A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving.
It used to be that I finished every single book I started. I figured I owed it to myself to slog through every book I purchased (and I am a total book-whore, so I own rather than borrow) even those books that just didn’t do it for me. Sometimes I was rewarded for my perseverance and sometimes I wasn’t. I don’t do it much anymore. If I really, really think I should read the book and I start and it’s not grabbing me – I put it aside. At some point, I hope I’ll get back to it. Mostly, though, I don’t. I just have too many books on my tbr shelf (not the virtual one, either, the actual shelves!) and so I don’t labour over books that don’t speak to me pretty quickly.
That said, I have read books that I didn’t initially think would be my cup of tea. Yann Martel’s Life of Pi would be one such book. Just too out there for me. Still, I read it. I enjoyed it. I’m not sure I understood it, but when I was done I felt pretty proud of myself. It was a book club selection a few years back and we had a great discussion about the book. Another book that would fall into this category would be Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, a challenging book that ended up being so powerful and memorable I have often recommended it.
I am sure there have been others, but I am going to choose The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak as the book I didn’t think I would like but ended up loving. When it was chosen for my book club I was thrilled as it was on my tbr list, but when I started to read it I thought, oh dear, this just isn’t going to be my cup of tea at all. Since it was a book club pick, though, I thought I would try to muscle my way through it; the discussion isn’t nearly as much fun if you haven’t read the book. About 50 pages in – wham! I fell madly in love with Zusak’s main character, Liesel, and the rest of the characters. Set in Nazi Germany, The Book Thief, narrated by Death ( a conceit that actually never stops being effective) is Liesel’s story, but it is not hers alone. If you love books, if you love the notion that words have the power to set you free, if you abhor prejudice and hatred, if you have hope in your heart, The Book Thief might just be the best book you’ve never read. This book deserves the hype.
When I finished this book (after I wiped the tears away) I started making a list of all the people I wanted to read it: my children, my students, my friends…
I really, really love it.