Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday #2: REWIND! Top Ten Books Katie Finds Most Intimidating

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

It's nice getting to catch up with all the old TTTs that I've missed! There were so many great ones, so I randomized them and got this one - here goes:

1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Just like any classics, there are people who love this book and people who just don't even care. As for me, I'm just struck by its sheer size. If this is not intimidating, I don't know what is.

2. The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
The first time I heard of this book is when my aunt, knowing I love fantasies, got me a book 300 pages long called New Threads in the Pattern. And when I found out it's actually the SECOND part of the SECOND book of the series, I was stunned. The series started in 1990 (that's before I was even born!) and - guess what - still haven't ended: its 14th-and-last book is set to be published in 2013. And the reason it has 2 authors is because Robert Jordan died when he was writing the 11th book.
Wow. At least I know what to read when I'm absolutely desperate for books.

3. The Divine Comedy by Dante:
There was a phase when every single book I read quotes Dante. I was intimidated by The Divine Comedy importance and prominence and everything - it's supposed to be one of the best works in Western Literature!

4. Ulysses by James Joyce
I really enjoyed Homer's Odyssey, so I picked up this one, thinking it'll be just a light read. How very wrong I was.

5. A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin
"A series with 7 books? No big deal, I've read Harry Potter", I thought, before I laid hands on the first book. It's 8-freaking-hundred pages long. At least thanks to this book, I got over my hate for cliffhangers because they serve to keep the story going.

6. Hamlet and any other plays written by William Shakespeare
Of course, everybody knows Shakespeare. I remembered trying to read The Bard a few years earlier, and was completely overwhelmed by the old language.
However, my Literature Class is going into Romeo and Juliet now, so hopefully my intimidation will be gone and I can finally enjoy Hamlet!

7. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
This book is said to be one of the toughest reads in modern literature, from the themes and subject matter to the language itself. The fact that there has not been a translation for it in my mother tongue until recently emphasizes the pressure even more.
Trivia: The translation for Lolita in my language is considered one of the better, so I hope more people get to read this masterpiece!

8. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
It's not that hard a book, but I have a thick copy on my bookshelf since forever, and it just ... put me off. But I will get to it. Someday.

9. To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
I came across this book when looking for examples of stream-of-consciousness (which I consider a very awesome technique, by the way). Not to mention that I have a weird attraction to lighthouses. I skimmed it a bit, closed the book, and decided to put it off until I feel I can understand it.

10. The Waste Land and Other Poems by T.S. Eliot
"April is the cruellest month." I've wanted to read Eliot since I read an excerpt from The Waste Land (or maybe because he mentions my birth month). I just have to get pass other people's warnings that it's obscure and abrupt and downright crazy.

That's it! What did you choose for your Top Ten this week? Sound off in the comments!


  1. I am intimidated by a lot of these books too. I started Ulysses and put it down after about 50 pages, I just could not get into that book.

  2. A Song of Fire and Ice - damn these books! I want to love them, and at first I really do, but I hit the third book and bailed partway through. Partly because there are just too many characters and story lines to keep track of, and partly because BECAUSE there are so many characters, the book continually shifts between them, and there are sooooooo mannnnny paaaaaaages before it circles back to your favorite characters. I kept fighting the urge to skim to get back to Daenerys faster.

    Wheel of Time - see above, but times a million, because there are way more books and WAY more characters. I actually own all of these books, because every couple years I become determined to get through them all, and I start over, but I only ever get to book six or seven before I cry uncle. But someday! Someday I will make it through them all, because truly, these books are wonderful.

  3. Great choices! I did this topic a while back! I definitely recommend A Song of Fire & Ice. It might be long, but if you take it bit by bit, then it's not so bad. It does have some slow parts though.

    Check out my TTT. Oh and new follower by the way!

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

    1. I'm reading ASOIAF right now! I hope you're right, because I love the TV series and would be so bummed if I can't finish the books.
      By the way, I just checked out and followed your blog too! It looks great, and besides, I love the song you chose for its name :)
      Thanks for the follow!

  4. I agree on a lot of your choices! I want to pick up The Song of Ice and Fire series.... we will see. There are a lot of classics on my list that intimidate me, but I plan to try to read them!

  5. I love all your picks! I've only read Dante's Inferno, but I was fortunate enough to find a beautiful version that had the English and Italian side by side. Gorgeous.

    My TTT: http://shelversanon.blogspot.com/2012/10/top-10-tuesday-rewind-top-ten-bookish.html

    1. Wow! That version of Inferno sounds amazing! I mean to study Italian in the future, so maybe I'll try to find one like that :)


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