Top 10 Tuesday: Most Intimidating Books

This is another older post from Top Ten Tuesday over at  but i saw it and enjoyed the idea.

Because i have quite a few books on my shelves that are just waiting to be read.

And i want to read them.

There is just something about them that ... i don't know if intimidates me is the right word choice, but something about them just makes me always pick another book even though i want to read that one. I really do. But i just don't.

And so some of those books that will appear in a second on this list are on my "To-be-read" list for quite a while already. And i just have not read them yet. For one reason or another. And funnily enough, i thought that when i read this topic and started to look at my shelves that most books would be quite big, but no.. that is not actually the case.

Sure that are some big books in there, but most of them are under 500 pages, even just around 300 pages. Which i am able to read in one day, no problem. So really what is keeping me? And the answer is clear: i am in some way or form intimidated by all of those books for one reason or another.

So lets get into it, here is my list of my top 10 books that i noticed intimidate me just sitting there on my shelves:

1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. 

Alright, stop. It is not what you are thinking. Yes i know it is big.
And it is Tolstoy and many people don't really enjoy his writing.

Which i personally don't understand because i LOVED Anna Karenina.

And i do love bigger books that i can really sink into and immerse myself into the world.

But i started this book at least twice already and the version i have has quite a few conversations in French that are not actually translated on the page that I read but in the back of the book. And while i do understand a little -itty-bitty- French and can read it just as much (translation: i can ask if they speak another language that i speak and that is it!) i have no idea what the book is talking about in about the first 50 pages.

It intimidates me that i have a book sitting on my shelves that i can actually not read because it bothers me to much to constantly flip to the back and read the translation because i will lose my actual place on the page and it overall is just going to slow for me. If i read a book i want to read a book on the page that i am on and just read the page from top to bottom. Done. Not flip front to back, front to back, every second sentence to be able to understand what the heck the story is all about.

At least not if a book is not supposed to be that way. and War and Peace is not supposed to be that way.

So i am intimidated by this one because it is big and long and if i really read the copy that i have it will take forever or i will have to learn french before reading it. Both intimidating tasks. So it sits. And waits. For... i don't know.

2. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. 

This is a similar reason this book intimidates me, as i listed for the first one.

I also started this book already a few times and put it down again.

The older english language is just very hard for me. At least this kind of it, since i have no problems with Shakespearian, i think it is just this specific version of english that gives me trouble.

Maybe it is because English is not my first language. Maybe because the story itself is just not for me.

I don't know.

And then there is the act that so many people love the story and the book and i do want to say i read it and love it as well. If i read it. Since as long as don't read it i don't have to say anything.

And it is not as if i ever have a problem saying that I don't like a book that is popular if i really do not like a book that is popular. Best example for that is "To kill a Mockingbird". I hate that book and have no problem telling anyone that wants to hear it what i personally don't enjoy about the book.

But for this particular one... i want to enjoy it. And want to love it.

And i am not sure i will when i start it. And so, you know i do the easiest thing. I don't pick it up in the first place and push the idea of reading it aside for now because being intimidated by the book is better then to read it and not like it. Or at least that is what i am telling myself.

3. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Another book that has a reason that i already listed.

For some reason those 19th century English books are just hard to read for me.

They intimidate me simply by the way they are written and i buy them because i want to read them, i love classic books when i actually read them -at least most of them- and the way they tell the stories and take you back into a different world that is no longer in existence. At least not in the way the author wrote about it.

But the writing style itself... it just is hard for me. And that is intimidating even by smaller books such as this one that has not even 300 pages.

I never started this book. I put it on ma TBR pile constantly and put it alway, unread, again.

But i hope that this list finally gets me to read those books that i keep pushing away and i actually really do get to this one finally and see if it really is so hard as i think it is or if i just talked it up and made it more intimidating then it actually is.

4. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

I have this one sitting there for years. And years. I think this is one of the oldest book that is still unread on my self.

And it is not because i fear that i won't understand the writing or the language it is written in.

It is particularly easy for this one because i actually own it in my mother language, so no excuse there.

What intimidates me about this book is that it is another book that people just love all around. And the last book that i read that was as loved was "To kill a Mockingbird" and yes. Well.

But to be honest the story itself of this book sounds really interesting to me, and i really do want to read it.

But i am intimidated by knowing how many people love this book and i don't want to read it and hate it. Not how it is with "Mockingbird" because i don't want to always be the one person that don't "appreciates" those kinds of books -and yes i have been told this before. So i just don't read it because it is intimidating to have to go into a book thinking that you have to love it because most other people do. Or that i will be disappointed if i don't love it as much as others do.

5. The Running Man by Stephen King or his pseudonym Richard Bachman

This is another short one. Like i said it is not the lengths of the books that intimidates me but rather my own expectations or ideas what i want from a book.

This one is no different in that case.

I read quite a few King books. 10 or 12 or something like that. And i had my love and hate relationships with them. It seems that for me King is either a love or a hate. Nothing in between. Either i really love the book and read it in a few hours, no break, from front to back, straight through and love it. Or i can't get into the story or the writing or something and just hate it all and can't understand how King could have written that book.

In this particular case there are two reasons that i am intimidated by this book. First is that both my mother and grandmother read this book and love it. Which in itself is saying something because both are not big on this kind of book normally, but they read it and loved it. And that kind of puts a bit of pressure on me to love it as well because i was the one that wanted them to read King in the first place, so how can i not love the book by him that they both enjoyed?

Reason number two is that it is an older King book. And the trend that i noticed in King's writing and my love/hate to his books is the publication date. I am not a huge fan of most of his newer works, while the older ones are just about all fantastic to me. As i said, this is an older one. And i loved all of his older ones that i read before. I am intimidated that if i read this that i won't like it.

What would happen if i do not like it? Nothing. My mother nor my grandmother will care. I don't think that they still remember that i have not yet read this book in the first place because it has been years for both of them since they read this book. And so what if it is one of the older books by King that i don't enjoy? That does not mean that i love the others less or that i can't enjoy the read of his older works just as much.

Still ... i can't get myself to put away the intimidation that this books brings and read it.

6. Peter Pan by J.M. Barry 

Another "classic" if you will that i have not yet read.

And while i wouldn't necessary say that this book is actually intimidating to me, it still has something that while i would love to read this story, something always keeps me from actually doing so.

I don't know why or what it is. But if i would have to name it i would guess i would call it intimidation of the book or something about the book. I am really not sure.

I read "Tiger Lily" (and reviewed the book check it out if you like) and loved it, and it takes place in Neverland and around the character Tiger Lily from this story. So i really do want to read this book to see how similar and actually from the story or in the story the book "Tiger Lily" is. I wanted to do that righter after i finished Tiger Lily. That was over a year ago. I still have not done so and read this book.

it is especially hard to understand since this book has 200 pages. That is nothing. That is something that can be read it just a little over an hour. I should just read this book after finishing this post. Or put this post aside and read it.

I won't. For what ever reason that keeps me from actually reading this book. Still. I am just saying that i could if wanted to or desired to. Which for some reason is just not the case. Lets just call it intimidation and let this one go. Next book!

7. The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie

This one i have really no idea what is happening. I had this one on my shelves for at least six years. And i bought it and wanted to read it right away, but i couldn't for some reason because i had to do something else before i was able to.

And then i just forgot about it. Which is fine, that happens. Other books get in the way. The books that get left behind understand and it is fine.

But then four years past and that book still sat there unread and for some reason now it intimidates me because i have not yet read it so that i am constantly push it back and am still not reading it.

It really is just that, that so much time has passed since i bought it that i am not sure if i really want to read it now. And since it has been so long already, why not let it sit a bit longer? Intimidated by time passed. Now there is something new in my life.

Moving on to the next book.

8. Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff

This is another one of those books that has been sitting on my shelves for a while. And i have picked it up a few times before and had to put it down again.

I want to read it. I love this kind of book. Normally at least. And this one is supposed to be really good.

But it is so dry! I never made it through the first 30 pages before i put it down again because i couldn't read any more of this strange writing that i can't even describe.

I heard so many fantastic things about this book and i love books about Egypt and history itself and also about Cleopatra because how fantastic was this woman?

But the dry start of the book really intimidates me, because even though the book "Only" has 300 pages, if the entire book is written as the first 30 i won't make it very far every time i pick it up. And i hate books that drag on and on and on and i feel like i never finish them. Which is what intimidates me about this book, clearly. So i just don't read it. Bet solution ever in books, let me tell ya.

9. The Cuckoo's Calling by J.K. Rowling or Robert Galbraith

I do have an explanation for this one!
I loved her Harry Potter series.
And not because of the "magical world" or the fantastic characters or the nice story. I loved her writing.
She had a way to actually transport you to where it was the story told you about. Rowling describes like no other to me and really takes me away. I loved that. I also loved that she did not build her entire book series about the love relationship between the main characters. Sure there was love and romance and drama. But the story itself was not all about it. There was no overdone sex or scenes of it or even -in most cases- any romantic relationships at all. Which i loved, i really, really did. I enjoyed reading a book series that did not mostly evolve around romance!

And then i read "Casual Vacancy" and hallo can an author fall deep if they try to be completely different then what they did before and are known for. How much sex and talk about it can you put into a book? How many people can you kill before you murder a book? Rowling sure tried to include all of it together in one book and tied a very nice bow around the million ton weight that dragged that book down into the ocean.

Which is why as much as i want to read the cuckoo's calling i keep putting it of. I want to read it. I love her "normal" "not trying to showcase that she is capable of other writing" writing. I heard fantastic things about this book even years after it came out. So all good there. But still.

It intimidates me that i still have so much hope to find such good writing as she did in her first series in this one that i keep pushing it back. And i really should get on it already because the third book is coming out this year and i really should at least know if i want to read that or not before it comes out which is soon. But i am pretty sure that it will continue to sit on my shelf for a while longer -at least.

How does that saying go? Once bitten, twice as shy? Well that goes for horrible, horrible writing in books as well.

10. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

This one has a few different reasons why this book intimidates me:

This one book is huge. Lets face it this book is big.
It is a big book in a big book series of at least 6 books, but i think more are coming. Which means that if i really do fall in love with this series, this series will take over. Intimidation right there.
This book has a humongous amount of characters. I mean, really. How many people can you pack into one book series? or one book for that matter?

And what also intimidates me is that everyone seems to really love this series and i have already read almost 100 pages of the first book and still have to tell myself that it will pick up, that it will get better. Which is fantastic if you have about 600 pages left to go through and already have to fight to even pick that stupid book up. Not good. And horribly intimidating to even think about. So lets just not.

This is it for today.

As always, if you want, please leave a comment telling me about your books, either fitting to this one or just generally. Love talking about books -clearly. So feel free to do so.

Write more soon...


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