Monday, September 26, 2011

Slow Burn


It's time for another round of the blog chain and Shaun started us off with this question:

What are three books you would tell people that they need to keep reading even if they aren't immediately sucked in by the first page?

Oooh, such a great question. I have read so many blog posts about nailing the first sentence, the first paragraph, the first page, the first fifty pages, etc, etc, etc. But we often forget to talk about the books that don't immediately grab hold of you,the ones that don't keep you up reading all night, and the books that play a little hard to get, and it is past time that the slow burn books get their time in the spotlight. So without further chit-chat, here are my top 3.

1. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

If you haven't read this book. OMG read it now. And the other two books in the series, you should probably get those too, cause you will want to read them as well. I love all three of these books, and one of the things I like best is the pacing. This first book especially takes its time establishing the characters and world... before letting us watch it slowly fall apart after a meteor crashes into the moon and pushes it off its axis. Unlike disaster movies where most of the fun is in watching large scale destruction, (The White House smashed to bits, an eight lane thruway crumbling to dust. You know you've seen these movies. Own your shame.) here disaster comes slowly as each new consequence slowly stacks up one upon the other in a way that leads to absolutely devastating consequences. While I was impatient with the pacing at the beginning of the book, by the end I was totally hooked and could not put it down.

2. A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews

I came across this book several years ago while browsing the stacks at my local library. I can't remember what made me pick it up. Maybe the chicken on the cover? It's not the type of book I usually reach for, and it was definitely a slower read for me, as opposed to most books which I will tear through in a day or two. What kept me reading? First there was the mystery of what happened to the narrators mother and sister. Then there was the absolutely gorgeous writing, the kind that makes you want to read it out loud like it's poetry. Mostly though it was the narrator herself, and the way she slowly unraveled her story. After finishing it, I wanted to read it again. Not immediately, but I knew that it was the type of book that I could come back to in a few years and love it as much as I had the first time. Since those few years have gone by, I will definitely be ordering a copy of this book on Amazon very soon.

3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Okay, so confession. I haven't actually read this book. It - along with the second and third book in the series - have been sitting in my to-read pile since Christmas when my mother-in-law sent them to me after having read them herself. She told me they were good. I've read reviews saying they were good. I'd even read the first page of first one, but it didn't really grab me and I had other books in my pile... so I put it back down with the intention of picking it up again soon. Months passed and I was still telling myself any day now, when my older sister also told me they were good. She had just read all three of them and couldn't put them down, she said. Except. Except for one small thing. The first one started a little slow. So slow that she said it took about 100 pages before it really got going for her. One Hundred Pages. That is a lot of pages of to get through before a book really hooks you, and I am embarrassed to say that I have not yet gotten to those 100 pages, or any of the ones that come after. But really, I will. Any day now.


So that's my list. And you can find even more slow burn book recommendations from the other chain members. If you want to go in reverse check out Matt's post from yesterday and you to move forward you can find Katrina's list posted tomorrow.

13 comments:

  1. I've heard great things about LIfe as We Knew It, putting it on my TBR list.

    UGH. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I suffered through the whole thing. It never won me over.

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  2. I'm considering putting the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on my TBR list, but it's asking an awful lot of the reader to make her wait 100 pages before the story gets going.

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  3. Yea, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo keeps coming up!

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  4. I've only heard of one of those. I'd really like to read Dragon. It seems like a book I'd like. Thanks Kate!

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  5. Ooh the Larsson novel is such a great example! I really enjoyed that book in the long run, even if it was a bit over-hyped, but it definitely took about 100 pages before the plot picked up and I really got into it.

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  6. Surfed over from Katrina's! I also heard that about Pfeffer's book, so when I found it at a Border's sale I snatched it up. Good to know it hooks you in!

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  7. I've only heard of one of these! Thanks for the introductions. :)

    100 pages is the most I'll give a book that reads like a nonstarter. I give kudos to anyone who can muscle down more than that of a book they're not connecting with!

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  8. Haven't read any of those but yeah, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo does keep coming up....I might have to break down and read that one LOL

    I've had a couple books take 100 pages or so before they grab me. I try to give a book at least that long but it doesn't always happen :)

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  9. I've heard about #3. Only good reviews!

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  10. I have never been interested in any of the books on your list, but your reviews have given me reason think twice. Nice work!

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  11. Now I remember why I never picked up The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I HEARD about it taking 100 pages to get into. I just couldn't deal with that. I really should see for myself, though. And the title just didn't appeal to me. But I just saw a preview for the movie and it looks good so I'll try it.... Thanks for sharing!

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  12. I've heard so many great things about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It's been on my TBR list for a while, but I've also heard it takes 100 pages or so to get moving, so maybe someday. ;)

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  13. I've yet to read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo despite it being on my Nook for like half a year, but now I think I need to.

    Life As We Knew It was one of the most unbearably depressing books ever. The sequel wasn't nearly as good, I thought.

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