Top Ten Tuesday – Difficult Reads

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Difficult Reads

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, my definition of “difficult” varies – I’ve included books that were either challenging to read because of the structure of the novel or the type of language used, and books that were difficult to read because of the subject matter.

I’ve done it again, guys! I always post these too early before I’ve had a chance to actually edit it. Thank you to those of you who comment regardless! Hopefully now this post will make more sense! My lap-top is still on strike, so beautifully crafted photos will be added tomorrow. I know, I’m falling apart at the seams #bookbloggerfail.

Difficult reads 1

1. Tease by Amanda Maciel – I have so many mixed emotions about this book. It was an interesting read, gritty, realistic and probably reflects real-life quite closely, it made me squirm, it made me uncomfortable, and by the end I still wasn’t sure what to think. A worthwhile read that I still think about months later! Review of Tease by Amanda Maciel.

2. The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer – A complicated and intricate novel about mental illness, that touches on difficult subject matters, as well as being written in a style that takes some getting used to. I have a feeling I will be saying, “interesting”, a lot during this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, because most books that tackle difficult subjects tend to be… interesting. Review of The Shock of the Fall.

3. Louder Than Words by Iris St. Clair – This book contains “trigger” topics for a lot of people – torn families, substance abuse, sexual assault etc. While at times it could be a difficult read, I think it was handled very well, and very thoughtfully by St. Clair. Review of Louder Than Words.

4. We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver – A deep, dark and thought-provoking book that has stayed with me for years, and a book I push recommend to anyone who will listen! A very difficult read at times, but definitely worth it. Traumatising, but in a good way. I first read this years ago, so have never reviewed it on this blog, maybe I should start a Throwback Thursday feature?…

5. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare – How could you make a list of difficult reads and not include the Baird? I had to study 3 William Shakespeare plays at school, so we read this as well as King Lear and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in great detail, before watching the movie adaptations. I actually found studying these in-depth to be hugely beneficial, but couldn’t imagine tackling one of these bad boys on my own for “fun”!

Difficult reads 2

6. A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer – I read this for the first time when I was relatively young, and some of the details in this book are very shocking, so be prepared going into it. This is a true story about child abuse, one of the first that I remember seeing around, as I know these have become reasonably “popular” in recent years as more and more cases hit the press. A few years ago I researched this book a little more, and was disappointed to see some people’s reactions, questioning the validity and honesty of the story. It amazes me that people either refuse to believe, or don’t want to believe, that there are horrible people in this world who do horrible things.

7. We Were Liars by E Lockhart – This wasn’t an overly difficult book to read, but it took me a little while to get into the head-space of it, and to realise that the author was using metaphors as literal statements. By the end, I felt like I needed a second read-through (which I haven’t had yet) to fully absorb and understand the story. Review of We Were Liars.

8. Room by Emma Donoghue – This book tackles some darker themes, and is also narrated by a 5 year old. That in itself took some getting used to. A really worthwhile read that I thoroughly enjoyed, but at times was made more difficult by trying to understand a 5 year old’s perspective of the world. Review of Room.

9. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – It must be a well-known fact by now that I struggle with the classics (but I keep trying)! I was supposed to read this during Austen August hosted The Book Heap, but I kind of failed miserably. I managed to get to the half-way mark this time, which is a record to-date! I have to say reading the book after watching the BBC TV show adaptation was much more enjoyable than my previous attempts prior to seeing it. But I still didn’t manage to finish it. At least, not yet.

10. Game of Thrones by George R R Martin – I’m kind of cheating with this one, as I haven’t even attempted to read these yet. I bought the 7 book set for an absolute steal, and as everyone talks about the books and TV show, I thought, “why not”? It seemed like a good idea at the time. Except I’m petrified of high fantasy, and never justify the time it would take to read these. However, I recently read and loved Throne of Glass, which is apparently high fantasy (?), so that’s encouraged me a little…

Which books made your list today? Do you have any great “difficult read” recommendations for me? Link me up or let me know in the comments! Happy reading, Book Geeks!

About Rachel

Avid reader & #bookblogger. Lover of all things business. A fan of drinks & dancing. Ever optimistic. Feminist.

31 Responses

  1. I enjoyed Romeo and Juliet too -my teacher covered the story during a class unit and I didn’t get to read it but I analysed sections of texts and watched some movies., 😛


  2. I’m with you on We Need to Talk About Kevin – I wish I had included it in my list now! – it’s such a tough, ambiguous read but so, so good. And the movie is excellent too!


      1. I liked the movie a lot, BUT, it is not as ambiguous as I thought the book was. The movie is very atmospheric, very claustrophobic and Tilda Swinton is wonderful in it.


  3. We Need to Talk About Kevin is on my to-read pile. I would love to hear your review-type thoughts on it!

    I love classics, generally, but i have no inclination to pick up Pride an Prejudice, or Jane Eyre or any of “those” books. Ugh. No, thank you.


  4. Sue

    Agree A Child Called It was a tough read, especially because it was true. Have you read any of Ellen Hopkin’s books – Crank is a story of drug abuse also based on true story of author’s own daughter. Really tough read but beautifully written.


  5. I couldn’t even stomach Romeo and Juliet, lol! It was hard to read, and so silly. I mean, damn kids. Stop horsing around. 😀 It dragged for sure.
    GoT and the rest of the books are amazing! You don’t have the immediate high fantasy feel of them, mostly because it’s very ‘historical’ and quite political. Serious stuff comes in later. Soooo worth the read!


  6. Just a heads up – I don’t consider Game of Thrones high fantasy at all. They’re more epic – in that they go on, and on, and on, and on … I DID enjoy Throne of Glass, and it’s closer to high fantasy than Game of Thrones … but I think high fantasy has more magic, fantasy races, or whatnot. Then again, maybe that’s just me.


  7. I think all the Shakespeare I’ve read (aside from the sonnets) have been because I was under some kind of academic duress. I actually own the complete works which I got as a birthday gift, but I’m not so sure I’ll ever delve into it. It does add an intelligent air to my room though.


  8. I guessed that you would include We Need To Talk About Kevin because of its subject matter. Thank you again for the recommendation. I’m still trying to decide whether to read this one or not. 🙂 I feel the same way about Shakespeare’s works, both plays and poetry. I only ever truly understood the genius of them when we took them up in literature classes back when I was in college. I definitely needed help reading through those works. As for We Were Liars, it also took me a while to get into the writing style of the author and to where the story was going. Thanks for sharing, Rachel 🙂


      1. Maybe one day I’ll be able to try reading that book. I probably have to be in a very good place, emotionally. lol 🙂 I’ve already pegged We Were Liars as a one-time read for me. I’m with you in thinking that the second time around would never be like that first time but yeah, it’ll be interesting to see what your thoughts would be after you’ve re-read it. 🙂


  9. Elen @ A World of Reviews

    There’s a quite a few books on your list that I haven’t read (and I’m kind of scared to because of the subject matter). I do own Room though, and I need to start that one pretty soon. I can’t believe I forgot about Romeo & Juliet – it took so long to read in my English lessons, even though I did kind of enjoy it. I think I’ll have to reread it though to really appreciate it.

    Rereading We Were Liars sounds like a really good idea – I feel like I probably missed a lot of things in that book while I was reading it. I read Pride and Prejudice this August! I actually ended up getting really into it by the end, but it wasn’t easy to read at all when I first started it. You have to read Game of Thrones! They take a while to get through because of the size, but the plots and the characters and the world itself are all amazing. There are a lot of PoV’s though!


  10. Cait

    I absolutely adore Throne of Glass too, which kind of makes me feel a little braver to try Game of Thrones someday. (But seriously, what is with all the titles sounding the same?! Confusing? I THINK YES.) I avoided Tease for those reasons. >_< But I really do want to read Room. I read a book narrated by a 6-year-old about a bear attack. It was SO chilling, but the author was absolutely brilliant.
    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!


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