Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! This is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where a new top ten list hits the web every week!
This week we have a great topic to explore …
TOP TEN BOOKS I’M THANKFUL I READ
Okay, another “Thankful” topic because it is going to be Thanksgiving Day in the USA later this week. Nothing wrong with that, but I’ve decided to spice my picks up by focusing on books I’m glad I read even though I didn’t wind up really liking them.
10. The Deed of Paksenarrion – Elizabeth Moon
This series had great reviews and many fans when it was released decades ago. In fact, I couldn’t have a conversation with any of my fantasy loving friends without being told I had to pick this series up. Eventually, I did. It was realistic, emotional, and told from the view of a skilled woman warrior. Definitely, a decent story, which just wasn’t for me. It did teach me that it is okay not to agree with your friends though.
9. Daggerspell – Katharine Kerr
Hailed as one of the best fantasy series ever written by many people, Daggerspell (and the Deverrey series it began) was one I tried to immerse myself in over and over again. I managed to get through this book on a couple occasions, but I would always lose interest quickly and set it aside for months and years before returning. Not sure why this fantasy and I didn’t connect, but I’m thankful I read it, since I realized it is okay to just admit when you don’t like something.
8. Half a War – Joe Abercrombie
I have to admit forcing myself to read this concluding volume of Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea grimwhine trilogy. To say I wasn’t enamored of the first two books would be an understatement, but I was determined to finish this trilogy, no matter what. Naturally, though, this novel was probably my least favorite of the trio, making me fondly recall book one, but, at least, I’m thankful I can now tell people I have tried Abercrombie at last.
7. Red Sister – Mark Lawrence
As a huge fan of Mark Lawrence, I couldn’t wait to begin a series where he promised to dazzle everyone with his kickass take on nuns. (Yeah, fighting nuns. I’m not kidding.) Unfotuantely, the book didn’t work for me, too slow paced and filled with characters I never warmed up to, but I am thankful I gave it a try, since I now know that fighting nuns are just not as cool as they sound.
6. A Crown for Cold Silver – Alex Marshall
The blurb for this book sounded amazing to me, and I enjoyed the opening chapters of it. After a promising start, the narrative went downhill for me, mired in an ever growing cascade of issues such as poor characterization, ridiculous plots, and too many fantasy tropes. What I’m thankful for here is that I finally learned to trust other reviewers who tried to warn me that this novel just wasn’t as good as it sounded.
5. The Fionavar Tapestry – Guy Gavriel Kay
This is a series I had literally owned for thirty years and never read. Obviously, all the glowing praise by the big names of fantasy literature for this grand tale and Kay’s immeasurable writing skill is what led me to purchase the trilogy in the first place, but whenever I dived in I’d never get interested. Well, I finally read the series a few years ago, enjoyed it moderately, and thankfully learned that just because a book is suppose to be a classic doesn’t mean I’m going to enjoy it.
4. The Mirror Empire – Kameron Hurley
I was expecting greatness when I picked up this book. After hearing so much praise for the author, learning about all her writing awards, and enjoying her non-fiction, she was one of the authors I was determined I had to give a try. Well, I did with this book, and though it didn’t work out for many, many reasons, I am thankful I realized I’m just not the target audience for Kameron Hurley’s works.
3. Brokedown Palace – Steven Brust
When I was growing up, I loved Steven Brust’s Vlad Taltos series; the early books among my very favorite fantasy ever published. So, naturally, I always read anything written by Brust, expecting another amazing story, and I even convinced myself I’d enjoy this fable extolling the virtues of Marxism. Well, I hated the book, but it did teach me a valuable lesson: you and your favorite authors are not alike and probably do not share any of the same ethics or beliefs.
2. Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn – Tad Williams
I can’t tell you the number of beautiful covers which have turned my reading eye, convinced me to purchase a novel in the mistaken belief the written words underneath would match the stunning image on the outside. Eventually, I learned that beauty on the outside doesn’t always equate with beauty on the inside, and I am so thankful this book taught me that valuable reading lesson.
1. The Dark Tower Book VII – Stephen King
I had been spoiled rotten over the years by the stunning conclusions to my favorite fantasy series. The Lord of the Rings probably being the best of the group. So whenever I adored a series I just assumed the ending would do justice to the journey, but this book taught me differently, showing me that you should be thankful for the trip because you might not like where it ends!
Well, that is my unique twist on the thankful list. Hopefully, you enjoy my dark humor as much as I enjoyed typing it. Please feel free to add some more books to my short list. Novels which you are thankfully you read, because they taught you some valuable reading lesson.