Top Ten Tuesday: Intimidating Books


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Today’s post features books that I’ve been intimidated to read even though many of my friends and reviewers have loved them.  I don’t know if all of these books have been loved by many, but many of them have received awards and starred reviews.

The Printz Books:

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein–I can only think of one person who wasn’t a huge fan of this book; everyone else I’ve spoken with has raved about it. I can’t explain why I’m scared to try reading it.  I’ve had it on my Kindle for over a year, and I have two copies of it in my classroom.

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly–I listened to the audio for Revolution, and while the audio was great, I really didn’t like the story. I want to read as many Printz books as I can, especially considering it’s part of the summer homework assignment for my honors sophomores, but I’m scared to try another one of her books.

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey–Horror isn’t really for me, unless it’s Anna Dressed in Blood because that book is flat out great.  I sampled the audio for this book, and it sounded pretty good, so I might try it that way.  Maybe even around Halloween!

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta–Sigh. I’ve tried reading this and listening to the audio and neither worked for me.  But I REALLY want to love this because SO MANY of my friends have raved about it.  What should I do??

So Many Series Books:

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand–I’ve tried reading this a couple times and I can’t stick with it.  My mom has read the entire series and loved it.  My students have read these books and loved them.  My close friends have read this series and loved it.  Should I give it another shot?

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore–I absolutely loved Graceling; I flew right through it. I tried reading Fire THREE times and couldn’t finish it.  I’m scared to try Bitterblue because I’ll be really sad if I don’t like it.  And it’s super long.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman–I sat down and tried reading this a few months ago and I couldn’t pay attention.  It’s really dense, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it, but I’m hesitant to try it again.  I really should buckle down and do it this summer.

Historical Books:

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman–I own a copy of this, and I have it sitting on my shelf right now.  The summary sounds really intriguing.  Maybe it’s the size of the book, or maybe it’s the historical part of it, but I’m simply intimidated by it.

Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin–I have a copy of this in my classroom library thanks to a Donors Choose project, and one of my seniors grabbed it right away to read.  He’s a huge historical non-fiction buff, and he absolutely loved it.  This book has FOUR medals on it, yet I’m hesitant to read it mostly because I don’t like non-fiction.  It’s hard to admit that, but I really don’t like non-fiction, although I do enjoy memoirs.

Hits too Close to Home:

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult–I’ve read and enjoyed a few of Jodi Picoult’s books.  I tried reading My Sister’s Keeper when I was in college, but I couldn’t get past the first 100 pages.  My dad had leukemia (thankfully he’s been cancer-free for years) a couple years before I tried reading this.  I couldn’t do it.  I kept crying and crying and finally decided to eat the money I spent on the book and put it away.  It’s hugely popular in my classroom and my students want to talk about it with me whenever they finish.  I haven’t see the movie, but I know what happens in both the book and the movie, so I can at least discuss a little bit with them.  I always tell them why I haven’t read it, but I don’t want to not talk to them about it either.

My Sister's Keeper


  1. Code Name Verity didn’t work for me. I understand what an amazing story it is and what an important story it is, but I didn’t love it the way others did. In fact, I remained completely void of emotion through the whole story – and I’m usually a crier.

    Don’t be intimidated by Bomb. It is AMAZING!!!!!! I struggle with nonfiction too but Bomb does not read like nonfiction, it reads like a spy novel. I have no doubt you will like it. Read Steve’s “Confessions of a Textbook Writer” and I guarantee you’ll want to read Bomb. 🙂

    • Mrs. Andersen says:

      I like the idea of it being like a spy novel! No one has described it like that before. Thanks, Beth 🙂

  2. I loved Graceling, and didn’t love Fire. But I thought Bitterblue was the best of the three! I’m also. Timid aged by Seraphina. Started it once but didn’t get into it.

  3. I’d definitely give Unearthly another shot. I loved it! I’ve heard a lot about Code Name Verity too.

  4. Very honest list here! I appreciated Code Name Verity but did not love it. I gave it to my husband to read who tends to whip through books once he sits down to read, but he has not finished it. He started months ago. I would give Bitterblue a chance – I thought it was an excellent read and better than Fire. 🙂 And oh – My Sister’s Keeper – I know how you feel about the books that hit too close to home. It’s not worth the emtional turmoil. 🙂

  5. I really loved the Graceling series, and though Bitterblue was ginormous, I thought it was a pretty easy read 😀 I’ve read My Sister’s Keeper too, honestly the only Jodi Picoult I’ve read, and I loved it too 🙂 But I understand why you’d feel that way about it. This is a great list though! 🙂

    • Mrs. Andersen says:

      I felt like Graceling was a pretty easy read too despite being so long. I’ll probably cave and read it this summer 🙂

  6. I loved Unearthly. I have been meaning to read Code Name Verity & Jellicoe Road but have yet to give them a try.

    Here’s my Top Ten

  7. I have tried several times with Jellicoe too, it just doesn’t work for me. I started Verity twice before I switched to the audio and fell in love with it. The audio for Seraphina is excellent,and I loved Bitterblue. It really is a quick read even with the high page count. I didn’t ever finish Fire but Bitterblue did make me want to add it back into my TBR pile. I agree with the other poster that Bomb reads like a soy novel, very intriguing and I loved it. Just finished The Book of Blood and Shadow today! Great mystery, very much reminded me of a cross between Indiana Jones and The Da Vinci Code. Great list! Makes me think about what I would put on my list.

  8. Catching up on emails and had to comment that I love this post. I have a list just like this and I always feel terrible about itI (The Kiterunner is at the top of my list–why, no idea.) It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. 🙂

    • Mrs. Andersen says:

      I’ve thought about reading The Kite Runner, but it’s never been high on my list or my radar. I’m not really sure why.

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