Top Ten Tuesday

Posted May 24, 2016 by Nicky in General / 6 Comments

This week’s theme is an interesting one: ten books I feel differently about now time has passed. There’s a lot of books I feel that way about from when I was a kid, of course, but I’ll try to go for more recent stuff.

  1. Cocaine Blues, Kerry Greenwood. I reaaaally changed my opinion on this one, and ended up devouring the whole series. But the first time I tried it, I hated it.
  2. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien. I’ve always liked reading it, but I’ve gone through periods of being more or less critical. There was one point where I didn’t dare reread it, because I thought I’d find it too racist, sexist, simplistic… But thanks to Ursula Le Guin’s writing on Tolkien’s work, and then studying it during my MA, I’ve come to appreciate it a lot more. A lot of the things people complain about post-Tolkien fantasy really are post-Tolkien — he didn’t bring them in. Derivativeness, lack of thought about the implications of this choice or that on the world — I’ve come to see that lack of thought was never Tolkien’s problem, though it has been a problem for people after him.
  3. The Diamond Throne, David Eddings. I’ve had a long succession of feelings about this too; loved it and thought it really romantic as a kid, grew up and thought it was crappy and derivative, but recently I reread a bit and thought it was kind of funny anyway. (Even if Sparhawk and Ehlana is actually a creepy relationship.)
  4. Chalice, Robin McKinley. I think I originally gave this one three stars, but I keep thinking about it and I’ve read it again since and I just… I love it.
  5. Tooth and Claw, Jo Walton. Didn’t love this the first time, fell right into it on a reread. The right book at the right time, I guess.
  6. The Farthest Shore, Ursula Le Guin. This is less one that I’ve got to like more, and more one I appreciate more. I’m still not a big fan of it and wouldn’t idly pick it up the way I would, say, The Tombs of Atuan. But I see its purpose and beauty.
  7. Across the Nightingale Floor, Lian Hearn. I loved this at the time, but I don’t know if it’d stand up to that now. I’m a little afraid to try, so I think that counts for the list?
  8. Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden. I know in how many ways this is exploitative and so on, but I did love this at one point. Another one I don’t think I’ll try again.
  9. Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country, Rosalind Miles. I might like this more now that I read more romance, I don’t know, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. My opinion got worse and worse as I read more of her books.
  10. The Crystal Cave, Mary Stewart. The misogyny drove me mad the first time, but I actually appreciated parts of it more the second time.

That was… harder than I expected. Although I was also distracted by being a backseat driver to my partner playing Assassin’s Creed.

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6 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday

  1. I’m with you on falling in and out of the Lord of the Rings. I’m definitely back in at the moment, but it hasn’t always been the case! While I still have my copy of The Diamond Throne, I don’t think I’d revisit it. I found it derivative first time around (and I never liked Sparhawk/Ehlana *shudder*), so tended to reread the Belgariad/Malloreon instead (…which I’m also not keen to revisit. I suspect it’s covered in the wrong sort of fairy dust).

    I do intend to revisit Tooth and Claw and Earthsea and I’m encouraged by your comments! I think Across the Nightingale Floor would hold up? I’ve hung on to that because I liked it so much… now you’ve made me nervous 🙂

    • I liked Sparhawk a lot. Just… not Ehlana. The whole first book where she’s encased in diamond is the best bit, before the… creeptastic weirdness sets in.

      Across the Nightingale Floor… I just remember it so fondly, it almost can’t match up, I think! Maybe it will? If I try?

    • I loved it when I first read it, too, then got cautious for a while, and then fell in love again. There’s a lot to discover with LotR!

  2. I tend to always like books less, not more! I don’t know why, maybe by virtue of reading a lot I’m just always constantly finding someone who does something better, and so old books tend to become overshadowed as time goes on.

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