Top Ten Tuesday for June 11, 2019: Unpopular Bookish Opinions.



Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

The rules are simple:

  • Each Tuesday, Jana assigns a new topic. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want.
  • Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.
  • Add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s post so that everyone can check out other bloggers’ lists.
  • Or if you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment.

This week’s topic: Unpopular Bookish Opinions (submitted by Kaitlin Galvan @ Somehow I Manage Blog)

Rather than just pick ten unpopular bookish opinions for you all, I noticed that the blog “Stuck in a Book” was recently looking for some literary questions to answer, and after some searching, she came up with these. I liked both the questions and the answers and so I decided I would give my hand at this as well, and post them through this meme.

1. A popular book I didn’t like.

There are lots of these, but the most recent one would be Lilac Girls. Now, don’t hate me for this, my historical fiction lovers; I have my reasons. First of all, I got annoyed with this book when I felt early on that the author was purposely ignoring that the Jews were the primary targets of the Nazis. I realize that there were many other “undesirable” people that the Nazis targeted, and it is important to tell their stories as well, but it felt like there were almost no Jews in this book at all. However, she was starting to resolve that somewhat when she stepped into my #1 pet peeve – she noted something Jewish that was historically, culturally, and culinarily (is that a word) incorrect.  I won’t go into details here, but believe me, it was bad enough to turn me off to the book altogether!

2. A book series that everyone loves but I don’t.

the-kalahari-typing-school-for-men-2The original question that my fellow blogger found was “A book series that everyone hates, but I love” and her answer to this was “Why would they commission a series if everyone hates it? This is a weird question.” Well, I couldn’t agree more (although I’m thinking that they might have had the controversial 50 Shades books in mind). However… a book series that everyone loves but that I don’t is something else altogether. My best answer to this is that the Alexander McCall Smith “#1 Ladies Detective Agency” books were just meh for me. Okay, I only read one of them, but it wasn’t inspiring enough for me to ever want to pick up another one. I also wasn’t crazy for the Phryne Fisher mystery by Kerry Greenwood that I read, either.

3. A love triangle where the main character ends up with the person I didn’t want them to end up with.

Hm… this is difficult. I don’t read lots of romance novels, and the literary books I read that do have love interests usually aren’t in any kind of love triangle. Those characters who have ended up with the wrong person, are often in biographical, historical novels, and I’m not sure that any of those instances apply.  Sorry, I don’t have an answer for this one.

4. A popular genre I rarely reach for.

I think the operative word here is “rarely” because there are some genres I won’t go anywhere near. As for rarely, that would probably be Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction. I used to read the former when I was younger, and I liked books by Arthur C. Clarke and Ray Bradbury – you know, the real “classics” of the genre. The latter would be those dystopian books like Margaret Atwood writes, and she can get me reading that genre, anytime she writes them! I almost never read fantasy novels but I did read (and love) one Salman Rushdie book that was pretty fantastical, and I can take some magical realism on occasion, but in general, I don’t care for that, either.

5. A popular character I didn’t like.

66b7d-the-rosie-projectThis would have to be one I’ve read, right? Again, it isn’t often that I read “popular” books, but I’ll go with the only one I can think of that people would know. That would be Rosie from “The Rosie Project.” I found her to be callous and rude, but she redeemed herself somewhat by the end of the book. Another one would be Andy from “The Devil Wears Prada.” I disliked the person she became to keep her job, and then I disliked how she felt so sorry for herself when things went wrong. Grow up, woman!

6. A popular author I can’t seem to get into.

I’m going to go first with Phillipa Gregory for this one. I looked into one of her first Tudor novels and wasn’t all that impressed with what Amazon gave me to see when I “looked inside”. I realize that people think she’s the bees’ knees in historical fiction, but… there are millions of books from this era, and while I was totally into Henry VIII and Elizabeth I back in my youth, I’ve kind of gone off that era. The other would be J.R.R. Tolkien. Back in High School, a friend gave me The Hobbit to read and I was baffled by all the strange creatures. Another friend said I should start at the beginning and I tried the first Lord of the Rings book, and again… I was lost within the first 10 pages and gave up.

7. A popular trope I’m tired of seeing.

One thing I’m totally sick and tired or seeing are shirtless men on book covers, with or without the swooning, partially clothed women, wearing not much more than their ankle-breaking high heels, nuzzling, hugging or kissing them (swooning is also out of the question as well). It therefore follows that I’m sick of reading “X had the perfect life; a great boyfriend, a marvelous job, but all that came tumbling down when…” Sorry, but I’d much rather read about someone who has nothing, turning their misfortune into something better than someone who has everything and screwing it all up, even if it seems like it isn’t their fault. Where are the books about someone who has everything, using their good fortune to help those less fortunate than themselves? I’m sure they can do that fully clothed, as well! The only six-pack I am willing to see on the cover of a book is one of these!


8. A popular series I have no interest in reading.

Oh, there are plenty of those. Let’s see… the Twilight series, the 50 Shades series, the Outlander books, and as mentioned above, the Lord of the Rings series, and all of the Phillipa Gregory books. I’ll also add to this the Game of Thrones books (as well as the TV series). There are more, but that’s enough for now, right?

9. Which movie did I prefer to the book?

Rarely do I prefer a movie to a book, although some films are as good as their original novels. The last book I read where I thought that the movie was better is called “The Bookshop” which was written in the 1950s, but the movie was released in 2018. I think the book didn’t age well, but the changes and treatment they made in the film were really nicely done.

10. Which character do I love that we were probably meant to hate?

4caf4-alias2bgraceThis is a really difficult question to answer, to be honest. I’m assuming again that this is supposed to be a fictional character, because usually characters based on real people are protagonists that we’re supposed to love in any case. For example, Grace in Atwood’s “Alias Grace” was apparently a murderer, and you’re not supposed to like murderers, right? Now, I can’t say I loved Grace, but I felt some sympathy for her. Same thing for Lizzie Borden in Sarah Schmidt’s “See What I Have Done,” where you certainly dislike this double murderer, but you also feel something for her as well. Perhaps the only character that I loved that the writer meant for us to hate (or at least, not like very much) was Britt-Marie in Fredrik Backman’s “My Grandmother Sends her Regards and Apologises.” Now, we all grow to love Britt-Marie in Backman’s sequel “Britt-Marie Was Here” but I really felt that I liked her in the first novel, even when she was being bitchy or annoying. I knew there was more to her than meets the eye, and I think that Backman was trying to make that point by writing the sequel.

TCLBR happy reading wide

53 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday for June 11, 2019: Unpopular Bookish Opinions.

  1. I never read sci-fi either! I “did” the Tudors for A-level history so I’m very familiar with the period, and I find it rather annoying that Philippa Gregory deliberately gives misleading impressions without making it clear in a foreword or afterword that she’s played around with things to suit her own story! I’ll still read her new book, but then I’ll probably have a good old moan about it 🙂 .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have enjoyed some Sci-Fi in my day, but only the classic ones, where the science didn’t get mixed with fantasy. As for the Tudor era, I was spoiled by the excellent TV series The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth R from the 70s, which were among other excellent films back then that did their best to be as accurate as possible.


  2. Honestly, love triangles are one of my least favorite tropes. It not only gives me anxiety but ugh, I usually don’t end up liking who the character ends up with. I totally agree with #7! Haha I’m sick of seeing the half-naked bodies on covers, half hugging, half almost kissing or whatever. Loved the creative way you answered this week’s prompt 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with so many of these! I agree about shirtless/scantily-clad people on covers. Instant turn-off. I also only read the first No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency book, and I kept meaning to go back and try again, but just haven’t. Thanks for the reminder about The Bookshop film! I read the book, and while I can see some positives to it now, at the time it left me scratching my head a little. It wasn’t at all what I expected. But I am curious to try the movie, so thanks for the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A love triangle where the main character ends up with the person I didn’t want them to end up with. — I’m primarily a romance reader and this right here is almost guaranteed to ruin my day and make me not like a book (unfairly or not!).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I thought the Lilac Girls was okay, but I wasn’t a huge fan. I thought parts were fascinating and others were just too slow. I wasn’t a fan of Caroline either.


  6. Great list! I really liked Rosie and Don in the first book, and then disliked them (and the story) in the second. Makes me wonder if I should bother with the third! Ha, I can’t stand book covers with shirtless men. I mean, just no. Won’t read those at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When they were first out, some people posted excerpts on the bookish pages on Facebook. The writing was SO terrible that even if the concept behind the books wasn’t so repulsive to me, I would never have read them. Plus, my daughter (who isn’t much of a reader) got one of the books (not in English) and hated it. She thought that the translation was the problem, but I let her know that wasn’t it.


  7. I’ve never read Margaret Atwood- somehow I missed her, I guess, growing up/ in school, but with all the attention lately and The Handmaid’s Tale I’ve been curious to try her books. I never realized she wrote dystopians, I guess! And the Alexander McCall Smith series I remember being kind of interested in a while back- I think maybe the covers jumped out at me and caught my interest- but I haven’t tried them. I have no idea whether I’d like them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Watch out… I have a book review I’m publishing on Friday and then I have my Tuesdays filled with my “Countdown Questions” alternative author interviews scheduled through… July 16 so far! I only post twice a week, so…


  8. If I ever read 50 Shades of Gray, then there’s probably something wrong with me. I have no interest in that book. I’ve never read Twilight either. I probably won’t because there are way too many other books that seem more interesting, but I won’t say never to that one.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am tired of seeing fantasy books where there is a kingdom that needs to be saved from another kingdom and only the main character can save everyone. Also, the Outlander books has very little time traveling. It is mostly about Scottish and American history with some romance and drama mixed in. I am not usually a fan of time traveling books either cause I get too confused but those are not bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I like how you combined these two prompts to create a very lovely post.

    There are many, many popular books I’ve tried and found to be…let’s just say, not-for-me. I was bored with Outlander and thought Game of Thrones was wildly violent (though, to be fair, it was also quite compelling).

    I don’t typically like mysteries, and I don’t like books in a series, but (and who knows why?) I do like No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency stories.

    I guess we are all quite different in our reading quirks.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. You’re not alone, I’m not a Philippa Gregory fan either! For me she has a bad habit of making someone evil to make someone else good – she wants to make Richard III a misunderstood hero in her books, so she therefore makes Henry VII an absolute monster, and that’s just not how people work? Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Haha- I have a feeling we don’t have similar tastes in books at all.

    I’m curious why you don’t want to read Outlander? Admittedly- they are too wordy for me to dedicate all the time it takes me to read them, but I did enjoy the first one very much.

    I also don’t think Phillipa Gregory is all that great. Kind of mediocre and keeps too strictly to timelines. I did enjoy The White Queen though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry, I’m just not interested in time traveling. Okay, so I read the Time Traveler’s Wife and liked it, but they tried to explain that as a genetic anomaly. The idea of this big, unexplained POOF she’s hundreds of years in the past and ends up committing adultery… nah… not for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Wonderful list and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. There are quite a few tropes I’m tired of seeing as well. I read quite a bit of urban fantasy and I hate it when kick-butt women are on the cover wearing skimpy clothing. I’m sure they can’t really fight in that!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Great list. I don’t like when the love triangle ends up wrong either; though my best recollection is a television show. At the end of it, I was so angry that she ended up with the wrong guy.

    I’m with you on sci-fi and speculative fiction. There is a woman in my writing group whose work I enjoy, but rarely do I purposefully choose these genres.

    The Anne of Green Gables series was better in film than the books for me. The way the love triangle developed, and the characters that were changed or eliminated made for a better story.

    Thanks for visiting my blog today.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I tried the Ladies Detective Agency books but couldn’t get into them. And, I totally see your point about the character in the Devil Wears Prada.
    I do read a lot of fantasy and sci fi but it’s good to have different likes isn’t it 😀
    Book covers with shirtless men – no thank you – just not for me.
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Shirtless men on book covers might be my biggest bookish pet peeve! It annoyes me so much. I don’t understand why publishers keep doing that. And more importantly I don’t understand people who buy them. I would be so embarrased to read these books outside.


  17. Totally awesome list here, very good points- I agree with you about Andy, I also have never got out of the Shire and as a former history teacher I’ve had enough of the tudors and get a bit annoyed with historical inaccuracies too!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hallo, Hallo Davida,

    I’m supposed to be reading my Cosy for today’s blog tour stop – as I didn’t get the chance to finish it ahead of time. I blame those 5x migraines in May from re-arranging the first week of June for me — however, whilst I’ve been losing my focus a bit tonight, I’ve been happily visiting with people who’ve been sharing their worst turn-offs in lit via today’s TTT! I’ve been wanting to return to the meme ever since #WyrdAndWonder where we were hosting theme based choices. Perhaps I can get my tail into gear and join you guys next week!

    Til then, here’s what I *loved!* about what you’ve shared:

    lol 🙂 No seriously, I am *laughing!* because I’ve been in this particular quagmire myself – I either a) signed on for a blog tour or b) discovered the book on my own (ie. like at my library) – read it or rather attempted to read it and unfortunately found it #notmycuppa! Interesting how quickly other readers might jump on you for stating a differing opinion on a book – the way I see it, we can’t ALL love the SAME books ALL the time!! We’re going to find some authors agree with us, others challenge us and there are the other few who wells for lack of a better word – they just don’t move us to love their stories like other authors do. There is nothing wrong with that either! OR, as you said, they do something cardinal wrong for us personally and it takes us completely OUT of the scope of their world/story/character’s journey. #boycanIrelate!

    Is it too ironic that I read something somewhere on a book blogger’s blog which tipped my hat that I ought to avoid “Lilac Girls”? I am so thankful for our community for being vocal and openly honest about each other’s readerly experiences… it helps each us decide which stories are right for us…

    I have those myself… series others are wicked mad over (ie. Cassandra Clare, Twilight, Hunger Games, I could go on… Game of Thrones, the author who killed God, you know heaps of examples really) and I can’t even find a reason to read the books! I will say I never had the chance to read Miss Fisher and since I watched the tv series and learnt that the tv series diverted from the books, I can’t go back to read them now because Jack isn’t even in contention in the books and for me… that’s just too depressing to contemplate!! 😦 So, its not just a book that isn’t able to be enjoyed sometimes you can revert back to a book after you see an adaptation!

    Did you know this has happened multiple times this year!? For some odd reason, some authors of Romance are *convincing!* me dearly that the bloke they put on a romantic course for their lead heroine’s are NOT the right fit for them at all! It happened with one of the novels for Seasons of Alaska (If Not for a Bee) and it most recently happened with Jennifer Faye – where I just couldn’t fathom why she put such a horridly controlling alpha male onto Popi’s path!! Just odd. They convince me so well these are the wrong blokes I have wonder – why didn’t they segue and have another bloke come forward!? Ooh and also not the last Becky Wade I read but the one before it? Totally didn’t like the bloke by mid-way of the novel! He was just all wrong!!! 😦

    I couldn’t get into Gregory’s novels either – everyone was raving over them and each time I picked them up I found them lacking… seriously to this day outside of Gortner and another author, I’m very under-read in the Tudors!!

    I guess we read different Romance and Women’s Fiction novels! I haven’t found those covers in a long, long time!! And, most of the stories I read are realistically believable — they have real life issues and adversities to work through — this is why I love the Rocky Mountain Cowboys by Karen Rock; the Seasons of Alaska series by Carol Ross and the limited multiple author series Return of the Blackwell Brothers – all Harlequin Heartwarming. There are others too I love — but I’ve read these all within the past year!!!

    FYI: I couldn’t even get through Chapter 1 of the Prada book – I enjoyed and preferred the film!!! lol Ha!!

    Not a GOT fan myself, nor the Hunger Games – I was listing these on another comment tonight… lol

    The movie I preferred over the book is “The Horse Whisperer” – the book crushed me into oblivion in the final scene which turnt it into a DNF but the film — ooh the film healed my soul and gave hope to my heart!!

    Loved your responses,.. glad to know I’m relating to a lot of bloggers tonight!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! This is what I was thinking – as you move from one blog to the next, we are more in agreement than we are apart!! lol 🙂 Made for a good exercise, yes? It united the book bloggers!!

        Liked by 1 person

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