Top 10 Tuesday : Books That Were Deceiving

Top 10 Tuesday is a book meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Check them out and join us!

At first, I really didn’t know how to approach this week. Should I go by covers, perception, reviews? Deceiving just sounded so severe and deliberate on behalf of the author and publishers. In the end I went books that were different than I had anticipated.

All images from Goodreads

1. The Next Always by Nora Roberts: I had never read anything by Nora Roberts prior to this book which I only picked up because my library has a limited English section. It’s our city’s French library so although they have English books, they just don’t have as large of a selection for browsing as other locations. In my mind, I had imagined that Nora Roberts was granny lit: really old fashioned, chaste, boring. I have no idea why I felt that way. It turns out, I was completely wrong. Since then I have read other books by Nora Roberts and thoroughly enjoyed them. They do seem to follow a similar pattern that might be repetitive if you read too many in a row but they’re still great for a nice light read.

2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte:  The ultimate in tragic romance and one of my all time favourite books. I clearly remember purchasing this book at a book fair (remember those?) in Grade 8. I was so pretentious. I had seen this book referenced in other books, movies, etc. and expected a really safe romantic tale. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It took me quite a few years before I was mature enough to read the book. Now I can really appreciate it’s darkness.

3. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough: This book was kind of the opposite of Nora Roberts. Having only ever heard of (but have never seen) the miniseries, I expected this book to be cheap and tawdry. This is another time when I have no idea why. However, last summer, I downloaded the audiobook to my ipod for my 36 hour bus journey. I really didn’t want to read it but it was one of the only things available at the time. I completely loved it. Even off the bus, I would lay in bed and listen or pretend to sleep so I could find out what was happening. The book lasted for 20 hours and I loved them. It’s one of the few audiobooks I’ve listened to that I actually want to read the physical book. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes curling up with a saga.

4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson: I started to read these books for my bookclub at the height of the craze in late 2010. Judging the book solely by title and cover, I imagined that it was a typical crime thriller with a male protagonist and I would not be interested in it whatsoever. Only when I actually picked up the book did I find out how wrong I was. Lisbeth is now one of my favourite literary characters. Something I might have discovered earlier if I wasn’t so judgemental.

5. Then Came You  by Jennifer Weiner: You know when you LOVE a book by a certain author so you just keep picking up their subsequent books only to be disappointed? That’s what happened here. This book was disappointing. I keep forgetting how depressed I feel after reading Jennifer Weiner’s books. I loved Good in Bed and In Her Shoes but I think I just have to stay away from now on. I don’t think this was as depressing as the last couple of books I read from her. It’s just the trick though. I see a new book with her name and I get so excited that I forget that I didn’t like the last couple. I think I’m always expecting the next one to be as good as the first.

6. Bake Sale Murder  by Leslie Meier: This is another don’t judge a book by its cover entry. A book I never would have picked up if not desperate for something to read in the French library. Although it was book 13 in the series (you never really have to start at #1 in these things do you?), I found it really entertaining and I actually didn’t guess who the murderer was till the reveal. That rarely happens. I have read a few more by these author since and they’re great little cozy mysteries.

7. Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard: I had imagined this story to be a bit more light hearted with a touch of whimsy. It was darker than expected. It was fairly well written although I remember skimming a lot in parts. Also, I found the author came off as pretty pompous and horrid to her own family with no sense of redemption. Almost like she didn’t recognize how unfair and awful she was being to those around her. However, I have seen other reviews where people loved this book so I wouldn’t want this to disuade you from reading it if you were interested.

8. Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran: This book is exactly as presented so why was I so surprised by the story? I think it’s because I had never heard of Madame Tussaud’s actual life. In fact, after reading I had to google, google, google. It is historical fiction but the most bizarre and shocking parts of the story are all documented to be true. I had thought this would be another French Revolution story that had been told time and time again. However, this was a completely new story and one that could only be unique to her. A must read!

9. Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin: This falls into the I-loved-the-first-book-she-wrote-so-I’ll-keep-reading pile. I couldn’t finish it. I thought it was going to be more positive that in was the initial conflict just felt forced. It didn’t make any sense to me and I was so disappointed.

10. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert: I know I know! This one is controversial. I have to preface this by saying how much I really wanted to love it. I really did! After watching the whole Oprah episode, I booked it at the library and was so excited when I could finally pick it up. Then I read it. This book does seem polarizing. Everyone I know either loves it or hates it. I think I might have loved it more if I wasn’t living in my friends’ basement working at La Senza at the time but I guess we’ll never know. I had thought it was going to be about a woman’s journey to discovering herself and enriching her life. I suppose that is how some people see it and it could have been but I only made it through Italy. I just thought she was full of herself but like I said, I was living in my friend’s basement at the time.

Join me on Goodreads!

What books would you consider deceiving?

7 thoughts on “Top 10 Tuesday : Books That Were Deceiving

  1. I hear so many good things about Wuthering Heights I’m tempted to give it another go. I didn’t really enjoy it the first time I read it but maybe I missed something!

  2. Ooh, great list! I skipped this topic because I didn’t quite know what to do with it, either. I love how you approached it. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, although I still haven’t read it, was definitely deceiving to me cover-wise. I honestly thought it was a fantasy novel by the title/cover. I had no idea it was a crime story until it got more popular and I finally looked it up. Go figure! Also, I’ve never read Nora Roberts, which is definitely something I’m embarrassed about. I have a few random books of hers that I’ve been meaning to try, though. (I can’t believe her latest is her 200th!) Eat, Pray, Love, I’m in the love-it camp. It was the first memoir I ever read, and it was in the middle of a summer when I literally threw myself into literature and didn’t do much else (haha). I really don’t think I had heard anything negative about it before I read it, so part of me wonders now if I was a little swayed by all the hype around it. I definitely remember the Italy scenes when she was…overtly emotional? As I recall I zipped through Italy pretty quickly and it was actually the India and Indonesia parts I loved best – there were a bunch of other memorable characters and I was curious about the element of meditation. But I wonder if I went back and re-read it now if it would still hold the same charm. (Especially since I read one of her novels, Stern Men, and couldn’t stand it!)

    • I definitely think if I read Eat Pray Love now I’d be more open minded to what she was going through. I think I was just to poor at the time to sympathize. 🙂

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