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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Just Because It's Your Birthday Doesn't Mean I'm Going to Read the Books You Recommend!

Today's Top Ten Tuesday prompt is kind of a strange one.  In honor of her birthday (Happy birthday, Jana!), our TTT host is playing book wish fairy.  Here's her explanation of Top Ten Birthday Wishes:  My birthday is today, so celebrate with me by granting the wishes of your friends! This is a popular thing to do on Twitter, but today we’re blog hopping. List the top 10 books you’d love to own and include a link to a wishlist so that people can grant your wish. Make sure you link your wishlist to your mailing address [here’s how to do it on Amazon] or include the email address associated with your ereader so people know how to get the book to you. After you post, jump around the Linky and grant a wish or two if you’d like. Don’t feel obligated to send anything!  I'm not much for Twitter, so I've never heard of this phenomenon.  If I were rich enough, I would absolutely grant everyone's bookish wishes.  Unfortunately, I haven't won the lottery recently (or ever since I don't gamble), so I'm going to ignore today's prompt.  I am going to sort of stick with the birthday theme, though.  How's that?  Rogue, but not too rogue! 

Once upon a TTT, someone (I wish I could remember who, but I can't—if it was you, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due!) made a list of the top ten books her husband had recommended to her that she'd never read.  Since my husband's birthday was on Saturday, I thought it would be fun to use this as my list topic today. 
My husband and I will have been married for 24 years in August.  We were attracted to each other because we have a lot in common.  We were reared in similar environments with similar values.  We like (mostly) the same types of music.  We both enjoy traveling, learning, eating, talking, researching family history (we are 8th cousins once removed, after all), etc.  People even say we look alike!  When it comes to our reading preferences, though?  We're miles apart.  He prefers non-fiction, whether it's the newspaper, online articles, a biography, or some deep, philosophical tome.  When he does reach for fiction, it's almost always sci-fi or something highly satiric or allegorical, all of which I usually avoid.  Because of this great divide in our reading tastes, I rarely take his recommendations, poor guy.  To be fair, he doesn't take mine either, so I guess we're square.  At any rate, I decided to create a list of the top books he's recommended to me in recent years that I still have not read (and, honestly, probably never will).
Before we get to that, though, be sure to click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl to wish Jana a happy birthday and to join in the TTT fun.

Top Ten Books My Husband Has Recommended to Me That I Will Probably Never Read

1.  The Martian by Andy WeirAs much as I enjoyed the movie version, this novel is such a snooze fest that I couldn't get past the first few chapters.  Way too many details for me.  

2.  The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis—This is one of my husband's very favorite books.  It's a religious allegory about a bus ride that goes from heaven to hell.  When the hubs tried getting me to listen to The Great Divorce on audio during a car trip, I promptly fell asleep.  I did enjoy the on-stage production we watched of it, but I'll likely never actually read the book.  Sorry, honey!

3.  Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl—I have considered reading this classic philosophical text by a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, but I've never gotten around to it.

4.  2001: A Space Odyssey and sequels by Arthur C. Clarke—Space + allegory?  Hard pass.

5.  The Gift of the Devil by Emily Ayars Smith—A very wise friend of ours just published this book about her experiences with life, God, and Satan.  My husband is probably the book's biggest fan and has bought multiple copies to share with others.  I probably won't read this one only because, as a general book reviewing rule, I don't read books written by people I know.  Too awkward.

6.  Greenlights by Matthew McCounaughey—I'm not sure I've ever witnessed my husband enjoying a memoir as much as he did this one.  He says the book is irreverent, but hysterical.  I do like McCounaughey, so maybe I'll get around to this one eventually.  Who knows?

7.  Anything by Terryl and/or Fiona Givens—Terryl Givens is a professor of literature and religion who writes deep, intellectual books about spirituality, Mormonism, Christianity, and other topics.  His wife is an equally knowledgeable teacher and scholar.  My husband is a huge fan of them both (he and Terryl are also distant cousins).  I'm sure they're both awesome, but reading their writing makes my head hurt.  If I have to re-read a sentence ten times to understand it, I'm out.  I'll just get the highlights from my husband, thank you very much. 

8.  Healing Your Family History by Rebecca Linder Hintze—We have numerous copies of this slim book laying around the house, but I've never actually picked one up and read it.  I don't know why since I'm very interested in family dynamics and family history.  This one is about patterns that develop in families and how to get rid of the harmful ones.  My husband has found it very helpful and always recommends it to people.  I honestly have no idea why I haven't read it yet.

9.  Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card—I have a love/hate relationship with Card's books.  This one falls in the latter category.  I've tried to read it several times and I just can't get past the first chapter or two.  It doesn't resonate with me at all.

10.  Muddy by Dean Hughes—I've actually read a number of books by Hughes, who writes historical fiction for both teens and adults.  He mostly focuses on the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  His newest series, which starts with Muddy, is based on the experiences of early members of the Church who were called by Brigham Young to settle the Muddy River Valley (what is now Nevada), among whom were some of my husband's ancestors.  Polygamy was practiced in the Church at this time and the series focuses largely on the challenges and difficulties that arose from the practice.  Like many members whose families have long been associated with the Church, my husband and I both have polygamists in our family lines.  His were excellent at the practice, having many wives and numerous children.  Mine were more like polygamy dropouts.  Only a couple of them engaged in the practice and none of them had more than two wives at a time.  In fact, my great-great-grandpa only lasted for a year or so as a polygamist before he had an argument with Brigham Young that resulted in him leaving the Church, abandoning one of his wives, and high-tailing it out of Utah, never to return!  Anyway, my husband enjoyed Muddy quite a lot.  He says it's interesting and entertaining.  I'm sure he's right, but honestly, I don't want to read about plural marriage.  Like my ancestors, I just don't have the stomach for it!

There you are, ten books my husband has recommended to me that I probably won't ever read.  What do you think of his choices?  Have you read any of these?  What books has your spouse/significant other recommended to you that you have totally ignored?  I'd truly love to know.  Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!             


  1. Good for you for knowing your limits.

    My spouse tries to get me to read heavy theological works, too. They’re not my cup of tea either. :)

    My post:

    1. I don't mind reading religious books, but not the heavy, intellectual ones. They go right over my head AND put me to sleep in the process. I let my husband read them and give me the dummy's version :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lydia!

  2. My sons both loved Ender's Game, and they talked me into reading it. I loved it, too.

    I think this would be a great idea for a future TTT topic. You should share it with Jana!

    1. ENDER'S GAME seems like one of those books where you either love it or hate it. I'm in the latter category.

      I think this is a fun topic, too. It wasn't my original idea, though. Maybe the person who came up with it will share it with Jana.

      Thanks for stopping in, Deb!

  3. I have not read any of these (you're shocked, right?), but my sister sings the praise of Greenlights. She made her whole family read it.

    1. Not even ENDER'S GAME? It's YA... :) Yeah, I was surprised when my husband said he was going to read a celebrity memoir since that's not his typical genre AT ALL. He laughed himself silly over GREENLIGHTS, though, and has been urging me to read it ever since. I probably will, eventually.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

  4. LOL. At least your husband reads! Mine isn't a reader, but that's fine. I can honestly say he's never recommended me a book.

    1. True, true. And, to be fair, there are books we agree on - TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, for instance. We both love that one.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deanna!

  5. This is funny! I have heard of the first two and of course Matthew M's book. His book is the only one I would be likely to read of this list.

    1. According to my husband, GREENLIGHTS is hysterical. I've never heard him laugh so hard when reading a book!

      Thanks for stopping in, Cindy!

  6. I love how realistic you are with this list, haha.

    1. Ha ha. I do try to keep things real around here!

      Thanks for coming by, Alicia!

  7. I love your take on this week's topic! I've actually read Man's Search for Meaning for a class in grad school, but it was an incredible book. I'd definitely suggest giving it a shot.

    1. It's a classic that is definitely well loved by many! I'm not at all opposed to reading it, I just haven't gotten to it yet. One of these days...

      Thanks for stopping in, Leah!

  8. Yep, not a list of books I will probably ever read either. However, I have heard a number of bloggers say how wonderful Greenlights is!

    1. I have seen lots of bloggers raving about GREENLIGHTS as well. Apparently, it's an easy, funny, totally entertaining read. I'll get to it eventually. Probably.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Helen!

  9. Great idea for a post! He has some good titles there!

    1. I'm glad SOMEONE thinks so :) LOL.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carol!

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  11. I am not sure if my last comment went through so…this post totally made me laugh. Poor Eric. You know how much Ben likes to read, so I don’t think he has ever recommended a book. He and Connor both really liked the Enders Game movie. I fell asleep during the Martian. However I have heard Greenlights is really good, so I might have to take Eric’s recommendation on that one!

    1. Your comment came through a few times, so I deleted the duplicates :)

      I actually liked The Martian movie a lot. It's intense and entertaining. The book, though? Total snore fest. We have the Ender's Game movie, but I haven't watched it. It does have Harrison Ford in it, so that's a point in its favor...

      I probably will read GREENLIGHTS eventually. I know it's not a clean read, but it's supposed to be really funny.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting. It's always fun when my baby sister drops by :)

  12. Such a fun post and Happy Birthday to your hubby! I doubt I'll ever read it either but I have seen a surprising number of glowing reviews for Greenlights.

    1. Right? I'm surprised by how much people love GREENLIGHTS. Celebrity memoirs aren't really my thing, but I probably will read this one, just because I like McConaughey and because my husband got such a kick out of this book.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Suzanne!

  13. I had to laugh at your take on this topic! My husband and I have a few common book loves but most of his favorites are ones I have zero interest in reading.

    1. Same. I probably should have mentioned the books we both love: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, Harry Potter (at least the first few - he gets bored with the longer ones)...Most of the ones he picks up, though, are just not my thing at all.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Katherine!

  14. Replies
    1. Thank you, Rajani! I appreciate your visit and kind words :)

  15. And yet another thing we have in common, we were also married in August, though 38 years ago this year.
    And, like most men, of course hubby reads different books from mine. There has been the odd exception but in general, there is a His and Hers bookshelf in our house.
    I have read The Martian, great book, I thought, at least you tried. The rest of them, nope, never read any of them and wouldn't start them unless my book club chose it for their next read. However, I doubt that will ever happen.

    Thanks for visiting my TTT earlier.

    1. We have so much in common, Marianne! We were definitely meant to be friends :)

      We have His and Hers shelves as well. Both of us own way too many books!

      I did try with THE MARTIAN, but I got so bored with it so easily. I definitely prefer the movie version, which I really did enjoy.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Marianne!

    2. But of course, I am so happy we found each other!

  16. Oh yes, totally forgot. Charly always wants me to read "Lord of the Rings" but I've read "The Hobbit" and was completely bored. Mind you, he once recommended "The Pillars of the Earth" and I really enjoyed that.

    1. As you can tell, I'm not an epic fantasy fan or even really fantasy in general. I do like THE LORD OF THE RINGS, though. It's got way too much detail, for sure, but I did enjoy reading it. PILLARS OF THE EARTH is one I haven't read yet. The size of it is pretty daunting!

    2. Yes, it is rather long. I love that but I know it's not for everyone.

  17. This is such a fun list! I love all your explanations as why you won't read his recommendations. XD

    1. Ha ha. If he recommended the kind of book I actually like to read, I would totally take him up on it! Our tastes are just really different and that's okay.

      Thanks for popping in, Jaime!

  18. Great post--what a cool topic to use as an ice breaker for a marriage retreat, lol. I kept waiting for the dreaded "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to show up! LOl Very fun post.

    1. Oooh, this would be a fun topic for a marriage retreat! I don't remember talking about books with my hubs when we were dating, but I'm sure we did since I was an English major in college at the time. In all fairness, he knew what he was getting himself into with all my reading :)

      Oh, HITCHHIKERS! Ugh. That's another one I've tried and totally failed at reading. I don't think my husband has ever read it, but it's the kind of thing he would probably like. And, he definitely does have motorcycle maintenance type books on his shelves! Ha ha.

      Thanks for coming by, Lisa!

  19. I've read a few of these myself, but I can see why they don't particularly appeal to someone with your reading tastes. My wife and I are genuinely shocked when we end up reading the same book and liking it. We've just about given up on the possibility lately. The last one, I think, we agreed on was "Where the Crawdads Sing."

    1. It doesn't happen often for us either, especially since we don't read the same kinds of books to begin with. The last ones I remember agreeing on were: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, and the Narnia series.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

  20. I like the list. I always look for ideas from other bloggers and have very seldom been disappointed.

    1. Same! That's the reason I love Top Ten Tuesday so much. I get tons of recommendations from other bloggers. Not all of them work out for me, but a lot of them have.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Mystica!

  21. A Confederacy of Dunces. Bleh. My husband and I both loved The Martian and just both read The Hail Mary Project and enjoyed it too. We love the humorous thought processes. We are kind of science nerds, though.

    1. My husband is a big science nerd, too. He especially loves space stories, movies and books. I don't. Especially not the classic ones. No thanks.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Annette!

  22. my hubby doesn't read so i will never get his book tbr or i loved the martian both book and movie. the book has the best first line of any book i have read. great list.

    1. That does make it easier to ignore his recommendations! LOL. I had to go look up THE MARTIAN to remember its first line. It is a funny one.

      Thanks for popping in, Kelly Lyn!

  23. This is a great idea for a post! And really, there's no telling that even if your tastes were more similar that reading books your husband recommended would work. My husband and I like similar books... on the surface. SFF books are most of what we both read. However, he leans toward the horror side and I lean toward the romance side, and so really the only books we have both read are the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett.

    1. Oh, interesting! I'm not much for sci-fi, but if I were, I would probably be more into its lighter side as well. My husband likes the technological/science-y side of it all, which is not my thing.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Nicole!

  24. loved your take on this theme!! And actually, I have been wanting to read at least four of the books on this list but have not gotten to them yet - Greenlights (love the author!), Ender's Game, The Martian, and 2001...

    1. The fact that you want to read these shows that he doesn't choose BAD books, just ones I'm not particularly interested in. I hope you enjoy these when you get to them!

      Thanks for stopping in, Lady in Read!

  25. Bwahaha YES! I love this post. Hubby and I go through a similar struggle (I STILL haven't finished Mistborn, and if we ever divorce, I'm determined it'll probably be over my refusal to read this dang series). Loved your reasons for why you're not interested in these books!

    1. Ha ha. I actually like the Mistborn series, although I've only read the original series, not the books written later. A friend recommended it to me and, although I'm not much for fantasy, I enjoyed the books I read. We should both finish it :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sammie!

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  27. At least your husband reads and recommends books! My husband isn't really a reader and never has been. He's been doing better this year since I bought him a Kindle but he mostly reads books I recommend to him. Oh well. No one is perfect!

    I enjoyed The Martian but must admit that I skimmed over the parts that were too detailed. I know I read Ender's Game as a teen but I don't remember anything about it. It does have a slightly negative connotation when I think of it though. I've seen lots of people raving about Greenlights!

    Fun idea for a topic!

    1. I'm surprised at how many commenters have said their significant others aren't readers. Interesting. My husband definitely reads more now than he used to, probably because of me, but he's always been someone who reads.

      THE MARTIAN is SOOOOO detailed. I don't mind details that enhance the setting and story, but too many just makes for a boring read and I ain't got time for that! LOL.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Jen!

    2. That was actually the reason I liked THE MARTIAN. And you could follow the details, non of them contradicted each other which I absolute hate in sci-fi books and movies. But, we all have different tastes. I wouldn't bother with it any more if I were you. It's obviously not your book.

  28. LOL. This is so funny. But I know a lot of people who will recommend books to me, and while I love that they read and want to recommend, I don't know that they pick the type of books I'd ever enjoy. Like my colibrarian was one of those. I planned to read The Martian before the movie, then didn't, and I loved the movie, but know that I'll never get around to reading the book. And I enjoyed Ender's Game, although I think I read one of the later books in the series first. Fun way to do this theme!
    Lisa Loves Literature

    1. Very true, very true. I love that we all enjoy different kinds of books. It would be boring if everyone liked the same thing! That being said, I only trust certain people to give me good book recommendations :)

      I very, very rarely enjoy a movie adaptation better than the book it's based on, but THE MARTIAN is definitely an exception for me. Although, to be fair, I've only read a couple chapters of THE MARTIAN.

      Thanks for popping in, Lisa!


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