I don't think I'm actually meeting the requirements of this challenge, what with the day-combining and whatnot I've been doing lately. Eh, what 'cha gonna do?
Day 9: A book you thought you wouldn't like, but ended up loving.
Hmmm, I've got a few that could fall into that category, so let's structure this around my thinking. I'm going to give you 3:
- A book that I tried to read, couldn't get into, tried again, couldn't get into, tried a third time and became obsessed.
- A book that a friend told me to read. I read the description, wasn't interested, friend insisted, tried it, struggled through the first 75-100 pages (it's a biggie) and then looooved
- A book that I "shouldn't" like, an embarrassing one, a guilty pleasure, if you will.
To maintain the suspense, I'm going to try this without adding the books to the top. (I like to make my own fun, don't judge me)
Sigh. I love this book...now. My mom gave me this for Christmas (I think, or possibly birthday, it was a gift giving situation at any rate) in hardback because she knew how much I loved Moby-Dick (Second Edition) (Norton Critical Editions) - Herman Melville I do, Moby Dick (or the White Whale) is one of my favorite books of all time. I love the language, the setting (19th century America, whaling, ships) the characters (I mean, Queequeg? That is awesome sauce) all of it. So, when a new book came out that was based around the wife who was mentioned in Moby Dick only 3 times, and never by name, well, slam dunk, right?!?
Ugh, man, I tried. I started it...and stopped it. Started it....and stopped it. See, this book is a bear, it's more than 650 pages long (which I like, truly, the longer the book the better, as far as I'm concerned), but maaan was it hard to get into. I finally tried it one last time. I took it with me on vacation. I didn't take any other books, only this one, it was a pride thing I think. As I sat on the beach, fruity cocktail in hand I convinced myself that where better to read a story centering around the sea than on the beach, right? Right?!?
Success, I'm not sure what happened, but from the moment I opened it that time I was hooked. I could not put it down (and that thing was heavy *ba-dum tisst*). I adored it. It is now one of my all time favorite books.
I'd never read any Kingsolver, but had heard good things. Then, a friend of mine said that I had to read this book. It was one of her favorites and I just had to try it, I was going to love it. I said ok, and then she brought this over. She then said 2 things that I remember vividly,
Friend: "Oh, it's really slow to start, like it took me like 200 pages to get into it, but once you do, it's awesome"
Me: Yay? That sounds great?
Friend: "Yeah, John (her hubby) hated it, but he's totally wrong, it's amazing"
I mean, what a stellar recommendation, right? Then I read the back blurb (let me reprint here for you all): "The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it -- from garden seeds to Scripture -- is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa."
Look, there's nothing wrong with that blurb, except I have little to no interest in missionaries in the Congo, particularly evangelical Baptist missionaries in 1959. I mean, my favorite period to read about (either history OR fiction)? Tudor England. I also enjoy a good Colonial US/Revolution yarn, maybe some Wars of the Roses or French Revolution for good measure, and anything ancient Ireland/Scotland is a win.
That blurb, I mean, all I could think was: seeds from the garden do not a suspenseful epic make. But, she's a good friend and she was so excited to loan it to me, so I girded my loins and dove in.
Yup, it's takes a while to warm up. It truly does, but it doesn't take 200 pages, it took me about 50-75 and then it was crack. It's crazy, scary, sad, wonderful, horrifying, crazy-making, beautiful and addictive. If you've not tried it, I would absolutely recommend it, it's a fantastic book.
Ok, #3, I might whisper this one...