Top Ten Tuesday: Books that were hard for me to read

I just learned about Top Ten Tuesdays, an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish, after reading a Top Ten Tuesday post by my awesome friend at Cite Something.  Read Amanda-at-Cite-Something’s answers to this week’s prompt here. The Broke and the Bookish list is here – you can also scroll down to visit a bunch of other blogs addressing the same question.

This week’s topic is books that were hard for me to read, whatever the reason might be.  Now, I love reading, I love making lists, and I love venting about books that I disliked. Difficult books for me usually mean ones I’m psyched to read but which let me down, for a variety of reasons. I skimmed some of the books I’ve read this past year and culled a few titles.  Here we go – in no particular order:

1. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. No. Just no. The contrived plot, the tedious dragging out of the secret, the unlikeable characters. If I hadn’t read it on my Kindle, I would have thrown it across the room.

2. Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain.  I love food, I love snark, I love Bourdain on Top Chef, I loved Kitchen Confidential.  With this book, I was bored, although in part it was because I wanted more Top Chef gossip and I’m not enough of a foodie to be familiar with some of the people he’s discussing/eviscerating.

3 & 4. Now You See Me & Dead Scared by SJ Bolton.  I love mysteries/thrillers, especially when they feature any of the following: England, hot cops, broken yet tough female leads, more England and angsty romance.  I should have loved these books.  I even read the second in the series because lots of people loved them & I thought I’d just missed the magic the first time.  Nope.  Not for me.  I couldn’t get past the wooden dialogue, frustratingly annoying characters and the by-the-numbers plots.

5.  Story of a Girl by Sarah Zarr.  I actually liked this book but it depressed me.  I don’t mind being depressed by a book, but this one hit close to home.  I was reminded of my own small hometown and the limited options that exist sometimes for people, through no fault of their own.

6. The Crossing Place by Elly Griffiths. Another mystery with a hot cop, tough female lead, and the UK. But again, the characterizations fell flat and I could see the ending a mile away.

7. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling. Okay, so I adore Harry Potter. Amazing storytelling. I read about a third of The Casual Vacancy and would have thrown it across the room except for not wanting to ruin my Kindle (see: The Husband’s Secret, above.) I thought maybe, just maybe I’d like this book, however.  Again, a hint of romance, a plucky heroine, a tough detective. England.  It never took off for me, though. I felt none of the magic and all of the boredom.

8-10. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa, Cinder by Melissa Meyer, Fallen by Kate Lauren. I love reading young adult novels and I was super excited to start all of these. I ended up skimming them, underwhelmed for a variety of reasons.  I’ve gotten more impatient with pacing as I’ve gotten older, so either they seemed too slow, or there was too much instalove or I just didn’t care all that much about the characters’ inner lives.  Which raises the question – am I too old for YA??

Nah. I probably just picked up the wrong book at the wrong time. Because if the prompt this week was Top Ten YA Books, my list would be a mile long.

What are some of your “difficult” books?  Also, send me some crime novel suggestions!


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