Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Top Ten Books I'm Not Sure I Want to Read

It's been a long time, friends!  But I thought today's Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) was an interesting one, so it's time to jump into the fun.  This week's focus is...

Top Ten Books I'm Not Sure I Want to Read

You know, books you bought but now aren't sure you want, books that get tons of hype and you feel like you SHOULD read them but are kinda iffy about, etc.  We've all got books on our lists like that!

1. World Without End by Ken Follett

Several years ago, I read Pillars of the Earth, back when EVERYONE was reading Pillars of the Earth.  And it was...okay.  I liked it, but it was kind of slow and tedious and OMG LONG.  And now I feel like I have to read the sequel...even though I kind of don't want to.

2. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Or really any David Sedaris book.  I read Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim a few years ago, and was so excited to laugh out loud, like everyone told me I would.  Aaaaand...I didn't.  I just did not get the Sedaris hype at all.  I feel like I need to give him another try though, because SO many people adore his work.  I'm just not super pumped about giving it a second chance.

3. 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James

I have read just enough excerpts from this book to feel like I can comment on my opinion of it with some authority.  (If you are unclear on my opinion, please feel free to go over to the search bar on the right side of my blog, search for 50 Shades, and enjoy the biting commentary that I have shared here over the years.)  However, there is a part of me that feels like I should read it, because EVERYONE has read it, and if I'm really going to pan it, shouldn't I read it cover to cover?  Even if it might make me die a little inside?

4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

This is a tough one to admit!  I've owned this book (and the next 4 in the series) for something like 5 years now, and never touched them.  I bought them because I heard so many rave reviews, how could I not read them?  But...historical fiction (especially LONG historical fiction) is really hit-or-miss with me.  (See book #1 in this post.)  And it's such a long series...am I ready to commit?  It all seems so daunting.  (Katie from Words for Worms, I see you bursting at the seams over there, please feel free to unleash in the comments.)  :)

5. A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin

See: everything I said about Outlander.

6. The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

So hard for me to admit!  Because everyone knows I just adore Stephen King.  However, I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of his books that have a heavy sci-fi bent.  Like, Insomnia was kind of painful for me.  Even The Stand was a little tough at times (but was saved by the more solid "real life" story of those that survived Captain Trips).  King says this series is his magnum opus though...how can I avoid it?

7. Extras by Scott Westerfeld

I read the Uglies trilogy a few years ago, and overall I really enjoyed it.  I saw that Extras is a companion novel to the trilogy, taking place after Tally's story is over with a new set of characters.  I feel compelled to read it because it's related to the Uglies trilogy...but I'm not sure I'm on board with a totally different protagonist after following Tally for 3 novels.  I feel this way about pretty much any "companion" novel to a solid trilogy.  Sometimes authors need to quit while they're ahead.

8. MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood

This is book #3 in the MaddAddam trilogy.  I read Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood a couple of years ago.  I liked them, but didn't love them.  Honestly, I read The Year of the Flood because I felt like I had to after finishing Oryx and Crake.  Now I feel the same about MaddAddam.

(This post is teaching me that I have a lot of guilt issues to get over regarding my tendency to not finish series.)

9. The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

Or pretty much any Philippa Gregory that I haven't already read.  Back in 2008, I discovered her work with The Other Boleyn Girl, and got fully ADDICTED.  I ripped through a ton of her books and adored them.  However, I think it was a case of burnout, because after a while I felt way overloaded on her stuff.  A lot of it reads somewhat similarly, so I got a little tired of her material.  Since then, I've looked at her other releases with a vague sense of yearning, but also a bit of uncertainty...will I enjoy it, or am I going to think it's too much of the same again?

10. Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

This is described as the Japanese version of The Hunger Games, which is why it's been on my TBR list.  It actually came out a few years before HG, but is way, way gorier (so I've been told).  Hence my hesitation.  I am outrageously curious about this novel, but not quite sure I'm ready for the blood and guts.  Same goes for the movie version!

Readers: what books are YOU unsure about reading?


  1. I'm really with you on the Oryx and Crake trilogy. I read the first one when it first came out and I want to finish, but I think I would need to re-read that and I'm not sure I'm up for that. The HBO show announcement has kind of given me a push, but we'll see.

    1. I am Canadian and I love me some Atwood, but out of all her books, the Oryx and Crake are not my favs. They're still really powerfully written, but lacking in something.

    2. Hmmm didn't know about the HBO show. I agree with 52books though, I love many of Atwood's other books, but there was something about this story that just did not grip me.

  2. Outlander seems to be on a lot of lists, and it would be on mine too if I had one!

    1. I have to start looking at some of the other posts! I imagine the size of the series is making it tough for lots of readers.

  3. I'm so intimidated by the Dark Tower series. I really do want to read it, but I just don't know if I'll love it.

    I read the first Outlander book, and I liked it, but I didn't love it. I really don't think I'll ever continue the series.

    I'd be all for trying ASOIAF if it ever FINISHED! I don't want to get sucked into an epic story that never ends. I refused to read HP until the final book was released, despite much nagging from my friends, so I have plenty of practice being stubborn about this. (And I can't help being really turned off by the fact that GRRM has agreed to tell HBO how the story will end, so they can continue the series before the books are written. That kind of feels like a big middle finger to fans of the books... which I guess is sort of his style, so... definitely not as curious about this series as I was a few years ago.)

    1. Had no idea that Martin is planning to tell HBO how it ends! That is super annoying. You know the fans of the TV series will leak the ending well before readers ever get their hands on a final book. That's definitely a turnoff.

    2. To be fair, I don't remember where I heard it, so it may just be rumor... but given that he's not in any hurry to write the remaining books, it seems entirely plausible. Which, frankly, sucks.

      I mean, nothing against TV or movies, but there are some stories that I just want to experience through reading. I can't imagine if my favorite books were adapted, only to have that medium completely take over and actually get in the way of the original story.

  4. I absolutely love Outlander -- it's worth every page and all the time it takes to commit -- it's actually the kind of book I don't want to end, so I like when those are long! I am also dying to re-read the series which is saying something for such big books!

    1. Another glowing review!! I know, I need to just commit already. These books are weighing down my shelves. Haha.

  5. I haven't had any interest to read 50 Shades of Grey, but I've been feeling like I should since everyone has read it. But every time I go to read, I just pull away. I'm not sure I ever will lol.

    Outlander was on my list as well. I want to read it, but I just don't have time to commit to that series right now. Maybe in the future?!

    Games of Thrones wasn't on my list, but my friend is currently reading the series. I'm definitely interested in it, but as with Outlander I just don't think I have the time commitment.

    I've started Uglies, but haven't gotten around to finishing it yet. I'll most likely go back to it since I know a lot of people enjoyed the trilogy. I'm not sure about Extras though.

    Battle Royale sounds interesting though. I wasn't aware of it, so I might check it out.

    Thanks for your list! Great post :)

    1. Honestly, sometimes I wonder if I would commit to these long series more often if I didn't blog. Because when I take the time to read a long chunkster, I can't blog as much because it takes me more time to finish. Versus when I wasn't blogging, it didn't matter if I took a long time between books.

  6. I've also been avoiding Battle Royale for fear of gore. I think skipping Extras might be the right thing to do. The author introduces some more awesome sci-fi body-modding stuff, but the plot is disconnected from the others and I didn't think it was very good.

    1. That was my fear! I will never understand why authors write these add-on novels to trilogies that already stand alone quite well. Yes, you have a good base of readers that will go for it, but they are nearly always mediocre in comparison.

  7. Do not read 50 Shades. Personally it was a waste of time for me as a 18 year old, who the book isn't aimed towards, and the writing alone is so bad.
    As for Battle Royale (my spoiler free review here; https://alexinbookland.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/battle-royale-by-takami-koushun/) the description you have for it is wrong. The Hunger Games STOLE from it's superior Battle Royale, even though I enjoyed THG, BR has a special place in my heart and it is epic. As for the violence part, it all comes down to A. Did you enjoy the violence in the film, B. if you can handle written violence and C. To what extent do you imagine your violence. O and D. if you can handle violence and bloodyness. If you can handle all those then you won't have a problem. As a HUGE fan of the BR films, I gobbled the book up and loved it, even more than the films! Which is a major suprise for me!

    1. Yes, I did realize that HG came out after BR--I'm sure there is no coincedence in the overlap of themes! Honestly I would probably have a harder time with the movie violence than the book...so if I'm going to try one, I should probably go the literature route first before I test the waters with visual violence!

  8. 50 Shades isn't even a "not sure" for me... no WAY do I want to read it!
    Love how you snuck a Frozen gif into this post, btw. ;)

    1. I can sneak a Frozen gif into basically anything, anywhere.

  9. Let it go, let it go...lol! I love your list; you hit the nail on the head for many titles that I didn't even think of myself. I am in full agreement on #1,3, 4, 5, and 6 and unsure about the others. I still have The Other Boleyn Girl on my wishlist from years ago and will probably get to it sometime, but I can appreciate burnout. It happens to the best of us who devour a favorite author in limited sittings :)

    1. The Other Boleyn Girl really is great--I hope my burnout doesn't keep you away from it! :) After I read it though, I devoured the rest of the Tudor series and then kept on with some of the other series...it was just too much!!

  10. Hahahahahaha! I love that you called me out, because I am, indeed bursting. I think you'd like Outlander, but I totally get your trepidation, especially now that there's sooooooooooo much hype. Still. Do it anyway :).

  11. The Song of Ice and Fire series is worth every minute. I've re-read the first three books three times. The fourth book I've read twice, and soon I will be re-reading the last one for the second time. And I would read them all over again, they are that AMAZING. Easily my favorite series. And I actually JUST started Outlander. I haven't finished it yet, still reading, but so far so good. And I also want to pick up and read Battle Royale.

    Jade @ SortofBeautiful.com

    1. Ok wow, that's definitely a rousing endorsement for Song of Ice and Fire! It's a commitment to read them once, let alone multiple re-reads. I'm impressed. :)

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