Top 5 Saturday: Intimidating Books

Welcome back to another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post πŸ™‚ This week’s topic is actually: intimidating books!

When I first saw this prompt my mind immediately went to the classics and tomes (and classic tomes) because those are truly some of the most intimidating books on my shelves! But I feel like I’ve answered this before and I think that whenever I get asked about intimidating books my go-to answer (classics/tomes) is always the same. So I decided to not look at classics this week and share some of the other intimidating books on my TBR and the reasons why they scare me 😝

(book covers are linked to the Goodreads pages!)

The Secret History (or basically all of Donna Tartt’s books): I really like the sound of Tartt’s books but they intimidate the heck out of me. To date I’ve only read 3/4 of one book (I still haven’t finished The Goldfinch but IT WILL HAPPEN!), and while I did enjoy the writing, the story and topics are heavy and very detailed, which can often go flying over my head or drag the pace down. I’ve heard The Secret History is an easier read compared to Goldfinch, which is relieving, but it does still intimidate me!

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: This is probably going to be a very unpopular opinion but I’ve read The Hobbit and I … disliked it to the extreme πŸ˜‚ I’m sorry to all my book friends (and Tolkien lovers) who enjoyed but I found it so dull it made me want to cry! I think I just had really high expectations and thought it’d be more action packed but… Nope! I do want to read the LOTR trilogy since they’re some of my all time fave movies (don’t @ me)–I just hope these books are better than its prequel? 😬

A Brief History of Seven Killings (or basically all of Marlon James’ books): I’m so intrigued by James’ books and it turns out I have almost all of his books on my shelves just waiting to be read! But I’ve heard that all of his books are pretty challenging, and while I’m open to reading books that challenge me as a reader, I’m often worried that my simple self won’t be able to keep up πŸ˜‚

Beartown (or basically all of Fredrik Backman’s books): Okay, this one is on here because the hype around all of Backman’s books is huuuuge and anything this hyped is always intimidating. I also realise that I tend to have trouble connecting with Scandinavian books. I don’t know if it’s the translation or what, but seeing as everyone and their mothers enjoy the books, perhaps it’s just me? πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Then again, Backman could end up being the exception and I’ll only find out once I give it a try!

Midnight’s Children (or basically all of Salman Rushdie’s books): I’ve been wanting to read Midnight’s Children for a long time and I talked about it so much that my colleague gifted me a copy when she came back from the Netherlands. But Rushdie’s books are heavy on magical realism and I struggle a lot with it. Small doses are perfectly fine, but when it’s such a big part of the story, it tends to confuse me and I just disconnect. I’ve heard Rushdie’s books are amazing though… So I guess I’ll just take it slow!

September/OCTOBER Schedule:

Do you think any of these books are intimidating too? What makes a book intimidating for you? What are some of the intimidating books on your TBR?

36 thoughts on “Top 5 Saturday: Intimidating Books

  1. I absolutely see where you’re coming from with some of these! I’ve read Midnight’s Children and sometimes it was just so over my head that I didn’t fully understand what was going on! And you’re kind of right with LOTR – the books are so different to the films in a way because the narration style is a lot more descriptive compared to actually seeing the action taking place in the movie. I think Tolkien’s style of writing is almost bordering on archaic at times which can be hard to get into the swing of it if you’re not used to it. Good luck with them whenever you decide to take the plunge!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, glad to know I’m not alone! Lol. Did you end up enjoying Midnight’s Children anyway? I think what surprised me the most with The Hobbit was that there was basically no dialogue. I know he was alone for most of the journey but the huge chunks of text (that seemed to go on endlessly) was what I struggled with most! I’m hoping it’ll be a little different with LOTR? But I guess if I go in with lowered expectations I can’t be too disappointed or frustrated πŸ˜…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha! Good plan!
        Yes I did enjoy Midnight’s Children (the bits I remember!), it’s one of those ones I’d like to reread as I think it’d be easier a second time round and now that I’ve read other Rushdie books too.
        Hopefully you’ll enjoy LOTR, it’s definitely worth a shot anyway! πŸ™‚

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  2. I totally agree with LOTR and also Donna Tart. I have always wanted to read something from the latter, but these books are just huge! I saw the Goldfinch movie last year and while it was good, I was not immediately “let’s pick up the book right now”. Hope you will enjoy all of them eventually – I am sure there will be a lot of satisfaction upon finishing some of them πŸ˜€

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    • Yep, Tartt’s books are huge and while I really did enjoy what I read of the Goldfinch, it’s dense! And I wasn’t expecting it to be so dense. It also goes in-depth about things that aren’t my particular interest so that was another challenge to it. I think I would enjoy it more via audio so I have that lined up. I sadly read it during the worst slump I’ve ever experienced so it didn’t help that… And it now has that negative connotation in my mind 😞 I heard the movie was … Quite disappointing compared to the book so I don’t think I’ll watch it πŸ˜… Hope you also enjoy LOTR and Tartt if you pick them up!

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    • Oof, I think I might be leaning the same way especially with how I felt about The Hobbit? I was shook by how awful I found it. It made me want to throw the book across the room πŸ˜‚ Haha I’m glad you love the movies too ❀

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  3. I LOVE Tolkien, and I think people probably associate that with me as a book blogger. I did not like The Hobbit the first time I read it. I wasn’t even going to bother reading LotR until someone convinced me the books are very different and FAR better. And they were right!

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    • Okay, that’s actually really reassuring and makes me more interested in picking them up! Haha I’ve always wanted to read the books but I think I was so shocked by how different The Hobbit ended up being (silly me with my expectations thanks to the movie). It made me so wary of the trilogy but I’m glad to hear you say this as a certified Tolkien lover, Briana! πŸ˜ƒ


    • So big 😭 All her books are serious chunksters, as if that’s not reason enough to be intimidating, right?! LOL I think I’m just hoping that I like Beartown? I don’t know why I’ve struggled with Scandi authors… But if it’s as powerful as everyone says, I think it’ll defo be an emotion smasher haha I hope we both enjoy it πŸ˜‰

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  4. I’m pretty sure I’ve told you this before, but I was one of the rare readers who liked The Goldfinch more than The Secret History. But I know I’m in the minority. I couldn’t identify with any of the characters in TSH. I think that’s probably the point, but it drove me a bit crazy. Ha! So… I’ve read the first two books in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and never picked up the final one. They are so intimidating and detailed oriented. I’ve been told the last one is the best, so I do plan on picking it up… someday. I actually liked The Hobbit more, though, but I think that was just because it was shorter?? LOL And I loved both of the books in the Beartown series. Happy Reading! πŸ™‚

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      • They were ok? I never would have gotten through them in print so I did the audiobooks. There was A LOT more singing in the books than I had expected and the elves were so much more whimsical and less stoic feeling and also it takes them FOREVER to get out of the shire at the start. I have a huge appreciation for them but I don’t really love them LOL. πŸ™‚


  5. I love the LOTR books! I haven’t read The Hobbit, but I’ve been told that it doesn’t hold a candle to the LOTR trilogy and that’s the main reason I never picked it up. Tolkien’s writing is very, very descriptive and I wouldn’t say the books are action packed, but the story is definitely captivating! Anyway, I totally get that the trilogy is a little intimidating. πŸ™‚

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  6. I never even tried to read any of the LOTR books, so you’re better than me! A coworker told me that the writing is really slow and descriptive, so that’s just not for me. Maybe someday I’ll watch the movies though!

    Hyped books and new releases by popular authors tend to really intimidate me. It’s like the expectations are just so high I’m terrified of being disappointed.


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