Recommending Books I Didn’t Like #2

I’m definitely of the opinion that taste is subjective. Which is why, what works for me may not work for you and vice versa. That’s why I want to recognise books that have a lot going for them, but sadly weren’t my cup of tea. Writing a post like this can be a real challenge- and yet I’m here for round #2 because I relish the chance to give books the kudos they deserve… even if they weren’t quite my jam! Today I’ve chosen books that could easily turn out to be five star reads for someone else! Let’s get to it!

Eye of the World– having watched the show (and yes hearing all the ways it differs from the books) I can now say that it has a really interesting story. So much so that even though I didn’t enjoy the first book because of the writing style, I’m keen to give the series another go. It doesn’t hurt that I’m told it’s a story about hope- which is exactly the kind of fantasy I’m often looking for!

Romanovs– I was kinda numb by the time I got to the end of this monstrosity mammoth book- but the last section is worth reading and it’s an absolutely comprehensive study.

Gormenghast– I didn’t love this story, but it could be because it was very overhyped for me. What I will say is that the descriptions are so visual and I can still remember the feel of the book- even if I didn’t love it as I hoped I might. It’s a one of a kind book that will stick in your mind.

Handmaid’s Tale– love it or loathe it, you can’t deny its cultural significance or Atwood’s talent. Even if I felt tripped up by the world-building, I can attest to this being the kind of book you won’t forget in a hurry. 

Slaughterhouse Five– this is a rec straight from my sister, who loves Vonnegut and wanted me to try it. And it certainly has a striking writing style, even if it wasn’t for me.

Station Eleven– this one is an easy one to recommend, since the only reason I didn’t like this book was because of timing. So I can definitely say it’s a well-written and intense experience… just maybe hold off on it until you’re reading books set in an apocalypse caused by a pandemic.

Fifth Season– this is also easy to recommend- especially since I didn’t dislike this one per se. I just didn’t love it as much as I thought it would. But there is absolutely no denying the quality of the work or that it is doing something entirely unique.

To the Lighthouse– I mentioned Virginia Woolf in my last post, yet I also wanted to mention that I love her writing on a sentence-by-sentence level.

Sons and Lovers– this is another one I didn’t hate- but I find it a little emotional for me and this may be the only opportunity I have to recommend it. It’s beautifully written and a really moving story.

Grief is a Thing with Feathers– this is definitely an unusual book that divides opinion- and the only way to find out which side you fall on is to go ahead and read it. While I didn’t get as much out of this as I hoped, I think it does have some profound insight into the process of grieving.

So, what do you think? Would you recommend any of these too? And what books that you didn’t like would you recommend? Let me know in the comments!

Feel Good Reads for Stepping Out of a Funk – *Books with Positive Vibes*

Because if books can’t help, what can? I was looking for lists of books that can really help get you out of a funk and couldn’t find one that quite fit what I was looking for, so naturally decided to write my own. I have tried to look for books in a range of genres and moods- but all of them should be equally life-affirming! Enjoy!

Obviously, Man’s Search for Meaning goes without saying (reread it recently, still brilliant). But if you’re looking for MORE MEANING- then why not try Frankl’s recently translated series of lectures on the subject? Life-affirming and uniquely insightful, I feel like this is the perfect place to turn if you’re searching for wisdom.

Eat Pray Love– I love Elizabeth Gilbert’s non fic- it’s honest, hearty and very inspirational. This globe-trotting memoir is so much more than a simple journey- it’s about rediscovering hope and finding your way into healing.

Furiously Happy– if you need an out-of-the-box non fic about mental health, then this could make you furiously happy! I laughed so much at this book and found it so unusual.

A Man Called Ove– the way I’d describe this book is as an adult version of Up, in book form! This deals with dark subjects, in a moving and ultimately uplifting way. Focusing on friendship and the power of human kindness, this book shines a light on all that is good in the world.

The Flatshare– what I love about this quirky romance is that it doesn’t just focus on finding new love- it’s also fundamentally about overcoming past hurts and heartbreak.

Bookish and the Beast– this fairy tale has always had elements of second chances- and that’s really evident in this retelling. Coupled with an exploration of opening your heart to new possibilities and coming to terms with what has passed, this is my favourite in the Once Upon a Con series so far.

Afterlife of Holly Chase– okay, I swore to myself that I wouldn’t mention this book again until next Christmas rolls around, but I can’t help it! I love this retelling of A Christmas Carol! It perfectly captures the spirit of the original, whilst also giving it new life. Just do yourself a favour and get yourself a copy ready for the next holiday season!! If you don’t, I’ll haunt you!

Clap When You Land– in this moving contemporary YA, Acevedo shows us how hardship can bring us crashing down to earth, and yet also uplift us.

Bright Side– this one may be more of a kicker, so make sure you have tissues handy. It’s a beautiful romance about seeing the bright side in hard situations. Give it ago (when you are emotionally ready to have your heart ripped out).

Words in Deep Blue– I adore the way this book delves into grief- with such heart and deep thoughts. One of the most cathartic books I’ve ever read, it shows that there really is a road to recovery if you seek it.

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society– layered with moving stories, this unforgettable epistolary novel is about people rebuilding their lives after they’ve been shattered by WW2. It demonstrates that there is life and love to be found after disaster.

And that’s all for now! Do you agree with any of the books on this list? And do you have any uplifting recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments!

Why I’m Happy to be Positive ALWAYS

Okay I can’t actually be happy all the time, as I explained in my post about why I’m happy to be negative sometimes. Since the beginning of the year, though, I’ve been a bit of a slump, which has made me more selective about what books I pick up. On the bright side, this book diet has actually been rather slimming, because though I’m reading less, I’m reading BETTER. So I decided to share a list about why this is a good thing and why I ought to stick to this strict regimen… (even though I’d really like to be able to whizz through more books 😉 )

I’m picking up better books– thanks to you guys I’ve been able to realllly screen out a lot of books. So while my tbr is always growing, it tends to be full of books which I have a lot of high hopes for!

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It also means I’m picking the right books for me! Especially with ARCs I’m super selective about what I do pick up- which has worked out well for me personally- cos even if I end up with fewer books at least I’m confident I’ll like them 🙂 . Not everything is my thing- and that’s okay- I just have to make sure I balance out trying out new things avoiding things I know I won’t enjoy.

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And I’m picking them up at the right time! I’m a massive mood reader- so if my mood doesn’t match the story, it’ll be to the books detriment. So actually listening to my mood is helping pick up better timed books.

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Also, if I don’t feel like reading, I’m not reading– which is such a weird thing to list as positive- but I will say it’s definitely helping me be more zen about reading (well, as zen as a stressball like me can be)

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I’ve also been better at keeping things fresh this month– I’ve been trying new things, but mostly reading from different genres, which has helped with the monotony I felt from reading too many series back to back last year.

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It’s FUN– I know I made this point in my post about negativity- yet let’s be fair it’s much more fun to enjoy yourself! Well, while it lasts…

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I feel AWESOME after I’ve written a positive review. It’s nice to spread a little joy and it’s cathartic in a different kind of way. I hope you’re all enjoying my excitement. Cos…

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Who doesn’t like a happy, satisfied monkey? I’ve been showering books with so many bananas that I’m feeling rather sated. Long may it last!!

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So do you agree with me? Disagree? Do you think reading fewer books can be better? Let me know in the comments!