(pick a topic we’ve done in the past that you missed out on, or loved so much you’d like to do again!)
I’ve only been doing TTT posts for about a year now, meaning there are over 300 prompts in the TTT backlog which I haven’t done. So, the way I’m writing throwback posts is by going to the earliest Top Ten Tuesday topics, and selecting the earliest prompt which I haven’t already done that sounds like a post I want to write. (I may sometimes skip a topic one week and write it another time, or I might have written a topic too similar to one of the early posts.) At this point, the earliest one that appeals to me at the moment is:
Most Intimidating Books
I have a problem here. I don’t like to admit that I am intimidated by books. However, there are also books that I want to read but haven’t yet for one reason or another that could be chalked up to intimidation. (And there are a few which I might be interested in if they weren’t so intimidating.)
Side note: you will notice a theme with these. You may have seen that Sir Mix-a-lot parody MEME “I like big books and I cannot lie”? Well, that is not me.
1. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
It’s long. And non-fiction. I’ve heard great things about it, but it looks like it’ll take me FOREVER to read it…
2. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Another long one. In this case it’s fiction, so it should be an easier read. It’s also Gaiman, so I have high hopes on that front, too. But still: long…
3. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
More long books! Plus, this one is originally in French (I had a friend in high school who was taking French for her language and read the unabridged French version as a test to herself) and I would much rather watch the musical (on stage, not the sad movie version) than read this book.
4. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
I told you that you’d see a trend. LONG BOOK. Also, my mom recommended it, and so I feel I need to read it, but it’s been sitting on my shelf for years and hasn’t convinced me to pick it up yet, so I may never do so. But if I don’t read it I’ll feel guilty, which makes me even more intimidated by it, and so it will sit longer, which makes me feel more guilty…
5. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
This one is slightly different. (Though it is still a long book.) I started reading it, and I know my sister and BIL love it. So I wanted to like it. But I found it confusing at the time I read the beginning part. (I may have been multi-tasking too many books at the time, I don’t remember.) And then–I’m forgetting the details but as I remember it–just about everyone dies. I got stalled out on reading it at that point and put the book down. Now, in order to do it justice, I’ll need to pick it back up from the beginning again.
So, the intimidating part for me on this one is that it’s a long book which I already had trouble making sense of once, where I shouldn’t get attached to any of the characters because they die. (And yet I do still plan to read it.)
6. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
Long books. With murder and incest and un-likeable characters (because all the ones you like get killed). And politics. Lots of politics. This is intimidating, and is one series I don’t plan to ever get into. (Even more intimidating: if I were to start reading it and actually enjoyed it, I’d end up at the end of the books already written along with the rest of the fans, begging Martin to write faster and please not kill off my favorite characters.)
7. The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
Another long series of long books. This one is too intimidating for me to be interested in. (Plus the end of the series was finished by Brandon Sanderson after Jordan’s death, and I don’t like what I’ve read of Sanderson’s work.)
8. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Wow! A book whose length isn’t what intimidates me! For this one it’s the subject matter. I still want to read it–eventually–but I’m not sure how long it will take me to get up the nerve.
9. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
This isn’t a short book, but the length is only my excuse for why this one is intimidating. The real reason is that so many people whose opinions I value love this book. I don’t want to be disappointed–or a disappointment. I want to like it, but have no guarantees that I will, and that’s intimidating too. (Plus, it is long. I have this hardback version, which clocks in at a heavy 520 pages.)
10. Beowulf (author unknown, but translated by Seamus Heaney)
This one isn’t that long, so we’re ending on an exception to my “intimated by big books” trend. The intimidating thing about this one is that it was written down, as near as I can tell, in 975 or so. It has been called the “oldest surviving long poem in Old English” and “one of the most important works of Old English literature”. If that’s not intimidating, I don’t know what is. (Well, okay. Handling the original text would be magnitudes more intimidating than reading a translation. But still.) This one is on my TBR list, but I’ve been saving it for a time when I can properly appreciate it.
What about you? Do you tackle intimidating books right away, or procrastinate them? Do you see certain types of books as challenges?