Top Ten Most Intimidating Books

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


This week's Top Ten from The Broke and the Bookish asks for our Top Ten Most Intimidating Books. I’ve learned that most massive books (Moby Dick, The Count of Monte Cristo, etc. aren’t nearly as scary as I thought they’d be, but here are a few that still freak me out.

1) Ulysses by James Joyce – Stream of consciousness ramblings, I just can’t bring myself to read it.

2) Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin – Okay, after getting hooked on the TV show this year I’m dying to read this one, but I’m hesitating for 2 reasons. First is because the books are ginormous and second, I’m worried I’ll finish them and have to wait 5 years for the next one.

3) Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust – It is seven volumes long!

4) Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace – Some say it’s genius, others say it’s pretentious, regardless it is huge.

5) The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser – This massive book is the never-ending tome that Granny has to read before she dies in the Thursday Next series.

6) Dune by Frank Herbert – I think this one scares me because my Dad’s been recommending it for years. I’m worried I’ve built it up too much in my head.

7) The Brothers Karamazov by Leo Tolstoy – It’s big, it’s Russian, etc. I read War & Peace and it wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be, so I just need to dive in.

8) Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin – I’m curious about this book, but I’m also worried it’s going to be really boring and badly written.

9) Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Everything by this author scares me for some reason.

10) The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien – I’ve read Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, but this beast just does not look fun.  

Image from here

21 comments:

Ana @ things mean a lot said...

I'm totally with you on 1 and 4.

Claudia said...

Infinite Jest scares me too. I don't particularly like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but Love in Time of the Cholera was a nice read.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Haven't Read any of these so consider me (scared of these as well) LOL

annieb said...

I agree with your whole list, except Dune. It is not the easiest book in the world, I admit, but well worth it. Your dad is right--read it. The worst that can happen is your won't like it.

kelley jensen said...

I would agree with #10. I think it is a bit of a beast. I've tried to read it several times. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

Rebecca said...

Ulysses also made my list. Proust-- definitely intimidating! Great compilation of books!
Happy Reading,
Rebecca @ The Key to the Gate

Falaise said...

I have to confess - I thought I would be the only person to put Game of Thrones on my list!

I was going to put the Silmarilion down but decided it would be cheating as I have actually managed to get through it.....once.

Dune is great btw.

Captain Nick Sparrow said...

Myself and my book club did not like Love in the Time of Cholera. And my husband flew through the Game of Thrones books and is now waiting for the next book as you described. Sorry, I'm not helping today!

Allie said...

Ugh...Ulysses. Definitely a book I will put on my list. :)

I was actually pleasantly surprised by The Brothers Karamazov. It was funny in places, and really, really absorbing. I read the Pevear translation-so maybe that had something to do with it? I've actually liked all the Dostoevsky I've read!

Laura said...

Hehehe, I'm willing to bet that Ulysses is going to be on a LOT of lists today! (It would be on mine if I had made one. Which I did not. Whoops?)

Also I want to read Remembrance of Things Past (or, In Search of Lost Time) SO badly, but like you say- 7 volumes. WOAH. And the volumes aren't short either!

Shelley said...

I feel the same way about the Silmarillion. I think it's mostly because I loved the Lord of the Rings, and I just don't know what all could be in it!
I would also like to tackle Origin of the Species someday, but I worry that I'm too scientifically ignorant.

Heather said...

Aww, The Faerie Queene is great! Granted, I only read part of it, in my college Old English class, and my professor would read it in Old English, which is beautiful spoken. I've always wanted to go back and read it, and yes, I'm too intimidated! I should have put that on MY list!

bkclubcare said...

I'm right there with ya on most of these. But I conquered one of mine this year - no, wait! TWO - Moby Dick and Possession so perhaps I will get to Infinite Jest one of these days. I had attempted Joyce but got tripped up and it was put away.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Ana - Ulysses has made it on so many lists today!

Claudia - Maybe I'll try that one first.

Diane - Glad I'm not alone!

annieb - That's encouraging! Maybe I'll bump Dune up the list for this year.

kelley jensen - That makes me feel better, because you're obviously a big Tolkien fan!

Rebecca - Even Proust's name is scary.

Falaise - You are definitely not alone on GOT! I really want to read it, but so many pages!

Captain - That's good to know. I've heard such mixed things on Marquez' books.

Allie - Oh good! I've been curious about The Brothers for so long and really want to get to it this year.

Laura - I think any book that's really a big series is intimidating. Seven volumes is a lot to committ to.

Shelley - I know, that's my worry. I love LOTR, but I've heard the Silmarillion is rough.

Heather - I've been curious about it since reading about it in the Thursday Next series!

bkclubcare - Moby Dick and Possession, those are huge!

Loni said...

Ulysses is on my list too! Maybe I'll read it one day.

My Hubby read the Simarillion. He actually discouraged me from reading it... so, I don't know if I ever will.

Trish said...

Maybe you've forgotten how Jill and I had a readalong several years ago of Brothers Karamazov and including Jenners only three of us finished? It was TERRIBLE AND PAINFUL. Love in the Time of Cholera is fairly accessible. I haven't read many of the others. YES to Ulysses. I apparently made it through the tough part of the book but I still couldn't muster anymore will to continue...

Sarah said...

Origin of Species is a good pick! I own it and definitely want to read it at some point, but it's probably going to be so wordy and I'm a tiny bit worried I won't really get any of it, even though I know a lot about it going in.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Loni - Yeah, I think I'd rather just re-read LOTR.

Trish - Ha, I had forgotten that. Oh geez, well that's not encouraging.

Sarah - I know, it's just one of those books I feel like I should read so I understand it a bit better.

Belle Wong said...

Ulysses definitely heads my list. I still have nightmares from having had to read it in university.

thecuecard said...

Most on your list are intimidating. But you'll be glad to know Dune is not bad! And shouldnt be scary to pick up. I recall reading it and getting into the huge Sandworms ... and I usually dont ever read sci-fi. So your Dad is right. cheers.
http://www.thecuecard.com/

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Belle Wong - Ha, that's what I keep hearing!

thecuecard - Oh good! I'll have to read it soon.