Brief blogs for busy bees

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I can’t believe I read

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I can’t believe I read

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but was recently relocated to That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s topic stumped me a little bit.

At first, I thought about solely focusing on books I didn’t like… But the majority of them were things that I could believe I’d read, but just wished I hadn’t.

Then I thought of choosing ten classics that I was proud of myself for actually reading, but I couldn’t think of that many. Most of the classics I’ve read were ones that interested me, so I didn’t read them purely because of their classic status!

Instead, I’ve decided to go for a little bit of everything. Books I hated, books that were outside of my comfort zone – this Top Ten Tuesday has them all:

10) The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir cover

This book is HUGE. Like, over 700 pages huge. I’m not a fan of big books, because I have a remarkably small attention span, but something about The Second Sex kept me going.

That being said, I read it just over six months ago and I’ve already forgotten literally everything about it… But I know I enjoyed it at the time, and was astounded by the similarities between women in the time de Beauvoir was writing and women today.

9) Hot Feminist by Polly Vernon

Hot Feminist by Polly Vernon cover

Hot Feminist isn’t so much a book I can’t believe I read as a book I can’t believe I actually finished. I’ve read a lot of books about feminism in the last couple of years, and none of them have been as infuriating/insubstantial/vacuous. This is a book about fashion parading as a book on feminism to get more attention.

8) Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris cover

I own the majority of books that Charlaine Harris has written, but Midnight Crossroad is still the only one I’ve read. That’s because I thought it was really bloody awful. Nothing happens. Literally nothing. This is another book that I’m surprised I managed to finish, but I’m also surprised I even read it in the first place, because there was so much hype surrounding Harris’ writing that I didn’t know where to start. (The answer? Definitely not here.)

7) The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black cover

The Cruel Prince is the best book I’ve read this year (so far). I’m surprised I actually read it, though, because I avoid over-hyped books like the plague, and the hype for this one has been off the charts.

6) A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas cover

Again, this is one I probably should have avoided because of the hype, but I read A Court of Thorns and Roses just before it was released.

However, when the second book was released it was so long that I couldn’t bring myself to pick it up. I’ve now forgotten everything that happened in book one, so it looks like I’m going to struggle to catch up with this series.

5) Liccle Bit by Alex Wheatle

Liccle Bit by Alex Wheatle cover

When Crongton Knights – the second book in Alex Wheatle’s Crongton series – was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize, I knew I’d have to read the first book in the series, too. Sadly, the books really didn’t sound like my cup of tea… Which is why I was surprised when I not only found the motivation to read them, but ended up enjoying them a lot! There’s a reason for the saying: Don’t judge a book by its cover.

4) Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff

Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff cover

I can’t believe I’ve read Fire and Fury because of how recently it came out. I’ve read quite a lot of new releases this year, but the majority of those are YA releases that I’ve received through NetGalley. I borrowed Fire and Fury from my boyfriend, and normally when I borrow his books I procrastinate reading them because I know I can get them back to him whenever, but this one grabbed me and I gobbled it down.

3) The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen cover

There are a couple of reasons I’m surprised I read The Fate of the Tearling. 1) It’s huge. 2) It’s the last book in a trilogy, and I’m notoriously bad at finishing series. 3) The first book was absolutely awful, so I was already shocked that I’d bothered carrying on with the series. 4) It was over-hyped.

It ended up disappointing me – not surprising, considering my feelings fluctuated dramatically between the first two books – but I’m still proud of myself for actually finishing this trilogy.

2) Red Rising by Piece Brown

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

The world of Red Rising is so far outside my comfort zone, but it’s my favourite book of all time (and the entire series is bloodydamn great, too). When I discovered that it was set on Mars, alarm bells began ringing in the back of my mind – not a sci-fi book! Those are too confusing! – but I persevered and fell in love with Darrow, Sevro and the entire population of the world which Brown built.

1) Girl Online: Going Solo by Zoe Sugg

Girl Online Going Solo by Zoe Sugg

I read Zoe Sugg’s first book, Girl Online, because there was so much controversy regarding her use of a ghostwriter, and I didn’t feel able to talk about it until I’d read the book itself. When the hype around the series continued, I gave the second book a chance – the first written by Sugg alone – and found it even worse.

But something convinced me to keep going, and I ended up absolutely loving Girl Online: Going Solo. Loving it so much that I’m actually kind of hoping that book four will be announced. There aren’t many series that improve with each installment, but this is definitely one of them.


If you’re interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon Affiliate link (found in the book’s title). If you’d like to read more about each book, please click their cover: you’ll be redirected to their Goodreads page.


I hope you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday! Are there any books that you can’t believe you’ve read? Leave your comments down below (and make sure to link to your own Top Ten Tuesday posts!).



  • Barb(Boxermommyreads)

    ACOTAR is a book I had such mixed feelings about. I HATED the first 2/3 of it but the last 1/3 brought the rating up for me. I had every plan on continuing but now forget a lot of what I read. Plus, I never liked Freya. I’m sad to hear Midnight Crossroad never worked for you – it’s one of my favorite series. I like it even better than True Blood.

    • I’m considering continuing on with the Midnight series, because I’m really interested in watching the TV show but I want to finish the trilogy first. I can’t put my finger on why I didn’t like the first one, but it just felt really oddly paced to me!
      I fluctuated a lot during ACOTAR. I was really interested by the beginning because it had been SO LONG since I’d read a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but then I got supremely bored in the middle because it didn’t feel like anything was happening. The ending is very exciting, though!

  • alisoncdoherty

    Interesting! I loved ACOTAR and the rest of the series, but I totally get avoiding a book because of the hype.

    • I have heard a lot of very good things about them, so I might give them another go at some point in the future.

  • Jo Elliott

    I wasn’t that keen on ACOTAR, but I did enjoy the second book. Still haven’t read the third one though!
    My TTT:

    • I’m very tempted to carry on with the series, but the books just look far too long!

  • I’ll probably never read any Sarah J. Maas books– not for any other reason than I just don’t think that type of Fantasy is for me. Faeries and assassins and the books are SOOO long. I just can’t do it.

    • I have mixed feelings about faeries, because I’ve read some amazing titles and I’ve read some that are absolutely dreadful. I can’t think of any other assassin-y books out there, though – not sure if there are really obvious ones that I’ve forgotten!

  • I recently read Fire and Fury too, and it was hard to put down even though I rarely read political books, but I work in a small bookstore so I do try to keep up with new releases… and it’s like a car wreck I just couldn’t look away from. And I really did love Midnight Crossroads, but so many of the characters in it are from Harris’s other series, so I had a history with them… I wonder how I would have felt if I that had been my first introduction? I actually didn’t like her first Sookie Stackhouse book, because I hated Vampire Bill, but a friend insisted I read the series with her, and there are some books in that series I really ended up liking. Harris is a hit or miss author for me.

    • Ooh, I didn’t realise that there were characters from Harris’s other books in the Midnight series. That might be one of the reasons I struggled with it, because it didn’t feel as though they were really introduced – that makes so much sense!
      Fire and Fury is indeed like a car crash. It’s fascinating, because it feels like its retrospective and happened many many years ago, and it’s disconcerting to think that it’s all still unravelling at the moment…

  • Read & Survive

    Good twist on the topic! We all should read books out of our comfort zone!
    Red Rising is different from scifi, sort more clear, more YA approach and yet it’s just perrrfection 🙂
    Hot Feminist sounds good. I’ve been trying to read more feminist books lately

    • I really do love Red Rising <3 The rest of the series are strictly sci-fi, but I think it's clever that the first book in the series was a blend – it made it far easier for me to get into it.

  • I’m glad that the Girl Online series is getting better!

  • Greg Hill

    The Cruel Prince is one I’m seriously considering, since I’ve been wanting to try Holly Black, so it’s goo d to know that it was a good read! Sometimes w/ the hype I tend to avoid ’em too. And Fire and Fury I have to admit I kinda want to read!

    • I recommend reading Fire and Fury, because even though it makes you want to cry from frustration at times, it also reads like a parody – it just doesn’t seem possible that the characters are real!

  • I’m actually really glad to see The Cruel Prince on your list. I wasn’t planning to read it, but everyone has been talking about it and tomorrow, I will be swinging by my library to pick up my hold. Peer pressure can be so hard to resist, but also can be kind of rewarding, haha.

    • I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It’s going to be very difficult for anything to beat it – I hope I didn’t read the best book I’ll read in 2018 within the first few days!

  • I am right there with you on the long ones- I am SO bad at them that it’s shocking when I finally do read them! And the hype is tough for sure, I have fallen victim to some of those! Fire and Fury I want to read, need to read really, but I am so mad that it is even a thing that has to exist that I can’t yet. I just can’t. Great choices!!

    • I was going to put off reading Fire and Fury because I thought it would make me too angry, but my boyfriend dropped it in my lap and didn’t give me a choice. I’m glad he forced me into reading it, because it is very interesting… But it did make me quite mad, too!

  • Oooh, there are definitely some authors here I should look up — but I’m sad you didn’t like Midnight! I weirdly enough like her writing except when it’s th Sookie Stackhouse books!

    • I wish I’d liked it more! Because I didn’t like Midnight I’ve been avoiding started the Sookie books – hopefully I’ll enjoy them, because I’ve been looking forward to reading them for as long as I can remember.

  • I’ve seen LOTS of bloggers and readers talk about “The Cruel Prince.” It seems to be getting lots of good reviews/praise. It’s not one I’ve read, nor have I read anything by this author. Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland.

    • I highly recommend giving it a go! It’s a great place to start reading Holly Black’s writing – I’ve found some of her other books forgettable, but it feels as though she’s really come into her own with this release.