Top Ten Tuesday | Ten Beloved Books I Can’t Read Now

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday happens to be something I think about a lot.  My bookshelves are filled with books from when I was younger, and I look and them and think about how I can’t reread them.  I’d love to recapture that love, but I’m nervous they wouldn’t mean as much to me now.  That would be devastating.

Instead, I’ll just stare at them and reminisce, and post them below.


Clan of the Cave Bear1. The Clan of the Cave Bear
by Jean M Auel

A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly–she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza’s way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge.

Clan of the Cave Bear was one of my favorite books growing up.  I’ve read it over and over, many times.  Every time I loved it.  I haven’t read it since I’ve grown up, and I’m just not sure if it’ll hold the same meaning to me now.  Will it still affect me the same way?

Into the Wilderness2. Into the Wilderness
by Sara Donati

It is December of 1792. Elizabeth Middleton leaves her comfortable English estate to join her family in a remote New York mountain village. It is a place unlike any she has ever experienced. And she meets a man unlike any she has ever encountered – a white man dressed like a Native American, Nathanial Booner, known to the Mohawk people as Between-Two-Lives. Determined to provide schooling for all the children of the village, she soons finds herself locked in conflict with the local slave owners as well as her own family. 
Interweaving the fate of the Mohawk Nation with the destiny of two lovers, Sara Donati’s compelling novel creates a complex, profound, passionate portrait of an emerging America.

I had no idea this was supposed to be a sequel to Last of the Mohicans when I read it.  If I had I may never have picked it up, which sounds horrible but I’m pretty sure it’s not the same author and that usually never works out.  The only reason I did read it was because of the quote by Diana Gabaldon on the cover.  I’ve read it multiple times now, but again not once since I’ve grown up.

Eye of the World3. Wheel of Time
by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs—a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts— five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.

I binge read this series for about a year.  I made it through the somewhere around the ninth book when I burnt out.  I think about this series so much.  I own almost the whole thing in print.  I loved it.  I still love it.  The problem is that I’m not sure which book I left off on, and even if I did, I stopped halfway through it.  I feel like my only possibility would be to read the whole thing all over again, but that’s seriously a commitment.  Maybe someday.

Julie Wolves4. Julie of the Wolves
by Jean Craighead George

Miyax, like many adolescents, is torn. But unlike most, her choices may determine whether she lives or dies. At 13, an orphan, and unhappily married, Miyax runs away from her husband’s parents’ home, hoping to reach San Francisco and her pen pal. But she becomes lost in the vast Alaskan tundra, with no food, no shelter, and no idea which is the way to safety. Now, more than ever, she must look hard at who she really is. Is she Miyax, Eskimo girl of the old ways? Or is she Julie (her “gussak”-white people-name), the modernized teenager who must mock the traditional customs? And when a pack of wolves begins to accept her into their community, Miyax must learn to think like a wolf as well. If she trusts her Eskimo instincts, will she stand a chance of surviving?

Julie of the Wolves was like my bible as a child.  I’d read it so many times.  I would daydream about living with a wolf pack and sometimes use the wolf language and play pretend.  Miyax was my hero.  I loved the first book so much that I never went on with the rest of the series.  I just read this one over and over.  I still own it, but I can’t bring myself to read it.  I’m too afraid of not feeling the same depth of emotion.

Black Stallion5. The Black Stallion
by Walter Farley

Alec Ramsay is the sole human survivor of a devastating shipwreck. Trapped on a deserted island, Alec finds his only companion is a horse, beautiful, unbroken, and savage . . . a horse whose beauty matches his wild spirit.

This first classic story of the Black Stallion, full of action, excitement, and suspense, has set the pace for horse stories for sixty years . . . and continues to leave its rivals in the dust.

I totally saw the movie first.  To be fair, I saw the movie before I really knew that it was a book.  As soon as I found out I immediately bought the collect.  My favorites were The Black Stallion and Son of the Black Stallion.  I’m pretty sure this book will always be good, so it’s really a matter of not really feeling the urge to reread it.  Yet, I can’t bring myself to donate my old paperback copies either.

Secret Circle6. The Secret Circle
by LJ Smith

Forced to move from sunny California to gloomy New England, Cassie longs for her old life. Even so, she feels a strange kinship to a terrifying group of teens who seem to rule her school. Initiated into the coven of witched that’s controlled New Salem for hundreds of years, she’s drawn into the Secret Circle, a thrill that’s both intoxicating and deadly. But when she falls for the mysterious and intriguing Adam, Cassie must choose whether to resist temptation or risk dark forces to get what she wants – even if it means that one wrong move could ultimately destroy her.

Okay, so just being honest, I haven’t reread this series as an adult simply because I know it won’t hit me as strongly.  Right now, present day, we are in the era of paranormal YA books.  That is probably one of the most popular YA genre’s.  When I was a teen, it was more about slasher books.  Paranormal was more of a novelty.  Secret Circle was the book that made me love books about Witchcraft.  It had a decent basis in realistic pagan rituals, and the incantations felt more honest.  I think it’s the writing that will likely let me down.  It definitely can’t compare to newer books.

Rainbow Valley7. Rainbow Valley
by LM Montgomery

Anne Shirley is grown up, has married her beloved Gilbert and now is the mother of six mischievous children.

These boys and girls discover a special place all their own, but they never dream  of what will happen when the strangest family  moves into an old nearby mansion. The Meredith clan is  two boys and two girls, with minister father but  no mother — and a runaway girl named Mary Vance. Soon the Meredith kids join Anne’s children in their private hideout to carry out their plans to save Mary from the orphanage, to help the lonely minister find happiness, and to keep a pet rooster from the soup pot. There’s always an adventure brewing in the sun-dappled world of Rainbow Valley.

We all love Anne of Green Gables.  It’s very beloved book, with reason.  It’s phenomenal.  I actually read all 8 books, through Rilla of Ingleside, and other than the first book my favorite was Rainbow Valley.  For me, it brought back all the antics of Young Anne in her amazing children and their friends.  I loved it so much that I can’t read it again.  I don’t want my modern day cynicism to lesson my memory.

Comes the Blind Fury8. Comes the Blind Fury
by John Saul

A century ago, a gentle blind girl walked the cliffs of Paradise Point. Then the children came — taunting, teasing — until she lost her footing and fell, shrieking her rage to the drowning sea… Now Michelle has come from Boston to live in the big house on Paradise Point. She is excited about her new life, ready to make new friends… until a hand reaches out of the swirling mists — the hand of blind child. She is asking for friendship… seeking revenge… whispering her name…

I’ve never really been into horror novels.  I came to Stephen King late, and in general they just don’t interest me.  There was a time in my life where I devoured anything by John Saul, and that obsession started with Comes the Blind Fury.  I’ve read it multiple times, and it’s just as good each time.  I may read this book again, if I could find a copy of it.  Apparently this author is no longer sold in stores.

Sioux Slave9. Sioux Slave
by Georgina Gentry

Widowed on her wedding day, Kimimila swore vengeance on the blue-coasts who had slain her betrothed. So when the village elders placed the fate of their yellow-haired captive in her hands, the beautiful Sioux maiden eagerly accepted the honor. But as she looked into her prisoner’s sky-blue eyes, she could not find it in her heart to slay him. For what she felt for him was not the passion of hatred, but the desire a woman feels for the man who has stolen her heart and soul. Though he should have been her enemy, he soon became her lover. And as the heat of their desire burned through the Dakota nights, Kimimila found her destiny in her white warrior’s embrace.

How ridiculous is this cover, and the synopsis really?  This was the style of book released in the 90’s and was one of my favorite inaccurate historical romance novels from my childhood.  I read it multiple times.  Why can’t I read it now?  How ridiculous is that cover and the synopsis?!  I’m positive that my love for this book won’t be there when I reread.  That’s fine.  I still own my original copy, and since I don’t/won’t reread it I’ll never ruin it.  It’ll remain a keepsake for my memories.

heaven10. Heaven
by VC Andrews

Of all the folks in the mountain shacks, the Casteels were the lowest — the scum of the hills. 
Heaven Leigh Casteel was the prettiest, smartest girl in the backwoods, despite her ragged clothes and dirty face…despite a father meaner than ten vipers…despite her weary stepmother, who worked her like a mule. For her brother Tom and the little ones, Heaven clung to her pride and her hopes. Someday they’d get away and show the world that they were decent, fine and talented — worthy of love and respect. 
Then Heaven’s stepmother ran off, and her wicked, greedy father had a scheme — a vicious scheme that threatened to destroy the precious dream of Heaven and the children forever!

Heaven is a lot like the books I mentioned above.  It’s a series that meant a lot to me growing up, but I don’t think it would hold the same power over me now.  Heaven, and the Casteel family, was my favorite of all the VC Andrews sagas, and I don’t want anything to tarnish my memories.

Top Ten Tuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

23 Responses

  1. If you ever want to start up Wheel of Time again, you should take a look at!! It is pretty astonishing – There are summaries of each chapter for every single book plus footnotes (but be wary of the footnotes, some have spoilers).


      1. It’s so helpful! I read the first three, then stopped for a few months and couldn’t remember a lot of the finer points! I’m on book 10 now and it helps me SO much with all the characters.


  2. I know what you mean. I’ve experienced that a couple of time recently while reading books with my son. Thankfully he’s really into Roald Dahl and Judy Blume and those are still just as wonderful reads for me now as they were when I was his age.


  3. I love your take on this topic. I’ll echo your fears about books from youth not holding up as we’ve become more sophisticated readers. I still own a few books that I loved when I was a child, but I won’t read them.

    Happy reading,
    eli @ the (book) supplier
    My TTT


  4. I read a bunch of VC Andrews in my teens. I am not into that genre anymore, so I doubt I would enjoy them as much now. I never read the books, but I liked the Secret Circle TV show (oh and The Black Stallion was a great movie too)


  5. I’ve always wanted to read The Clan of the Cave Bear but I was intimidated by the length of the series. I have some books from my childhood I would like to re-read and I’m not sure I will enjoy them as much as I did. We should all write follow up posts!


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