Book Reviews

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed [Or Not] But Rarely Talk About


I’ve blogged about the books I’ve read since blogging began. I’ve used many books over and over in Top Ten Tuesday or similar posts. So, here goes!


I read this, age 28, in Peace Corps. I don’t think I was ready for Spark then, for I can remember nothing about it. I clearly remember the other books by her that I’ve read. In spite of that, my note indicates that I enjoyed it at the time. A Far Cry From Kensington by Muriel Spark.



I have no desire to remember much about Benjy and the rest of the characters in The Sound and the Fury. I listened to it because I hadn’t read any Faulkner except for some excerpts in high school English. I do recall realizing though that he understood a lot about mental illness. Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner.



My rating indicates I liked this one, but I cannot remember why. In fact, I had to read the blurb on Amazon to see what it was about. I’ve lost some of the content of my old blog, so I cannot re-read my review. Handle With Care: A Novel by Jodi Picolt.



Haven Kimmel was an overnight sensation with a Girl Named Zippy, and the sequel, She Got Up Off The Couch–both of which I loved. I didn’t dislike this quirky novel or its odd characters, it just lacked the spark and fast flow of her earlier books. The Used World: A Novel by Haven Kimmel.


Like Haven Kimmel, Jeannette Walls became a phenomenon with her unflinchingly honest memoir The Glass Castle. Her first novel, The Silver Star, was good–just not great the way Glass Castle was.  Both Haven Kimmell and Jeannette Walls suffered from my version of Harry Potter fan’s too-high expectations of Casual Vacancy and hated it because it wasn’t HP. I supposed that’s especially true of my take on Silver Star. If I had not read the memoirs first, I’m sure I’d have liked it more. Unfair, but true. The Silver Star: A Novel by Jeannette Walls.



It’s rare that my Mom gets a book recommendation for me wrong. This was one of the very few. She usually knows instantly if I’ll like a book or not. This book was so “African”-cliche riddled I had to force myself to finish it. I didn’t like main characters, either. I wasn’t that wild about the other book of hers that I read either–Stars Are Fire. Still, I admire her because she started out as a teacher and now sells millions of books. A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve.


I love the cover of this book still! I read it when it came out and loved it, but I can’t remember the story. The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig.



Of this book I mostly recall waiting for it to be good, or interesting, or –something. Finally an utterly p.c. section came up and I knew why critics loved this dull book. The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje.



This book wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t interesting. The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rassmussen



I loved David Sedaris since the debut of Elf in Santaland on NPR decades ago. I loved his family memories of tattooed Barbies and his Mom putting out her cigarette on her dinner plate because she planned, cooked, and cleaned up the damned meal. But this book was just…stupid? It didn’t do it for me. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris.




Check out the rules at That Artsy Reader Girl and join in next week!

20 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed [Or Not] But Rarely Talk About

  1. I’ve read are A Change in Altitude and I thought it fell short of Anita Shreve’s earlier books, which I enjoyed so much. I really wanted to like The Stars are Fire, but I don’t think that’s one of her best books either. I don’t know whether my tastes in reading have changed as I did enjoy her earlier books much more than these.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think sometimes they have a few great books and then publishers and agents get greedy and PUSH too hard. Most of us spend years revising a first book. The fourth? Or Tenth? Probably weeks. Thanks for reading.


      1. Well, first of all, I adore Ondaatje’s writing style in general. Second, I loved the innocence of the boy, and how he coped with being on that boat for such a long time all by himself. I also love how the boy was depicted with his interactions with the other passengers. The voyage must have been boring for the boy, and yet he finds things that keep him from going crazy. There’s more, but his way of using language that is so poetic just entrances me. I can see how some people wouldn’t like it though.

        Liked by 1 person

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