3 Books I Didn’t Expect To Like, But Ended Up Loving

Sometimes, life surprises you when you least expect it to.

3 Books I Didn’t Expect To Like, But Ended Up Loving
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3 Books I Didn’t Expect To Like, But Ended Up Loving

Sometimes, life surprises you when you least expect it to.Pub Crawl is a cross-publication collaboration. More about it here.

I’m an impulsive reader.

I don’t care about reviews or how popular a book is before picking my next read.

Most of the time, I start a book just because someone told me it was the best they read in recent times. The person doesn’t even have to be a seasoned reader. If a book can make their eyes shine while talking about it, there must be something special in it.

It would be a crime to not read a book like that.

That’s what makes it difficult for me to read books that are widely popular. I’ve had bad experiences with hating books that everyone loves, and it makes me skeptical to start any book that has a lot of shining five-star reviews.

But sometimes, even books I’m sure are terrible end up surprising me!

This post contains a list of three books I’d expected to hate but ended up loving them with all my heart. Read on for a mix of genres imparting some valuable life lessons. You’ll definitely enjoy reading these books, while also learning a lot. You can thank me later.

(Note: Some links mentioned in this article are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase these books through them, it will help me earn a small amount — at no extra cost to you. Thanks!)

1. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Genre: Non-fiction

Image: Goodreads

This is a brilliant, well-researched book tracing the history of humankind from our foraging ancestors to the current generation of humans who build supercomputers and smart cities.

The author does an excellent job of dissecting our origins and analyzing why we behave the way we do. There are clear ties and links to show how seemingly “millennial” problems like craving for sugary food or being unable to be faithful to your partner aren’t, in truth, new at all. Ancient homo sapiens have been facing the same problems and our reaction to them is imprinted in our DNA.

This book taught me that every human behavior we are familiar with today has its roots in the fight-or-flight response of our ancestors. Even the concept of happiness can be tackled with cold logic. If you break it down to merely the interplay of chemicals in your brain, you will stop holding so much value to it.

“Happiness does not really depend on objective conditions of either wealth, health or even community. Rather, it depends on the correlation between objective conditions and subjective expectations.”

Why I didn’t expect to like it

Read any “These books will make you smarter” listicle, and you’ll definitely find Sapiens there. This book is so widely recommended, that my sensors started buzzing at its mention. I thought it would be another of those overrated books I’d learn nothing from.

Why I ended up loving it

Boy, how wrong I was!

Sapiens might be non-fiction, but it’s told in an anecdotal style, with concrete examples to every hypothesis the author poses. But more than that, the book has some mind-blowing facts that stayed with me and also pushed me to re-read the book once I was done.

Sapiens doesn’t just throw facts at you. It teaches you how to think. It encourages you to question age-old customs and blaze your own trail. And best of all — it shares some super cool stories from human evolution that you can use as ice-breakers in any conversation.

Now, you can say goodbye to awkward silences!

Purchase the book here.

2. Wolfsong by TJ Klune

Genre: Fantasy fiction/Queer romance

Image: Goodreads

Fifteen-year-old Ox Mattheson has never found a place where he could truly belong. His father left him and his mother when he was fifteen, damaging young Ox’s sense of self-esteem and deepening the feeling in his heart that no matter where he goes and what he achieves, he’ll never be enough.

Then, Joe Bennet appears out of nowhere. Joe — the blond-haired, blue-eyed ten-year-old who brings color into Ox’s life. Together, the Bennetts “adopt” Ox and his mother, and they paint the book in shades of orange, violet, blue, and green, green, green.

Just when Ox is finally happy and feels loved, dark forces come to his town, threatening to tear everything he ever held dear away. How will Ox deal with a centuries-old secret that surrounds the Bennett family like a blanket of doom? A secret so powerful, it can bring death and destruction to the entire world.

“And I’ve been waiting for him to look at me like I looked at him. And he finally did. He finally did. And I’m going to do everything I can to make sure it stays like that. Because I want him for always.”

Why I didn’t expect to like it

I started reading this book because I loved TJ Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea. I was so impressed by the author’s writing, that I wanted to read more. But the reviews and blurb of Wolfsong on Goodreads suggested that this book is very different from Cerulean.

While Cerulean was bright, fluffy, and full of happiness, Wolfsong was darker, with more adult themes. Also, it was more romance than fantasy, which I wasn’t sure I was ready for.

Why I ended up loving it

The characters are so strong, I started loving them like they’re my own. The bonds between the characters is so lovingly depicted, I could clearly feel how much they cared for each other.

The writing is brilliant. It made me smile, made my heart yearn to spend more time with these amazing people, and filled my eyes with tears at the most unexpected of places. I loved this book so much, it ended up becoming the best fiction book I read in 2020.

Purchase the book here.

3. The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz

Genre: Non-fiction/Self-help

Image: Goodreads

The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz is not your average self-help book that’s all talk and no substance.

The author offers precise, implementable steps that can actually hugely impact your life.

The agreements laid out here are so simple, you’ll often find yourself wondering how they are not common knowledge. But isn’t that how most of us live life? Knowing what’s best for us and yet, choosing to stay in denial. This book will force you to shatter that perspective and take a cold, hard look at the things that can actually help improve your life at least 10x.

“If you live in a past dream, you don’t enjoy what is happening right now because you will always wish it to be different than it is.

Why I didn’t expect to like it

I’ve never understood the glamor of self-help books. After the first few chapters, everything else feels like a repetition — as if the author already conveyed their point in the beginning, and is just adding more words to reinforce their point (and increase the word count).

Why I ended up loving it

I loved how precise and actionable the four agreements made in this book were. They showed me a different perspective and made me think in ways I hadn’t before.

Sure, if you read a summary of the book, you might feel you already know what the author has to offer. But once you start reading, you’ll see that even though the concepts might be jaded, the presentation is unique — and that’s what makes these ideas stick.

If a friend is going through some dark times and you feel the need to gift them a book to help them sail through life, I’d suggest you buy them The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz.

Purchase this book here.

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