TOP TEN TUESDAY: Ten books I feel pressured to read (and probably never will)

(Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish!)

After seeing this article on The Guardian earlier this week, classics have really been playing on my mind. I’m a book blogger and I work in a library, so oftentimes people assume I’ve read literally everything (spoiler alert: I haven’t YET) so they’ll ask me what I thought about a book, and when I say I haven’t read it – awkward silence complete with tumbleweeds.

Never ending tumbleweeds…
So anyway, because this is the freebie week on Top Ten Tuesday, I thought it was the perfect time for me to talk about the ten books I feel constantly pressured to read – not necessarily classics, but definitely well-known books – and why I’m probably never going to read them, so you should STOP ASKING! 

10) ‘The Luminaries’ by Eleanor Catton

I bought ‘The Luminaries’ and I was so excited about it – I can’t even remember why now! – but it’s just so long. Beautiful, though, and with a wonderful concept. It also seems to be one of the only Man Booker winners that really retained its popularity. 
9) ‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding
A group of young children get stranded on an island, start worshipping a rock and end up beating someone to death with it. Or, at least, that’s what I can gather happens based on the things I’ve heard. I don’t think the book can be as exciting as I’m imagining, so I’m leaving ‘Lord of the Flies’ alone so that I can’t be disappointed. 
8) ‘Crime and Punishment’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

If I want to read about ‘Crime and Punishment’, I can read any of the recent crime books or legal thrillers being published. They normally have really snappy, attention-grabbing titles, too: I mean the name of this one must give away the entire plot, if there’s a crime and then a punishment. 
7) ’50 Shades of Grey’ by E. L. James

First of all erotica = not my thing. Second of all, little old ladies recommending it to you = shudder, shudder, I think I want to die right now. 
6) ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen
“You must have read ‘Pride and Prejudice’, of course… Oh, you haven’t? So, you uneducated peasant, what Austen have you read? Three quarters of ‘Emma’? My dear, that doesn’t really count.” 
Yes, me, I understand that three quarters of ‘Emma’ doesn’t really count as reading an Austen novel, but I couldn’t claw my way any further into it. You’re talking to the girl who groans with boredom just through the adverts of ‘Downton Abbey’ – you really think I can deal with this shit in book form?! 
5) ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn
I was really interested in ‘Gone Girl’ before all of the furore surrounding it a couple of years ago. Since then I couldn’t really give a damn. I know, blasphemous, right?! But it just seems to be that it’s a book about relationship drama that’s veiled as a thriller – doesn’t sound so thrilling to me. 
4) ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee
Everyone says that you need to read ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ in your life, but it has never appealed to me. I can’t say why: I’ve picked it up a few times and read the first few pages, but then I start to yawn and promptly fall in to a very deep sleep. Not that I’m blaming the book for that, though… 
3) ‘Wolf Hall’ by Hilary Mantel
Well, any Mantel book, really. Just because you’re a Man Booker Prize-winning author, doesn’t mean I have time to read a book that’s the size equivalent of three bricks stuck together. 

2) ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’ by Douglas Adams

Don’t get me wrong, this book looks like it will be a lot of fun, and it’s only really short – I could read it in a day! I just don’t have the inclination to. I’m not sure why: I like space, I really do. I just don’t think I like space enough. 

1) ‘Interview With A Vampire’ by Anne Rice

“Alyce, you like vampire books, have you read this one? No? But you’ve seen the movie right? No? Why not! It has vampires, see! VAMPIRES!”
I would have read ‘Interview With A Vampire’ about six years ago, if I was going to. I bought it, I was all prepared to read it, but something stopped me. Now I struggle with vampire books (well, for the most part) and this is one that I just can’t see myself getting around to. 
The same can be applied to the Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood series of books by Charlaine Harris, and the Argeneau Vampire series by Lynsay Sands. 

Phew! That felt like a never ending list, filled to the brim with never ending tumbleweeds.
If any of you still feel like talking to me after seeing all of those books that I haven’t read, why don’t you comment down below with some of the books you’re never going to read? I promise I won’t judge you! (Okay, maybe just a little).
Also, if you’ve read any of these books, would you recommend them and why? You just might change my mind and make me reconsider one of these little guys.

  • I have almost bought The Luminaries so many times and then thought "this book is too long. I can't even carry it." Even when it was about 80p on Kindle I still didn't fancy it. I have the same problem as you with people assuming I've read everything because I'm bookish and an English teacher. I always want to give them a list of everything I have read to prove I am not a fraud.

    • Oh gosh, I can imagine that being an English teacher brings all sorts of reading pressures!

  • Eve

    I like your freebie pick. Never let someone pressure you into reading something you don't want to read, sure recommend something, but if you have no interest then don't read it! I enjoyed Fifty Shades against my previous thoughts, but I suffered through To Kill A Mockingbird in school as required reading and while I would like to read an Austen novel at some point I don't know, might give it a try see if I like it at all since I did enjoy the movie some. Good luck with books you do want to read! My Top Ten

    • Thank you! I'm trying to feel less AH WHAT DO I DO about all the books I get recommended – I am only a human, and I'm sure people don't really expect me to be able to read every single book before I die.
      I hope you enjoy Austen when you decide to try!

  • The nice thing about being a grownup is that we can read what we want!

    http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2016/01/ten-childrens-books-that-celebrate.html

    • It's a nice thing, but it also gives way too much freedom! I almost miss being forced to drag my way through extremely stale plays from 1700…

  • Agree with the hype around Pride and Prejudice and To Kill A Mockingbird as I do want to read them but there is a lot of pressure around. Maybe I will get to them this year. Also great idea for this week's topic.
    If you are interested my TTT is here: http://powisamy.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/top-ten-tuesday-ten-ukya-books.html

    • See, I'd planned to read 'To Kill A Mockingbird' before 'Go Set A Watchman' was released, but then I heard really awful things regarding the follow-up so I just put the entire thing on hold… Maybe I'll trudge through it for myself, one day.

  • With most of these I would say you aren't missing much. But you really should give Pride and Prejudice and To Kill a Mockingbird a try. No pressure though. 😉

    • At least it doesn't seem like I'm missing out on the other eight – I'm not doing as badly as I first thought! 😛

  • This is the best list so far! I love it!
    Following your blog, lass!
    My TTT.

    • Thank you so much! 🙂

  • Lord of The Flies sucks, definitely a good choice not to read it!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/26/top-ten-tuesday-41/

    • That makes me feel a lot better about my procrastination!

  • I was an English major, worked in a library for 9 years, and am now an English teacher, so I SO feel you on the pressure. People assume I've read all of the classics–and while I've read my fair share–those aren't the types of books I pick up to read before bed (I do love P&P though, lol). I haven't read Fifty Shades and never will. And has anybody read Crime & Punishment? Great list!

    • Damn, you really do have the most pressure – I bow down! On the one hand I don't want to read Fifty Shades, it's just a matter of principle, but I also want to read them so that I can make my mind up for myself exactly how terrible they are. Crime and Punishment is definitely a no, though 😛

  • I absolutely love this post. I love P&P, but Lord of the Flies was a definite no for me. My TTT

    • It seems quite a few people liked P+P – I might need to change my mind and pick it up!

  • I think itʻs so funny when people are shocked that I havenʻt read certain, popular books. As they say, so many books, so little time and I donʻt want to waste my time reading books that bore me to death!

    I read the first chapter of Fifty Shades of Grey and I couldnʻt bring myself to go any further. The whole premise wasnʻt for me at all, but the writing made me absolutely sure that I would never pick those books up. Iʻve tried reading P+P many times but just canʻt get into it. Itʻs ok, though…it gives me more time to read books that I actually want to read!