Five Books I’m on the Fence About

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I think we all have those books. The ones you’re kind of interested in, but aren’t sure if you actually want to read. Recently, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about these books – there are more than a few sitting on my shelves – and whether or not I should keep them on my someday TBR, or just accept that I’m not going to read them. Here are five books I’ve been thinking about a lot lately (maybe you can convince me to read them – or not):

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I read and generally enjoyed The Secret History by Donna Tartt last year. And I have been trying to read all of the (at least recent) Pulitzer Fiction winners. But I’m not convinced that I will enjoy this one. I’ll probably read it eventually, but it might be a few years.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. I loved The Fault in Our Stars when I read it a few years ago, and did enjoy Paper Towns, too. (Enough to go out and buy the entire John Green library.) But I think I’ve kind of grown out of his books. I’m not really into these types of teenage characters, so I’m not sure I would enjoy this book. But I am intrigued. Mostly because I adore Yurtle the Turtle

Under the Dome by Stephen King. I watched the first season of the TV adaptation a few years go, and immediately went out and bought this book. Since then, my interest has waned a little bit, and I’m not feeling very inclined to pick it up. The fact that it’s ginormous does not help.

Replica by Lauren Oliver. I was pretty excited about this, both because the story sounded interesting and because the format looks really fun and original. I even picked up a signed copy at Target a while back. Since then, my interest has definitely declined, and lately I’ve been hearing a lot about this book’s negative fat rep, which I’m really not into.

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. Don’t get me wrong, this book sounds really interesting and looks like it could be a fun read. But I did my undergraduate thesis on Jack the Ripper, and I’m kind of worried my inner history nerd will ruin this for me. I’ll probably end up giving it a shot anyway.

Have you read any of these books? Are there any I definitely need to read? Any you didn’t like? And, are there any books you’re on the fence about reading? Let me know in the comments!

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27 thoughts on “Five Books I’m on the Fence About

  1. I feel exactly the same about Turtles All The Way Down! I was kind of adamant before it came out that I wasn’t going to read it because I just feel like I would not no longer enjoy John Green’s books like I did five plus years ago, but now everyone is talking about how amazing it is and I cannot decide whether or not I should give it a go! There are so many other books I think I would prefer to get to but I don’t want to miss out on what could be an amazing book!

    Also, as much as you may pick out the details of Stalking Jack the Ripper, I would still give it a go because it’s such a good and intriguing book outside of the historical facts! I know what you mean though, I did my Bachelors degree in History so I can totally relate to feeling like enjoyment is sucked from things when they’re trying to be historically accurate but aren’t!

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    1. Exactly! I wasn’t planning on reading it at all, but I keep seeing it everywhere.

      Out of all the books on this list, Stalking Jack the Ripper is the one I’m most likely to pick up, so it’ll probably happen at some point. Glad to hear it’s good! (And yes, being a history major ruins so many things. Though, to be fair, my masters in English has ruined more.)

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  2. I’ve read The Goldfinch and it was a masterpiece. I’d suggest not missing it and picking it up 😊 I’ve wanted to read The Secret History for a long time too!
    As for Turtles All the Way Down, I recently read and reviewed it. In my opinion, it’s nothing special and a typical John Green book, except for the brilliant OCD and anxiety representation.

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    1. Ok, I think I’m convinced. SO many people have commented about The Goldfinch, so I think I have to do it. Eventually. I think I need to be in the mood for that one.

      And I think you helped make my mind up about Turtles – I don’t think I’ll enjoy it as much as I’d want to.

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  3. I love The Goldfinch! Is there a particular reason you don’t think you’ll enjoy it? As for Under the Dome, I too was hesitant about starting it because of its colossal size, but I’m glad I did (and glad I finished it) because it’s quite a rich story – better than the TV adaption, in my opinion.
    A book that I’ve been on the fence about is The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel. As a Mainer, I have many opinions about this hermit and from what I know about the book, it seems like Michael Finkel just needed a real-life example of minimal and resourceful living to support his already formed opinions, and didn’t really care about what the hermit was doing (breaking and entering, stealing). Additionally, Finkel lost his job at the NYTimes because of dishonest reporting, so that makes me a little more wary of reading him.

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    1. Glad to hear you love The Goldfinch so much. For me, it just felt like a book I should read, but might not enjoy all that much. I also didn’t love The Secret History as much as everyone else seems to, so I’m hesitant to pick up another Tartt book. But I think I’m sold, and will probably end up reading it eventually.

      I might have to give Under the Dome a shot, too. Thanks!

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  4. I’m on the fence about Turtles All the Way Down, too. John Green’s books have been pretty hit or miss for me. I’ve read three and didn’t hate any of them, but only really enjoyed one. But I’m always looking for more books that talk about mental health, so I’m definitely intrigued, especially since it’s actually based on his experiences.

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    1. Exactly. I’m curious about of the mental health rep, but I don’t know if it’s enough to make me read it. Maybe if I’m in the mood to fly through a book, I’ll see if the library has an e-copy. Maybe.

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    1. I think I’m pretty sold on it now. (This post served it’s purpose.) I’ve gotten more comments about The Goldfinch than anything else, so it’s staying on my TBR. I’m going to wait until I’m in the mood for it, though, because I want to enjoy it. Thanks!

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  5. I always wanted to read Under the Dome, I did start it a year ago and then did the mistake of checking out the tv show on Wikipedia – opps. Afterwards I knew more than I wanted.

    Stalking Jack the Ripper is on my tbr list. The reviews so far have been awesome!!!! But I can see where you are coming from, we can only hope the author did her research. 😉

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    1. Exactly. Hopefully she did, and I’ll enjoy the book. I think I do ultimately want to read it.

      And that’s where I’m at with Under the Dome, too. I might wait a few more years so I remember less about it.

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  6. While I read The Secret History years ago, I was intrigued by Goldfinch. However, I hesitate because it’s been so long since I remember her writing and I’m not always in the book for a really good thought provoking literary novel. We’ll see though 🙂

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  7. I loved the Goldfinch but it’s definitely a bit of a tough read. You have to be able to devote a lot of time to it and there’s two parts that just DRAG ON. But I still really enjoyed it and definitely recommend it!

    I’m the same about Turtles All the Way Down. I’ve read all of John Green’s books, so I’ll probably read it (and a family friend bought it for me, so I have a copy now) but I’m not sure how much I’ll enjoy it. His books are totally hit or miss for me, so I guess we’ll see!

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    1. I think I’ve decided to read it (eventually), but I’ll definitely need to be in the mood for it.

      I think if I had a copy of Turtles, I’d probably read it. But I don’t think I’d get it for myself. Let me know what you think of it, though!

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  8. I have been sitting on the fence with so many new releases from authors I love, because early reviews have been less than glowing. I don’t normally let the reviews sway me so much, but it’s more of who they are coming from and the things they are saying. I did not rush out and buy Turtles, though I was eagerly awaiting it, and I am sort of glad, because most reviews have been meh. I will borrow from my library at some point. I actually really liked Replica. It was the second book that I didn’t see as necessary, per se. Not bad, it just could have been a couple of extra chapters in the first book to accomplish the things she did in that book.

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    1. I think I’m leaning towards reading The Goldfinch (eventually), but not Turtles. I’m just not excited about it. And I don’t usually like long audiobooks, especially when the story seems like it could be slow.

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