"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." (Francis Bacon)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Booked By 3

I made a few buttons, 3 of them, actually, for this meme. I thought it might be nice to do it again sometime, provided I can think of another threesome of bookish questions. They're in the sidebar, near the bottom.

And now for my answers.

1.) Name 3 books you haven't read but have always wanted to.
I really want to read some of the Russian classics, especially The Brothers Karamazov and Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstory. Maybe I'll have time after I retire. :)

2.) Name 3 books you've read that you wish you hadn't.
These days, I don't finish reading a book I'm not enjoying, but when I was younger, like my mother, I read every book to the end, no matter how much I wasn't enjoying it. And of course, there were books I had to read for school, but I won't count those because I was required to read them.
The best thing I can say about reading John Grisham's The Firm is that I only wasted two evenings on it. And I'm glad I read it so I could know what his books are like, useful for my work as a librarian. But for me, there was no suspense.
And I could have better spent the time I slogged through Anthem by Ayn Rand (I just wasn't enthralled by her writing), and Urshurak, a fantasy by the Hildebrandt Brothers and Jerry Nichols (the Brothers Hidebrandt should've just stuck to their art, IMO, as this book was a big disappointment).

3.) Name 3 books you read that were better than you expected.
This is the hard question. I tend to be fussy about what I read. However, these books surprised me by rising above my hopes for them.
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane. I'd read some mixed reviews, so despite having loved Mystic River, I had reservations about this one, but I enjoyed reading it enormously.
For Rouenna by Sigrid Nunez. My boss talked me into reading this in 2003. We rarely enjoy the same type of books, but she was insistent I'd enjoy this one, so I reluctantly agreed to try it and ended up completely immersed in this tale about a nurse during the Viet Nam war and how her life affected the narrator.
Sometimes, I pick up a book I never heard of before, but the cover catches my eye while I'm browsing in Barnes & Noble and the blurb sounds interesting and the prose inside seems engaging enough, so I give the book a try. One such book that was wonderful is Stephanie A. Smith's Other Nature, a trade pb science fiction book disguised as mainstream fiction. This was a very inventive book that took chances. I like that in a novel.