I have really liked Becky Albertalli’s books. But I’ll stick with fantasy regardless. 😉 I hope going out of your comfort zone will work well for you.

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