Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed, but Have Never Mentioned on My Blog


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A bookcase that is slowly opening and revealing a hidden passage behind it. Let’s see how many books I can think of that fit this prompt!

I know I’ve already mentioned many of the books I enjoyed reading on my site at some point, so it took me a little while to search for all of these titles in my archives to make sure I hadn’t mentioned them before.

Enjoy isn’t exactly the right word for some of these answers because of the serious topics they cover, but they were still excellent books that I’m glad I discovered.

Keep reading to discover my hodgepodge of answers!

They cover so many different genres and topics.

 

 

 

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens book cover. Image on cover is an oil painting of a young 19th century man wearing a cap and looking serious.

1. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Why I Enjoyed It: The author had a thought-provoking message about what we should expect out of life and how we should respond if our wishes don’t come true or aren’t fulfilled in the ways we thought they would be. I didn’t understand his point so well when I first read this tale, but it makes a great deal more sense to me now.

 

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Book cover. Image on cover is an oil painting of a woman holding an infant and looking seriously off into the distance.

2. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Why I Enjoyed It: This story was assigned to my English class many years ago in a time in my life when I was experiencing a lot of bullying.  I found an odd sense of comfort in reading about adults behaving just as poorly a few centuries ago. Some people need to put others down in order to feel better about themselves. That sort of behaviour says a lot about the perpetrator’s character, and not in a complimentary way.

 

The World According to Garp by John Irving Book cover. Image on cover shows a drawing of a brown and white bullfrog.

3. The World According to Garp by John Irving

Why I Enjoyed It: Most of the characters were rather selfish and unkind, but they were often witty and creative as well. While I wouldn’t want them to be a permanent part of my life by any means, I would be amused by listening to their stories over dinner for an evening. It takes a lot of talent to create deeply unlikeable characters that still draw a reader into their lives, flaws and all.

 

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison book cover. There is no image on the cover, just a pretty, blue background.

4. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Why I Enjoyed It: Ms. Morrison has a poetic writing style that’s always wonderful to read.

 

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn book cover. There is no image on the cover other than a few decorative swoops of the pen next to the letter A in the title.

5. A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

Why I Enjoyed It: It told the stories of so many different groups of people who were rarely if ever mentioned in the history classes taught when I was in elementary, middle, and high school.

 

The Ugly Little Boy by Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg book cover. Image on cover shows a drawing of man standing next to a gigantic golden pillar of some sort.

6. The Ugly Little Boy by Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg

Why I Enjoyed It: Anyone who has followed this blog for a while might remember how much I enjoy stories about Neanderthals. This was a good one.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander book cover. Image on cover shows the hands of a black man who is gripping rails in a prison cell. His face is not visible.

7. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

Why I Enjoyed It: Okay, so enjoy is definitely not the right term for this book. Let’s say that I was educated by it instead. Reading it was the first time I’d been exposed to the idea that the prison industry could be compared to the Jim Crow era.

 

Ash by Malinda Lo Book cover. Image on cover shows an Asian girl wearing a flouncy white dress as she curls up in a ball.

8. Ash by Malinda Lo

Why I Enjoyed It: It was the first Cinderella retelling I read, and I thought it was well done.

 

Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1) by Isaac Marion Book cover. Image on cover shows a zombie giving a bouquet of yellow flowers to a living teen girl.

9. Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1) by Isaac Marion

Why I Enjoyed It: I used to enjoy zombie fiction and was flabbergasted at the thought of anyone turning those creatures into a love interest. This took a very interesting take on the subject for sure!

 

The World According to Mr. Rogers: Important Things to Remember by Fred Rogers book cover. Image on cover shows a minimalistic drawing of Mr. Roger’s famous sweater.

10. The World According to Mr. Rogers: Important Things to Remember by Fred Rogers

Why I Enjoyed It: Mr. Rogers was a wonderful human being who made the world a better place. He was so full of wisdom, love, and grace!

56 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed, but Have Never Mentioned on My Blog

  1. Great list, Lydia! I want to read Great Expectations but it admittedly intimidates me a whole lot! 😂 Ash looks like a really dark Cinderella retelling but it has piqued my interest. Will have to check it out!

    • Thank you.

      That book is a tough read (or at least it was for me). I will be cheering you on if or when you decide to read it. It was worth it in the end!

      I hope you like Ash, too.

  2. I’m a teenager and reading classics is something I love! I read Great Expectations for school, we were just reading extracts but that felt silly so I read the whole thing. I liked it but I think reading it now with the experience of reading a lot more classics would be great, now I’m too scared though! It’s great to see some classics mentioned!

    My TTT: https://zbestbooks.blogspot.com/2022/03/top-ten-tuesday-books-that-never-got.html

    • The film version of Warm Bodies was good! I hope you like the book, too.

      Have you ever seen a film version of The Scarlet Letter? I haven’t, but now I’m curious if such a thing exists and if it’s any good.

  3. Except for Garp, those would be hard to review.But, every book hits every reader differently. If Garp was like that for you, that’s marvelous. I read it in college in the early 80s. But how would you review Great Expectations?? You nailed it with that one.

  4. Lots of amazing books on your list this week, Lydia. I have Zinn’s book in my office somewhere. I really want to read The World According to Mr. Rogers. I never missed his show growing up.

    Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog today.

    • You’re welcome.

      I think you’d enjoy The World According to Mr. Rogers quite a bit. It reminded me so much of his wonderful show.

    • Heh, I’m glad I’ve never seen the film, then!

      By the way, are my comments showing up on your blog posts? I have been leaving them!

  5. Ooooh! I completely forgot The World According to Garp! I went on a huge Irving kick in grade 12, starting with A Prayer for Owen Meany and moving on to this one, The Cider House Rules, A Son of the Circus and The Fourth Hand. His writing has this way of being at once deeply affecting and incredibly disturbing. I’ve not encountered any other authors whose work has quite the same effect! I’ve yet to finish The New Jim Crow but I’ve seen it quoted and referenced so many times that I feel like I’ve read it! Such an important book and concept. Have you watched the film 13th? I’d recommend it if you’re interested – extremely well done and full of important ideas and information. Great list!

    • Heh, I was about the same age when I read his work. Yeah, that’s a great way to describe him for sure.

      No, I haven’t seen 13th. When did it come out? I’ll add it to my to-watch list.

      I think you’d get a lot out of The New Jim Crow for sure.

      • Hahaha I’ve never found anyone who had quite such an Irving bout as I did – nevermind at the same age and with the same overall impression! Which of his was your favourite?

        I’m not sure when 13th came out – it’s on Netflix here, though. I first watched it pre-pandemic, so it’s been out for at least that long! So good. It’s an Ava Duvernay film, she also did When They See Us and Colin in Black and White (another fave of mine).

        I’ve read about half of it, and definitely plan to go back and read it fully. I know I’m going to love it!

        • It’s so cool we have this in common!

          The Cider House Rules was my favorite book of his. I deeply enjoyed reading about the ethical dilemmas the characters faced and how they reconciled what they’d do in an ideal world versus the practical choices they actually ended up making as a result of seeing how their ideals actually played out in our own imperfect world.

          I grew up in a community that could have a pretty black-and-white approach to things, so it was a revelation to dig into all of the shades of grey that can exist.

          What was your favourite book of his?

          Oh, and I loved When They See Us. I knew almost nothing about that case before watching it. I haven’t seen Colin in Black and White yet, but I’m super curious about it.

          What did you like most about 13th?

  6. I’m so sorry it took me so long to reply! I wrote a reply, then realized I didn’t remember 13th well enough, so went to watch it again, but then my computer rebooted and lost the reply I wrote, then I couldn’t get to older posts on your blog (when I hit “older posts” it just kept re-loading the first page) so I had to then try to remember if it was TTT or WBC and go back through yours by linking that category from a newer post…. so it’s been a whole thing! But I’m finally here, so let me try this again.

    I don’t really remember any of Iring’s books in detail, just impressions and characters and feelings and some of the more intense scenes. I loved A Prayer for Owen Meany, but mostly because I think the ideas in it were ones I hadn’t yet had on my own, and that I was ready to encounter at just that time in my life. I need to go back and read it again to see if it holds up. I liked learning about hijras in A Son of the Circus, mostly because I’d never heard of them before. And I don’t remember Cider House Rules that well, but I do remember there being characters who were both trying to do right but deeply flawed. I agree about the shades of grey. I tend to be most attracted to those middle grounds, as I feel like so very few things in life are one extreme or the other. And I find people’s inner lives just fascinating!

    I haven’t watched all of When They See Us yet (I started it and just was not able to handle it at that moment, but I will watch it soon and thought what i did see was excellent). I have watched Colin in Black and White twice now and just bought his picture book to read to my kid. I was impressed by the unique perspective he brought to the issues (he was mixed-race but adopted by a white family and brought up both in and outside of their privilege). He’s also just a really smart and eloquent guy.

    So having now watched 13th again, it’s still hard to answer that question. It’s a very good introduction to systemic racism and the prison-industrial complex and how and why it was designed the way it was, and how the different systems intersect to keep Black people and other non-white groups oppressed. Duvernay said she wanted it to be a primer for people who didn’t know anything about the issues, but also to delve deeper so that people who did already know the topics would find new ideas and ways of thinking about it. She interviewed a huge range of people – particularly formerly incarcerated people – and did an excellent job of capturing the perfect clips and splicing everything together seamlessly. It’s just a beautiful piece of cinematic work, and a great overview of the subject matter. It does make me cry, though!

    Okay, hopefully this actually gets published this time, and sorry for how long it is and how long it took!!

    • No worries, M. I’m glad to hear from you again.

      I’ll have to read A Son of the Circus sometime.

      13th is still on my to-watch list. We’ll see when I have time for it. 🙂

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.