Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Were Hard For Me To Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish wherein each week bloggers list out their Top Ten. This week’s topic is books that were difficult due to subject matter, cringeworthy, etc. For me, subject matter is usually not an issue – I have a thick skin when it comes to reading and besides, I don’t usually go for the hard-hitting subjects. But books that were cringeworthy? Yeah, more of those. Some of them I didn’t like, some of them didn’t interest me and some affected me hard.

1. Lord of the Rings

To be fair, I read this in 7th grade, when I was practically new to reading sagas. Moreover, it was an omnibus edition I was reading (I did not know until years later that it was actually a set of three books) which took me less than a week to finish but left me with a massive book hangover. There were parts when I got bored, particularly the poems and songs (I don’t have any interest in poetry) and keeping all the characters straight in my head was a challenge. If you ask me today to tell me what the story was about, I think I would mumble something along the lines of Frodo went to drop this evil ring in this big mountain. I never even saw the movies (deliberately) so this is a book that was difficult to get through and to even go back to.

2. Where Rainbows End

AKA Lose, Rosie. Okay, I know this is going to be a movie soon but this was a depressing book to get through. I was kind of frustrated by the time I reached the end and it almost made me scared about the future of my love life (I was a teen when I read this, okay? Everything is scary then). Looking back, I get what it meant to represent but me watching the movie is still doubtful since the book broke my heart.

3. Tiger’s Saga series

This one probably makes me cringe due to the fact that it is Hindu mythology and I was born a Hindu (not one anymore). I was brought up on the stories of these Gods and having them retold makes me feel unsettled. I know, I know, it’s hypocritical since I loved mythological retellings, but I gotta be honest. Second reason is that there are a LOT of cliches, be it with dialogue or plot, in this book and in spite of that, I still follow this series.

4. Wuthering Heights

Never has a book’s characters irritated me as much as the protagonists of this ‘classic’ novel have. They are the most selfish, dramatic characters I have ever come across. I could probably rant over all this again but it would be better to check my review. This book was torture to complete and after this I lost most of my interest in ever reading classics. I don’t even get why Heathcliff is romanticized so much in media. Shouldn’t judge a genre by one book, but most ‘classics’ have left me unsatisfied, with the exception of Emma by Jane Austen.

 5. Stormbringer

Stormbringer was difficult to read, as a woman, because of rape in it. It wasn’t the first to deal with it but it was quite painful to read and the fact that Delany’s writing is so good, it brings out all the harsh emotions to the surface and you enter the character. It was one of those books that still haunts you after you have read it.

6. Princess

This is another difficult book when you read about how the women are treated, and this being non-fiction horrified me the most. It is impossible to imagine the horror that such a thing would exist in today’s ‘modern’ world and reading this during my teens shaped how I saw the world. Didn’t make it any easier to digest though and parts of the book still are etched into my brain.

7. Jenny Pox

I was cringing through most of the series and having secondhand embarrasment from the characters. I don’t even remember how I got through the entire four-book series.

8. Pegasus

The shifting narrative and ambiguous perspectives made this a very challenging read. It was confusing as to what was thought and what was said by whom. Also, some things were buried in subtext and I had to constantly go back and read pages over again to make sense of it. Nevertheless, it was fun to elucidate.


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