This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is books that scare or intimidate you. Specifically, intimidation could be about “size, content, that everyone loves it but you are sure you won’t, etc.” I’m not sure how many books I’ll come up with, but here is my stab at ten books I find intimidating:
1. Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace — It’s huge, it’s Russian, and Anna Karenina pretty much took everything I had to give in that department. I do plan to read it someday, but so far it’s been very easy to put it off!
2. James Joyce, Ulysses — This one is notoriously difficult, and based on what I know of Joyce’s character and style, I’m 99% sure I would hate it. It’s a “classic,” so part of me feels obligated to try it…but eh, maybe not.
3. William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom! — I’ve had this book on my TBR list for ages because of the title and because it’s Faulkner, one of Those Who Should Be Read. But the thing is, I really hate Faulkner! I’ve tried several of his other novels, and we just do not get along.
4. Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews — I bought a used copy of this years ago after reading Tom Jones in high school and thinking it was funny. It’s been about 10 years, and I still haven’t read the thing yet. Now it just sits on my bookshelf glaring balefully at me.
5. George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones — OK, I’ve wanted to read this series for years, and now that the TV series is out, I’m more eager than ever. Except that these books are freakin’ long, OK? And so many people love them, but what if I don’t? The internet can be a cruel and unforgiving place!
6. Diana Gabaldon, Voyager — I read Outlander several years ago and really enjoyed it. A couple years after that, I read Dragonfly in Amber and thought it was still pretty good. But when I look at the rest of the series and see how long all those books are, my heart fails me.
7. Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth — Somehow I missed out on reading this as a kid, and everyone is telling me it was their favorite childhood book. So I bought a copy, and I’m planning to read it next year, but I’m nervous! What if I don’t love this book as much as everyone else? What if there’s no magic in reading it for the first time as an adult? In other words, what if I’ve missed the window?
8. Anything by Stephen King — I have always, always avoided horror novels. But Stephen King is kind of a big deal, so maybe I should read something of his. But what if it’s too scary? And also, what if it’s too long? A lot of his books look pretty bloated…but I’m guessing it’s hard to edit a best-selling juggernaut like this guy.
9. Tim Tharp, The Spectacular Now — I just heard about this book recently and looked at the preview on Amazon.com, and it looks really good. But of course, now I’m afraid that the rest of the book won’t measure up! Nothing like having your high expectations crushed.
10. Robin McKinley, Shadows — As you may know, I am a diehard fan of Robin McKinley. I loved her fantasy novels in my tween and teen years, and they still have a very special place in my heart. This is her latest book, coming out in the fall, and my concern is that it won’t be as good as her other books. Or maybe I only love her other books so much because I read them at an important time in my own development as a reader. What if I retroactively discover that one of my favorite authors isn’t all that great? That would be pretty tough to take!