10 of the Books with Question Marks (aka the Books I Can’t Believe I Read)


Hey, hey, happy readers and my fellow Top Ten Tuesday-ers. (Is this a word? No, but we’re a-going with it.) Let’s take a look-see at Jana’s official Top Ten Tuesday topic: this time it’s books I cannot believe I read 2018!

That Artsy Reader Girl January 30: Books I Can’t Believe I Read – That Artsy Reader Girl  

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10 of the Books with Question Marks (aka the Books I Can’t Believe I Read). Talking books I cannot believe I read 2018. Text © Rissi JC

Trying to come up with titles for today’s topic proved extremely difficult. There are some books that I’m a little in awe of the fact I actually read, but 90% of the time, I read books I’m pretty darn confident I’m going to like. Then I realized that the topic
doesn’t necessarily have to reflect a dispositive reaction. With that said, and because I’m a consistent Top Ten Tuesday rule-breaker I’m spinning this in a kind of “two part” list.  

The first five books you’ll read about are books I have read (and cannot believe I did).  The latter five titles are the books I’ll be IN AWE of my (non-existent) mad reading skills if I ever read them. (Of course, because I don’t seem to know when to stop writing, explanations shall be provided.)  Let’s do this.  

5 Books I Can’t Believe I Read 2018 (and Why)  

1. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen | Though I’m an avid Austen fan when it comes to ITV or BBC adaptations, reading her books isn’t something I’ve mastered. That said, I did read this back when I was writing an article on Sense and Sensibility. Don’t ask me to remember any specifics about it, but as Col. Brandon is one of my favorite Austen heroes, I like to think I did enjoy. Amazon | Goodreads ● Rent Sense and Sensibility on Amazon Video

10 of the Books with Question Marks (aka the Books I Can’t Believe I Read). Talking books I cannot believe I read 2018. Text © Rissi JC

2. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard | What I liked (or didn’t like) about this novel escapes me. The reason why it made this list is because it’s not a genre I read much of. I tend to prefer fantasy or sci-fic narratives in film or on TV. Amazon | Goodreads   

3. Beastly by Alex Flinn | Perhaps adding this one to the list isn’t fair. I mean, I don’t feel like my reading this one was much of a stretch. But two reasons prompt me to add it today. One being I’d seen the film already when I read this (which usually doesn’t bode well) and secondly, this was probably the first or one of the first YA novels I ever read. What prompted me to discover the genre I cannot say. Amazon | Goodreads ● Rent Beastly on Amazon Video

10 of the Books with Question Marks (aka the Books I Can’t Believe I Read). Talking books I cannot believe I read 2018. Text © Rissi JC

 4. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner | Confession: I picked this one up because COVER
CANDY! The reason I cannot believe I actually read it is because, when it comes to books, I’m not an avid sci-fi aficionado. That said, I do enjoy the genre in my films, so perhaps that motivated that initial I’m-going-to-read-this thought. Amazon | Goodreads  

5. Bailey Flanigan Series by Karen Kingsbury | At the time I read these books, I thought they were romantic and sweet. But looking back, I’m really surprised I actually read not only the first book, but the entire series (I’ll confess, though I knew which team I was, I was really invested in discovering who Bailey ended up with). Karen’s stories, though well written, aren’t generally my kind of fiction, so I think that’s where my surprise stems from. Amazon | Goodreads

5 Books I’ll be IN AWE If I Ever Read Them (and Why)  

1. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas | Ok, so here’s the thing. I adore the BBC miniseries The Musketeers. (Cute guys, period drama and romance = all the fangirl reactions.) The 2002 adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo is, without question, one of my favorite swashbuckler films. But reading this book… it scares me. I mean, I did buy a copy years ago, and ever since it’s sat on my shelf. The tiny print and length is enough to cause me to shove it to the corner… every time. Amazon
| Goodreads ● Rent The Count of Monte Cristo on Amazon Video

10 of the Books with Question Marks (aka the Books I Can’t Believe I Read). Talking books I cannot believe I read 2018. Text © Rissi JC

2. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy | Despite the fact that I do really enjoy – like, the recent adaptation of this
classic story, I don’t see myself every reading the book. Bathsheba is such a hard heroine to… well, feel much for. She’s destructive and she knows this. That’s why I think this would be a difficult novel to read because I don’t see myself forming many character attachments. Amazon | Goodreads ● Rent Far From the Madding Crowd on Amazon Video  

3. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo | I totally have a story to go with this book – one I’m sure I’ve recounted here or maybe it was booktube. But I’m sharing again… because I’m strange like this. Once upon a time, in anticipation of the musical adaptation with Hugh Jackman releasing (which to this day was a huge letdown, but that’s a blog post for another day), I saw a copy of this book at Walmart, and thought, I can totally read this. I picked up a copy of the book. Saw how bulky it was. But not to be deterred, I was still optimistic. As I leafed through its pages, I noticed it was a whopping 1,000+ pages. I promptly placed it back on the shelf and never looked back. You guys know I’m a wimp when it comes to excessive page counts! Have you read this iconic novel?

Amazon | Goodreads ● Rent or own Les Miserables (2002) or Les Miserables (2012) on Amazon Video  

4. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas | Once upon a time – blaming you HYPE! – I was so excited to read this books and its (ongoing) series. But each time I think about starting down its journey, I’m notice that each and every book is getting
longer (and longer), and I’m overwhelmed. Send me all the good reasons why I should (or shouldn’t?) totally still read this series. Amazon | Goodreads  

5. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth | Again, HYPE! I picked this one up soon after it released, but at the time (I don’t know anymore), it created lots of controversy. Because of this, I’m no longer sure it’s a book I want to read. Amazon | Goodreads

Another Tuesday, and here we are at the end of this Top Ten Tuesday, Books I Cannot Believe I read 2018, post. Tell me about the books you cannot believe you actually read – good or bad. I’m ready to chat all the bookish thoughts! Of course, as always, if you joined in the fun bookish meme, let me know where I can find your post/blog. I’d love to swing by and visit your book space.   

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. Truthwitch is one I've been wanting to read, but I just don't know. I seem to keep putting it off? I have the same feeling about The Count of Monte Cristo. I WANT to read it, liked the movie, but… it's huge and I keep putting it off. One of these days though!!

    1. Right? The power of positive thinking, Greg!

      I hope you enjoy Truthwitch. I think I liked it at the time, but well, I just don't remember all that much about it. Maybe someday I'll re-read it and finish the series too. :)

      Thanks for visiting!

  2. I don't think I could ever read Les Miserables. It's a beast of a book! :-) I'm not an Austen fan so if I enjoyed one I'd be surprised! Great list. :-)

    1. Selfishly I'm glad to hear I'm not the ONLY one who feels this way about 'Les Mis,' Chrissi. Glad to know there's one other reader who's not feeling it will ever be on their "read list." :)

      Thanks so much for making Finding Wonderland a Top Ten Tuesday stop.

  3. I don't think I'll ever read THRONE OF GLASS either. I kind of wanted to read it back in the day… but then I realized it's just not my thing at all. Like am I really going to like a book about faeries and warriors and all that stuff??? Also, yes!! The series is SOOOO long. I loved the 2002 version of The Count of Monte Cristo too and it made me want to read the book!! But classics scare me!!

    1. I really wanted to read the TOG books once upon a time. That said, I feel like ultimately, as the series progresses (judging from things I've read/seen), I don't think they'd continue to hold my interest (where book one might). YES! I don't think the 'Glass' series is ever going to wrap.

      I love the 2002 film adaptation of 'Monte Cristo' too. In fact, I'd like to see BBC or ITV take it on as a miniseries. I think it would be marvelous! :)

      Thanks for visiting, Michelle.

  4. I'm also unable to start the Throne of Glass series because of how rapidly the books are doubling and tripling in size. The first few look so manageable, but the later ones are terrifying! It's the same reason I abandoned the A Court of Thorns and Roses series – I thought the first one dragged because it was too long, then the second one was almost twice as long!

    Here's my TTT.

    1. I agree, Alyce! The first one (and maybe even the second) looks really manageable. That said, I'm such a reader wimp. ;)

      The ACOTAR isn't a series I've take a real close look at, but I do think I owned (or maybe still do) the first book. Nowadays, I'm thinking those will both end up being no-reads. For now.

      Thanks for visiting!

    1. "Hefty beasts," I like that term, Jo! So true. I'm glad you like them despite their increase in length.

      Hope you enjoy Truthwitch once you have a chance to read it. And as always, thanks for visiting! :)

  5. Great list! I'd love to cross The Count of Monte Cristo off my TBR but, like you, I'm so intimidated by all those pages. I think I need to watch The Musketeers – I love me a period drama and I've heard very good things about it.

    1. Right? I'm SO intimidated by 'Count' and that page count. It kinda' freaks out my bookworm sensibilities. I guess one should never say never, but yeah… I don't see myself ever reading that one. :D

      The Musketeers is so fun. Campy but fun.

      Thanks for visiting, Jess.

  6. I'm pretty sure I read Beastly before the film because I think I liked the book better. I have horrible luck with overhyped books so I'm trying to stay away from them. Like you, I was interested in Carve the Mark at first but now, not so much.

    1. Glad to know I'm not the only one who's lost interest in 'Mark.' I think part of my disinterest is that I've never read a book by Veronica. As a result, I have no real attachment to her as an author or her writing style.

      Thanks so much for visiting, Barb. :)

    1. Right? I have read VERY few classic, and if EVER I actually read any on the "part 2" of my list, I'll be a little bit bookworm proud. :D

      Thanks so much for visiting, Tracy.

  7. I didn't know you read the Bailey books! Were you #TeamCody or #TeamBrandon? I actually flip-flopped a couple times, but I ended up firmly in the Cody camp and was … not happy … when things ended as they did. Somehow, this story line keeps finding its way into unrelated blog posts, so you may have known this about me already :-)

    I read an abridged version of Les Miserables several years ago when I was teaching ESL, and after that, the musical made so much more sense. So many things, especially about Fantine and Eponine, became much clearer. But I figure that abridged version (which was somewhere around 400 pages) is as close to the real thing as I'll ever get. I do own a copy of the book, though! It's a BEAST.

    1. I didn't know this, Becky! (Either way, I love all the bookworm-y talk even when repeats.) I'll confess, I was #TeamBrandon. I didn't dislike Cody by any means, but I think I rooted for Brandon because I was SO sure Cody was the one Bailey (and Karen) was leaning towards. Unless the "other guy" is a jerk, I like to root for him… most the time. In some cases I like the "original guy" to win (like in Sweet Home Alabama).

      What made you ultimately pick Cody as your choice? (My memories of the series are fuzzy.)

      Right? Les Mis SCARES me. But an abridged version might work. Perhaps someday I should give that a chance. :)

    2. So what really put me over the edge for Cody was that once it became clear that Karen was going with Brandon, she wrote something (I think it was in the 3rd book of the Bailey series, but I could be wrong) about Bailey and Cody never having really been in love–that it was an infatuation, and Bailey and Brandon had REAL love. And that just made me so mad because I'd been reading about Bailey and Cody for literally years at this point (I can't remember which series Bailey first showed up in, but it was well before the Bailey Flanigan series), and it felt like I'd been wasting my time. I had read every single book in the Baxter saga up to that point, and Bailey & Cody were my second favorite couple (behind Ashley & Landon). And that was it. I was out.

      As you can see, years later, I'm still passionate about it ;-)

    1. Colonel Brandon IS the best. I often think my favorite Austen guy is a tie between him and Mr. Knightley, but most often Mr. Knightley wins. :)

      Thanks so much for visiting, Alicia.

    1. Glad you enjoyed 'Count,' Monica! I love the story and the adaptation, but the book? *shudder* It makes me run and hide. :D

      Thanks so much for visiting!

    1. Thanks! I'm glad for the encouragement; I've no doubt The Count of Monte Cristo is good, I think well, I don't have the determination to read it. Yet. Maybe someday – and judging by the film, I'm glad to know the book is so good. :)

      Appreciate you visiting.

  8. I feel you, this topic was MUCH harder to work with than I thought it would be! Because I think I have done some similar posts, so yep, hard! Anyway, I agree with a lot of these, I feel the exact same way about Carve the Mark at this point, so who knows. And I don't care how many great things I hear about Les Mis, I am not reading anything that is that huge hahha. Love the way you organized this!!

    1. THANK YOU, Shannon: glad to see someone else here who feels like Les Mis will forever be a no go. But then, I do like to say, never say never. ;)

      Yeah, at this point, I've kind of lost interest in 'Mark.' I mean, I think part of it is, I really have no real inspiration to read any of Veronica's books and since I hadn't previous to this new release, I have no loyalty or attachment to her stories. (If that makes sense…)

      Thanks so much for reading, Shannon; as always, glad to have you visit. :)

  9. Fun post, there’s always books I’ll pick up thinking why am I reading this? And then I fall in love. Except for Pride and Prejudice, can’t ever seem to fall for that one like so many others do.

    1. Nothing wrong with not being a fan of Pride and Prejudice, Lexi. This is why there are so many books and styles. I have so many books that could fall into a similar category. And at the end of the day, that's OK! My renewed reader goal is to continue to learn what I like so there's less books on my shelf that never get read.

      Appreciate you stopping by! :)

  10. I'd like to read The Count of Monte Cristo and Les Mis sometime, for the sake of "reading the classics" but will I actually read them? I DOUBT IT. THEY'RE SO LONG.

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