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JilltheTooth's avatar

What was the last book you read that you really didn't think you would like, but did? (please read details)

Asked by JilltheTooth (19727points) November 17th, 2011

Not an assignment, not a textbook, but something you read because you sort-of felt you had to? It might have been a gift from a friend who really wants to discuss it, or a biography written by a friend and you said you’d read it so now you have to… For example, I am in the middle of a biography of a race-car driver. On the face of it, I can’t imagine anything I am less interested in, but my friend wrote this book, and in a silly fit of solidarity and support I promised I’d read it. And I’m really enjoying it. And I am amazed. What book has surprised you like this recently?

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20 Answers

chyna's avatar

A friend of mine is a huge Lance Armstrong fan. He read the book about Lance’s battle with cancer and wanted me to read it. I absolutely could care less about Lance Armstrong, but read the book anyway. I loved the book and now am a big Lance Armstrong fan.

Berserker's avatar

Actually lol, the Harry Potter series.

I refused to read these for years. You know, because everyone was reading it and it was all popular, so I pretty much figured it was shit. But a little less than two years ago, someone really insisted I read them. She lent me the first four books, and said she’d lend me the next four if I liked it.
I’m like, yeah sure wtv…I wasn’t planning on reading them at all, just wanted her to leave me alone. I was like, when she sees I’m not reading them, I can give her back her books.

I was told that if I could get through the first few books, they start getting dark and more mature, and that I would enjoy it.

Well, on the night she lent me them, I was like, k I’ll read one chapter…and I ended up reading three quarters of it in that one night lol. I ate those books up and finished the whole series in about a month.

I don’t recognize it as the most brilliant and refined literature ever…hardly. But it sure is fun and captivating. I guess I fell to the curse haha.

Despite what I was told about toughing out the first books to greatly enjoy the later ones, as it apparently ’‘fits my style’’...I loved the first three books so much better than the rest of them. I was surprised haha. The later books get a bit ridiculous and redundant, if that’s even a possible combination. XD If I want to see everyone die, I’ll watch Friday the Thirteenth. I mean come on, even Hedwig? Christ.

But the whole thing was still a great read, and I just went by for years and years not giving two shits about it.

PS; Umbridge is a whore.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I always feel just a bit silly when I “make” myself read something for someone else…and then really like it. Another friend wrote a book about photographing tennis. Yawn. He asked me to proof it, so I did. He writes so engagingly that I was riveted and amused. And had to read it again to proof it, as I was too caught up the first time. I have no desire to actually go and photograph tennis, but now when I see a sports picture I have enormous respect for what it took to get that shot. I really have to stop being so picky about what I read. So many books, so little time.

SuperMouse's avatar

I have a dear friend who has published two young adult books. They follow the adventures of a precocious twelve year-old girl who lives outside of New York at the turn of the century. She sent me the first one and I scrounged all over the internet to find the sequel. Finally found one on ebay that was weeded from a public library. I read them both to my then 9 year-old son. We thoroughly enjoyed both of them! I shouldn’t have been so surprised because I have known all along she is a fabulous writer.

Another book I forced myself to read was Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. I thought it was going to freak me right out but a friend recommended it very highly over, and over, and over again so I finally gave it a try. I couldn’t put it down and I wasn’t the least bit freaked out.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Oh, and feel free to mention titles, I love a good recommendation!

YARNLADY's avatar

The Twilight Saga was given to me by an avid fan, and I actually like it.

JessicaRabbit's avatar

My grandmother has a little library in her apartment building. There are a lot of books there but a lot of them are old. I found this brand new shiny one, called SPIN. I picked that one just because it was new, I wasn’t even sure if I would like it. I first started reading it out of boredom, but ended up getting right in to it and was bummed out when I finished. I am actually going to go for a bath and a read right now!

blueiiznh's avatar

I came across a first edition The Last Days of Hitler and bought it because i enjoy History and have a hard time passing up 1st Editions.
I picked it up out of a whim and it was very well written and documented.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Okay, this isn’t the most recent one, but it is, by far, the most influential.

When I was 12, I was sleeping over at a friend’s house and she put a book into my hands and told me I would like it. It had no blurb on the back and an odd cover illustration. I didn’t want to read it as I had no idea what it was about and I knew I would have to read it fast because it was a borrowed book.

I’ve read it 13 times since and it has inspired me to become a fantasy writer. Best book ever forced upon me.

JessicaRabbit's avatar

Another book that I read that I wasn’t sure about “Why Men Love Bitches” I enjoyed it.

Haleth's avatar

This hasn’t happened to me recently with a book, but last night my aunt really wanted to watch “My Life as a Turkey” on PBS. Usually I think the stuff she watches is kind of silly, like the Twilight series or Dancing with the Stars, so I was like, ok. This is going to be a sentimental look at the turkeys we eat for Thanksgiving or something.

Actually, it was about a naturalist who lives deep in the woods in Florida and raises wild turkeys from eggs. It was a really neat, thoughtful look about learning the behavior of animals most of us don’t really think about, and a picture of this whole ecosystem. Plus the cinematography was really gorgeous, all these wonderful shots of mist rising from the ground or golden hour in this sort of swampy environment. Definitely not what I was expecting.

nikipedia's avatar

Not that recent, but Middlesex was a big surprise. A book about a kid who turns out to be intersex? Didn’t sound like my kind of thing, but it turned out to be so much more than that.

St.George's avatar

Eat Pray Love. I didn’t want to like it, but I did. I even enjoyed the movie. This is shocking to me.

Blueroses's avatar

Voice of the Fire by Alan Moore was highly recommended to me by somebody who doesn’t read much fiction. I was afraid it would be too esoteric or have too many literary gimmicks for my taste but I was surprised by how approachable it was. I’ve now read it through twice.

The edition I bought has such high quality binding and the smoothest, sturdy paper that it’s also a tactile pleasure to pick up the book.

augustlan's avatar

This happens to me regularly. When I’m out of things to read, my kids will loan me their young adult books. Other times, they’ll highly recommend a YA novel they’ve just read. I start them no high hopes, thinking, “hey, at least it’s something to read”, and end them thoroughly engaged. Most recently, it was probably The Hunger Games series. Fantastic!

OpryLeigh's avatar

A few years ago I started to read The Secret Life of Bees because everyone was spouting about how amazing it was. The blurb didn’t really interest me at all but I wanted to give it a chance seeing as so many people seemed to love it. I was hooked! I enjoyed every minute of that book and it’s still one of my favourite books now.

SABOTEUR's avatar

It began before the movie franchise.

My mother purchased a book for my daughter that she heard was very good. Unfortunately my daughter had no interest in reading this book. After sitting unread for weeks, I became curious about what was supposed to be so special about this book.

It captured my imagination immediatedly.

Who’d have thought a children’s book would be so enthralling?

That book was “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling.

SABOTEUR's avatar

@Symbeline I couldn’t have said it better myself. Screw Umbridge and the broom she flew in on…!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

A biography of writer Patricia Highsmith. I gifted it to my mother and then read it when she was done. It was something I didn’t think I’d be interested in but it ended up liking it very much.

Linda_Owl's avatar

A friend gave me a copy of “West With The Night” for my birthday & said that it was a great read. I was not sure that I would care for it at all, but once I got started reading it, I could barely put it down. It was written by Beryl Markham in 1942. Beryl Markham was born in 1902 in England. When her mother died, her father took her to East Africa & started a horse farm (racehorses & polo ponies). She grew up playing with the native children & training horses. Then in the 1920’s she learned to fly airplanes. From 1930 to 1936 she carried mail & medical supplies & passengers in her small bi-plane to the remote reaches of the Sudan (Kenya, Rhodesia, Tanganyika, etc.). In September of 1936 she became the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic from East to West. She took off from England & had to make a crash landing in Nova Scotia twenty one hours later. The book was a fascinating glimpse into the past & into the life of an exceptional woman.

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