I hope I find you well and being generally fabulous, because there truly is no other way to be. I’ve got a great topic for you this week, I can’t wait to make the list and confront my fears. It’s going to be like a therapy session, but with myself. I hope you like it because right now I really should be writing those final essays . . . but you know, *awkward laugh*. Ahem: ONWARDS.
This week’s theme is:
Books On My TBR That Scare Me
In celebration of Halloween, which is just under a week away now, it was a Halloween freebie prompt so here we are. I’m not a very big horror reader myself – I literally could not think of 10 scary books I’ve read – so instead we’re going to talk about books that I haven’t read yet because I’m scared they’re going to take me forever to read. You know, those books.
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over @ The Broke and the Bookish and each week there’s a different theme that we get to make a list about featuring ten related books. It’s so much fun and the topics are always great! It’s also a fabulous way to learn more about people’s reading adventures and I recommend heading over to the official page to do some exploring through the link up.
by Laura Hillenbrand
On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared. Only one crew member survived: a young lieutenant named Louis Zamperini. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War, as Zamperini is driven to the limits of endurance.
This is actually a book that I am so eager to read. The reason I haven’t read it is because it’s relatively hefty and historical non-fiction, which is usually a recipe for TENYEARSLATER. Since the movie came out last year (or what it earlier this year?) I’ve been really intrigued as to what this story actually is. I’ve banned myself from watching it until I’ve read it and seeing as this was a gift I’m absolutely DETERMINED to get to it in the next few months.
In the Heart of the Sea
by Nathaniel Philbrick
In 1820, the 240-ton Essex set sail from Nantucket on a routine voyage for whales. Fifteen months later, in the farthest reaches of the South Pacific, it was rammed and sunk by an 80-ton bull sperm whale. Its twenty-man crew made for the 3,000-mile-distant coast of South America in three tiny boats. During ninety days at sea under horrendous conditions, the survivors clung to life as one by one, they succumbed to hunger, thirst, disease, and fear.Philbrick interweaves his account of this extraordinary ordeal of ordinary men with a wealth of detail from archival and modern sources, including a long-lost account by the ship’s cabin boy.
This has almost an identical back-story to Unbroken. Another present gifted to me that I’ve gone to start several times, only to have my hand divert to fantasy at the last moment. I feel like for a good portion of this year I’ve just not been in the historical fiction mood, BUT I AM NOW. Ooh, boy am I.
by Guy Gavriel Kay
Eight of the nine provinces of the Peninsula of the Palm, on a world with two moons, have fallen to the warrior sorcerers Brandin of Ygrath and Alberico of Barbadior.
Brandin’s younger son is slain in a battle with the principality of Tigana, which the grief-stricken sorcerer then destroys. After sweeping down and destroying the remnants of their army, burning their books and destroying their architecture and statuary, he makes it so that no one not born in that province can even hear its name.
Years later, a small band of survivors, led by Alessan, last prince of Tigana’s royal house, wages psychological warfare, planting seeds for the overthrow of the two tyrants. At the center of these activities are Devin, a gifted young singer; Catriana, a young woman pursued by suspicions of her family’s guilt; and Duke Sandre d’Astibar, a wily resistance leader thought dead.
Meanwhile, at Brandin’s court, Dianora, his favorite concubine and–unknown to anyone, another survivor of Tigana–struggles between her growing love for the often gentle tyrant and her desire for vengeance. Gradually the scene is set for both conquerors to destroy each other and free a land.
Yet again, this was a present to my good self a few years back but good lord, it’s huge. Truth be told, I’m not 100% convinced it’ll actually be that slow a read, I think I’m more intimidated by its size. But my plan is that if I mention it enough here on my blog then eventually I’ll successfully guilt trip myself into reading it. #Logic.
by Leo Tolstoy
In a novel of unparalleled richness and complexity, set against the backdrop of Russian high society, Tolstoy charts the course of the doomed love affair between Anna, a beautiful married woman, and Count Vronsky, a wealthy army officer who pursues Anna after becoming infatuated with her at a ball. Although she initially resists his charms Anna eventually succumbs, falling passionately in love and setting in motion a chain of events that lead to her downfall. In this extraordinary novel, Tolstoy seamlessly weaves together the lives of dozens of characters, while evoking a love so strong that those who experience it are prepared to die for it.
This is a classic example of this situation – hardy har har! Ahem. I had slowly built up the motivation to put aside potentially an entire decade to read this book (it’s over 800 pages) once upon a time but then I watched the movie and just went NOPE. I didn’t like the movie. I didn’t really get the movie. Truth be told, if you asked me to tell you what the story is about, I have no idea. So I’ve been somewhat discouraged from reading this but I do intend to amend that . . . soon.
Travelling to Infinity
by Jane Hawkins
Professor Stephen Hawking is one of the most famous and remarkable scientists of our age and the author of the scientific bestseller A Brief History of Time, which has sold more than 25 million copies. In this compelling memoir, his first wife, Jane Hawking, relates the inside story of their extraordinary marriage. As Stephen’s academic renown soared, his body was collapsing under the assaults of a motor neuron disease. Jane’s candid account of trying to balance his 24-hour care with the needs of their growing family reveals the inner strength of the author, while the self-evident character and achievements of her husband make for an incredible tale presented with unflinching honesty.
Jane’s candor is no less apparent when the marriage finally ends in a high-profile meltdown, with Stephen leaving Jane for one of his nurses and Jane marrying an old family friend. In this exceptionally open, moving, and often funny memoir, Jane Hawking confronts not only the acutely complicated and painful dilemmas of her first marriage, but also the relationship’s fault lines exposed by the pervasive effects of fame and wealth. The result is a book about optimism, love, and change that will resonate with readers everywhere.
This is the book that The Theory of Everything, starring the gorgeous Eddie Redmayne, was based off of. I actually won a copy of both the book and the movie from Bloomsbury which was pretty spectacular but omg I’m so scared of how long this book is going to take me to read. You’ll probably find me in a chair, as a skeleton, with a copy of the book in my hands.
by Elizabeth Kostova
To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath my history…
Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to ‘My dear and unfortunate successor’. Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of – a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history.
I have heard so many good things about this book. When I first found it, in a second hand stall, I thought: yeah, cool, I’d like this. I then found out that it’s an incredibly famous historical fiction book and THEN my Mum read it and apparently it has vampires. So on top of it being long (and one of those terrifyingly huge editions height-wise) I now really don’t know what to think of this. It scares me.
The Three Musketeers
by Alexandre Dumas
A young Gascon gentleman, D’Artagnan, arrives in Paris determined to join the infamous King’s guards and is soon befriended by the band of musketeers, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, famed for their impressive swordplay and fearless spirit. With the treacherous Cardinal Richelieu and his seductive spy, Milady, weaving a web of deceit and royal intrigue, the friends are soon drawn into an evil plot. To defend the Queen’s honor and protect the King they must discover the truth, encountering stolen diamonds, Louis XIII, love, murder, and vengeance along the way. A swashbuckling tale of chivalry, romance, daring rooftop duels, and most of all, adventure.
I don’t think I can bring myself to pronounce Dumas’ name right (it’s meant to be Doo-mah, right? WELL). This was another gift from a while back from my Dad and I super duper want to read it. But it’s quite big and technically a classic so the alarm bells have sounded and my brain looks at this book and goes OH THE TIME COMMITMENT. And then faints.
The Time Traveller’s Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
The Time Traveler’s Wife is the story of Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity in his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.
The Time Traveler’s Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare’s marriage and their passionate love for each other as the story unfolds from both points of view. Clare and Henry attempt to live normal lives, pursuing familiar goals–steady jobs, good friends, children of their own. All of this is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control, making their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.
I have a tendency to forget that I own this book, actually. But I never feel inclined to pick it up for two reasons:
- It’s big. Big AS. Many pages.
- I’ve heard bad things?
I seriously thought this book was generally accepted as awesome, but I seem to have nothing but bad things lately. It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence DESPITE “time travel” being in the title. I. KNOW.
The Lord of the Rings
by J. R. R. Tolkein
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.
From Sauron’s fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion.
When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.
The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.
I really shouldn’t put off read this trilogy. I loved the Hobbit and I’m a big fan of heavily based world building books. But most people seem to pick up these books and get bogged down in a swamp of despair and WILL-IT-EVER-END and that has left me semi-terrified about reading the whole thing, *clutches movie*.
A Thousand Splendid Suns
by Khaled Hosseini
Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed. Nearly two decades later, a friendship grows between Mariam and a local teenager, Laila, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. When the Taliban take over, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. Yet love can move people to act in unexpected ways, and lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with startling heroism.
I should have read this by now. IT IS A SIN THAT I HAVE NOT. I feel like every Tom, Dick and Harry has read this book at least 10 years ago now and I’m getting all the judgey eyes when I have to scamper away after saying I haven’t read it. Sigh. I just have no idea what this book is about (I know I could read the blurb but where’s the fun in that?) and I get the feeling that this is a slow burner.
What’s a book that scares the willies out of you?
I’m sure I’ll end up racing through half of these in a few seconds flat when I finally get to them, but the fear is real guys. The fear is real.
Share your thoughts below!