Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Most Intimidating Books

July 2, 2013 § 4 Comments

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1. The Children’s Book – A.S. Byatt

Of Byatt’s novels, Possession is usually the one that features most on ‘read before you die’ lists, but The Children’s Book has been on my TBR list for a while now, and I wish I knew how it got there! I attempted The Children’s Book about a year ago, got one or two chapters in and then, just couldn’t do it anymore. I felt like it had already taken up too much of my energy and I had barely made a dent in the brick. I may one day pick The Children’s Book up again, but not anytime soon.

 

2. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

Have you seen the size of this monster?! While I did enjoy Anna Karenina (except for the parts about Lenin’s devotion to agriculture, but if we’re to be homest, did anyone like those bits?), War and Peace just seems a little beyond me. I want to give the novel considered “one of the most important works of world literature” a good go, but I don’t know if I have the maturity for that yet.

 

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3. The Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien

It’s no secret that Tolkien loves detail – even The Hobbit, his children’s book, isn’t exempt from pages of description – so the idea of tackling the dense Lord of the Rings is pretty intimidating. I don’t want to spend ages wading through superfluous description to get to the action, but know this is pretty likely what will have to happen.

 

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4. The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger

I’m worried that I might have missed the boat on this one. Nearly in my mid-twenties, I’m concerned that if I read The Catcher in the Rye now, it won’t have the same impact it might have had had I read it in my teens. I’ll be having only half the experience…

 

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5. Trainspotting – Irvine Walsh

I’m intimidated by both the writing style and subject matter, and yet it’s on my TBR list. Again, no idea why!

 

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6. A Casual Vacancy – J. K. Rowling

I’m really worried that I won’t like it, and I so desperately want to love everything J. K. writes.

 

7. The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy

I attempted it once and it got the better of me, I only hope that the next time I try I’ll be up to the challenge.

 

8. Mateship with Birds – Carrie Tiffany

Generally, I don’t tend to like books set in the Australian countryside, but this book has been so celebrated that I can’t not attempt it. It doesn’t have chapters, which is something I usually struggle with, and was described by Michelle of Book to the Future as “delightfully slow“, which has me worrying I won’t have the patience.

 

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9.  The Song of Ice and Fire series – George R. R. Martin

Like everyone else, I have completely fallen in love with the television show. Martin’s world is dense, and the characters and relationships complex, so the idea of reading the books the series is based on is more than a little daunting. I’m not altogether convinced I do want to read the books as the show is ticking all the boxes for me. I’m not in any way unsatisfied with it, thus I’m not convinced that there’s much to gain from reading the source material. Plus I’m a little put off by how much more blood, betrayal and emotional trauma the books inevitably have.

 

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10. Ulysses – James Joyce

I remember my Year 11 literature teacher telling us about Ulysses and its significance within modern literature. She also mentioned its length. The problem with Ulysses, is that it’s not really enough to read the novel. To get the most from it you need prior knowledge; you should be familiar with Homer’s Odyssey, which is apparently quite epic in itself.

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§ 4 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Most Intimidating Books

  • Ciara_H says:

    I also have LOTR, A Song of Ice & Fire series & Ulysses on my list. The Casual Vacancy is okay- I don’t think I’d read it again though.

    • Laura says:

      That’s my worry with The Casual Vacancy. I just know it can never live up to my expectations so I’m doing my best to disassociate the work from its author over time. Heh. It’ll never work!

      Loved your list. I didn’t even consider The Canterbury Tales! I think you get a pardon from anything written before the 15th Century.

  • Chouxie says:

    I thought you read and reviewed The Casual Vacancy! Must have been someone else then. I don’t think I’ll ever try LOTR. Like you, I can’t stand superfluous descriptions. I think I started reading Catcher in the Rye when I was 16 and never finished it because I had to return the book. But I remember enjoy what I did read. I might give that one another go. The Odyssey – is that the same as the Illiad? I had to study that for classics. Good to study, but I don’t think I’d read it voluntarily.

    • Laura says:

      Nope, the Casual Vacancy review wasn’t mine. Though I’d be interested to read it if you stumble across it again, but maybe not until after I read the book.

      The Odyssey is Homer’s other epic poem. Wiki calls it The Illiad’s sequel – did it demand a sequel, do you think? I’ve read neither, and to be honest there aren’t a lot of pre-18th Century books I’m really itching to pick up.

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