Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Can’t Believe I Read

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for January 30th, 2018 is: Top Ten Books I Can’t Believe I Read. For this prompt, I’m going to be discussing books I can’t remember anything about yet are on my Goodreads ‘Read’ shelf. When I look at the titles I get a sense of familiarity, but other than that I just can’t believe I’ve read them.

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1. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

I remember that we had a bookshelf shaped like an actual book with a red door in fourth grade that had a bunch of classics in it, one of them being this book. I used to read it sporadically during the ‘zero period’ and had finished quite a bit of it. And now I’ve promptly forgotten every word. I do know a bit about the plot because it happens to be a very famous book, but I don’t remember anything specific.

2. Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene

I know I liked the stories when I read them and obviously Nancy Drew is an iconic character, but none of the plot points have stayed in my mind. I vaguely remember the cast of characters and something about a convertible. I really feel like revisiting the entire series someday, however, it’s quite low on my priority list.

3. The Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton

I distinctly remember picking up a book called The Magic Faraway Tree from my school library, reading it (though it confused me a little and at the time I didn’t know it was the second book in a series) and being very taken with the whimsy in the story. Predictably, I can’t even tell you the main character’s name if you asked me now.

4. Inferno by Dan Brown

Even though this is a recent read compared to others on this list, it was so forgettable that my brain decided it had better things to remember than this story. I do know it features Robert Langdon, something about Dante’s work and a beautiful woman whose name or profession has slipped my mind because I didn’t care for this book.

5. Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

I recall the themes in this book and perhaps a character or two, but nothing beyond that. I remember being apprehensive about it at first – it had a funny title and a blurb that didn’t really excite me. It was a present from my cousin and I didn’t want to be ruse, so I decided to give it a shot. I ended up absolutely loving it and my copy has found a new home because I spoke of it highly. Yet it has ended up on this list because it was so very long ago that I can’t recollect any details.

6. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

This is a weird one because I read the original trilogy in 2014 (or 2013) and didn’t quite enjoy it enough to continue on with the rest of the story. However, in 2017 I persevered (and also read The Infernal Devices series) and finally finished the entire series (because I did remember vague details from the first three books). Now I just want to forget everything I’ve read because it didn’t get any better for me, as was promised. I’m truly sorry if you love this series, but it just wasn’t for me.

7. House of Night series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

I actually forced my way through the entire series just so I’d know how it ends, and honestly, it wasn’t worth it. This one is more along the lines of I-can’t-believe-I-read-something-so-terrible-and-yet-I-somehow-did. It was a monumental waste of my time and I take the blame entirely. The good news is that I’ve forgotten a major chunk of it already!

8. Graceling Realm series by Kristin Cashore

This is another popular series I couldn’t seem to get into. As expected, I finished the entire trilogy hoping that it’d get better. I remember that I thought Fire, the second book, was a pretty decent read but I hated Katsa, the protagonist in the first book, with all my heart. Overall, I was dissatisfied with the story and I want to forget whatever little I do remember because it’s just a waste of space.

9. Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie

It came highly recommended to me by a good friend and I did pick it up solely on that from the school library when I was in high school. I read it but wasn’t blown away. I think I would rate it 4 stars but alas, that is all I can tell you about this reading experience. I do have a re-read scheduled, of course, because I have liked other books by her and want to complete the entire Hercule Poirot stories.

10. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

It’s actually one of my favourite fantasy series of all time and yet, sadly, here it is on the list and I’m ashamed to admit it. When a friend asked me what it was about, I vaguely remembered the fact that there were daemons, a girl called Lyra, an alethioemeter and some kidnapping storyline. The only reason I do remember all of that is because I read La Belle Sauvage recently (my last read of 2017). I’m definitely going to re-read it and soon, because the next book in The Book of Dust series is upcoming and I need to refresh my memory before it does.


Are you one of those people who remembers everything they read or do you grow forgetful as time passes? Which is the oldest book that you remember significant sections of? Do you re-read favourites if you feel like they’re not fresh in your mind? Let me know in the comments section below.


13 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Can’t Believe I Read

  1. I read a lot of Nancy Drew books and Enid Blyton books as a kid. Also read famous five.. Can’t remember much about them but I know I loved them as a kid. Might even look for them and read them again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh dear. I feel like I should go hide in a closet, since I’m using Graceling as one of the example novels in my March DIY MFA post. O_O I really liked Graceling, though Fire is my favorite Cashore novel. Both books were collectively my introduction to YA fantasy, so I have a soft spot for them. But everyone is entitled to their own opinion, right?

    Anyway, I got a good chuckle out of this post, because we’ve all read books that we can’t believe we’ve read for one reason or another. I don’t remember much about the Nancy Drew novels other than Nancy herself. And while I can recall most of The Golden Compass, my mind draws a blank with Books #2 and #3. Then there are the books I didn’t like at all… and I could go on for paragraphs on that. *lol*

    What did you think of La Bella Sauvage, btw? I liked the first three-quarters of the book, but though the final quarter was a mess. :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe I read Graceling at the wrong time? Or maybe I was being too harsh a critic? I’m not sure, but I really didn’t enjoy that one. It’s got one of my very few REALLY negative reviews on Goodreads. Of course you’re allowed to like it! But I’m glad you like Fire better. 😁

      After a point things just start fading as they would with everything else but if I’ve loved any story, it tends to stick with me for a long time. Or, you know, I re-read to make sure it does. 😂

      I had the same problem with La Belle Sauvage. I was very interested but after a while I felt like it dragged on and things got a lot more confusing as well as bizarre, for which I don’t think we’ll get explanations. I loved the characters in the book though – I really want to see more from them. I’m not exactly sure what the next few books in the series will be about, but I hope they’re a bit better. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wouldn’t worry about it, tbh. 😉 I have one or two other writer or bookworm friends who didn’t care for Graceling. So you’re not alone.

        Re: La Bella Sauvage – exactly!! Too many questions were left unanswered at the end! And unfortunately, no, I don’t think we’ll hear from Malcolm or his friend again. Based on what I’ve read about Book #2, Lyra will be the main character, and the story will take place when she’s about 20 years old – so, after the events of the original trilogy. Hmmmmm….

        Funny about the re-read bit. I’ve been thinking of re-reading Ursula K. Le Guin’s Lavinia for a while. I read it maybe 8 or 9 years ago, and though I remember loving it, part of me wants to re-immerse myself in that story. Maybe it might also have to do with the fact that UKLG passed away last week…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha, good to know I’m not alone. 🙂 Well, it’s too bad about Malcolm then. I really enjoyed his character! I feel so bad that I’ve not read her books yet. I really, really have to. I feel like I can’t make any more excuses, not with you recommending it so highly. 🙈

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The problem with that series is that there were too many books! If it was a proper solid chunk of a trilogy with all the unnecessary dialogues cut out, it would be one of my favourites. But after a while it just dragged too much and I began to hate it. But it’s very popular for some reason though? Also, I don’t know why I didn’t DNF it when I had the chance. Sigh. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Olivia-Savannah

    I love the Mortal Instruments but I think it helps that I read it as a teenager. I don’t know what I would think if I read it now. I know she has written a lot of spin off series but I haven’t been able to enjoy books from them, which says something.

    I read Hoot and Gulliver’s Travels back in primary school and I can barely remember them at all. I know I detested Hoot though D:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, you’re probably right and I’m reading it at the wrong time. I just keep finding so many problematic elements (like the recurring incest theme) so that ruined the experience for me.
      Hey good to know we shared the (somewhat) same reading tastes as kids! 😁 I only remember I really cared about the owls so I cried when something bad happened, but I can’t tell you much besides that. 😂 Maybe I’ll revisit it and see how I feel now.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice list! But you know what, I actually haven’t read any of these, I know 😛 Anyways, who can remember all the stuff we read? That is a lot to keep in a tiny brain 😀
    I have recently bought the first book of the His Dark material series and I am hoping to read it soon 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, true, but I also have quite a good memory (oops, self-praise 🙈) so if I really enjoy a book I want to remember as much is it as I can. It’s a real shame when I can’t. Some of these I really want to forget, but some I need to re-read soon!
      Yay, that’s great! It’s a classic, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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