We all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Still, most of us do. And it’s understandable. Book cover, a short description on the back and maybe a few snippets from the book are usually what decides whether we like the book enough to read it or not. We can, of course, check the book online, read a review on Amazon, or check the number of stars it has on Goodreads.
Even though there are still books we are not thrilled about, books we don’t expect much from but read out of necessity, curiosity or boredom. And it’s actually good that we don’t expect much because we can be pleasantly surprised by such a book. As we dive in we realized we are lost in a great story, we easily spend hours reading, we relate to a character and we cannot wait to discover what’s on the next page. At the end, we are surprised how pleasant the book was and wonder how come no one told us what a great book it was. It’s nice to share good books with fellow readers I listed the books I read recently, didn’t expect much from them, but actually really enjoyed reading them.
1. The Martian by Andy Weir
Since about a year ago there was a movie, I guess everyone is familiar with the story of Mark Watney, an astronaut, left behind at Mars.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. Sci-fi novels are not my thing, but this was ok. It wasn’t ridiculous, there was more adventure than sci-fi and lots of humor (which Mark never lost, not even in the worst situations).
2. Good as Gold by Louise Patten
The title of this book is quite cheesy so I expected just a light read and story I would forget quickly after finishing the book. To my surprise, I liked the book a lot.
The book is about twins Edie and Oscar, the fourth generation of Quentance family, who are just starting in their family’s private bank. They quickly find out about some illegal activities taking place inside the bank and uncover family history dating as far as the beginning of 20th century and the Titanic.
What made this book even more interesting was the fact that the story is inspired by Louise Patten’s grandfather, who was a sergeant at the Titanic.
3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This book was mentioned so many times in American movies and series but was totally unknown to me. I wasn’t sure I’ll like it because it’s told from the perspective of a child, the story takes place in 30s and main focus is on racial inequity.
I didn’t mind the story being told from the perspective of a child, because her view of the world was in a sharp contrast with cruelty of the crime, judgement and behavior of the people in the book and it gave the book.
4. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance
Ashlee Vance did a great job of presenting the story of Elon Musk. It displays Musk from different angles, with all his good personal and professional traits as well as the bad ones. It is an enjoyable read, funny in some places, showing Musk as a genius, dreamer, father, partner, visionary, CEO, leader, uncompromising boss and basically as a man with clear goal and mission.
5. A Treacherous Paradise by Henning Mankell
I love crime fiction stories by Henning Mankell and I wasn’t sure about this one, which is far from a crime story.
The book tells a story of Hanna Renström who is forced to leave her family in mountains in northern Sweden. Thanks to a luck and good will of a businessman Forsman, she finds herself in Sundsvall in Forsman’s house, working as a house help. Less than a year later she heads to Australia as a cook on a ship, but abandons the ship in African port called Lorenço Marques. Here her life take yet another unexpected turn.
The remarkable story of Hanna Renström is highly engaging. The book based on snippets of historical data Henning Mankell found about Swedish woman living and owning business in Africa but it’s also full of his imagination.
6. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
This book was so good and I already put other books by Liane Moriarty on my reading list. I don’t know why I hesitated about this book at first. I guess I just assumed it was another women fiction book which you read quickly and forget about even quicker. I’m not afraid to admit I was wrong.
The book is about huge secret that the husband of Cecile has. One day she finds a letter her husband wrote and which was meant to be read only after his death. But Cecile is too curious and reads it anyway. Later she regrets reading it. Knowing the secret will change their lives forever, because secrets you know you cannot unknow.
What were the books that surprised you recently? In any way, good or bad reads count. Share in the comments, I would love to know what is worth to add to my reading list.