Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme over at The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is
TOP TEN MOST INTIMIDATING BOOKS (due to size, content, hype, etc.).
10. Persuasion by Jane Austen | In general, any “manners” book is intimidating to me. This one is all about waiting, and I actually ended up liking it– though I have never re-read it … or any other Austen book. (Does that make me a bad English major? Just wait– there’s a bigger confession on its way.)
9. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling | Sheer numbers, baby.
8. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo | … aaaaaaaand numbers again. I read the 500-paged abridged version though and thought it was masterful!
7. Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder | Essentially a philosophy textbook disguised as a novel. Still, it was amazing. Then again, I’m not sure that I could spout back much to you about Aristotle and Plato. But I trust it’s in my head somewhere!
6. Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel | The premise is a little overwhelming: a writer … who meets a taxidermist … who is writing a play about a monkey and a donkey … in the Holocaust. As I’ve said before, only Yann Martel could pull that off so perfectly.
5. Meditations by Rene Descartes | I love philosophy– maybe because in my OCD hey-day it was a little too dangerous for me. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to understand and follow this work by Descartes … but I loved it. It was a must-read as research for my novel.
4. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling | After the world fell desperately in love with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, I think we were all a little worried about Jo Rowling’s venture into the adult world. And let me tell you, although this book has incredible writing, the content matter is harsh and depressing.
3. Exodus by Leon Uris | I can still remember Mrs. Grams promoting this book from the front of my 11th-grade English class. It was the story of the Jewish nation, and it looked ginormous— which it is, at around 600 pages. I didn’t choose it for that particular assignment, but I decided I would read it over the summer. And I did. Once each summer for the next 3-4 summers. It’s incredible.
2. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck | It’s supposed to be one of his best (though I would argue that East of Eden is his magnum opus), and you’re supposed to like it … and I just didn’t. At least, at first. But as I journeyed across the country with Tom Joad, somehow I came to love him.
1. Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien | English geeks everywhere unite around this book. I knew I was supposed to love it … and again, I didn’t. And with this one (confession time!), I never did grow to love it. It was a painful, torturous reading that I only slogged through because it was assigned reading for class. I never read the second or third books. After I read a biography of Tolkien, though, I came to a real appreciation for The Lord of the Rings. And that’s where I remain to this day: appreciative, but not a fan. Commence hateful comments. 🙂