Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday--Books Hard to Read for Various Reasons

Happy Tuesday! I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday over at The Broke and the Bookish where the task is to name ten books that were hard to read for various reasons. Some of the titles I've reviewed on this blog.


Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain deals with World War I, and there were times when the book was so gripping. At the same time, I almost dreaded how hard it would be to read.

I was in the minority on my review of Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty, but it was tough going to read about a seemingly intelligent woman making so many bad choices.

This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald was hard to read because it promised something it didn't deliver, and the writing was bad.

I wanted to like Leonard Woolf's short stories, but Stories of the East became a bit of a slog to get through.

I still haven't written a review for Virginia Woolf's first novel, The Voyage Out. The novel is full of long passages and so many characters that the story can get confusing. It was possible to see flashes of Woolf's brilliance, but finishing the book required persistence.


I'm going back to my college days and my nightmarish experience of trying to get through Portrait of An Artist As A Young Man by James Joyce. I keep thinking I'll try reading the book again one day but haven't gotten around to it!

The Hours was a book I found challenging. I understood what Michael Cunningham was trying to do. Part of the problem was that I'd seen the film first which really engaged me from the start, but the book didn't do that.

Nancy Mitford's book, The Sun King, was on my summer reading list, but I only got a third of the way through. The book is filled with information, maps, drawings and art work about Louis XIV at Versailles and French history. The book contains almost too much information.

The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera is another book that I didn't finish this summer. I got through a few chapters, but the story of a young woman moving to France to work as a librarian in a small village did not engage me.

I have read several of Edith Templeton's books, so I was excited to find her last novel from the 1992, Murder in Estoril. The synopsis of the book about murder in an English colony in Portugal seemed interesting. I stayed with the book for one hundred pages and nothing much had happened with the somewhat rambling plot. That was as far as I got.

What books have you found hard to read?

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