Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Intimidate Me!

We’ve all got that list. Those books we have the best intentions of reading but keep putting off because we’re SCARED. Because they’re either so famous they’ve become mythic or because they’re absolutely gigantic (or sometimes both). The ones you may already have sitting on your shelf but that cause you to break out in a cold sweat every time you catch them staring at you.


Well for my first Top Ten Tuesday post, I thought I’d round up the ones on my eternal list that I would love to read someday. I am hereby making a promise to you. I am holding myself accountable. I will read them eventually. I WILL.



1. Les Miserables

This is one of those pesky blighters I mentioned that already possesses a space on my shelf. A rather hefty space at that. Seriously, anytime there is an Instagram prompt/tag looking for ‘big books’, this is my go-to. It’s 1000+ pages of enormity. However, I saw the movie adaptation that came out in 2012 and I loved it. I know the book won’t be the same because it won’t have Hugh Jackman serenading me; but at least I have an idea of what to expect from the story. So that *should* take some of the fear out of reading it. Right?! Alex logic.



2. Anna Karenina

This is another one that of those gigantic classics that scares the life out of me. However, I feel like I’m more likely to get to this one sometime soon! I love all things Russian in literature and I’ve heard nothing but excellent reviews.

3. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

This book has sat on my shelves for a LONG time. At over 900 pages, it so often gets overlooked in favour of something shorter. And it’s a real shame because, based on the premise, I’m sure I will love this! I hope to devote some time to it in the summer.


4. American Gods

I honestly can’t explain why I haven’t read this one yet. It could be that I’ve put it up on a pedestal and kinda forgot about it up there… oops.


Neil Gaiman is one of my absolute favourite authors and even readers who don’t adore him like I do have said how much they love this book; so why haven’t I read it yet?! I think I’ve built it up so much in my mind that any time I do consider picking it up, I shy away in case it doesn’t live up to my huuuge expectations. Which is nonsense, because I know it will. Gaiman would have to do something seriously awful for me not to love it.  And he won’t. HE WON’T, I tell you.



5. Strange the Dreamer

As with American Gods, I have built Laini Taylor’s latest offering up to ridiculous heights. After reading her Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy earlier in the year, and then meeting her in person at a signing in Newcastle, I am completely enamoured with her and her books. Maybe the reason I haven’t read this one yet is because, after I do, my life will be a gaping black hole of NOTHING until her next book is published. I know I’m going to love Lazlo Strange so much that life will be meaningless when this one is over.


6. Gone with the Wind

Another classic that I really feel I should have read by now. But have you seen it?! If the movie is 4 hours long, how much time is it going to take me to get through the book? It makes me anxious thinking about it.


7. War and Peace…

…and 8. Crime and Punishment

For some reason, these two books are always lumped together in my mind into one big scary monster of wordiness. I feel like a terrible bookworm because I can’t even put into a single sentence what either of these books are about, I know so little about them. But they’re on just about every list I’ve ever seen of ‘books to read before you die’ or ‘100 classics everyone must read’, etc. You know the ones. Maybe getting the Vintage Russian Classics series will encourage me to finally read them? I mean, book-buying for educational purposes can never be considered a bad thing, right?

9. Moby Dick

Ever since I watched Matilda as a child, I have been curious about this book. I feel I owe it to the little girl inside me who was nicknamed Matilda at school to someday read this book.


Seriously, I looked just like this as a child.

However, Moby Dick is one of the few books on this list that I’ve heard negative things about, so I’m especially apprehensive and probably won’t be reading it ANYtime soon.

10. The Winds of Winter

This one isn’t even out yet but it makes the list because omg, George R.R. Martin is going to kill everyone I love who he hasn’t already bumped off and I can’t handle the stress. This is one of the books I alluded to in my introduction, that is SO highly anticipated it’s becoming a mythical beast with 3 heads and it’s entirely likely we will be on our deathbeds wishing that Martin had just got his finger out and finished the series so we could rest in peace and know who reigns triumphant in Westeros. Do you see how long that sentence was? That is the stress I’m feeling. Seriously George, please. I need the next book.



So there you have it. Ten books that frighten me half to death but that I genuinely want to read at some point. When I have a million hours on my hands and no adult responsibilities to deal with.


What books intimidate you? Do you (truthfully) think you’ll ever get to them? And what did you think of my first TTT post?!




10 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Intimidate Me!

  1. Ooh! A great first top ten tuesday post! Big books can definitely be intimidating. I’ve been holding back on War and Peace especially for years but I’ve made a promise to get to it this summer! Here’s hoping at least 🙂


  2. Some monsters you’ve assembled here… But just like you I plan on reading them all maybe the American Gods and Moby Dick as exceptions… But that only because I am behind and I have so many more books that are in urgent need of a read!! 😂😂😉


  3. “American Gods” is the really tricky one for me – “Les Miserables” and “War and Peace” are also on my list, but they feel like an amazing ready for a long summer holiday (with tea and biscuits by my side). I have just so many ambivalent feelings about it – and I don’t really know why since so many people have recommended it to me!


  4. Pingback: The ‘I Dare You’ #BookTag! | the paperback piano

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