Top Ten Tuesday: Books that scared me (but I read them anyways)

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) asks us to share books we enjoyed that were out of our comfort zones. Specifically, I’m going to list ten books that scared me but that I read anyways. In this post, I take a loose approach to the definition of “scare.” In no particular order:

The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

This book was on my shelf for years before I finally read it. I LOVE The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and I knew that The Silmarillion would be very different from those other Tolkien books that I adored. I guess I was scared that I wouldn’t like this one? And also that I would get lost in a sea of characters and places and times? (The second one definitely ended up being true…)

My review

The Stand by Stephen King

I was scared of reading this tome for several reasons: 1) it’s HUGE 2) it’s about the end of the world, which I generally do not enjoy reading about and 3) it’s by Stephen King, whose books I don’t have a great track record with (enjoyed The Shining, hated The Gunslinger). Just going to say that these were all very valid fears.

The Shining by Stephen King

I was mostly scared of reading this book for actual scary reasons. I mean, have you seen The Shining film?!?! It’s terrifying!! That freezing ending?!?! Although I actually think the movie is scarier than the book.

My review 

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking: Holly, why would you be afraid of this book? It’s meant for kids! Yes, but it’s also written by Neil Gaiman, who has a brilliantly creepy, eerie mind that you can never predict. And I was right: the singing rats on the audiobook were SO CREEPY.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

A society where women’s bodies and ability to reproduce are regulated and restricted? Absolutely $#@!ing terrifying.

My review

Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

This chunky Faulkner novel is notorious for being confusing and hard to get through. As with The Silmarillion, I was afraid of getting lost amidst all of the names and sprawling sentences. The best part? Faulkner actually provides a character map way the end–basically answering the questions you think you’re supposed to be solving all along. A tricky man, he is.

My review 

1984 by George Orwell

Books about twisted, rigidly controlled societies often scare me, and 1984 is no exception. This novel ended up being even scarier than I feared–the ending had me shook. 

My review | Classic Couple: 1984 and Illuminae 

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Once again, here we have another end of the world book (why do I always end up reading these even though they stress me out?!). I knew going into this one that it was about a father and son, which made me even more scared–scared that I would be SAD AND EMOTIONAL when something bad inevitably happened to them. I was right.

My review | Classic Couple: On the Road and The Road 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I was mostly scared of this book because of the massive amounts of hype it received. What if I didn’t like it as much as everyone claimed I would? Well, that happened. And guess what? It was fine.

My review (without spoilers) | My review (with spoilers) | Classic Couple: The Woman in White and Gone Girl

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

I feel like this one needs no explanation. The end of Harry Potter?!?!?! That’s the scariest book of them all.

What books did you read even though they scared you? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!



12 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books that scared me (but I read them anyways)

  1. 1984 was so disturbing, damn it. It’s kind of creepy how governments function these days. The resemblance is uncanny.


  2. I love your twist on this week’s TTT! I don’t really have a “comfort zone” when it comes to reading, as I read pretty much anything. I feel like the only genres I try to stay away from are New Adult *cough* too steamy *cough* and horror, that’s why I haven’t read any of Stephen King books yet (I’m too scared!!!) 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love horror, and I’m rarely scared, but Coraline has such a creepy atmosphere; it definitely made me look behind my back a few times. Have you seen the movie? I really enjoyed The Shining as a book, but didn’t care for it as a movie. And I hate to say this, but King isn’t as scary as I’ve always expected him to be. The build up to the actual creepy-ness, them moving into the hotel etc., in The Shining is scarier than when the husband is trying to kill them. I’m sad you didn’t love Gone Girl, it’s one of my favorite books. 🙂 Great post! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t seen the Coraline movie, but I really want to! Hopefully this Halloween season. And I agree–there’s always a bit of a disconnect between King and I. His stories never quite resonate with me like I want them to! Thanks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely post, Holly! That last Harry Potter book was the scariest feeling I’ve ever faced! I couldn’t bear to see my favorite series come to an end! I completely understand the feeling about Coraline. I adore Neil Gaiman, but his books are quite creepy. I can’t even watch the Coraline movie if I’m alone! Haha!


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