Top Ten Tuesday used to be a weekly post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, but was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. “It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” This is definitely something I can understand and want to participate in.
This week’s prompt is books I hope to find under my tree. However, this topic is problematic for me for a couple of reasons. First off, I don’t have a Christmas tree since I’m Jewish. Secondly, and the biggest issue is that there isn’t a single person in my family who has any clue as to what kind of books I like. So rather than listing the kind of books I’d like to get under the non-existent Christmas tree, I decided to go rogue with today’s top ten list.
I’d like to present my own take on Top Ten Tuesday, and provide you with a list of … drum roll please … books I don’t want for Chanukah!
#1. Classical poetry.
As a student who took honors English classes, I was forced to wade through anthologies of classical poetry. In all honesty, I find it boring to read. Recently, I came across not one, but two anthologies of poetry from medieval times through the modern era. I haven’t read them since I was required to read them in high school, which was longer than I care to admit. Let’s just say I could live the rest of my life happily if I didn’t have to read poetry that was written before the 20th century.
#2. Anything by Jane Austen.
I know that there’s a huge percentage of people who love reading her works. I’m just not one of them. I vaguely recall having to read at least one of her books, and knowing that it was one of my earliest instances of a DNF. We didn’t really have the incredibly sophisticated internet capabilities we have today when I was in high school, so I was forced to rely on Cliff’s Notes to formulate appropriate responses in class.
#3. Books by any of the Brontë sisters.
These are also not my personal cup of tea. I much prefer contemporary books to classical English literature. If I’m going to read classics, they tend to be Russian authors. I find this era of English literature to be a bit too stuffy for my taste, and have a difficult time identifying with any of the characters.
#4. Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris.
This book was portrayed as being based on a true story, but was sensationalized and less than factually accurate, much like the author did with The Tattooist of Auschwitz as well. The family of Cilka was less than pleased with how she was portrayed in the book, and it seems like more of a marketing ploy than an effort to tell a true story. There are plenty of stories that are written by survivors and their families, that are 100% true and fully accurate.
#5. Stephen King books.
At heart, I’m a huge wussy. I don’t watch scary movies, and I certainly don’t like to read scary books. Stephen King is a master of horror, and for me, scary books are often worse than movies, because my imagination is limitless. I’ve attempted a few of his books. While I got through some, there was at least one or two that were so traumatically terrifying that I had to put them in the very back of the closet, close the closet door, BARRICADE THE CLOSET, and donate the books the very next day because I couldn’t even bear to keep them in the house. You know, just in case the scary stuff could escape and get me.
#6. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.
I didn’t put this one on the list because it’s bad, or because I didn’t enjoy it. It’s a great book, and I absolutely loved it. This one earned its spot on the list simply because I read it already. It’s got a hell of a twist to it, but once you know what it is, you can’t un-know it. You know that saying about how you can only enjoy the first time you read a book once? This is a perfect example of that, and I feel like rereading it won’t yield better understanding.
#7. Any books by Gabriel García Márquez.
Gabo was known for popularizing magical realism as a literary style. I was somewhat familiar with this style from works by other authors, but I found his books to be slow moving and unappealing. They didn’t really draw or hold my attention. If I were to ever get any of his books, I’d be hoping they came with a gift receipt, because my first trip would be to exchange them for something else.
#8. Old-school romances.
You know the type. I’ve spoken about them a bit in other posts. The kind where the woman can’t do anything on her own (sounds like English literature from the 1800s, doesn’t it?), except she also hates the guy and still can’t resist his charms. Also notable for the lack of a believable plot with depth, and cringeworthy terms for female and male sex organs. Just gross. I’m glad there are some authors that are working to move the romance genre past that.
#9. Books in the Lord of the Rings series.
I’ve tried to read these a few times over the years. Each time I’ve failed. I know that they are fantasy classics, but I just can’t ever seem to get into them. I have watched the movies, which were super awesome though. I’m not sure what stopped me from being able to read the books, but not everyone can enjoy every book.
#10. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern.
I recently read The Night Circus and while I was able to appreciate the author’s rich imagination and beautiful prose, I really struggled to connect with the book. I’ve heard that The Starless Sea is somewhat similar, although it’s got more complexity to it in terms of storylines. It’s definitely not my preferred type of book, although I can definitely respect the talent of the author.
Now that you’ve heard a bit about what books I’d rather not receive as Chanukah gifts, I want to hear about what books you’d rather not get as a Chanukah/Christmas/holiday/birthday/random gift. Don’t be shy!
Categories: Top Ten Tuesday