I swear that the week after a vacation is the slowest dang thing that has ever existed. I need to start making sure that when I go on vacation it bleeds into two separate weeks so I can prolong the amount of time it takes me to have to complete a full week of work. This has been bruuuutal y’all. However, it’s always nice to get back into a routine and I’ve been doing a bunch of reading so I’m not too upset about it. As I mentioned earlier this week I’m making a Thai Curry dish to pair with my Behind Her Eyes review which I’ll be posting on Friday, so keep an eye out! For today, I wanted to participate in Top 5 Wednesday!
Top 5 Wednesday, like all the other memes I do is actually a Goodreads group rather than a blog! Different “top 5” topics are discussed every week and it’s a super fun way to revisit and share books you’ve already read with readers. I definitely suggest checking out the group if you’re into these kinds of posts! This week the topic is “books you thought you’d hate but ended up loving”! This one is actually pretty hard for me (but IDKKK I feel like I say that all the time) because I generally don’t read books I think I’ll hate. So I’m going for more of a “books I was less enthusiastic about reading but ended up loving” vibe.
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
For some reason both the synopsis and the first couple of pages / chapters literally bored me to tears with this book. I’d kept revisiting it because a) the cover is stunning and b) the reviews are so full of hype I felt like I was missing something. I didn’t have anything else that sounded better to read so I picked her up and what do you know, it was a 5-star read for me! It’s definitely a lot slower than the books I typically read but I’m so happy I stuck it out. Now I’m again kind of running into the same issue with the second book so I set it aside during my book slump to revisit later because I know it’ll be just as good I’ve just got to get to gettin!
Full review along with a recipe for Zharkoye (Russian stew) here!
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
So, again, definitely never thought I’d *hate* this book but for some reason I felt like it was going to be boring. I’ve mentioned it before but prose aren’t generally my numero uno in whether or not I’ll enjoy a book. I’m more of a story girl than how beautiful the words are. However, thanks to the ever amazing Traveling Sister’s and the hype surrounding this book, I read this with a group of wonderful ladies and got to experience the sheer magic of the marriage of a beautiful story with stunning prose. Another one that ended up being a surprise 5-star read for me!
Full review along with recipes for a southern fried feast here!
Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
Sometime last year my husband and I read a few books together because I was riding the high of the “group read” and after I’d made him read multiple of the books that are more my style he asked me to read the first book in his favorite series. He, of course, couldn’t have picked a bigger series, comprised of bigger books. At a whopping 561 pages I felt like I’d have to trudge through this to get to the end. However, I was pleasantly surprised and despite not being a big science-fiction fan, I really enjoyed this read! It wasn’t a 5-star for me, but it was 4 and I’m all the happier for having read it!
Full review along with a recipe for “Martian” skillet lasagna found here!
Nobody’s Sweetheart Now by Maggie Robinson
This is one of the first ARCs that I had read. I didn’t have many followers on GR, and I didn’t have a blog so it was slim pickings what I’d get approved for. However, while “cozy” mysteries aren’t my go-to this one totally blew me out of the water! I think this is the coziest of the cozy that I’ve ever read. I found myself so supremely charmed by Adelaide and being visited by her late husbands ghost (who is a real piece of work) while trying to solve the mystery of how someone ended up murdered in her barn was surprisingly fun. It had mad “Clue” vibes and I found myself giggling and happily reading along when I wasn’t sure going in if it was going to fit my *vibe*.
Full review found on my Goodreads profile here!
The Whole30 by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig
Maybe this is a cop out since it’s not a novel but IDGAF and I’m gonna put it on here. I was wholly (get it) unenthusiastic about doing Whole30 when I started on January 1st. However, now both my husband and I are looking to do it again soon. I have very few negative feelings about the experience and it really shed a lot of light onto gut health and the things we’re putting into our bodies. It made me feel incredibly in control of myself and my diet. Not only that but the other positive side effects were numerous and I think will be long lasting. It was really an amazing “reset” for the both of us and I look forward to doing it again!
Well, I think that would’ve been much easier for me if the topic had been “books you thought you’d love but left you supremely disappointed” but this was a great challenge that I really enjoyed! I’ve got something a little bit different than my usual book/food posts in store for y’all tomorrow so keep an eye out!
Have you read any of these titles? If so, do you agree with me? What are some books you thought you’d not be a big fan of but ended up loving? Drop me a note in the comments and let me know!
18 thoughts on “Top 5 Wednesday: Books You Thought You’d Hate, but Ended Up Loving!”
I haven’t read any of these, but I’ve seen a lot of rave reviews about The Bear and the Nightingale!
I found it incredibly slow to start and the names made it hard for me to get into a “reading zone” but I’m super happy I read it! Granted, I’m running into the SAME issue with the second book but I feel like if I push through I’ll be super happy I read it!
I started but set aside The Bear and the Nightingale because, like you said, it’s soooooo slow to start. And it just wasn’t doing it for me. But again, like you said, everyone keeps raving about it, so that I feel I’m missing out on something. So it’s on the to try reread pile, along with a couple of other titles.
And after Norrie said she loved Crawdads Sing, I wanted to read it, though have yet to buy it. Do I really want to bawl my eyes out? Hmm … so many books so little time.
It’s so hard because I feel like there are so many books that why would I take the time to push through something I’m not vibing with but at the same time I’m super happy I did and I loved the book. I’ve now run into the same exact issue with the second installment and I had to set it aside too so I totally understand!
Crawdads is beautiful and heartbreaking for sure! I loved it but it’s definitely a bit of a tear jerker!
Been kicking myself for months for passing on Crawdads… I am an IDIOT!
LOL, I feel you though, I wasn’t originally swept away by the synopsis either!
Three of these are on my shelf so of course I’m thrilled they worked out for you. Great post, Christina💜
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Great choices. I have been meaning to read the Katherine Arden one forever now. I keep seeing the Crawdad one around though and I still haven’t looked into what it is even about lol
Both are fantastic!
I really like the sound of The Bear and the Nightingale, I have heard of the others and really need to add them to my TBR pile.
Great selection. I have seen a couple of these around but two are completely new to me.
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You know I was asked to review Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens by the publisher but turned it down as I didn’t think it would be for me, now everyone says it’s an amazing read. Thinks I missed out.
Aw man! But I understand passing it up, I probably wouldn’t have read it if it weren’t a group read for a group I was in!
My mom is listening to Where The Crawdads Sing so I’ve heard a few chapters😂
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Great topic! I will need to check out the books you listed, I haven’t read any of them!
Ah, this is nice – i’m glad to hear they surprised you in a good way 🙂
I have both Crawdads and Leviathan – i’m kind of expecting i’m gonna like them. Hope i won’t have the opposite experience 😀
LOL, I really enjoyed them both so fingers are crossed! 🙂
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I absolutely LOVED Where The Crawdads Sing- one of my favorites of last year!