The Broke and the Bookish have an interesting topic for this week-the top ten books that intimidate us!
When I started out blogging, I was intimidated by most of my list. I had never read anything by the Brontes, I hated Dickens (I have a love/hate relationship with him now), and truthfully, I knew nothing about many of the authors on that list. Now, 4 years later, I feel much more confident about myself as a reader, and I have already conquered many of those intimidating titles (like Moby-Dick, Atlas Shrugged, and War and Peace).
So, to come up with my list of intimidating titles, I decided to base it on the titles I have left to read (less than 100). Some of these books will hopefully be obvious as to why they're here, but others...they require some explanation. :)
Without further delay:
1. Ulysses by James Joyce: When I was looking at other lists this morning, this is a title I found over and over again on lists. I've already decided that it will be the last title I read off my 250 list. I've started it once (got about 50 pages in) and gave up. I'm hoping that by waiting a little longer, I'll be better prepared to tackle it.
2. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad: I hate Heart of Darkness more than any other book. It makes me want to gouge my eyes out. So, the thought of reading another book by Conrad gives me heart palpitations. I've been avoiding this title like it's my job, but I know I'll eventually have to read it.
3. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: This is the last Dickens titles on my 250 list. By this point, I've read the other 6 titles with mixed feelings. Hated Great Expectations and Bleak House, but loved everything else, especially David Copperfield (LOVE MORE THAN ANYTHING). But this title scares me. First, it seems to be a favorite for many. Second, it's Dickens. Again, while I have had mixed success, I'm worried I'll hate it!
4. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding: To be honest, the main reason I'm intimidated by this one is length. It's long. And written in the 1700s...so...complicated language + length = scary.
5. Faust by Johann Goethe: I actually started this one earlier this year and set it aside when school got crazy. Like most books I set aside partially read, I'm worried about picking it back up and starting again.
6. Paradise Lost by John Milton: I remember an old roommate from college reading this for one of her classes. At night she would sit with the book open on her desk and her hands in her hair. That image scares me to this day! I imagine that it can't be that bad, but still...
7. Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov: While I liked Lolita well enough (as much as you can like a novel about a pedophile), I've heard that some of Nabokov's other novels are very experimental in style. I know little about Pnin, so I'm a bit worried about this one!
8. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand: I managed to conquer Atlas Shrugged already, and I've heard this one is easier, but still. It's RAND. She's very philosophical in ways that I don't agree with and...ugh.
9. The Aeneid by Virgil: The translation I own is by Fagles, so at least this has that going for it. But this is another one of those ancient, epic tomes that I'm hesitant to take on. Who knows, I might fly through it after I finish The Odyssey.
10. Clarissa by Samuel Richardson: I attempted to conquer this one about a year ago, and failed miserably. My bookmark is still 400 pages in...the idea of rereading those 400 pages to remember what happened makes me whimper. This is one of the longest books in the English language and I just don't know when I'm going to be able to conquer this.
There you have it, the 10 books on my list that most intimidate me. Do we have some in common? Any other books that scare you? Let me know!