Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read

I'm participating in today's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's prompt is:

Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read

I'm dividing my list into three sections: First, books that were hard for me to read because of the difficulty of the book; Second, because of the subject matter; and Third, because it was cringe-worthy.


 First, books that were DIFFICULT

10. Don Quixote by Miguel  de Cervantes
This book is SOOOOOOOOOOO LOOOOOOOOOOOONNNGGGG.  

9. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
See above.

8. The Bible
Long.  Also, the Book of Isaiah.  (I discovered that I really love the Book of James, though.)

7. Hard Times by Charles Dickens
This book finally made me realize that I will never be a Dickens groupie.


Second, books that had difficult SUBJECT MATTER

6. The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
I spent a lot of time studying Shakespeare in grad school, but I could never understand this play, nor reconcile it with his other work and portrayal of women.

5. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
I actually love this book, despite the fact that it illustrated all my darkest nightmares.

4. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
This book was very,very difficult to read, purely because of the terrible and all too prevalent subjects it discusses.  (Domestic violence, drug abuse, neglect, death, crippling mental illness, selfishness, etc.)


Third, books that were CRINGE-WORTHY
(maybe I just dislike orange covers...?)

3. Watt by Samuel Beckett
I see the value of this book, but I struggled not to slam my head into my desk the whole time I was reading it.

2. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
I really, really hate the first half of this book.  So much so, that the brilliance of the second half failed to make up for it.  *dodges tomatoes*

1. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
I can't even think about this book without cringing.


What's the hardest book you've ever read?

12 comments:

  1. I have been terrified of Anna Karenina because it's so long. It's one of my good friends' favorite books and I own a copy but it scares me! I am however with you on The Handmaid's Tale which is brilliant but haunting and Allegiant that was not a very good conclusion that that series!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

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    1. The length of AK is indeed really long, but I'm glad I read it. It just took forever to get to the end. Glad you concur on those other books!

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  2. I have a bit of a meh feel towards the whole Divergent series, I just could never really conjure up any enthusiasm for it. Is the cringe for the whole book or certain spoilery events? I loved loved The Casual Vacancy!

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    1. I didn't mind Divergent or Insurgent, though I didn't love either book. But I thought Allegiant was just ridiculous. The Casual Vacancy is a book I'm glad I read, but was very difficult to read, purely due to the subject matter. Can I ask why you loved it so much?

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  3. I didn't finished Casual Vacancy - while I liked the writing, I just hated all of the characters.

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    1. Definitely a difficult book to read. Even after i finished it, I still wouldn't say I liked it. I value it, appreciate it, and respect it. But I don't like it. It was more important than enjoyable reading, for me anyway.

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  4. Maybe Tess of the d'Ubervilles as a teenager. At the time, the injustices in this book were a challenge for me to wade through....

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    1. Isn't it funny how some books are completely wrong for us at some points in our lives, while the same book can be really perfect at other moments? Do you like Tess now, or has the book remained challenging?

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  5. I should read it again. I can imagine that while I would still feel the injustice (one of the main goals of this book, I think) I can imagine I would be able to deal with it a little more objectively.

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    1. I have a similar feeling towards The Grapes of Wrath. I DESPISED it in high school, which was strange for me since I usually liked our assigned reading. Maybe it was just a wrong-time thing.

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  6. Haha, that comment makes me quite happy that I DNF'd Allegiant when I was only an hour into the audiobook ;-). I asked a friend for a synopsis of it afterwards just so that my curiosity is satisfied, but I couldn't force myself through it!

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    1. Seriously, you are the smartest person on this planet for realizing that this book was not worth your time and putting it down. It's a really, really disappointing book.

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