Sometimes it seems like everyone in the world is reading and loving the same book, and it irritates me. I refuse to read it because I’m stubborn and I don’t like to be bossed. Angela’s Ashes is an example of this. Remember when everyone had to read and talk about that book? I did not. The same goes for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Eat Pray Love, Infinite Jest, and The Tipping Point.
Other times, I just give in. Enough people tell me a book is great that I put stubborn aside and read it. Here are some of the great books I’ve been shamelessly peer pressured into reading.
The Goldfinch. Go ahead and read it, then go back and reread everything else Donna Tartt has written, because she is incredible.
The Corrections. There was a whole Oprah scandal about this one back in the day. Books are rarely in the news in that way. For some reason I was surprised that I liked it as much as I did, but scandal or not, it is great.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I resisted for a few years when this was just getting started, but then a friend lent me the first one and I read everything I could get my hands on, and then lined up with everyone else for subsequent releases. I’m a nerd.
Cold Mountain. One of those books that leaves me with an almost physical sense of place. I think Charles Frazier is a beautiful writer. Thirteen Moons is also very good.
Empire Falls. Awards (this one won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction) also sometimes make me feel bossed. But then I realize why books like this win awards. I read this years ago and still feel fond of some of the characters.
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (and the other two). I seriously resisted these, and I can’t remember what made me eventually change my mind. But I eventually enjoyed the whole trilogy. I’ve been through it twice.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I wasn’t going to read this. Then Matt bought it and I might have read it just because the book is so beautiful to look at. And then it ended up completely revolutionizing the way I think about food.
Are there books that you’ve given in to and then loved?
Just read The Kite Runner. Resisted for all the same reasons as you. What a great read. So glad I read it. It’s riveting and haunting.
Yes! That’s exactly the kind of everywhere-at-once book that I mean. But a great one.
Yay Charles Frazier! As a North Carolinian (and more specifically an Ashevillian:-)), I connected to both of those books. It’s challenging because you need to read every single word of his books, which adds time. But so beautifully written.