October 03, 2011

My 1st Top 10 Tuesday

Expanding my blog hop horizons yet again, I've decided to join a really popular one that I've been seeing cropping up all over book blogs--Top 10 Tuesdays.  Their adorable badges alone make it worth trying out, but they also ask genuinely interesting questions, and have already led me to some great blogs.  So, here we go.

Top 10 Book Endings That Left Me with My Mouth Hanging Open

10.  Prelude to Foundation, by Isaac Asimov.  My experience of this book may well be unique, because I did not realize at the time that, while this book is the prequel to one series, it features at least one character who is a staple of several others.  So, I have no doubt that the big surprise at the end didn't come as a surprise at all to those who had already read books like The Caves of Steel, as I have now done.

9.  The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin.  Bearing in mind that I was ten years old when I first read this, I still think it is one of the great puzzle mysteries of all time, (though now that I've read a bit more widely in the mystery genre, I realize that Raskin's brilliance didn't just spring from a vacuum).  I loved it, I still love, and I cannot recommend it highly enough for a fun, quick, relaxing read.

8.  The Inferno, by Dante Alighieri.  Since I don't want to put any spoilers in this list, I can't really tell you why such a famous (or infamous) book with a title that MEANS "Hell" took my by surprise, but let's just say that like Dante's wicked sinners, I did not see his particular version of Hell coming.

7.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling.  Let me just clarify that nothing in the Epilogue to this book came as a bit of a surprise at all.  But the last, say, 100 pages of the book before the Epilogue held a few unexpected moments for me, and since I listened to it as an audio book the first time I "read" it, on a cross-continental drive, it kept me absolutely riveted, and perhaps made me a danger to myself and others at times!

6.  1984, by George Orwell.  I HATED the ending of this book.  Books are supposed to end the way I WANT them to end, not the way they would end if the story were happening in real life!

5.  Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw.  If you love the film My Fair Lady, especially if you love the way it ended (as I do on both counts), do yourself a favor and don't ever read the original play on which it was based.  Bad, bad ending.  Awful.

4.  Yentl the Yeshiva Boy, by Isaac Bashevis Singer.  Everything I said just above about Pygmalion is trebly or quadruply true of this story on which the Barbara Streisand film Yentl was based.  Terrible.

3.  Lost Souls (Star Trek: Destiny #3), by David Mack.  As you can see from the subtitle, this book is actually the last of a trilogy, but it is by far the best of the three, and the only one in which you really find out anything that's going on.  It's a shocking ending, and one that is extremely well-executed, because you get glimpses of it all the way through the trilogy, but it still manages to take you by surprise.

2.  Imzadi, by Peter David.  For me, Peter David ranks in the top 5 best authors of Star Trek books.  This book, though I enjoyed it more at sixteen than I did in my twenties when I re-read it, is still one of my all-time favorites, and is truly mind-bending in its construction, which is one of the things that makes the ending so pleasantly unexpected.

1.  My Name is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok.  In my opinion, this is one of the best books ever composed in English, period.  The ending is nothing short of awe-inspring and life-changing.  If you haven't read it, you need to do so, I assure you.

Well, there's my first Top 10 Tuesday.  Even as I was winding it up, I thought of at least five other books I could have included.  Isn't it always the way.  That's the sign of a good, thought-provoking writing prompt, I think.  Thank you to the gang at The Broke and The Bookish for hosting it.  Be sure to stop in here at The Beauty of Eclecticism and join in my new "Read Your OWN Library!" Challenge.

9 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. The feegles are such wonderful creations with their honor and accents and unwashed kilts (among other things!).

    I must admit that reading through your list I feel like a bit of a pleb in that I haven't read, though have meant to, read a lot of these. yay for goodreads!

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  2. Hi Jennifer,

    Thanks for the lovely comment you left on my blog at Storybook Love Affair.

    I too adore your blog and am also following!

    I've always wanted to read 1984 and haven't heard of the ending being horrible. I'll read it one of these days! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Megan - www.storybookloveaffair.blogspot.com

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  3. I've always been curious about the really really old classics like Inferno - must get a copy.

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  4. I loved the ending of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I was also surprised with how it was done - especially the Christian allegory aspect. New follower!

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  5. I could see Westing Game being a neat read for younger kids...unfortunately, I did not read it until just a few months ago and felt it was perfect for middle school age. Though, the ending was a little twisted!

    I loved 'Imzadi' but read it almost two decades ago (showing our age here!)...

    and 1984 - too bad books don't end the way we want them too!

    Welcome to Top Ten - it's FUN!

    Thanks for Hopping By...

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  6. I was *this* close to putting HP7 on my list, too! Haha

    By the way, awesome book blog yourself! (:

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  7. I have only made it through book four of the Harry Potter books! I love them so much and before I continue, I'm just going to restart them. One of my girls just read book one for the first time and she's such a fan too!

    ~Asheley

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  8. Trish, though I know it makes me rather immature, I couldn't help looking forward to seeing how many new ways Dante could come up with to "let the punishment fit the crime" in the Inferno. That made it by far the most interesting of the three volumes.

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  9. Alison, yes, the overtly Chritian themes in Deathly Hallows surprised me, too, since throughout most of the books Rowling seemed to have thoroughly ignored all religion (which was probably wise, considering all the controversy from certain religious quarters about them). As I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian, the surprise was a pleasant one for me, but I wondered if some of her non-Christian readers felt a bit let down.

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