Today, The Broke and The Bookish bring us another Top Ten Tuesday. It was supposed to be Top Ten X Genre books, but since I haven’t yet expanded my horizon much genre-wise, I feel like writing that Top Ten Tuesday would be rather repetitive of previous ones, which are already repetitive enough. So, I’m using novels as a genre and instead of telling you about my top ten favorite novels (which would probably be impossible because I love so many for so many different reasons) I’m going to tell you about the top ten novels I would love to read but have been putting off because they intimidate me.
1. Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) – George R. R. Martin. My friend Jess made me buy this book years ago (somehow she always knows about the big fantasy books before they’re really big—she did this with The Hunger Games too) and I tried really hard to read it, but I just couldn’t get into it. There were so many people to remember and I just had no idea where any of it was going so I got about 70 pages in and gave up. Jess was always a big fantasy reader, so I just chalked it up to our tastes being different (I’ve always been more into science fiction than fantasy). But now that EVERYONE is reading it, and apparently loving it, I’m feeling left out. So once my coworker gives me back my copy, I’m going to try to read it again.
2. Don Quixote – Miguel Cervantes. Ever since I discovered the origin of the word “quixotic,” I’ve wanted to read the book that it came from. I suppose I should have stayed in the Honors Program at BC (I dropped out after freshman year) because it was apparently a common sophomore year read for my HP friends, but I think I’ll probably enjoy it more at my own pace.
3. The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky. This is another one I would have read as a sophomore, had I stayed with the Honors Program. I’ve heard great things about this one, although I’m a little nervous about keeping all of the names straight, which I’ve heard is somewhat difficult for most people who read this. Luckily, Andrew was in the Honors Program and didn’t drop out, so we have both this one and Don Quixote in the apartment, just waiting for me to be brave enough to start them.
4. The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, Book 1) – Robert Jordan. This series was recommended to me by my cousin Duncan, who was the one who got me to read Ender’s Game, so I definitely trust him—I’m just intimidated by the size and complexity of the series. My boss has actually been reading both this series and the A Song of Ice and Fire series at the same time because certain books have been on hold for a while at the library, so he bounces back and forth. It seems like every day at lunch I see him with a different book! I can’t imagine trying to read both these series at the same time.
5. Moby Dick – Herman Melville. I actually read about half of this book two summers ago, but then put it down for a break and never picked it up again. I had been on reading overload and always meant to get back to it, but never did. I’ve been feeling guilty about it ever since the summer of 2010, so I’m hoping to get it done by the end of this summer.
6. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky. I bought this one a few summers ago at a Barnes and Noble 3-for-2 classics sale. No idea what it’s about, but its on The List and it’s rather huge. Plus I’ve never really read any Russian literature so I figure it’s about time. But its size is intimidating, for sure.
7. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy. See above! I really love angry Russian composers (my favorites are Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich) so I’m hoping I’ll love the angry Russian writers as well. Were they angry? Or were they just angsty? I guess I’ll find out once I muster up my courage and finally manage to read these huge monstrosities of books!
8. The Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkein. Every time I tell someone I’ve never read Lord of the Rings, they react very similarly to the people who hear I’ve never seen Star Wars: “WHAAAAT?” Yeah…I’ve never seen the LOTR movies either. I know, I know! But while I still have no interest in the movies, I think it’s time I tried the books again. Yes, again—I tried probably about ten years ago when my uncle gave me all three books in one volume for Christmas or my birthday, but I got about as far as “eleventy-first birthday” before giving up. I also didn’t like The Hobbit, but maybe I was too young. At any rate, I’m hoping to get through these either this year or next.
9. The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand. I suppose after reading Atlas Shrugged, I’m not so intimidated about reading The Fountainhead, but on the other hand…Atlas Shrugged took me freaking FOREVER. So I’m simply intimidated because I know how long it’ll take me. Other than that, though, I’m really looking forward to reading it! I might see if I can find someone doing a read-along somewhere…
10. Dracula – Bram Stoker. I think the only reason I’m really intimidated by this one is because I downloaded it for free in iBooks and on my tiny iPhone screen it’s 1200-something pages. Obviously it’s not nearly that many in print, but it’s still probably rather long—Amazon says 400 pages. Okay, so not that bad, but that’s pretty long compared to most classic horror stories I’ve read (Edgar Allen Poe, H. G. Wells, etc). I’m definitely looking forward to reading this one, though, I’ve heard great things about it.
Are there any books that intimidate you? How about ones that used to intimidate you, but that you read anyway?by