Monday, June 24, 2013

Top Ten Most Intimidating Books

This topic came from Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  I'm going through and doing all of the old themes whenever I get a chance here and on my Youtube channel.

1. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.  I actually don't find this incredibly intimidating, but I'm going to add it because so many people do.  I started reading Shakespeare at a somewhat young age, but I can't remember how old I was exactly.  I just know I found it at my grandparents' house and started reading.  Then they gave me a giant book for my birthday one year that was everything he ever wrote.  I still haven't managed to read all of them.  I need to get better about that.  I'm choosing this one though because that book is gigantic, which just on its own could be intimidating, but I also know a lot of people are intimidated by Shakespeare's writing.

2. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien.  I read The Hobbit in seventh grade and hated it.  I'm convinced it was because of my age, and I really need to go back and re-read it.  (I really enjoyed the first movie though!)  I also love The Lord of the Rings films (the whole reason I read The Hobbit in the first place), and I really want to read the books.  They do kind of intimidate me though.  I think that was the biggest reason that seventh grade me decided to hate The Hobbit.

3. Religious texts (the Bible, Torah, Quran, etc).  I've been reading the Bible since I was a little kid, but I still find it intimidating in some ways.  I'm also an insanely curious person, and I've always wanted to read other major religious texts.  It's incredibly intimidating though.  Even though I've read the Bible, reading other religious texts seems even more intimidating.  I'm not entirely sure why.  I think it comes partly from how old they are and partly from how important they are to a lot of people.  I really want to read at least part of some of them someday though.

4. The Divine Comedy by Dante.  I was reminded of this from The Broke and the Bookish's post (linked in the first paragraph).  I definitely feel as if I should add it to my own list though.  I've wanted to read this for a while but have always found it intimidating.  When I was younger, the entire idea of it terrified me as I was incredibly preoccupied and terrified about death for a period of time when I was younger.  Now that the thought of the afterlife doesn't make me panic like it used to, I really want to give this book a shot, but I still feel as if it would be really difficult to get through.  Epic poems are incredibly intimidating to me.

5. The Illiad and the Odyssey by Homer.  These are two more epic poems that I find very intimidating.  I probably shouldn't.  I read parts of the Odyssey during my freshmen year of high school.  Still, it wasn't the easiest on me, even though I understood it for the most part.  I had difficulty getting into it.  I think I could approach it differently now though.  I'm incredibly fascinated by Greek mythology, and knowing that they are two of the oldest pieces of western literature just makes me want to read them even more.

6. Beowulf.  Yet another epic poem.  (I just recently got over finding poetry as a whole intimidating, but I guess I haven't quite gotten there with epic poems.)  I've actually read the entirety of this one.  We studied it during my senior year of high school.  I remember being a bit scared to go into it, and it wasn't my favorite story.  I appreciate it from a literature standpoint, but I wouldn't describe it as "fun" to read.  Even after having read it, I still find it intimidating.

7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.  I hear about this so often, and I know I really should read it.  I've also seen how thick it is though, and I've heard countless people describe it as a "difficult" read.  I feel as if it's one of those books that all English majors need to read though (if such a thing exists).

8. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.  I saw this on a couple of other lists, and pretty much everything I said about Anna Karenina applies here too.

9. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  This is another one that I've actually read, but I'm including it because of how I felt when I first picked it up.  I read it in eighth grade and loved it.  However, I remember being incredibly intimidated when I first started reading.  I'd heard so much about the book, and I'm pretty sure it was the longest book I'd ever read at that point if we don't include Harry Potter.  I remember that I read as much as possible for the entire amount of time we were given, and I still almost didn't get done in time to give my book report on it.

10. Moby Dick by Herman Melville.  This is yet another classic that I feel like I should have already read.  The intimidation of this one comes from the subject matter much more than the writing however.  I just don't think I could get into the book.  I feel as if I'd be incredibly bored and have to force myself to finish.  I imagine I'll at least try to make myself attempt it at some point, but I'll probably try to avoid it.


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