Top Ten Most Intimidating Books

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday with the Broke and the Bookish is a freebie… A list from any of the lists previously done.  I decided to opt for a list I didn’t do and thus brings us to my list of my top ten most intimidating books.

I enjoy so many random books and I feel like most books aren’t at all intimidating.  I mean, one of my favourite all-time books was Les Miserables.  But, there are some books that either have a reputation or subject matter or a sheer size that make me nervous.

  1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.  I attempted to read this a few summers ago and I go through the peace parts okay, but war was, well, deadly.  I may want to try it again, but honestly, I am a bit scared of it.
  2. The Secret History of the War on Cancer by Devra Davis.  I started this over a year ago now and I am not one to leave books unfinished, but this one terrifies me, because it covers controversial theories that make me uncomfortable and it is long.
  3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.  He must be a pretty epic guy to make the list twice, but it is true… I want to read this one too, but after my War and Peace experience and seeing its size, I feel a bit nervous.
  4. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings series by JRR Tolkien.  It is tough to explain.  I know they aren’t tough reads, but they are out of my normal reading realm, which makes me a little nervous and they are a lot of book.  I am sure I will love them once I get around to them.
  5. Moby Dick by Herman Melville.  I tried reading this in high school and it was another of the few books I ever gave up on reading.  Funny part is that Patrick thought he had read it because he read a children’s version until he finally figured out it wasn’t the actual one in university.  I felt like it was too wordy for me (if that is possible) and thus it is an overwhelming thought to go back to.
  6. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.  I haven’t attempted it, but it has the hype of being intimidating and I seem to think it is as a result.
  7. 11/22/63 or any other full length book by Stephen King.  I have just started 11/22/63 and thus far it is fabulous, but I have always found his books intimidating, partly because they are supposed to be suspenseful and scary and I am not a fan of such things.  Plus, the are huge.
  8. Textbook of Radiation Oncology by Leibel and Phillips.  This is a huge sucker full of words and concepts and details I can’t even fathom.  One day, when I grow up, I will own it and I will read it.
  9. 50 Shades of Gray by EL James.  I find these intimdating on a disturbing content level.  I will not read them, but I will include this, as they are some of the books I am most scared of.
  10. Signature Classics by CS Lewis.  This very large book contains some of CS Lewis’s best and most known writings… And they are deep and intense.  It seems like a lot of meat.  I keep wanting to pick it up and get into it, but thus far I have done well to read the preface.

What are some of the books you are most intimidated by?  Did you enjoy one of the ones on my list? 

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6 thoughts on “Top Ten Most Intimidating Books

    • That is the thing… They are intimidating and yet there is something about them that makes me want to read them (partly just because they are classics).
      One day.

  1. As a long-time Russophile, it’s embarrassing for me to admit that I also couldn’t get through War and Peace. I was discussing the book with a Russian lady recently and she told me, “Oh, just skip the war parts.” I loved Anna Karenina and didn’t find it nearly as difficult to get into, but I was actually living in Russia at the time so perhaps was swept up by the atmosphere! I had trouble getting into Lord of the Rings as well, and won’t be attempting #2 and #8 on your list. 🙂

    Les Miserables is probably the most intimidating one for me. I have the ridiculous idea that I should read it in French for authenticity, but it would probably take me the rest of my life!

    • I am comforted to hear Anna Karenina is not as daunting as War and Peace! Maybe there is hope for it yet.
      I have no clue why Les Miserables wasn’t intimidating to me especially when many others tell me it should be. Now you have me wanting to read it in original French, which does get me feeling intimidated.

  2. Many of those are favorites– they’re worth it! Especially Monte Cristo! The Third Wish by Robert Fulghum took me awhile to read, but I was so glad I did– it’s one of my favorites now. I know “House of Leaves” intimidates many as well! #1 & #2 were tougher reads, though… I’d start with the others. 🙂

    • Glad to hear you loved some of these… It is good encouragement for me to actually get over the intimidation and pick them up. I haven’t heard much of House of Leaves, I will have to look in to it!

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