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Books that intimidate. That is the topic of  The Broke and the Bookish Top Ten Tuesday for this week. It had me thinking for a bit… And then had me facing an uncomfortable truth.

Size of a book? Not a problem, although big books and I do have commitment issues (Edward Rutherford’s New York is case in point – at 860 pages in the world’s tiniest font I’m not sure I have the stamina).

Topic? I can’t think of a topic that intimidates me as such, although there are some things that I have simply no interest in reading about.

Here’s the thing. I’m an absolute book pusher (that’s the uncomfortable truth bit). Ask anyone who’s told me they’ve never read any John Irving. And so to the intimidating bit – books that are favourites of friends/bloggers, whose taste in reading matter I trust.

When someone says that I must read a particular book I automatically get nervous – what if I don’t like it? And yet I’m always pressing books on others. So, it’s time to man up. I either read all of the books on the list below (the favourites of friends and other bloggers, you know who you are) or I stop pressing books that I love on other people. Fair’s fair and all that.

1. Empire Falls by Richard Russo

2. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

3. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

4. The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis

5. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

6. Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

7. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

8. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

9. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts (although at 930 pages, I’d probably have a commitment issue anyway)

10. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

22 responses

  1. lol, you think that the font size would be regular if it’s going to span some 900+ pages (I loved Rutherfurd’s Paris but the font size was brutal for that massive book–and my eReader was acting all funny with the pdf format they used =/) xD

    I guess I am a bit of a book pusher too, though the normal recipient of my book recommendations IRL is my brother, lol (who doesn’t read at the same frequency as I do xP)

    Loved 5, 8 & 10 — never finished 1 (was due back to the library), I should get around to it one of these days…

    My TTT

  2. I’m not worried you won’t like 1 and 6, I have complete confidence you’ll love them. They may not be your favorite and best, but you’ll enjoy them.

    Am I inspiring confidence? You need not give up your book pushing tendencies yet (though I DNF Goon Squad).

    The Book Thief made my list for the very same reasons.

  3. I struggled with Empire Falls (finished, didn’t like), A Visit from the Goon Squad (finished, didn’t like), and Bel Canto (didn’t finish, didn’t like). BUT, Madame Bovary was some screwy wonderfulness. I read it with a friend and we had a great time bashing Emma Bovary.

    • I’ve heard such mixed things about Goon Squad – the friend that loves it is quite sure that I will also love it because of the unconventional use of Powerpoint in it… Time will tell! I did really like Egan’s twitter fiction published last year, title ‘Black Box’ – thought it was very clever.

  4. I go through the same stress! Not liking a book after someone loved it and recommended it to you is one of my worst nightmares. I always feel so guilty. Empire Falls totally made it on my list too… I actually have yet to read anything by Russo but Rory is constantly pushing him. hahaha

  5. Ooh I’ve read Bel Canto! It’s great but the last chapter/epilogue type thing is a mess. It should’ve been left out!

    A Visit From The Goon Squad definitely intimidates me too!

  6. *nods* I have the exact same issue when someone pushes something on me, there’s that ‘but you love it, what if i don’t’ – I also get my back up when people KEEP insisting I read something, I kinda have a knee-jerk hackles up reaction of ‘stop it already’ and kinda don’t read it on principle!

  7. Pingback: Book Q & A | booksaremyfavouriteandbest

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