As bookworms, there are certain standards we hold ourselves to. One of those standards is being able to finish a book, no matter how difficult it might be. Well, I seem to have broken the bookworm code. Some books are just way to difficult to get through and that’s ok! There’s no shame in putting down a book if you don’t like it. It happens to everyone, whether we want to admit it or not. Here are 9 of the most difficult books I never finished or am struggling to finish.
1) The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser
Where to begin. I wanted to love this one, because I love fantasy and it was written to appease Elizabeth I (I’m obsessed with Tudor history). Unfortunately, the complicated epic poem is not an easy read. While I was only required to read part of it for a class, I found myself not even being able to do that. So complicated. So disappointed. It doesn’t help that it’s written in old English.
2) Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
SAD. BORING. I wanted to empathize with Ethan and his situation, but it was difficult to. Besides the tree scene at the end, I found that the plot was wildly uneventful.
3) The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
I have around 10 pages left in this book. I. Cannot. Do. It. I love Baldwin to death and admire him greatly, but this book was not what I thought it was. Even though it’s around 100 pages, it was a slow read. While I was expecting profound revelations from Baldwin, what I got was a backstory of Baldwin’s religious beliefs, his experience meeting Elijah Muhammad, and the relation between religion and race. It was interesting and I did learn a lot, but I could not finish it.
4) The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
Much like The Faerie Queene, The Canterbury Tales are written in Old English and are difficult to follow. For class, I was required to read the Old English version, but would probably have enjoyed the modern one more.
5) Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Whales. Are. Not. Interesting. Maybe Ishmael’s story is, but definitely not the whale or whaling in general.
6) 1984 by George Orwell
I think I care more about Winston’s experience and his story than I do about the backstory of Oceania and its government. Still struggling through the classic, but I am determined to continue.
7) Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
I don’t remember a word of this book. I skimmed it for class, but could not for the life of me understand anything. It’s a shame, because I really wanted to love it!
8) One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I must admit, shamefully, that I couldn’t get past the first 10 pages or so. I found it difficult to follow. I am highly disappointed in myself as this is a revered classic. I may try again on this one soon.
9) To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
I’m not the biggest fan of Woolf’s, but this is probably my favorite of hers besides A Room of One’s Own. The problem I have with Woolf is the stream of consciousness style she writes in. While I understand most of it, it’s hard to follow. I finished the book, but admit I skimmed some parts in the middle. I couldn’t tell you a character’s name if I tried.
If you’re like me and haven’t finished a book, or find certain books difficult to read, no worries. It happens to the best of us and the best we can do is say we tried and move on to the next book!
Featured image courtesy of Someecards