Monday, September 9, 2019

TTT: To Be Read or To Be Avoided?

 TTT is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl .  If you want to quadruple the size of your TBR AND find a bunch of great book blogs to follow head on over and check it out!

The topic this week is: Books On My TBR I’m Avoiding Reading and Why

I'm feeling kind of called out here. There are so many books I keep meaning to read, but even when I have the chance, I pick up something else.

Some examples:

1. Night

Night (The Night Trilogy, #1)

This was the first book I thought of for this topic. Years ago, a friend was shocked to learn I hadn't read this and loaned me her copy. I STILL HAVE IT. Unread. Well, I tried once, and got a few chapters in, and it was engrossing and well written, but then I chickened out again. It's not like it would take a long time to read. It's not like it would force me to know about atrocities I don't already know about. But it's just really hard to read a first person account of the Holocaust. 

2. A Long Walk to Water

A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story

Seventh graders at the school I work at have read this basically every year since it came out in their world studies class. I have not. What is wrong with me? It sounds serious, and like it has great potential to be either boring or depressing. I've never heard a seventh grader complain about it (and they WOULD!), so I'm pretty sure it's really good...but what if it isn't?

3. Bad Feminist
Bad Feminist

Gay is an influential writer and thinker, but all I've read of her work are occasional magazine essays. I feel like I should read this book--and that "should" is probably why I haven't.

4. Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1)

I like Diana Wyn Jones. I know this is one of those titles where there is serious debate about the book vs. movie (which I haven't seen either). It wouldn't take long to read. It's on the shelf in my classroom library. So why haven't I read it? I think it might be some subconscious fear of anime, which is what I associate the movie with.

5. Becoming

Is it going to let me down? Is it going to be all celebrity-biography or self-helpy? Will it be one of those reads that makes me feel good in the moment, but then later I'll realize there actually wasn't much of substance there, just well phrased clichés? I don't want my Michelle Obama bubble burst.

6. The Forgetting
The Forgetting (The Forgetting, #1)

This is supposed to be so good! The premise sounds amazing! People whose taste I trust highly recommend it! But that cover--it just LOOKS like a book I won't like. I can't even analyze why. 

7. A Feast for Crows
A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4)

I read the first three Game of Thrones books (I know, I know, they're actually the Song of Ice and Fire books, but pop culture has decided otherwise) over two summers. They're too long to tackle during the school year, but then waiting nine months means I feel like I've forgotten too much to keep going. 

8. Amina's Voice
Amina's Voice

This middle grade novel has won all sorts of accolades and was featured as a Global Read Aloud selection last year. I really should read it. It's timely, #ownvoices, and beloved. But it just looks like a message book to me, and since childhood I've strongly resisted reading those. The trouble is, about 1/3 of them turn out to actually be as good as people say they are, and then I end up kicking myself for waiting so long. 

9. The Forest for the Trees
The Forest for the Trees

My in-laws gave me this one birthday, which was so thoughtful of them. It looks really interesting. But I am still, fifty years into this life, waffling about whether or not to really try to write. So I read books with plots instead.

10. The Unreal and the Real

The Unreal and the Real: The Selected Short Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin

I claim Ursula K. Le Guin as my overall favorite author, and I have certainly read many of her books. I was so amazed when I saw this giant book with its gorgeous NW cover, and the next time someone gave me a gift card for books, this is what it went to. It has sat on my shelf, unread, ever since. It's just...really big. Like, it looks like it will be kind of uncomfortable to hold. 

I could go on and on, but thankfully, we only have to wade through ten of these. Will I ever read any of these? Or will they always be books I hope to get to someday? 


  1. Yep, I’m avoiding some of these, too. Night was assigned reading in high school, but I didn’t read it because I was feeling rebellious. I was determined to finish the GoT series this year, but they’re so long that it’s not going to happen. I have read The Forgetting! It was okay.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. Night was a book I remember my students actually talking about. It's very powerful, from what I heard. I have not read it either. Sad books are even sadder, when the stuff in them really happened.

  3. I understand exactly what you mean by message-y. Don’t tell me how to think, authors. I really, really wanted to read the M. Obama book, but I am just not a fan of autobiographies (in contrast to memoirs, which I love...don’t ask me to tell the difference.)

    I definitely think you should be writing. NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. If that’s too soon and November is too busy, maybe next summer. Time’s a wastin’.

  4. I'm very slowly making my way through Becoming and it's excellent. It's not a celebrity bio or self-help book at all.

    My TTT.

  5. Bad Feminist is excellent on audiobook. :)

    Lauren @ Always Me

  6. I had a thought. Maybe you could do a read aloud one day in your classroom of Books I’ve Been Avoiding...Which Should I Read? Read aloud a bit of each, maybe. Which books have your students been avoiding? Why? Offer them the chance to choose one of their Most Avoided Books. Reflect together on the reading.

    Had to share. You probably already do something like this. Yours is such a lovely active classroom.

  7. If the 7th graders aren't complaining about A Long Walk to Water, that's a pretty good endorsement of a "serious" book. And you know I adore The Forgetting. I just finished listening to Becoming, and was very pleased---I suppose it depends on what you want from this type of biography (I enjoyed hearing about her childhood, etc). Amina's Voice is one I honestly wasn't that crazy about, though. I mean, I didn't dislike it (at all), but I was just sort of underwhelmed. I didn't actually realize it had won a bunch of awards until you said it just now. It was the type of book I wanted to love based on the representation and the concept, but I never really connected to all that much. Maybe it will be different for you, though! (Since, obviously, lots of people disagree with me.)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  8. The Forgetting was good, I definitely endorse (and if it helps, the cover does NOT fit the story, IMO). I feel the same with Becoming. I want to read it but... I'm scared! Amina's Voice looks really cute, I think I'd try that one!

  9. I've only read Night, but it was so worth while. It IS short but it has a huge impact.


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