Top 10 Books About Which I Feel Differently Now That Time Has Passed
Top 10 Tuesday is an original feature of The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's theme: Top 10 Books about which I feel differently now that time has passed. (less love, more love, complicated feelings, indifference, thought it was great in a genre until you became more well read in that genre etc.)
This is a tricky one. I feel like most of this is going to be an "it's complicated" situation...
1. The Tin Drum, by Günter Grass - Yeah, starting with some heavy stuff here. Sorry, not sorry. This was required reading for one of the courses I took in college for my English minor, called "The War Novel." The professor chose to focus on the World Wars, so it was full of O'Brien, Grass, Hemmingway, Celine, Barbusse and - god help us - Proust. Of the ones that I actually read (because I definitely didn't trouble myself with half of them), The Tin Drum is one of the ones I hated most. But nine-ish years on, it's grown on me. You can't make me re-watch the film (LOL nope) but the style and the voice are more appealing now.
3. Lester Higata's 20th Century, by Barbara Hamby - I loved it when I read it in 2010. But now I can't remember why. Almost nothing from it has stuck with me, aside from Hamby's inherent poetry.
4. Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown - I know. I know. Dan Brown. Dan Brown was once the crown prince of popular fiction. He couldn't write those historical thrillers quick enough for the populace's hunger for them (or Tom Hanks' for that matter). I read The DaVinci Code overnight - in about 6 hours. But Angels and Demons I read over the course of a college semester. I just didn't have the option of not sleeping one night to try and get through it. I think, for that reason, I liked A&D more - because it lived with me longer. But now I honestly could barely tell you what the difference is between the two. Blame Tom Hanks and that awful hair he has in those movies.
5. The Echo-Maker, by Richard Powers - Another one from college that I'd rather forget. This was for a Contemporary Fiction class (and it was very contemporary, as the book came out the same year as the class) and I thought it was wretched. And something about just the memory of reading it makes me angry. It won awards! It was a Pulitzer finalist! And it was a waste of my time.
6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by JK Rowling - As the release of the 7th and final Harry Potter book approached, I re-read all of them. I had done this for the last four books. Up until that time, Goblet of Fire had been my favorite. And then something changed. I honestly can't tell you what it was, but a switch flipped as I re-read Order of the Phoenix that summer, and it was like re-discovering something you'd lost in an old house when you were a kid, that has suddenly turned up in a desk drawer 2,000 miles away. However many years later, still my favorite.
7. The Color of a Dog Running Away, by Richard Gwyn - When I first read this book, I was sooo into it. But, looking back, it's kind of like The DaVinci Code Lite.
8. Auraria, by Tim Westover - Loved this book when it came out, still love it, and I wish that more people knew about it!
9. Mystery on the Moors, by Barbara Michaels - I picked up this 1967 paperback at a Books-a-Million in probably 1999? 2000? It was my first introduction to the gothic novel (Jane Eyre hit my desk about two years later) and I pretty much thought it was the best thing ever. In retrospect, it's not that great. However, I still have my poor (like Save Me the Waltz) disintegrating copy (the cover is now completely gone), and it's another one of those books that I *know* no one else has read, and that makes me a little sad.
10. Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen - Of all the Austen novels, this one took me the longest to come around to. Fanny is kind of a push-over as far as Austen heroines go, and she's in love with her first cousin which, you know, is weird. Frankly, the damn thing bored me. But when I gave it a second go, I noticed the subtle bite of the narrator's tone, the quiet judgement falling from Austen's pen, and the sweetness of its simplicity. I find that I like it much more now.