Takes Work, But They're Worth It

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week they post a new topic/top ten list and invite everyone to share their own answers. I'm so obsessed with lists - so it makes perfect sense that I'd love this feature!

Because of... Writing Style

1. Bleak House by Charles Dickens | I love Dickens, but this book was definitely a challenge to read! After creating my blog, I decided to participate in a read-along with this book. The experience was fun, but I wasn't crazy about the book. It was so confusing! | My Review

2. Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy | I read this in high school and had a love/hate relationship with it. Hardy was challenging sexual more of the Victorian period with this book, which I can appreciate. But oh goodness, it was such a depressing read!

3. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne | This was another classic from high school, and I'm so glad that I had an excellent teacher guiding us through it. I adored this book, but I credit my teacher for making it come alive and prompting such intriguing discussions.

4. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo | So, I wanted to love this one when I read it last year. But this was such a chore to get through! When it focused on the characters, I was hooked... and then it would get lost in some pages long essay on sewers, politics, etc. No thanks! | My Review

5. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy | This was a hard read, but in a good way. I read this in my AP English class in high school, and it's remained an all-time favorite book. It was surprisingly readable, although it sometimes suffers from the same long-winded diatribes prevalent in Les Miserables.

Because of... Subject Matter

6. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank | This book is such an incredible read, but it's also so difficult. I remember reading it when I was much younger, and it was one of the first times that history became real to me. It wasn't just dates and events - real people lived through it.

7. There Is No Me Without You by Melissa Fay Greene - I loved this book when I read it earlier this year, but it's definitely a heavy subject matter: the HIV/AIDS crisis in Ethopia and how it has impacted children, in particular. It was a moving and heartbreaking book. | My Review

8. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand - While this is one of my all-time favorite books, it was definitely hard to read. The struggle to survive, the torture and abuse, the ugliest parts of war... I will never forget this this man's story or the way it touched my heart. | My Review

9. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot - This book was so interesting, but it also made me stomach hurt at times. Questions of ethics, race, class, consent... Reading about the troubled relationship between medicine and minorities was a hard reminder of this country's history. | My Review

10. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls | This memoir is so well-written, and I loved Walls' voice. But it was definitely hard to read about all the ways her parents neglected their children and failed to provide for them. I was amazed by how the kids managed to overcome the hurt and not be defined by it.


  1. I need to read Unbroken!! My sister got it as a graduation gift and I immediately stole it...then forgot to bring it to SD with me...epic fail.

  2. I so gave up on Anna Karenina and Les Miserables. I just could not get into either, especially LM because of the random tangents! Life of Henrietta Lacks was so good for me, I flew through that book.

  3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was on my list too! I loved it, but it was so disturbing and just hard to read. I am looking forward, with a small amount of trepidation, to her next book, about ethics and animal research.

  4. I agree about Anna Karenina, very readable until the diatribes about farming or politics.

  5. I'm with you about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. There are just so many layers to unpack and then once you are done reading, it's time to wonder about journalistic ethics and what it means that a white, educated, upper class woman interviewed the family and wrote this book.

  6. Les Miserables and Anna Karenina are two classics that I fully intend on reading. It's just very intimidating to look at how chunky both are! I hope to get around to reading them soon, especially Les Miserables as my cousin is obsessed with how awesome she thinks it is and I want to discuss with her.


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