Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Mistaken Expectations

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we're talking about expectations - books that we liked more (or less) than expected. This could easily be two separate posts, but I'm going to split it up and give you five books in each category instead.

BOOKS THAT EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATIONS

Vanity Fair by Wiliam Makepeace Thackery  - You'd be surprised to know how much I was dreading this book, but thanks to a read-along with friends and a print/audio combination, I (almost) loved it!

The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine  - Modern retellings of classics don't often appeal to me, but this take-off on Sense and Sensibility  was excellent... a perfect summer read.

This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz - Loosely connected short stories with more f-bombs than I've ever encountered in a single book...still can't believe I loved it.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barberry - I'm not a huge fan of philosophy and thought this might be too much. The audio version was outstanding.

The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus by Sonya Sones  - A novel told in verse? This coming-of-middle-age story is not to be missed!


BOOKS THAT FELL SHORT OF EXPECTATIONS

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde  - I was expecting light and humorous, but got dark and heavy.

Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow  - Beloved by many, it just didn't do much for me.

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger  - Entertaining, but it's certainly not The Time Traveler's Wife.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay   - The historical story was excellent, but the present day drama drove me nuts.

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka  - I really liked her previous novel, but the repetitiveness of this one bothered me. I'm in a very small minority here.

Have any read anything recently that differed from your expectations?
Visit The Broke and the Bookish for more TTT posts.

26 comments:

  1. Her Fearful Symmetry is a good book! I was majorly disappointed in that one. Although I was also slightly disappointed in The Time Traveler's Wife... I don't think that's the author for me, lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah - I enjoyed Her Fearful Symmetry, but I guess after The Time Traveler's Wife I was expecting more. :-(

      Delete
  2. Woo hoo for the Vanity Fair readalong! I ended up really liking it too and reading it with friends was the perfect motivator. Funny, Her Fearful Symmetry and Sarah's Key both made my disappointing list too today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melissa - Your Vanity Fair readalong was definitely a high point in my classics reading this year!

      Delete
  3. I love this idea for Top Ten Tuesday--I may have to do it myself. I agree that VF was more enjoyable than expected, and Dorian Gray was less good than expected (the accolades this book get really baffles me). I know I will be disappointed in Her Fearful Symmetry, which is why I still haven't read it--maybe it'll surprise me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JaneGS - I hope I'll see your list pop up in my reader later today! As far as Dorian Gray goes, I think I was just too far off in my expectations. Will probably reread it at some point (now that I know it's not light and funny) and concentrate on what Wilde is really saying.

      Delete
  4. What an interesting meme! I totally agree with you in several of these: Yes to Hedgehog, one of my all time faves. And Sarah's Key is a disappointment. Vanity Fair is in my TBR box... too bad I missed the Read-along. Dorian Gray? Maybe if you read it like a morality tale of the old classic literature then you won't feel so bad about it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arti - I think I would have liked Dorian Gray much better if I'd known ahead of time what I was going to be reading... so it's my own fault really. I'll give Wilde another chance.

      Delete
  5. I keep hearing negative things about Her Fearful Symmetry. I picked it up on sale a couple years ago, but I keep not reading it. No has ever encouraged me to. I think it's going to sit unread for a while longer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loni - It was enjoyable enough, but not the great novel I was expecting... I wouldn't be in any particular hurry to read it.

      Delete
  6. Agree with you on Her Fearful Symmetry. Couldn't get into the Cathleen Schine, though. Perhaps I'll give it another go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vintage Reading - I think The Three Weissmanns of Westport was a case of the right book at the right time for me. I really enjoyed Schine's clever adaptations of the original story.

      Delete
  7. Never got to the Tree Weissmann's of Westport - sounds like I need to. Enjoyable lists here; thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane - Not everyone loved Three Weissmanns as much as I did, but I lthought Schine put a very clever modern twist on Austen's story!

      Delete
  8. I marked The Three Weissmanns to read specifically because of your review. I really enjoyed this post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Staci - I hope you enjoy it. It was an ideal summer read for me!

      Delete
  9. Thanks for this great post. Your reviews and comments have been so helpful and I have to say I've been using you as my guide lately. By the way, I'm really enjoying The Makioka Sisters!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lilea - Thank you! I'm so glad to hear you're enjoying The Makioka Sisters - such an interesting look at Japanese life at that time, and its struggles between the 'old' and 'modern' ways. I've never read anything quite like it.

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. Debbie Rodgers - Ragtime was a major disappointment for me. It was a book club selection and I read it while we were on vacation... ended up leaving the book in our rented condo!

      Delete
  11. I have Vanity Fair, you've almost convinced me to read it ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stacybuckeye - You'll know when the time is right for you :-)

      Delete
  12. Interesting list - I may have to pick up The Three Weissmanns of Westport sometime this summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carol - It's a perfect summer read, especially if you liked Sense and Sensibility.

      Delete
  13. I really liked The Three Weissmann's of Westport and agree with you re: The Picture of Dorian Gray. I had to read that in HS and remembering feeling like it would never end!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Booksnyc - The Three Weissmanns of Westport was definitely a case of the right book at the right time for me - really enjoyed that one! Poor Dorian Gray was just not what I was expecting.

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

I understand commenting has been a challenge lately, so will now allow anonymous comments. However, I will moderate comments on older posts. Sorry for the inconvenience.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails