{Top Ten Tues} Most Intimidating Books

Once again I had a ‘top ten Tuesday‘ post prepped and ready to go, and once again I forgot to make sure it went live on a Tuesday. I’m organised when it matters, I promise.

This week’s theme is books that intimidate you. Books can be intimidating for a number of reasons… they might be really long, or be renowned for being difficult/life changing/unusual, or maybe they’re part of a series that you’ll then feel obligated to read… I’m generally quite brave when it comes to tackling new books, but there are definitely some that I’m not feeling too enthusiastic about.

Books I’m currently intimidated by:

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo – Firstly there’s the question of length. This is one long book. And then there’s the title… you know it’s not going to be puppies and rainbows. I feel like I want to want to read this way more than I actually do. But as I have a copy on my shelf, on my Kindle and on my iTunes it is pretty much inevitable that I will wrestle with it at some point.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – Almost everyone I ever discuss books with ask me if I’ve read Pride and Prejudice, and when I say no they descend into a *fascinating* monologue about how it’s the best book ever. I’m reluctant to crack it open because I just can’t imagine it living up to the hype.

A Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin – The thing in is, I adore the TV series.  Like really, really adore it. I have a number of worries about these books:
a) They might ruin the TV show by being way better
b) They might ruin the TV show by being rubbish
c) They might ruin the TV show by being quite different (so I’d be way more critical when the next season airs)
d) They might ruin the TV show by preparing me for certain plot twists
(Yes, I’m totally neurotic)

Anything by Chuck Palahniuk – After reading Diary I’m slightly worried that all his books will horrify and disturb me. I just don’t think I’m hip enough to appreciate his mind…

Books I was once intimidated by but am now reasonably comfortable with:

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – This was one of those books recommended by everyone. I’ve lost count of how many people have described it as their favourite book. I only ended up reading it because it was one of my set texts last year… and it was so massively underwhelming, I don’t know why I was so scared of it!

Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien – The only reason I finally picked these up was because I loved the films. I read all three over the course of about a week, and I hated every second of them. They are hands down three of the most unreadable books I’ve ever attempted, which is a shame because the actual stories are great.

Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens – Before this, I’d only read one Dickens (Hard Times) and I had a really hard time with it… I was convinced I was going to hate this one too, but I was hugely surprised. I loved it, and it definitely inspired a Dickens enthusiasm in me that I never knew existed.

Middlemarch by George Eliot – This was one of my set books this year, and the reason I was so intimidated? It was long. Very, very long. As in, it took me about a month to read. However, it was worth it. Considering the subject matter of a provincial village, and the period in which it was written, you would expect something frothy or something dense, and this was neither. I found it very readable,  but I still think it’s a little ambitious unless you’re a hardy classics reader.

So have you read any of the books that scare me? Am I being stupid? How about you, are there any books you find intimidating?

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4 thoughts on “{Top Ten Tues} Most Intimidating Books

  1. Ooooh – I totally want to get involved with this. My top ten definitely includes Ulysses, I have been trying to read that for years but never seem to find the time – same with Les Miserables…Read some Chuck he’s great 🙂 I started with Choke which is creepy but great!

  2. I read Pride and Prejudice earlier this year and it wrecked my head. I’m normally a speed reader – I like sitting down to a 300+ pager and finishing it in a couple of hours. With P&P I found the language so hard to get into that I’d have to re-read several pages twice or three times. It took me weeks to get through it, because in the end it felt like a chore to finish it. I remember it a lot clearer than some other books maybe because of that, but I didn’t find the characters particularly likable and It wasn’t life-changing for me in any way! I’ve a few Hardy books to read, not relishing the thought of them.

  3. Highly recommend you *do* read the GRRMartin …….. I have (that was April/May 2012 …. tum-te-tum!) after watching Series 1 on TV. They do not detract from the show, the show doesn’t deviate very much and if you stay (not a clue on how you may achieve this btw) a book behind the TV series you won’t get the heads up on the plot!!!!

  4. vanity fair by thackeray because I was too young to understand it. the pickwick papers by dickens which ultimately turned out to be hilarious and fun to read. tolkiens books are excellent once you get into them a matter of visualiization. I like your blog great topics on books.

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