Pleasant Surprises: Books That Exceeded Our Expectations

Description
Our List of the Month this August is devoted to those pleasant surprises that come into our reading lives—books that exceeded our expectations, and ending up providing far more enjoyment than we thought they would. Each participant may vote on ten titles.
2
18,084 membres
1,240 critiques
½ 4.3
17 Members
timspalding, raidergirl3, perennialreader, Localhostess, nancjones, nagasravika.bodapati, bookmuse56, CKHarwood, larocco, Vegas_Fiber_Arts, saraLucilleIngram, ErinBraam, HH_Library, VioletL, ConantheLibrarianJr, dandalf, Craftybilda
Explications
perennialreader: I don't read much in the way of Science Fiction but read a review and thought I would give it a try.
bookmuse56: I could not put down this book and it felt so real to me and I kept wondering what I would in the various situations.
ConantheLibrarianJr: Great "hard" Science Fiction. The book reminded me that if you are marooned on Mars, humor is your most important survival skill.
3
1,135 membres
84 critiques
4.1
12 Members
kxn11, magneticvoyager, RBeffa, elkiedee, nancjones, ominogue, bookmuse56, Vegas_Fiber_Arts, saraLucilleIngram, pacificquest, VioletL, dandalf
Explications
elkiedee: I had no particular expectations of this book but picked it up because it was shortlisted for an award and it was excellent.
bookmuse56: I fell in with the writing, the time period, and the characters - perfect for armchair travelers.
5
4,528 membres
338 critiques
4
7
5,304 membres
399 critiques
4
13 Members
timspalding, anglemark, erinclark, magneticvoyager, PitcherBooks, nagasravika.bodapati, kara.shamy, HeatherMoss, CKHarwood, Vegas_Fiber_Arts, saraLucilleIngram, pacificquest, moc2902
Explications
anglemark: I don't like zombie stories. Color me surprised at how good this book was!
8
16,484 membres
440 critiques
½ 4.3
9
43,121 membres
1,746 critiques
4
10 Members
pgmcc, knerd.knitter, deldevries, perennialreader, JuliaMaria, nagasravika.bodapati, Dammie, HH_Library, finnleyjames, ConantheLibrarianJr,EMS_24 ,Thelamon1
Explications
EMS_24 : It's all about expectations and what you like in a book
perennialreader: Not my kind of book at all, but I took a chance and have read the whole series, even the ones by David Lagercrantz. Just love the Lisbeth Salander character.
JuliaMaria: Ich habe die Serie erst gelesen als der Hype vorbei war - und war dann traurig, dass ich sie nicht doch früher schon für mich entdeckt hatte.
ConantheLibrarianJr: Powerful. What Solander goes thru is horrific, but she proves she is more than just a heroine. She is a survivor!
11
70,214 membres
1,305 critiques
½ 3.5
12
25,429 membres
431 critiques
½ 4.3
13
9,033 membres
512 critiques
½ 4.4
8 Members
raidergirl3, CDVicarage, LDVoorberg, CarltonC, nagasravika.bodapati, Yarnucopia, steller0707, HH_Library
Explications
LDVoorberg: A long book set in Russia?! I kept expecting tragedy upon tragedy but I got the enjoyable, daily happenings of a gentleman in a hotel!
CarltonC: I didn’t expect that I would find this as unexpected, seemingly short and warm hearted as it is.
14
3,146 membres
93 critiques
½ 3.6
8 Members
RBeffa, Porua, elkiedee, Smits, kara.shamy, Vegas_Fiber_Arts, Xotomix, RMiller30
Explications
Porua: I rarely read books I know nothing of, from authors I know nothing of. Both were true for this book and yet I not only read and enjoyed it, I actually bought a print copy of it.
15
12,778 membres
335 critiques
4.1
16
17,695 membres
330 critiques
4.2
17
17,176 membres
910 critiques
4
18
43,558 membres
1,013 critiques
3.9
19
41,048 membres
1,045 critiques
½ 4.3
20
9,687 membres
200 critiques
4
21
12,317 membres
475 critiques
½ 4.3
6 Members
CarltonC, vwinsloe, kara.shamy, nyowh, Algernon11, dandalf
Explications
CarltonC: Wowed by the imaginative rewriting of the epic from a different perspective and in such readable prose.
22
26,943 membres
772 critiques
3.9
7 Members
CDVicarage, amanda4242, Vegas_Fiber_Arts, ManWithAnAgenda, Boand, steller0707, RMiller30,Thelamon1
Explications
Boand: Original tales of magic, madness and mystery set in the early C19th. Clarke constructs a fantasy world like no other where customs and fey characters collide. Endless fun and brilliant imaginative twists make this a book to cherish.
23
2,443 membres
156 critiques
½ 4.3
24
52,715 membres
1,300 critiques
4.2
25
7,733 membres
654 critiques
3.8
6 Members
raidergirl3, terran, LDVoorberg, PitcherBooks, kara.shamy, Boand,EMS_24
Explications
LDVoorberg: You must listen to the audiobook: the narrator makes the series amazing.
Boand: Another recommendation of a whodunnit led me to the first of this quirky series and sealed it as one of my all time favourites. What’s not to love about a pesky teenage girl who beats the grownups at their own games, negotiates troublesome sisters and adores her father while they all mourn her mother and saves Britain from evil masterminds.
26
6,741 membres
287 critiques
4.1
27
1,026 membres
73 critiques
4
5 Members
3togetready, bookmuse56, rmarcin, saraLucilleIngram, HH_Library
Explications
bookmuse56: Just a wonderful read that I finished in one sitting!
28
19,343 membres
1,246 critiques
4.2
29
3,421 membres
250 critiques
3.8
30
5,571 membres
275 critiques
½ 4.3
31
9,040 membres
191 critiques
4
4 Members
hipdeep, RBeffa, elkiedee, saraLucilleIngram
Explications
hipdeep: My only other experience of Hemingway was The Old Man And The Sea, which bored me to tears. But these autobiographical vignettes were captivating.
32
5,819 membres
108 critiques
4.1
34
3,000 membres
193 critiques
3.8
35
50,293 membres
450 critiques
½ 4.5
36
2,784 membres
168 critiques
½ 4.3
3 Members
anglemark, saraLucilleIngram, Tosta
Explications
anglemark: A nice surprise after the boring feelgood The long way to a small, angry planet
37
106,837 membres
981 critiques
½ 4.4
38
2,942 membres
88 critiques
½ 4.3
39
20,537 membres
794 critiques
4.2
40
5,247 membres
150 critiques
4.2
3 Members
kxn11, dewasus1, CarltonC
Explications
CarltonC: So much more than I expected, funny and perceptive.
41
5,850 membres
332 critiques
3.9
4 Members
Localhostess, kara.shamy, BornAnalog, steller0707
Explications
BornAnalog: One of the few books that everyone talked up to me, and then it actually delivered. And then some.
42
4,860 membres
62 critiques
½ 4.3
43
5,472 membres
360 critiques
4
44
3,826 membres
200 critiques
4.2
3 Members
anglemark, sundancer, conhauf
Explications
anglemark: I didn't like the Temeraire books at all, but this one was great!
45
5,686 membres
263 critiques
4
46
532 membres
24 critiques
3.9
47
1,150 membres
28 critiques
4
48
4,368 membres
92 critiques
3.8
49
868 membres
15 critiques
½ 3.7
3 Members
Localhostess, Boand, conhauf
Explications
Boand: As a Londoner born and bred the Thames is part of my heritage and consciousness. Ackroyd weaves a wonderful historical journey covering millennia as well as miles as he follows the river from source to sea. It’s a really fascinating and captivating book which was a joy to read. For those who are interested there is also an accompanying TV series with highlights from the book and wonderful camera work.
50
35,028 membres
599 critiques
4
51
3,464 membres
196 critiques
3.9
3 Members
perennialreader, bogopea, kara.shamy
Explications
perennialreader: I did not like Eat, Pray, Love but someone recommended this one and I actually like it.
52
7,369 membres
162 critiques
3.8
53
3,990 membres
226 critiques
4.2
54
1,575 membres
81 critiques
½ 3.5
55
39,431 membres
1,271 critiques
4.1
3 Members
kleo, cherpy, ErinBraam
56
966 membres
70 critiques
4.2
2 Members
elorin, rmarcin
57
649 membres
19 critiques
½ 3.7
58
12,469 membres
189 critiques
4
59
203 membres
47 critiques
½ 3.6
2 Members
hipdeep, conhauf
Explications
hipdeep: Took a flyer on this one through Early Reviewers. It blew my mind as an introduction to leisure studies.
60
7,690 membres
296 critiques
4.2
61
12,944 membres
288 critiques
4
3 Members
Boand, steller0707, conhauf
Explications
Boand: A book that has a split dual timeline and an irresistible story of star crossed lovers. Byatt’s writing intrigues and compels across different centuries and compares how social mores shape our lives bringing joy, heartache and sorrow.
62
7,405 membres
245 critiques
4.1
3 Members
Minthe, Cecrow, conhauf
63
19,031 membres
403 critiques
4.1
64
246 membres
22 critiques
4
2 Members
nancjones, AbigailAdams26
Explications
AbigailAdams26: I had no fixed ideas going into this book, and certainly did not expect it to be one of the best middle-grade novels I have ever read!
65
22 membres
2 critiques
½ 4.7
2 Members
AbigailAdams26, alderwand
Explications
AbigailAdams26: I expected to enjoy the artwork here, being an admirer of the illustrator (Frances Tyrrell), but I was surprised to find the story itself so beautifully-written and immensely poignant.
66
26,234 membres
500 critiques
4.2
2 Members
Patricia.Ralston, elahrairah
Explications
elahrairah: My girlfriend said I should read this. It didn't look like the sort of book I would even consider but I did and it was brilliant. It made me realise that there was whole swathes of literature that I was missing out on because of my preconceived notions of what markets were being aimed for by covers, and that I had subconsciously coded whole swathes of literature as aimed at female audiences and ignored it. This was a bit of a shock, because I thought that I was an indiscriminate reader. It is always painful to learn things about yourself that you don't want to be true. I hope that I no longer ignore books that are marketed in a feminine way, and I make an effort to remember this whenever I am considering buying or reading a book. The novel is incredible, by the way.
67
3,783 membres
100 critiques
4
68
4,410 membres
251 critiques
4.1
2 Members
edparks, conhauf
69
20,257 membres
554 critiques
4.1
70
2,911 membres
62 critiques
½ 3.4
71
2,694 membres
102 critiques
3.8
72
2,917 membres
41 critiques
4.1
2 Members
elkiedee, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
elkiedee: Read by mistake from the library when I was 14 and I think I thought it was something different, but I really loved this.
73
8,690 membres
119 critiques
3.8
2 Members
JalenV, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
JalenV: I picked it because it was a classic, but the characters and their stories were much more interesting than I expected. BTW The Wheat and the Tares chapter is old name for the parable of the Wheat and the Weeds.
74
8 membres
5
75
5,653 membres
92 critiques
3.8
2 Members
Cecrow, alderwand
76
760 membres
23 critiques
3.8
77
94 membres
2 critiques
4
2 Members
BornAnalog, alderwand
Explications
BornAnalog: Read this argument for an ethics-driven technology sector. . .and then contemplate how far that is from our current reality.
78
956 membres
55 critiques
½ 4.3
2 Members
Micheller7, Ann_R
79
1,342 membres
89 critiques
3.8
2 Members
JuliaMaria, nyowh
Explications
JuliaMaria: Geschichten mit Tieren als Hauptprotakonisten interessieren mich normalerweise weniger, deshalb war ich positiv über die philosophische Tiefe des Romans überrascht.
80
42,531 membres
708 critiques
3.8
81
17,354 membres
153 critiques
4.1
2 Members
hipdeep, msemmag
Explications
hipdeep: Came for the theology, stayed for the clever use of language.
msemmag: Look, I didn't go into this book expecting C. S. Lewis to be funny. But goddamnit, he is in this. I don't agree with a lot of what he espouses, but fuck this was enjoyable to read.
82
1,070 membres
3 critiques
½ 4.3
2 Members
cpg, Yarnucopia
Explications
cpg: Surprisingly successful devotional work.
84
1,472 membres
92 critiques
4.1
2 Members
vwinsloe, Ann_R
85
480 membres
7 critiques
½ 3.5
2 Members
Cecrow, TechThing
86
2,130 membres
65 critiques
3.9
87
3,842 membres
199 critiques
½ 3.7
88
1,226 membres
41 critiques
4.2
2 Members
CarltonC, nyowh
Explications
CarltonC: I didn’t expect to be so engaged by this story, who for all his faults, comes across as very human.
89
71,973 membres
1,163 critiques
3.8
2 Members
hipdeep, cbl_tn
Explications
hipdeep: I have a vague memory of reading this in high school, but revisiting it as an adult was far more satisfying.
90
10,802 membres
251 critiques
4
91
11,610 membres
830 critiques
4.1
92
14,055 membres
313 critiques
4.2
93
3,329 membres
168 critiques
4.1
94
1,968 membres
109 critiques
½ 4.3
95
1,253 membres
21 critiques
½ 3.6
96
5,027 membres
143 critiques
4.1
97
9,865 membres
186 critiques
4
2 Members
hipdeep, Cecrow
Explications
hipdeep: I didn't love Steinbeck in high school English class. I wish they'd taught this one.
98
4,324 membres
226 critiques
4.2
2 Members
Micheller7, sturlington
Explications
sturlington: I thought this was a book about Shakespeare, but it was so much more than that--such a moving depiction of motherhood and grief.
99
1,790 membres
60 critiques
½ 3.4
100
5,450 membres
182 critiques
½ 4.3