I’m planning on publishing my favorite books of the year a bit later in the month (I still have a few weeks to fit them in!), so I decided to go with a looser take on this week’s Top Ten Tuesday Theme: books I’m glad I finally read this year. They may not be books I necessarily liked, but they’re books I felt really good about crossing off my TBR list – the ones that gave me a sense of accomplishment about having read. The ones everyone seems to lie about having read, but I no longer do. Definitely going to be reading more books like this next year.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Anna and I have a complicated relationship. It took me close to nine months to finish this book. But I did it!
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. This book had been weighing on my conscience for about a year before I read it. Last September, I went to an event with David Mitchell and Pierce Brown, and, when asked, lied to both of them about having read Cloud Atlas (I said it was my favorite Mitchell book because, at that point, I hadn’t actually read any books by David Mitchell). Now, I no longer guilty about not having read it.
The Shining by Stephen King. My cousin has been nagging me to read this for years (it’s his favorite book). I love Stephen King, but I hadn’t really picked it up yet. I’m more into his lesser-known works for some reason. But, this year, I read The Shining. And while it wasn’t a favorite, I’m glad I finally read it!
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I put off reading this book for so long! I don’t know why. It’s definitely one of my favorites of the year, and really reignited my passion for science fiction.
Macbeth by William Shakespeare. This year, I read nine Shakespeare plays. This is the only one of those nine that wasn’t for my Graduate Studies in Shakespeare class. And, while I feel really accomplished having read the others, there’s something about voluntarily reading Shakespeare that just feels good. Plus, I really, really loved it.
Beowulf. This book was assigned reading in high school, college, and grad school. And it took me until this year to finally, actually read it (and not just the SparksNotes). I can’t tell you how awesome that feels.
The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman. Last year, I went a bit Gaiman crazy, but never picked up his infamous graphic novel series. My graphic novel experience is somewhat limited – I’ve probably read a total of four or five graphic novels in my lifetime – but The Sandman definitely made me want to read more. I absolutely loved Vol. 1, and am planning on reading the rest of the series soon.
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut. Not only had I never read Vonnegut (who seems to be one of those must-read authors), I’d started this novella last year and never finished it. So I felt doubly accomplished when I finally got through it.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Morrison and I have a love-hate thing going on. I can totally see why she’s such a famous and beloved author, but I cannot for the life of me identify with her books. Which makes it really hard to read them. The only other book I’ve read of hers is Song of Solomon, which I read my senior year in college for a Modern American Lit class. And, to be honest, I didn’t really like it. Maybe I was just too immature to appreciate her then, but The Bluest Eye definitely gave me a new appreciation for Morrison.
The Lightning Thief and Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan. I kind of missed out on these growing up, because the first one came out when I was sixteen, and therefore “too cool for middle-grade books.” Or, at least I thought I was. I was still into books, but I definitely didn’t do my research back then. I distinctly remember seeing a copy of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief in Barnes and Noble, and thinking it was just a dumb Harry Potter knockoff. How wrong I was! I am really glad I ended up reading these, because I really enjoyed them. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series soon, and then moving on to the rest of Riordan’s books – Magnus Chase looks really cool, but I’m making myself wait until I read the other books first.
What books are you most glad to have read – or finally finished – this year?