Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Top Ten Tuesday | Books That Were Hard to Read!


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created at The Broke and Bookish. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week's theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!

This week's theme is 'Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read'. So, without further ado, here are my ten!

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë: I love the Brontës, always have and always will, but when it comes to their novels it's Emily's I've always struggled with. I think the main reason I struggle with Wuthering Heights (and often find the book a little boring!) is because of the narration; first we're told the story through Heathcliff's lodger and then it's Nelly. Personally I'd have found the book a lot more enjoyable if I could read from Cathy or Heathcliff's POV.

The Withered Root by Rhys Davies: To be fair I didn't read this book properly. I had to proof-read an edition of it in the summer during my publishing internship and I despised it. If I hadn't had the enjoyment of correcting all the little mistakes (yep - that's how boring the actual story was) then there's no way I would have read it to the end.

Green Rider by Kristen Britain: I tried reading this book earlier this year and I'd like to give it another try in the future. I bought it a few years ago because it had a pretty cover, and while I enjoyed it when I initially began to read it, it quickly began to drag. Maybe one day I'll try again!

Eragon by Christopher Paolini: I'm sorry Eragon fans, but I hated this book. I managed to get through about two thirds of it before I had to put it down and I have no intention of picking it up again. It was so boring. And before anyone tells me 'the second book is when it gets really good', I shouldn't have to wait until the second book in a series to enjoy the story.

Kim by Rudyard Kipling: This book was on the reading list for my Victorian Popular Fiction module at university. I tried to read it - I really did - but I had to give up after a few chapters. I found the writing style so difficult to read and I wasn't all that interested by the story either.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: I liked this book a lot and I did finish it, but gosh it was a challenge. It's not even a very big book, but it's so description heavy, even though the description is beautiful, that reading a couple of pages felt like reading a chapter. Finishing this book felt like an accomplishment, and while I did enjoy and I do think it's gorgeously written, I think it's pretty over-hyped.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas: I tried reading The Count of Monte Cristo at the start of the year, but it's one of the few books I own that intimidates me with its size. I really want to read it, though - I've heard great things about it and I think it could become a favourite of mine if I could just get into it. If any of you are interested in reading The Count of Monte Cristo with me I'm going to host a read-a-long starting November 1st - there's a group that you can check out here if you're interested!

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin: This is another book I'd like to try reading again one day. I tried reading it last year and I was very excited by the premise; I love historical fiction and historical crime is a lot of fun, so the prospect of reading a historical crime novel with a female lead sounded fantastic to me. Unfortunately I found the book pretty disappointing; for a book set during the reign of Henry II there were a lot of modern ideas and terms being thrown about which threw me off a bit, so I felt more like I was reading a book about people in historical costumes rather than people in Medieval England.

Dante's Inferno: I enjoyed this read and I'm glad I can say I've read it, but it was hard work! It wasn't so much the language I found a problem (though it wasn't easy!) but the inclusion of people from Dante's life; I had to look at the footnotes a lot to understand the significance of various scenes, but it was worth it!

Persuasion by Jane Austen: This is another book I'd like to try reading again some day, but I first had to read this book when I was in sixth form and I really, really didn't like it. I had to force myself to finish it so that I could use it in my English coursework, and since then I've disliked Austen's novels. Now that I'm older, however, I'd like to give her another try - it's just hard to talk myself into reading the an author whose books I associate with boredom!

Which books made your top ten?

19 comments:

  1. I found The Night Circus quite a challenge to get through. It was heavy going with the descroptions!

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    1. It really is! It's beautifully written, but it's very dense.

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  2. I like that you took the view of literally difficult to read rather than subject matter!

    I own dantes inferno and wuthering heights and I have to admit I have been putting them off purely because I know the language is going to be hard. Plus Dantes inferno is a poem... a whole book thats a poem?! How can I follow that! :')

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    1. I had to, really, because if I know a book has subject matter I'll find difficult I usually stay away from it anyway! For the most part I don't tend to find subject matter difficult to read. :)

      I don't usually recommend watching an adaptation of a book before reading a book, but if you haven't already seen it ITV did a brilliant adaptation of Wuthering Heights back in 2009 - give it a watch and if you enjoy it try reading the book! ^_^

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  3. Thank you for letting me know that I am not the only one who thought Eragon was boring. A DNF for me.

    http://videoclimbersvariations.blogspot.com/2014/09/top-ten-tuesday-books-i-had-hard-time.html

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    1. It's great to know I'm not the only one who didn't like it!

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  4. Wuthering Heights was a slow read for me too, but I think I was too young when I read it so I would like to reread it and see how it goes the second time around.
    The Night Circus was slow as well, but I didn't mind the slow pace. I really enjoyed the tone and atmosphere of the book, but you have to be in the right mood to enjoy a book like that.
    Great List!

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    1. The Night Circus was stunning to read - it's very atmospheric - but I had to make sure I was reading something lighter on the side so that I could get it finished. Thanks! ^_^

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  5. So very much on the same page regarding Eragon. And Wuthering Heights. With Wuthering Heights... I just don't see it as a love story. At least not to the extent that some praise it as. It's miserable. And sad. And I want to hit Cathy 99% of the time.

    Great list!
    Chelsea @ Books Turn Brains

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    1. Nope. Wuthering Heights is definitely not a love story. It's about obsession more than anything else. I quite like that neither of the central characters are likeable, but it worries me how many people romanticise Heathcliff. He's abusive and downright frightening!

      Thanks! :)

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  6. Urgh, I hated Eragon. You've got a few of my favourite classics on here, like Wuthering Heights, Persuasion, and Dante's Inferno! But I'm such a lover of old books that I'm unwilling to admit when something has been hard to read...haha.

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    1. It seems like a lot more people disliked Eragon than I thought! I do like Wuthering Heights and Dante's Inferno, I just found them both difficult to get through. As for Persuasion? I'll have to and see how I feel about it after I get myself to re-read it!

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  7. Oh yeah, Wuthering Heights is totally on my list of classics I don't love haha. I had so many different issues (other than the completely wacked out relationships), the narration within narration, ANYTIME JOSEPH SPEAKS (dear lord what is that man saying? Luckily never anything important, which just means he could have been left out!)

    And I definitely think the Count of MonteCristo is awesome - you just have to be ok with really big books haha. I don't love everything about the story, but it's got pretty much everything anyone could want.

    That's such a shame! I know classic literature in school definitely ruined some authors for me. Persuasion is definitely at the top of Jane Austen's books (I'd rank that and P&P at the top with S&S somewhere in the middle, and Emma and Mansfield Park towards the bottom), so I hope that turns things around for you!

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    1. I've given up on trying to understand what Joseph says! Also, as someone from Yorkshire, I guarantee that's not what we sound like...

      Honestly, I could write an entire post about why Wuthering Heights, and some other famous texts, aren't love stories. I probably will before long!

      I love a big book, I've just never before had to tackle a book that has a page count in the 1000s. I'm hoping I'll enjoy it, though!

      Yeah, Austen is very popular which is why part of me really wants to like her. I'll give Persuasion another try one day, but it could just be that she's not for me. Having said that I can quite happily watch an adaptation of one of her novels and I enjoy it, it's just the text itself I've struggled with in the past. :)

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  8. I had a hard time getting into Wuthering Heights as well, both because of the framing narration and it was very different from what I expected. I think the fact that it's referenced in pop culture as this romantic story does it a disservice. Persuasion's my favorite Austen, but really life's too short to waste time on book you find boring :)

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    1. You're right, it does it a huge disservice - it can still be a brilliant piece of Victorian Gothic literature without being a love story. In fact it's more powerful that way.

      This is true! I'll give it another try one day and if I still don't like it I'll finally accept that Austen's just not for me.

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  9. I have to admit, I haven't read any of these, mostly because I was afraid that they would be long and dreadfully boring. Now, I am glad to hear that it was a good call, and I can happily avoid forever ;)

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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    1. Haha, well I definitely recommend giving The Night Circus and Wuthering Heights a try (and you should totally come and join me in my Count of Monte Cristo read-a-long ;)) but the others... not so much. I know there are a lot of Eragon fans out there, but man I hated that book.

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