Generally, I avoid picking up books which I don’t think I will enjoy. However, that doesn’t mean I always have super high expectations for everything I read. Here is my list of books I initially thought I would struggle with but actually liked a lot.
I wasn’t sure if I would like a book as ‘philosophical’ as this one but I did. It’s still a pretty weird book and might be viewed as pretentious, but as I said in my review, it’s a very readable sort of pretentiousness.
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
This was the first book I read by Jeffrey Eugenides. With ‘Middlesex’ I initially thought it might be too long and tedious to hold my attention. I had no idea that it would end up being one of the best books I would read all year. I love it when that happens.
Last year, I found ‘Wolf Hall‘ to be a little bit of a slog. However, ‘Bring Up the Bodies’ is much more focused on a shorter period of time and it was therefore much more readable. Either that or I was just in a better frame of mind for tackling an ambitious novel than I was when I read ‘Wolf Hall’ last summer. Sometimes it is just a case of reading the right book at the right time.
John F. Kennedy: An Unfinished Life by Robert Dallek
I am sometimes a bit wary of starting giant political biographies but I found this one about JFK more readable than I thought I would. The book paints quite a sympathetic portrait of the former president and takes into account the extent of his medical problems which were kept secret at the time. It is a conspiracy theory-free account of Kennedy’s life which focuses more on his politics than his infidelities.
Which books turned out to be pleasant surprises for you?