This week’s top ten list is all about intimidating books. Intimidating can mean so many things – maybe a book that looks over-long, or seems to be the subject of a lot of attention. What if I read it and fall on the ‘wrong’ side of popular opinion? What if I can’t ever finish it?! Each of us has our own fear/reading mountain to climb, and I’m sure you’ll tell me if one (or more) of the books I’ve listed is really the best thing ever. I mean, please do!
Top Ten Most Intimidating Books
1. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace – This is THE book. You’re not in until you’ve read it. I’m not in. And I’m not sure I ever will be.
2. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell – It’s been made into a film, so I feel extra pressure to read the book. But what if I don’t like the book? Or the film? Dangit.
3. Ulysses by James Joyce – Definition of an intimidating book = Ulysses. I mean, it’s on every list. This one and Moby Dick.
4. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke – I’m actually halfway through this story. I even liked it while I was reading it. Only problem? I put it down 2 years ago and don’t remember a single thing, so I’d have to start at the beginning. At over a thousand pages long, this one is just… a lot.
5. Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle – I don’t own this cookbook and have no plans to buy it, but as a home cook I feel the weight of Julie and Julia expectations (mostly self-inflicted, of course).
6. Dune by Frank Herbert – I am light years behind in classic sci-fi reading, and this is just one book that symbolizes that black hole in my life. Heheh.
7. Sandman comics by Neil Gaiman – I call myself a Neil Gaiman fan, but I haven’t picked up his graphic novels. Any of them. I wouldn’t know where to start, and I’m a bit afraid to try.
8. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – It’s been called one of *the* traditional fantasies, but the sheer size of this book (and its follow-ups) is daunting when my TBR pile is already several bookcases high/wide/deep.
9. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – With this one, it’s the weight of generations of readers’ love and influence. How could it ever live up to the hype? Or worse yet, what if it does?! Then I’ll feel stupid for holding off for so long
10. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath – See my comments about the previous book. Times one thousand.
What books would make your list?