Booking Through Thursday — Difficult Reading

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What’s the hardest/most challenging book you’ve ever read? Was it worth the effort? Did you read it by choice or was it an assignment/obligation?

This week’s question reminds me of a high school English class back in the day.  The teacher decided the class would read a Hemingway novel and the divided us up into groups based on what she took as our reading level.  A lot of the class got to read Old Man and the Sea while I and one other person got to real A Farewell to Arms.   Needless to say, it was a bit of a challenge, but one I enjoyed.

I’m not sure I’d say it was the most challenging book I’ve read.  That would probably go to A Light in August by William Faulkner.  Again, it was a high school English teacher assigning a book to challenge me.  Faulkner’s use of language was masterful, but the book required more than most bubble-gum type of novels I was reading at the time (and still do).

Since I’ve matriculated, I’ve challenged myself from time to time with reading material.  Or it’s challenged me a times.  I tried to plow through Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norville a few years ago and found it a dreadful book.  I gave up and have never regretted not finishing it.  How it won the Hugo is beyond me….


Filed under Booking Through Thursday, meme

4 responses to “Booking Through Thursday — Difficult Reading

  1. I’ve read both Hemingway books in a foggy past but can’t really say I remember much. By Faulkner I read something else, can’t recall the title, but found it ‘heavy’.

  2. A Light in August was a tough one the first time I read it, but when I reread it, I found it much easier. The power of letting the brain mature LOl

    Here’s mine:

  3. Reading this I’m glad our teachers assigned books by class not by reading level. One of my english teachers liked to “push” students to be better and I dread to think what she would have picked for me, although I was in an advanced English class and our book was The Handmaid’s Tale (which I love) so it may not have been too bad.

    My BTT is here if you’d like a look 🙂

  4. I’m noticing a trend that most of the books mentioned were forced on us in Lit class. You list are pretty harsh too… boring choice that they hoped would teach us ‘something’.

    Here’s my BTT – House Millar series


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