Top Ten Books On My TBR I’m Avoiding Reading and Why
(AKA Top Ten Books on my TBR that Terrify Me)
Oh, I have plenty of books I’ve been avoiding for various reasons. I will do my best to puzzle out why!
I realized that I basically just could have put my list for The Official 2019 TBR Pile Challenge here (I include the list in my monthly wrap-up every month). I specifically chose the books for this challenge because I’d wanted to read them for FOREVER but had been putting them off for one reason or another. I’m happy to say that out of the 14 books on that list, the challenge has gotten me to read 6 of them. That’s a big win, in my book!
But, since I already mention those books every month, I thought I’d try to think of a separate list. I have lots of books I avoid reading, so it wasn’t too hard.
1. Replica (and Ringer) by Lauren Oliver
I have MAJOR guilt over not reading these because I got both of them at conferences (BEA or ALA, I think?). I stood in line for Replica for over an hour and had lively conversations with the publishing people about how good the book is, which direction they preferred reading the book, etc. I met Lauren Oliver and she signed the book (and she was lovely!). I brought the book home, eager to read it. And then … didn’t. I honestly don’t know why except that I’d built the book up so much in my mind and then I read some so-so reviews and got scared that I wasn’t going to love it as much as I’d hoped.
But I was determined to fix that problem when I saw Ringer the following year at another conference. I picked it up, just knowing that I would now be sure to read them both. The plan was perfect! And I still haven’t read either of them. The guilt is real.
2. The Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson
I won the first book in this series (The Final Empire) years ago from Kritika @ Snowflakes and Spider Silk. She raved about this series, and I was sure it would be perfect for me. But the more time went by where I didn’t actually read it, the more I just sort of put it out of my mind. And yet, every time I’d see Kritika around the blogosphere, I’d have this niggling sense of guilt over the fact that I still hadn’t read it. Well, Kritika stopped blogging over a year ago, but now this book just has terrifying associations with it for me. I’m crazy, I know.
3. Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb
I still consider Robin Hobb my all-time favorite fantasy author. Her books were staple reading for me in my college years and beyond. I read each of them immediately when they were released and I LOVED them. But when I started blogging and reading SO MANY MORE books, I found these giant tomes pretty daunting (I have three million books on my TBR—super long books stress me out now!). Plus, my brain is filled with so many more characters nowadays, I think I was afraid that I wouldn’t remember good old Fitz as well and I wouldn’t enjoy the books as much. So now I have two Robin Hobb books on my shelf that I haven’t read, and that fact makes me very sad!
4. Confess by Colleen Hoover
I LOVED Hoover’s YA books, and then I branched out into her NA. I still think of Maybe Someday as one of my favorite books of ever. But then, after that, something scary started to happen. I wasn’t loving Hoover’s subsequent NA books. The relationships all felt a little too toxic to me and I wasn’t rooting for these people to get together (Ugly Love was especially heavy on the ugly and short on the love, in my opinion.) The thing is I ADORE Hoover herself—she’s hilarious on social media and just seems like an all-around wonderful person. Her Maybe Someday tour is still one of the best book events I’ve ever been to. I think I stopped reading her books because I got scared that I wasn’t going to love them and I would taint my impression of Hoover in my mind. I decided to stop while I was ahead(ish). So, even though I own Confess, I still haven’t read it.
5. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Do I even need to explain why this book terrifies me? I could use it as a doorstop. I actually signed up for a reading challenge to read a chapter a day of the book last year, but I ended up falling behind and eventually giving up. But I LOVE the musical, and one day I will conquer this book. Probably.
6. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Another book that everyone talks about. This one falls outside of my reading comfort zone, though. I think I’ve always been afraid it’s going to be too literary for me, so I’ve never managed to pick it up. (I have no idea if that impression is even based on reality, though.)
7. The Tiger Saga by Colleen Houck
I went to a conference a few years ago and was so convinced that Houck’s series would be perfect for me that I bought ALL of the books to have signed. Only, I think having all five of the books on my shelf staring at me actually backfired. The series feels like too much of a commitment to me now! (I actually have several other series that I’ve done the same with: The Legend AND The Young Elites Series by Marie Lu, The Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi, and more!)
8. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Everyone and their uncle raves about this book. I KNOW I should read it. I even bought it awhile back. I was sure that when the movie came out I’d read the book so I could watch the movie. But I just haven’t gotten to it. I think the sad storyline makes me put it off a little, but I’m actually a sucker for a sad story, so that shouldn’t be the case. I don’t have a good explanation for this one!
9. First & Then by Emma Mills
Even though everyone loves this book, and it’s probably a quick contemporary read, and I won an ARC, so it’s been sitting on my shelf since before it was released four years ago, in my mind it’s a football book. And I’m just not into football. (And my sense of weird guilt over never reading this one has kept me from reading her subsequent books too, even though everyone raves about them. Weird, I know.)
10. Lots of Neal Shusterman books
The Unwind Series is, without a doubt, my favorite series of all time. I honestly believe that Neal Shusterman is a genius—his books always make me think about the world in new ways; they present a myriad of questions but no easy answers. And yet, I haven’t read that many other of his books. I read (and loved) Scythe, but I still haven’t gotten to Thunderhead, and I also own Dry but haven’t read it. WHY?!?! I think this is another case of fear: Since Unwind was my all-time favorite there’s a part of my brain that thinks nothing else can ever measure up, and that stops me from picking up his latest books.
What books have you been avoiding? I want to know!