The Sword and Laser discussion

49 views
Books you liked better in retrospect

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Anne (new)

Anne Schuessler (anneschuessler) | 638 comments The question would be: Are there any books that you like better in retrospect than you did while you were reading them? Or, are there any books that affected you more than you thought they would?

I have at least three books that pulled that trick and especially the first one took me by surprise.

One is The World Without Us, a non-fiction book about how the world would look like if humanity ceased to exist. The premise sounded so great, but I found it be a bit tedious and not as fascinating as I thought it would be. But somehow there are lot of little factoids that I learned from that book that keep coming back and I am much glader that I read the book now than I felt invested in it while reading it. It's just little things, like the story of the rubber duckies swirling around in the ocean or how Stanley Kubrick has a mansion somewhere close to Harpenden, England.

A similar thing happened with Malcolm Gladwell's Blink. I had heard so much praise about it but was slightly underwhelmed. Yet I always can remember little stories from the book that I really liked. Apparently my brain found the stories much more interesting than I did. If that sounds strange, well, that's kind of how it feels like - hard to explain.

A different and pretty recent example is The Shadow of the Torturer which I read after it was featured here on the book club. I thought it was just meh while I read it, but I find that these days, a couple of weeks after I finished it I come back to the story in my head and actually think to myself "You know, that scene was pretty cool actually". I'm pretty sure I'm going to read the rest of the series. In a way the story was written in a very simple straight-forward way and it seems like it took my brain a while to catch up and really take in the story.

So, any books which were underwhelming at first, but somehow caught up to you?


message 2: by Kris (last edited May 05, 2011 06:24PM) (new)

Kris (KVolk) | 793 comments I had this reaction when I read Glen Cooks Black company follow up books, called The Books of the South I think. I reread them a few years later and they were much more absorbing than before. I thik this is why I reread books so often, I always seem to pick of something else.


message 3: by Micah (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1066 comments This happened to me with The Windup Girl which we read here on Sword and Laser. I liked it at first read. But as time went on and I talked with other people who had read it; I found myself remembering that I liked it a lot more than I thought I had.


message 4: by Mike (new)

Mike Betts (michaelbetts) | 256 comments I'm in the middle of The Windup Girl, and I hate it. I can see myself having an interesting conversation about it afterwards though. I think some books have interesting settings or ideas that are poorly executed but still fertile enough to discuss.


message 5: by Micah (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1066 comments Sodon wrote: "I'm in the middle of The Windup Girl, and I hate it. I can see myself having an interesting conversation about it afterwards though. I think some books have interesting settings or ideas that are p..."

It starts off slow but picks up eventually. I ended up liking it a lot. I hope you do too.


message 6: by aldenoneil (new)

aldenoneil | 1000 comments Anne wrote: "Apparently my brain found the stories much more interesting than I did. If that sounds strange, well, that's kind of how it feels like - hard to explain. "

I believe that's called "blindsight." Or something.


back to top

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

The World Without Us (other topics)
The Shadow of the Torturer (other topics)
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (other topics)
The Windup Girl (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Malcolm Gladwell (other topics)