#5OnMyTBR – Challenging Reads

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook where you chose five books from your to-be-read pile that fit that week’s theme. If you’d like more info, head over to the announcement post!


Hello, reader!

It feels like the weekend sped by, didn’t it? We’ve come to another Monday, which means it’s time for another 5 On My TBR! And today we’re talking about books that have been dogging my TBR for months, if not years. We’re talking about the chonky classics, the non-fiction novels, and all the challenging reads that have found their way to my to be read shelf. Well… not all of them. Just the five 😉


#1. It by Stephen King

This chonky classic horror novel has been on my TBR for longer than I can remember, tbh. I avoided it for a long time as the original movie scared the crap out of me when I was a kid! But, as I got more into reading horror, I knew that I wanted to read this. One day, at least. The main thing I fnd challenging about this book is it’s sheer size! It’s thicc and I never feel like I’m in a good place to dedicate that much time to reading through it. I’ll get to one day, though! Perhaps this year for Halloween?

#2. My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

In contrast, this contemporary novel is a fairly new addition to the TBR! I was intrigued by the premise and have heard a lot of great things about this book since it was released last year. The reason I consider this a “challenging” read isn’t because of it’s size, though. It’s because this sounds like it’s going to make me hurt. The story of a young woman coming to terms with the fact that she was groomed by her teacher definitely doesn’t make for light reading, I’d imagine. This is something you want to check trigger warnings for before diving in!

#3. The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson

Here we have a book that landed on this list for two reasons:

  • It’s a genre I don’t typically read or enjoy (non-fiction)
  • It’s a big boy…

Okay, the hardcover clocks in at 585, which may not be big to some, but it is to me! Still, I loved The Devil in the White City, which was written by the same author, and I’m interested in the topic, knowing next to nothing about Churchill. I’m eager to see if Larson can make this as compelling.

#4. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Another big, beautiful book that has been hanging about my TBR since I learned of it’s exsistance! This one is definitely on this list simply because of how long it is. It’s around 800 pages and I’m scared 😅 Especially since I’ve heard mixed reviews about this book. But… it has dragons! And a matriarchy! And a f/f romance! It checks a lot of my “I’m probably going to love this” boxes. I just gotta stop letting it’s size intimidate me, heh. I do plan on reading this one in 2021, though. I’m making it a mission!

#5. Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell

I have one more fantasy book to round out my list. Again, this book is here because this is a biggun. This is, however, a young adult fantasy that is based on another book that intimidates me, Les Misérables. But this one is set in space! I’ve heard great things about Sky Without Stars and I do tend to love Les Mis retellings, so I feel like this will be something I really enjoy. Also, I kind of love the cover 😍 I do want to get to this one sooner rather than later. I want to read more science fiction this year, after all.


What are some challenging books on your TBR that you can’t wait to read? Have you read any of the books on mine? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

17 thoughts on “#5OnMyTBR – Challenging Reads

  1. Hallo, Hallo Kerri!

    🙂 I attempted to read PRIORY in Year 2 of #WyrdAndWonder I believe!? Strangely, despite having a good vibe about it in the beginning of starting it – I, like you, was concerned about what I would find shortly thereafter as like you said, despite having positives and merits about reading it, due to mixed reviews and takeaways by fellow book bloggers, I questioned my overall assessmen to the story too! Part of me wonders if I might be best to listen to this on audiobook than to attempt reading the chunkster it is in print – as I’d be borrowing it through my library – still on the fence!?

    This year is the 4th year for @WyrdAndWonder, for which I have big plans and even a RAL for Marcus Lee’s Dark Fantasy epic “Kings and Daemons” — (first in a trilogy) but whether or not its the right year for PRIORY is still in the air for me tbh. If you get started on this – nudge me in a tweet and I’ll see if I can start in on it too. It would be great to have someone to talk to about it and maybe do a quasi buddy read of it where there isn’t a hard deadline? Just a thought.

    You should join us for #WyrdAndWonder this May if you can!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic list Kerri! I want to read some of the books from this list and especially Sky Without Stars because it’s a Les Mis retelling and that is my thing aha! I love chunky books, but they intimidate me too, I hope you get to these soon and enjoy them! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have IT and Priory on my list as well. It’s funny really because thick books never really used to scare me but nowadays I guess because I have less to time read due to having stupid adult responsibilities it just feels like a huge commitment to pick up a book like that doesn’t it? We’ll get to them though!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I also had My Dark Vanessa on my challenging reads list. I think it’s definitely gonna be a tough one to get through but I’ve also heard so many good things about it so I’m hoping 2021 is the year it gets read! Priory was definitely a challenging/intimidating book to read but I’m glad I got that tucked out the way 😂 I hope you enjoy all of these!

    Liked by 1 person

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