Top Ten Books I’m Not Sure I Want to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the guys at The Broke and Bookish.This week’s prompt is to list ten books which we are sceptical about.

1.Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

In his time,Dickens was a sort of genius,but I find his stories very predictable.The main character is often a poor child who goes through much hardship and is unlucky enough to come across a stereotypical villain on his way.Afterwards he will meet a benefactor who will change his life forever.The fairy tale-like writing – no wonder it’s called Dickensian – is all what I hate in books,except of course if they pertain to children literature.After reading a lot of great modern classics,I’m not sure if I’ll read Great Expectations.

2.The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

When I joined WordPress last year,I saw many people going crazy about this book.Obviously I wanted to read it as well.But shortly after my friend told me that it is over-hyped and pleases mostly fan girls.I realised he was right when I witnessed even more people lavishing praise on the it.But the nail hit the coffin when I saw on Facebook an old female acquaintance of mine putting the book as her profile cover and saying how much she loved it.Given that I knew her pretty well,I recalled how she struggled to finish the first chapter of The Great Gatsby,one of my favourites.Worse still,another girl ,who used to boast about how she has never read any book in her life,commented and said that she adored the movie and will soon read the book.It dawned on me then that it’s a particular kind of readers who MOSTLY rate The Fault in Our Stars 5 stars on goodreads.I’m not sure if it’s worth a read.

3.Ulysses – James Joyce

I often saw this ”masterpiece” on the myriad of articles about the best books of all time.On one of them though I saw somebody call James Joyce a ”drunk Dostoevsky”.It somehow hit a chord in me,as it made me think that maybe people were rating James Joyce’s book highly simply because he introduced a never-seen-before writing style,one of such complexity that they will not be able to judge whether it is good or bad.I am thus not looking forward to reading this novel….at least for the next 5 or 6 years.

4.The Prince – Niccolo Machiavelli

When I found this book in Folio edition on the second-hand market,I immediately jumped on it.It looks very good on the shelf and is well worth the 10 pounds sterling I splurged on it,but I think I won’t be reading it any time soon.It does not have a plot per se,and the language is very archaic.

5.The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Victor Hugo

”Le Bossu de Notre Dame” ,as it is called in French,used to be my favourite Disney movie.I fear that after watching the movie more than three times,I might not enjoy the book as I should.Besides Hugo’s novel is huge and while leafing the book I noticed how he likes spending time describing Paris.I’m not sure I am ready yet for this book.I’m not even sure if I will ever read it.

6.Thus Spoke Zarathustra – Friedrich Nietzsche

Written by the great Nietzsche and his own favourite work,Thus Spoke Zarathustra is a book I used to look forward to reading.However I noticed that it is written in verse and that the language can be very arcane.I think I will read it one day as Soren Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling,Sartre’s Existentialism and Humanism and Camus’s Myth of Sisyphus are on my wish list.But for the time being I will skip this novel.

7.Around the World in Eighty Days – Jules Verne

There is no denying that Jules Verne is a great author,but I suspect that I might not really like the book.It was written in 1973 – a period which does not especially appeal to me – and I wonder if Phileas Fogg’s adventure will still be as exciting when read in the 21st century.I’m very sceptical.

8.Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand

This book is a classic,but I’ve seldom seen reviews of it on wordpress,and when I did,they were far from being favourable.Ayn Rand seemed to me to be a very queer lady with an equally bizarre philosophy,and I’m not sure if I really want to read her book.

9.Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

I saw many people writing about it on their blog and thought I should add it to my wish-list.But a friend told me it’s not that great and the language is simply horrible.He is sure I will not like it.I think instead of Gone Girl,I will go for another YA book which was much read in 2013/14: Goldfinch.

10.Anything by Anthony Trollope

I really don’t like the Victorian era – even if I will give Austen’s books a chance – so I really don’t feel enticed by Trollope’s books.I was further deterred from reading them when I saw the old guys discuss Trollope on a forum I usually comment on.It’s as if his books embody everything I despise in Victorian literature; heavy archaic language,and bland and predictable plot.

These are my thoughts on the books I’m sceptical about.I might be too judgemental and thus totally wrong.So your thoughts on any of these books are the most welcome! 🙂



29 thoughts on “Top Ten Books I’m Not Sure I Want to Read”

  1. I can relate to many of your reasons, especially Joyce. Different doesn’t necessarily mean brilliant. You might want to check out my post on The Goldfinch “A Little Birdie Told Me” which I switched out for “Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore”–1973?

  2. Thank you for also not wanting to read The Fault in Our Stars! I’m downright refusing right now, the hype is far too intense. Plus I agree about the readership… Not the sort I associate with on any level!

    1. Haha,I’m always happy whenever I meet somebody who thinks like me about The Fault in Our Stars! I’m so tired to see fangirls who think it’s one of the best books ever and who will go crazy if you criticize the book..

  3. I’m not reading The Fault in Our Stars either, for the same reasons as you! Sometimes a book can be so pervasive and overhyped that I dig my heels in! I did read Gone Girl though and it’s a pretty good thriller. Not the greatest book ever, but a fun read. I have no idea why it has exploded so much.

    1. I’m glad you think like me! I’m sure The Fault in Our Stars is a good little book,like those nice movies you watch for good entertainment and soon forget,but it is definitely not a masterpiece nor one of the best books ever written.

      Hmm,I might read Gone Girl if you say it’s pretty good! I must check how many pages it comprises first!
      As always thanks for commenting! 🙂

  4. I started Around The World in Eighty Days and loved the character of Passepartout but just couldn’t like Phileas Fogg and eventually gave up reading. It was a shame as I wanted to like it so much!
    I agree with you on Ulysses. It was on my Modernism module at uni and we had to read about five chapters at least. I love the idea of reading it but getting the time to give it the attention it deserves is unlikely. I would, however, suggest that if you’re not going to read the whole thing take a look at the last chapter- Penelope. This was one of the chapters we had to read and I loved it so much!

    1. When I was a kid,I too started reading the book till I met Fogg. Passepartout was indeed nice and sympathetic,but Fogg was a too much contrasting character.He was too upright and I thought I would never be able to enjoy the adventure with him.
      I remember somebody else saying how much he loved the last chapter of Ulysses too.I remember this,because the name ”Penelope” tells me something…
      ”I love the idea of reading it but getting the time to give it the attention it deserves is unlikely.” You’re so very right! I think I’ll read it when I’ll have nothing to do,and that surely won’t be the case in the next 20 years,I think.
      As always thanks a lot for commenting! 🙂

  5. I can understand your instinct to avoid most of them. With Hugo, I do love his long digressions, so I would probably like The Hunchback and I did enjoy Around the World, but I read it from the mindset that I was reading a YA novel, so I think that’s why I enjoyed it. The only author on the list I would try to encourage you to read is Trollope. No, his books aren’t that deep or intricate, but he gives a very different feel to Victoria society than Dickens, or any other author that I’ve read. If you can read his books like light comedies (at least his Barsetshire series), they are quite entertaining reads. He does manipulate his characters’ actions a little bit much for my liking but I can forgive that because his characters are so lively and interesting. I do think he’s worth reading, if you can look at the books as good entertainment.

    1. I gave up reading Around the World in Eight Days when I was still a child.Maybe I should read it now that I’ve matured greatly.
      And thank you for shedding a different light on Trollope’s literature! On your recommendation,I think I should pick The Warden! If I like it,I’ll read the other books in the Barsetshire series! 🙂

  6. Skip 2! 😀 It’s so over-hype that myself got hooked to.Argh. It’s just so annoying and people on Goodreads I don’t know whether they all actually read books really. It’s like Twilight books they are good but so so not good at all.
    3. Worth a read…but I wish no author will ever use flow of thoughts like that again…definitely read in next 10 years haha.
    4. People brag too much about this book o.O
    5. If you liked the Disney movie…skip skip skip this book!! I really liked this book but I can’t stand it, I hate all the drama, you’ll have trauma and you won’t enjoy the movie same ever again.
    8. I must read that!
    9&10. I have never really heard of those :O so doubt I will read those.

    1. When I saw your profile picture,I thought it was another WordPress blogger called Anastasia! Haha.
      The Fault in Our Stars got a rating of 4.4 on goodreads for more than 1 million users.People who rated it that high have either read few books in their life or barely read any good book!

      I think I’ll read Ulysses in 20 or 30 years – definitely not now!

      As for Machiavelli’s book,you’re right; people brag much about it.This is so because it is not a very accessible book,so when one has read it entirely,he tends to think he has achieved something big!

      Ok,I’ll skip The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.Besides I had no intention to read it; it is so huge and apparently not straightforward enough.

      Atlas Shrugged? Yeah,and you let me know how it was afterwards! 😉

      Gone Girl is a ”newly” released YA book while Trollope was a prominent author in the Victorian era! So that probably explains why you’ve never heard of them!

      1. 😀 Nope just me XD dangers of changing profile picture haha

        1 million users? Just when I thought nothing would surprise me anymore…mad. I get why the author is called teen whisperer.

        Hmm you can find The Prince in Project Gutenberg, both electronic form and audio. Never got audio books though.

        Good! Do not read The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, the book did save Notre-Dame but at what cost….by traumatizing the reader XD

        Hmm Gone Girls sounds good ^^

  7. From this list I have read Great Expectations, Fault in Our Stars, Around the World in Eighty Days and Atlas Shrugged!
    I would say Atlas Shrugged is a must must read. Fault in Our Stars is good and so is Around the….
    You can skip Great Expectations 🙂 . Just my two cents worth!
    I am reading Gone Girl BTW and I kinda like the way it is written.

    1. Hmm,you’re the first person who tells me Atlast Shrugged is a good book.
      If it is a must-read,I guess I should read it one day!
      Gone Girl is presumably not that bad of a book,so if it’s not that huge,I think I should read it!
      Thanks a lot for commenting! 🙂

      1. I read Atlas Shrugged about 7 years ago and loved it. Dint’t have a blog back then. I do want to read it again for writing a review:) . Just on a separate note..Fountainhead is good one as well..

  8. Good luck to you sir if you read Atlas Shrugged. I meandered through Rand’s Anthem for a book study in school as well as studying all about her nonsense in philosophy class; which is funny I guess because I read somewhere that philosophers alike discredit her (or maybe just a certain class of person, I’ll never know!)

    I’m pretty much in the same state as you with the Faulty fault. I can’t comment on Green as an author having not read anything by him but it was certainly enlightening when a buzzfeed article basically highlighted th fact that Fault = Nicholas Sparks’ A Walk To Remember. Some food for thought if you ever wanted to check it out!

    Joey via. thoughts and afterthoughts

    1. Haha,I read that somewhere too about Ayn Rand.She has a very queer philosophy and you have to be quite ”unique” to take everything she says seriously!
      I neither have read any of Green’s books,but I can already picture in my mind how they are: sympathetic heroine with whom every teen can relate,a pseudo-inspiring quest,a moral,a bittersweet ending,tears and smiles,the end.

  9. What an interesting list. There are more than a few I’d be happy to never read. I do love Dickens though. The Fault in our Stars is very much for a teen audience but does have powerful scenes. Gone Girl was a cleverly structured book but most thrillers do lack a lot in writing style.

    1. I’m not sure about Fault in Our Stars.It seems much overhyped!
      Writing style is what I’m worried about regarding Gone Girl; a friend told me the language is execrable.
      As for Dickens,I don’t feel enticed by his books,although yesterday someone told me to read David Copperfield!

      1. I read The fault in Our Stars without any of the hype and enjoyed it but it won’t be for everyone. Gone Girl is good but read A Secret History by Donna Tart and really preferred it. I’m sure you’ll love Dickens if you give him another chance.

      2. Ok! I’ll keep what you said in mind!

        By the way,while reading Borges,I was thinking that I should tell you about him! You must absolutely have his collection at home! Try buy the translation of Norman di Giovanni!
        His style is a bit similar to Kafka’s,but he is far more complex and his stories are little gems! I’m 100% sure you’ll like them!

  10. There are some of my favourites on this list! Machiavelli’s Prince is a must read. I’ve read it multiple times and get something different from it each time. Possibly because I’m interested in the time Machiavelli lived in and military treatises in general. It’s dry and dense at times but I can’t describe how great it is.

    The Hunchback of Notre Dame, although dense, is worth it. I’d suggested the abridged addition though. I read the unabridged edition and it was a struggle but a great book nonetheless.

    I’m not one to read modern books especially published in the last 20 or so years but Gone Girl is one of those I did read and I absolutely loved it. It does start off slow but when it picks up it’s great. The author has a gift of pulling you into the story and it’s just a fun ride.

    1. Oh,well,I guess I should give Machiavelli a go.Only I don’t know when…

      I didn’t there was an abridged version of Hugo’s novel! Thanks for telling me about it! 😉
      As for Gone Girl,I’ve seen mixed reviews of it.I might read it when I’m heading to uni!

      Thanks for commenting!
      You didn’t blog much for quite a while! It’s a shame because you read many books I’m interested in,and I would have loved to hear your thoughts about them! But I understand you may have other priorities! 🙂

      1. Glad to hear you’ll be giving them a chance!

        There were multiple deaths in my family and life got in the way for a while there so I didn’t feel like reading orr reviewing but I plan on reviewing the books I read from now on.

      2. Oh,I’m very sorry to hear about this! I hope you’re fine now! 🙂
        I’ll be looking forward to reading your future posts!

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