top ten books i'm not sure i want to read (anymore)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 |
Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where we all get to exercise our OCD tendencies and come up with bookish lists.  If you’d like to play along, check out this post.

top ten tuesday

Today’s topic is a funny one.  I’m going to list the top ten books I used to be excited about reading, but for one reason or another will probably never get to now.  This is the sort of thing that strikes me as equally sad (giving up on books!) and wonderful (banishing reading guilt!).  Of course, my mind isn’t completely made up – these books do still live on my shelf after all, and they’ve survived weeding for years.  I just don’t know when I can see myself picking them up.  Feel free to tell me in the comments if I ought to strongly reconsider my current stance (or if any of these are hidden gems!).  Kthxbye!

Top Ten Books I’m Not Sure I Want to Read (Anymore)

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – Oh, this book.  The hype machine had its heyday, and then there’s the fact that it’s contemporary (I don’t read much contemporary these days), and on top of that, it’s a sad book.  I have a notoriously hard time reading sad books.  I’m almost ready to donate my signed first edition. 

2. One of Diana Wynne Jones’ backlist titles – Clarification: I have not lost any of my enthusiasm for DWJ’s hilarious and creative fantasies.  No, this is pick is one of those “I know she passed away, so I never want to run out of her books” things.  You do that too, right?  Okay, I’ll go sit in a corner now.

3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett – My mother is not a reader.  My mother has read this book.  I am going to call this feeling shame and dispose of the book quietly, to a good home.

4. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke – I just don’t know if I’ll ever read this book while I’m still blogging.  I once got halfway through it, but put it down in order to finish something slimmer for review.  It has that abandoned look to it now.  In case you’re wondering what an abandoned book looks like, it means: spine cracked (but only halfway through), thin layer of dust, on a shelf that I haven’t touched in months (possibly years).  Sad trombone.

5. Dingo by Charles de Lint – I went through a pretty heavy de Lint phase in high school and college, but I think I may have turned a corner… I haven’t finished a de Lint book in ages, and they don’t appeal to me much anymore, to be perfectly frank. I bought this one in a hopeful mood several years ago, but I don’t know when/if I’ll ever read it.

6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – I broke down and saw the film before reading the book.   And I wept throughout most of the film.  Like, red eyes and a headache afterwards sorrow.  I don’t know if I could handle that going in, knowing what I do…

7. Cecilia by Fanny Burney – Burney's work was a influence on Jane Austen (and I love Jane Austen, obvi), but I think we all know the reason I tracked down a copy of this book.  For the title character/heroine.  In person it’s a brick of a book with paper-thin pages… and again I face the conundrum of a big book vs. blogging urgency.  *le sigh*

8. Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley – See explanation under Diana Wynne Jones’ books, above.  I freaking adore McKinley, and it has to be madness that has kept this one unread on my shelf for so long.

9. Bitterblue by Kristen Cashore – I waited for this book like everyone else who was entranced by Cashore’s first two titles… and then I read in a review that it wasn’t very magical.  Excitement plummeted, and now… I just don’t know?  Maybe one day I’ll do a series reread of the Graceling books and zip right through this one.  Maybe.

10. Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein – I did mention above that sad books = hard, right?  Yeah, that.  BUT Code Name Verity!  It hit me in the feels!  So I still haven’t made a final decision.

What are some books you used to be excited about? 


Anonymous said...

I think we've talked before about how hard a read Rose Under Fire was. It was haunting and beautiful but omg the tears. The Book Thief is a miserable book--you're right to be wary (I had the added problem of misery and not enjoying it).

I really liked Bitterblue--it's my favorite of the set but Bitterblue has no grace so there is less direct magic though there is still adventure. (And Giddon! But I'm the only one who is ever excited about that . . .)

And I too have been putting off reading more DWJ and McKinley (and McKillip) because I don't want to run out of books. Though I might have to do a re-read of the Crown of Dalemark books soon because I can think of little else.

Unknown said...

The only book on this list that I'd encourage you to read is Bitterblue. It' s a completely different book from Graceling and Fire. It's court intrigue, no more no less. I loved it but it's not what you'd expect and I understand people's mixed reaction to it. Don't feel like you have to but if you do pick it up, know that it's its own little thing.

I'm with you on Jonathan Strange - was recommended to me so many times and I've tried reading it FIVE TIMES FOR GOD'S SAKE and even got to about halfway through but it's slow and it's about men (whom I don't particularly care much about especially in this historical setting) and I didn't see the point of the story at all. I'm bravely attempting to read it again in August because I keep reading this about it that make me want to but damn.

I read The Blue Girl by De Lint when I was younger and it was okay but I was told all his books are pretty much the same and he's not like McKillip for me who could write the same book twice and change the names and I'd still love it. I'm not interested in more De Lint.

I liked The Help and The Fault in Our Stars but they're not deserving of all this hype, there are better books out there.

Apart from McKinley's folk tales I can't read her other books despite again so many recommendations (including one of yours!)

Never been able to read Code Name Verity or The Book Thief despite trying - WWII horrors traumatize me (as they should of course) and I can't pick up a book with this setting without shaking.

God we're so similar haha!

Liviania said...

Robin McKinley isn't dead. (And she can't die until she finishes Pegasus.)

Cecelia said...

Liviania: Ha! True. I didn't mean that she was dead, just that I am always holding one of her books back (in case of real emergency).

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Funny, I kist returned Rose Under Fire to the library yesterday. After checking it out about 3 months ago, I just didn't want to read it. I did adore The Book Thief though.

Jenny @ Reading the End said...

I like panicked when I saw the DWJ item on the list. But I am satisfied by your explanation. I have been dragging my heels on reading The Islands of Chaldea because it is truly absolutely the last of her books. :(

For JS&MN, two things: 1) If you weren't enjoying it halfway through, you probably just weren't enjoying it. It keeps that same tone all the way through. 2) If you were enjoying it, but just got tired of hauling it around, can I recommend the set of three paperbacks? I bought that set at B&N years ago and haven't read my enormous hardback copy since. It splits the story up into three digestible volumes.

Tales of Whimsy said...

YES! I own The Fault in Our Stars on audio and I still haven't listened to it. I too am SO bad at sad stories.

Kristen M. said...

I actually culled my TBR last year and pulled books that I bought on the hype but I had just completely lost interest. Sometimes I think I should sit on new titles longer before buying them. If I still want to read them a year later, then I can buy them. (Or what if I remembered to use the library instead of the bookstore? Sheesh!)

Daniel B. (@whenbooksattack) said...

I used to be excited about The Anubis Gates...and maybe I will be again, but it's been sitting there for quite a while.

RE: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell...I almost didn't finish it. Once I did, though, I put it on my list of top reads.

Nan said...

I'm with you - I hate sad books. Reading is my treat in life, and the last thing I want to read is about grief and sorrow. I love your topic. I should do mine someday - books I was sure I would love to read, and then as time went by I thought 'no thanks.'

KC said...

Extreme hype really turns me away from a book. I haven't read Divergent or Daughter of Smoke and Bones, or many, many other books. TFiOS is another one.

But I will say that I adored The Help. Truly. It's all character and sass and voice and I loved, loved it.

Captivated Reader said...

The Help is awesome!! I had doubts I'd like it with all of the hype about it, but it was better than expected!!

I love The Fault in Our Stars. Yes, it's sad and if you don't like sad novels you may want to skip reading it... Since you have a signed first edition copy of this novel, have you thought about hosting a giveaway for it on your blog??

Here's my TTT list as follows:

Melanie said...

I'm with you on TFioS. I'm planning on just watching the movie. Sad books about cancer are not quite my thing.

But I'd definitely suggest you read Bitterblue. It's different than the first two books, to be sure, but not in a bad way. After the background of Cashore's first two heroines, it's fascinating to read of the girl who was raised as royalty.

Leslie @ This is the Refrain said...

Noooooo you must read Bitterblue. It's so so good.

I do understand you with Rose Under Fire and The Fault in Our Stars. I've read both and they're just so sad.

Anastasia @ Here There Be Books said...

I have the same fear with DWJ's books! I sat on Enchanted Glass for a few years because I wanted to save it.

The nice thing about her books, though, is that they're so rereadable. So even if we DO end up reading all of them, we can always go back and read them again (and again, and again!).

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