Last week, I made my first attempt at compiling a Top Ten Tuesday list, a meme started by The Broke and the Bookish. It was a top ten list of books in [blank] genre that we’d recommend, and I chose to go with historical fiction, which is easily one of my favorites!
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is asking all of us to name the ten books we’re not sure that we want to read! This should be interesting. Here goes —
The Top 10 Books I Don’t Know If I Still Want to Read…
Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen
After Freedom was published, I remember seeing it everywhere — like, literally everywhere. Bookstores…grocery stores…I even saw someone reading it while eating at the food court in the mall. The Jennifer Weiner-coined “Franzenfreude” (which she described as “taking pain in the multiple and copious reviews being showered on Jonathan Franzen”), grabbed my attention; I’ve always been a big fan of Jennifer Weiner’s work and agreed that the literary establishment was spending too much time and energy falling all over themselves about the same authors over and over again. I got sucked into the hype and bought a copy, brought it home and put it on my bookshelf, and told myself that I’d get to it soon and find out what the big deal was. That was four years ago, and it’s been collecting dust in that same spot on my bookshelf for all this time. I guess the Franzenfreude got the better of me, because I don’t see myself dusting it off any time soon.
The Selection, by Kiera Cass
Before anything else, I look for a cover that speaks to me in some way. America Singer, the protagonist of The Selection, wears a beautiful gown on this cover that happens to be my favorite color. If I were choosing to read a book solely as a cover judge, I’d jump on this one. However, I decided to check out a summary of the novel and I wasn’t really taken with what I learned. The whole idea of a love triangle, despite the interesting twist, has gotten a bit tired for me; this might be part of why I loved Divergent so much — Tobias Eaton had no competition for Tris Prior’s love. It was just the two of them and no one else. The Selection just doesn’t scream, “Read me!”, and so I think I’m going to steer clear.
Looking for Alaska, by John Green
Oh, John Green…I still haven’t forgotten about my experience with The Fault in Our Stars. Ever since I saw the film of that adaptation, I haven’t quite felt as strong of a pull toward his books as I had before the movie was released. More than anything else, I worry that he’s become a bit overhyped, even for YA. Looking for Alaska sounds interesting enough in summary, but frankly I’m a bit afraid of feeling let down, as I did after closing Fault. He’s a good writer, but I’m still just not seeing what the big deal is. I might pick up this or one of John Green’s other books in the future, but for the time being I feel like it’s best for me to stay away. I don’t want a previous experience to potentially ruin a good thing.
I Am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai
I feel very badly saying it, but I feel like we’ve heard so much about Malala Yousafzai in the media that the book may leave little new information for us to discover about her. I’m personally a bit oversaturated on news coverage of all things Malala, but I do own a digital copy of her book. I think I just need a little bit of time away from her, and then I’ll come back and read I Am Malala in the future.
The Book of Life, by Deborah Harkness
The reason I don’t want to read The Book of Life, at least at this particular time, is very simple: It’s the final book in a trilogy and I haven’t yet read its predecessors. When I hear great things about books, I want to read them right now…and I can’t do that with this book. It’s like starting to watch Game of Thrones — you can’t just pick up in the middle of the story and expect to know who everyone is and what’s going on. I haven’t seen a single episode of that show (I don’t have HBO), and though I badly want to watch it, I have to start from the beginning. That’s what I’d do with a TV show or a book, and if I can find enough room in my reading schedule to do it, I might pick up A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and finally The Book of Life. (Besides, I’m hearing it’s a historical fantasy about witches. Sounds right up my alley!)
Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris
I’m not sure if I want to fall back down the rabbit hole with vampire novels. The only author who seems to completely fulfill that interest for me is Anne Rice (and thankfully, she has a new book coming out in October that I’m literally itching to read!). Aside from that, Dead Until Dark is the first in another series of vampire books that was adapted for the screen, and I’m wondering if I saw enough on True Blood to cover me. I thought it was a decent show but not so good that I just had to sign up for an HBO subscription immediately after watching the first season on DVD. The fact that pop culture is oversaturated with all things vampire doesn’t help matters. I think I’m going to let this book, and its subsequent titles, go.
The Maze Runner, by James Dashner
I own this book, and all of its sequels, in e-book form and, though I once couldn’t wait to read them, the feeling has long passed. With the movie to be coming out soon, there have been lots of pictures, clips, and trailers popping up online; I’ve looked at a few and just feel nothing. No, “Oh my God, I have to pick up that book now!” No spark, no interest, nothing. Sorry, Gladers.
I Know This Much Is True, by Wally Lamb
I Know This Much Is True has been sitting on my bookshelf for years. Years. I picked it up after reading and falling in love with Mr. Lamb’s debut novel, She’s Come Undone, which I blew through in a single afternoon. But there are always more books to be read, and I kept pushing this one back to make room for other titles I had a stronger interest in reading…and I never picked it up again. Maybe sometime in the future I’ll get back around to it.
Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins
Many of my fellow bloggers have been raving about this book and its follow-ups, Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After, but I just can’t seem to drum up any interest in them. The cover art doesn’t really speak to me; while it’s not the be-all and end-all of whether I decide to read something, it does play a role. Plus the plot of the book seems to revolve around Anna’s having to choose between a boy at home and another boy at boarding school, which reminds me very much of The Bachelorette (a show I despise with every bone in my body). I’m probably wrong about these books, but for now I just don’t want to read them.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Heavenly Fire, by Cassandra Clare
My problem with City of Heavenly Fire comes down to a couple of things. First, reading it would require me to reread not one, not two, but five other books to keep the plot fresh in my mind — this is not the kind of book you can just pick up and read on its own, much like The Book of Life above. I had read all five of the other books back-to-back when the fifth book, City of Lost Souls, came out and then had to wait for this one. I just don’t have the time to go back and read five books to be able to read this new one…and then there’s the fact that I made the mistake of reading reviews after the publication. Apparently, many die-hard Shadowhunter fans took issue with certain events in the story and hated the way Ms. Clare ended the series. I’m sure I’ll come back to this down the road, but I just don’t have the patience for it right now.
So that’s my list! Are there any titles that you agree with? Any you disagree with? What titles would be on your list?