I recently saw a review where someone rated Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen as one of their all time favorites. Now, I read the book and I enjoyed it. But as an all time favorite? I didn't think that was possible for anyone. I put off reading it for years because of the somewhat negative reviews of it. One of them said that Gruen knows how to write about the relationship between human and animal but not so much the relationships between people; that critque rings true in Water for Elephants.
And I just looked back through my blog to see if I'd reviewed and I noticed that I have not. Oh well. Here it is now. I thought the story was fun and intriguing; it kept you guessing. So overall it was quite good. However!!! I am fairly picky when it comes to my books and I did not come to love the characters. I didn't really miss them when I'd finished and I felt like they were sortof whiners and I hate whiners unless I'm supposed to hate them as characters and then I love it! The best part of this book was the ending, and I don't mean that it was the best because it was over, but it was just a very excellent ending to the story.
I guess it just surprised me that someone would claim it as a favorite of all time where for me it doesn't even come close.
It's a good thing we don't all have to agree! As my mother would say, that's why God made so many different kinds of people :) hah. Well go figure. And if you feel like this book sounds interesting to you, please read it. It was a very good story with a great plot. And not only that, but she researched elephants for the book. If you read the book go to the back and read the part where she talks about the research she did on these two real life elephants. Fascinating!
I always like to look into the research and inspiration behind a book. That always makes it better for me.
While I'm on the topic of favorite books of all time, I'll mention a few of my own just for good measure.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (which I have not yet reviewed on here)
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (which I have also not reviewed)
and here are two Honorable Mentions that come in very close to being on my top top list of books...
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson - a new author with a very interesting voice. Great story.
A Long Way Gone; memoirs of a boy soldier - by Ishmael Beah ( I think every teen boy should read this book. It has easy language but it is a true story and the author is alive and telling his story today! Amazing!)
There are many many other books that I love dearly but they do not pop into my head right now, and I've also not written reviews about them. But rest assured, I shall review again! But that list of four right now has yet to be beat. Although I did like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn...
And by the way, if you're looking for a good book reviewer I do recommend Farmlanebooks. She is the one who loved Water for Elephants, but I still think she writes pretty good reviews overall. And she's got a lot more than me.....
What makes you really enjoy a book?
What books are are you list of all time favorites and WHY!?