Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Intimidating Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a new topic that the participants come up with a top ten list for.

This week's topic: top ten most intimidating books (size, content, hype...)

This is actually quite hard. Let's see what books I can remember...

George R.R. Martin - A Song of Ice and Fire series
Super-intimidating because of the sheer size of it! I love the Game of Thrones TV show, and I really want to read the books, but at the moment I just don't have time for a bunch of such huge books.

Laurie Halse Anderson - Speak
Here it's the topic that intimidates me. I think it's so, so important that someone writes about date rape, but I know I'm going to have a hard time reading this book. I read Wintergirls and it really sent me into a downward spiral. That speaks for Anderson's writing, but taking a dive into my hole is always dangerous and painful.

Marissa Meyer - Cinder
The hype. It makes me very wary, because honestly I never thought it sounded all that awesome *ducks*. But everyone likes it, also people I trust. So there must be something to it...?

William Shakespeare - Hamlet
I somehow got through my BA studies without reading it. The fame and topic and size of it (the Arden edition is freaking huge because of all the notes and secondary sources etc!) always put me off. But I finally read it last spring and damn it was freaking fantastic!!! Which proves that jumping over your shadow and actually facing those intimidating books can pay off.

Something by Diana Wynne Jones
She's such a famous English fantasy author - like a classic - and I've never read anything by her. In my teens, I read fantasy by German authors so it all kind of went past me. And now I'm strangely reluctant to pick anything up, even though many authors I love adore her work.

Stephen King - Misery
It's been sitting on my shelf since my 17th birthday. My sis found a ton of his books at a yard sale. I've read them all, apart from this one. I know there's a scene where the kidnapped authors is given a cake with his own finger in it. The kidnapper-woman just sounds way crazy and I know King is good enough to really horrify me. I know I'm chicken but I never could bring myself to even open the book. Even though I love king and have read a load of his stuff!

A lot of Dystopian and Sci-fi books
Those aren't my go-to genres but I'm realizing that there actually are some amazing ones out there. It's just the unfamiliarity and sometimes the hype that kind of put me off. I want to read Under the Never Sky though and see how I like it. It's just... so many of those books sound so similar. Blabla virus blabla zombies... natural disaster... nearly everyone dead... the fate of the world in the hands of a couple teenagers... evil scientists vs. good scientists. Controlling evil state power. Sure, you can make it good or unique. But when it comes to the description on the back of a book, it just all sounds like something I've heard before, even though I haven't actually read it.

Books by authors I've been following on twitter for a long time but who's work I haven't yet read
What if I like them and I've talked to them and told them I was going to read their book... and then I end up not liking it? It'd be awkward...

Huge but super-successful serieses
Sometimes I'm reluctant to start a series even though it sounds great, simply because there are already like a dozen books out and I know that in the time it'll take me to catch up, there will be another 3 or so out because the author is just that crazy-productive.

Garth Nix - The Abhorsen Chronicles
I've got a paperback with all three books in it (not the one pictured above). Which means it's over 1000 pages and super-heavy. I've had it fore like two years and just can't bring myself to read it, even though I've been drawn to the story ever since I picked up the German edition of Lirael when I was 14 and read the blurb on the back. That was 10 years ago. Am I stupid or what?!

I could go on with this list. There'd be quite a bunch of American classics on it - I've read quite a bunch of English ones, but I've never read William Faulkner or Hemingway or To Kill A Mockingbird or Gone with the Wind or Moby Dick or The Scarlet Letter. I also know that I really should read Brandon Sanderson. I think I'd love his work but I'm scared somehow. Same for Brent Weeks. It's very silly. I don't even know why. Sometimes it's like I'm afraid to like stuff.

So... what do you think of my list? Do we have anything in common? Books? Tendencies of avoidance? Also, please leave a link so I can check out your list :)


  1. Haha. Yeah. Hypes ARE scary. We'd be like, sorry, I don't like it and those fangirls will mentally pull our hair through the internet XD

    Here's my Top 10

  2. Cinder made my list for the exact same reason!! Everyone seems to love it, including people who I trust, but I'm afraid I won't like it. And I really hate being disappointed by books!

    Happy Reading!

  3. You HAVE to read Cinder. I was hesitant, too, at first, but once I started it, I couldn't put it down. It wasn't at all what I was expecting. But I'm right there with you on A Song of Fire and Ice....the size alone is intimidating, but there's also the fact that it sounds like EVERYONE dies. Kinda grim prospects. :P

  4. Great list, I'm yet another one who has Cinder on their list but I'm terrified I won't like it! You have to read Howl's Moving Castle, you won't regret it :)

  5. Great list. I keep looking at Cinder but have yet to decide to read it.

    My TTT

  6. Cinder, honestly I felt the same way for a looong time about that one. Then I bought it, and it stayed on my shelf even looonger >.< I enjoyed it quite a bit though when I finally read it recently and if you ever read it, I hope you will too! I'm definitely intimidated by A Song of Fire & Ice though. And I want to read the books before watching the series, which makes it worse because now I'm behind on both ends and the pressure increases LOL! And though I didn't always gravitate towards sci-fi, I love the genre to pieces now - though I don't read nearly enough of it! I own Under the Never Sky in e-book format and I'm hoping to read it soon! GREAT picks Carmen, I loved the Sanderson shout-out and Mistborn is my personal wishlist read for you :)

    1. I totally added Sanderson because of you ;) I just can't figure out where to start with his books... I think he also has several series that sort of relate to each other?

  7. I'm definitely intimidated by super-long series, as well! If there are more than 7 books, I need to really LOVE the series in order to stay committed. As for dystopians, when the back summary sounds like dystopians I've already read, it's not so much that I'm intimidated but wary of them, if you know what I mean. Awesome list!

    My TTT

  8. I've become intimidated by long series also. I just don't have the time for them!

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT earlier!

  9. Game of Thrones made my list too! Howl's Moving Castle is awesome, I highly recommend it!

  10. So true about the Twitter thing you said! It'd be awkward... and you're also right about series, one needs a lot of time to read huge books which is why I'll probably be reading a long series this summer. Woot.

  11. I didn't read Diana Wynne Jones as a kid, either. I only started reading her in college!

    Her books are kind of a hit-and-miss for me, some I love and some I don't like at all. I absolutely adored Howl's Moving Castle, though, and another one I liked was Charmed Life. Those are the ones I'd recommend first!

  12. I really want to read the Song of Ice and Fire series, but don't want to spoil the tv show experience. Not to mention, R.R. Martin writes those books so slowly, I'm afraid he will die before he finishes the series.

    Speak intimidates me too!

    To me Cinder doesn't sound that great either, but I'm not huge on retellings...

    Diana Wynne Jones is AMAZING! You should read Howl's Moving Castle!! (or the watch the anime film)

    Misery is pretty sick, but I love SK ;)

    I enjoy Dystopian and sci-fi, but Ya Dystopian/sci-fi books are usually disappointments :( And I totally get what you're saying about being afraid of reading books written by authors you know. What if I don't like it? Oh, the horror~