Today I am telling you the true story of four books I resisted reading for no good reason except well, nothing. I had no good reason.
A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh.
There was a time when I belonged to a book club where if you did nothing, they just sent you books. If you were the organized timely sort of person, you could decline the choices or change them to books you did want. Well, I’m not all that organized and not all that timely so I often ended up with books I didn’t want. Of course, you could send them back, but you had to be timely about that, too. Which I wasn’t. A Summer to Remember was a book I ended up with that I hadn’t wanted but, being disorganized etc. Well, there it was. I was going to send it back but by the time I found where I’d put it, it was too late. Then the book sat around for nearly a year. I didn’t like the cover very much and I’d never heard of the author. Why would I want to read it?
Then one day I ran out of other books I wanted to read and I was feeling guilty about all the bad thoughts I’d been sending toward that book with the cover I didn’t like and the author I’d never heard of. So, I said to myself, I’ll try it. I figured I’d read a page or two, not like it, and could then toss it with impunity.
Mea Culpa. Mea Maxima Culpa.
How wrong could I have been? So, very very wrong. I adored the story. I adored the writing. As soon as I finished it, I re-read it. And then I went about getting everything I could by this author I had never heard of.
The Wild Baron by Catherine Coulter
I didn’t want to read this book because I thought the title was lame. If I recall correctly, someone gave me this book along with several others by various authors. Free books! I like free. But didn’t want to read about a plain old Baron. Not even if he was wild. I wanted earls, marquesses and dukes. Boo for Barons, said I to myself. As with Balogh, I had at this time, not read anything by Catherine Coulter though I had at least heard of her. Again, I found myself in a desperate reading situation so, in a kind of pissy mood, I started reading it.
I loved Coulter’s style of writing. I loved the hero of this book even though I would have preferred something better than a Baron. I forgave him this shortcoming about two sentences after his appearance. And then I dug out the other Coulters in the stack and read them. One of them was the infamous Rape Scene story and the other was the But I Used Cream story. But I liked them anyway even though I thought those two heroes were jerks. I read all the historicals of hers I could find. I was very sad when she stopped writing historicals.
The Viscount Who Loved Me, by Julia Quinn
Right. So I also picked up this book because I heard lots of buzz about her way back when. Once again, I thought the title was lame. I still do, actually. I did, however, like the cover. It was a very pretty blue and didn’t have a clinch. I have never been fond of the clinch cover. I didn’t want to read the book because I was being a stubborn idiot. No band wagon for me, please. No way.
But I finally cracked the cover and started reading.
And I LOVED the breezy writing EVEN THOUGH there were historical inaccuracies. I adored the hero. And I about busted a gut when the heroine was hiding under the hero’s desk as he’s (supposedly) alone with a lover. And he steps on her hand — knowing she’s there.
I’m saving the most embarrassing for last.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
For whatever reason, I was never assigned this book in Junior or Senior High School. But I knew, oh, hoh! I knew this was a Book You Must Read. So I didn’t read it for twenty years. Twenty years! I would be interested to know if anyone else resisted a book for that long. If you did, fess up.
Well, of course, when I finally broke down and read the book, I wanted to kick myself for waiting so long.
What can I say? I have now fessed up. Any of you have similar confessions?