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This meme is brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is the top ten most intimidating books that we all dread to read for one reason or another. Here is my list of titles:

  1. Ulysses by James Joyce – I will feel like a complete failure/idiot if I cannot get through this book in one sitting. Especially since it is THE most important book in modern literature. EVER. *shudders*
  2. The Waves by Virginia Woolf – Sometimes Woolf can be completely incomprehensible to me. Her writing is like a strange melody with a hidden beat. I have to hunt for the damn thing in all the dense foliage of her prose. ‘The Waves’ completely baffled me and I wound up running to the nearest exit to this weird labyrinth of fiction.
  3. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes – The sheer size of it puts me off. It lives on the shelf next to Milton’s Paradise Lost.
  4. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger – I really don’t know why people call this a great novel. Never really saw it myself. Intimidating when you can’t see what millions of others can.
  5.  Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon – He is so awesome. ‘The Crying of Lot 49‘ changed my taste in books drastically. It was also one of the hardest damn books I’d ever read. What if I don’t get this one?
  6. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand – The books scares me (sheer size), Ayn Rand scares me (have you seen her?) OMIGOD.
  7. 2666 by Roberto Bolano – I have a love/hate relationship with Bolano. I keep expecting the same kind of pleasure I get when I read Borges but get confused when I don’t. Confused and angry. Not quite the same as intimidated, but…
  8. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie – So much controversy around this novel. What if I end up hating it? Will it cost me a well-respected author?
  9. House of Leaves by M.Z. Danielewski – I read this once before. I don’t think I’ll read it again anytime soon. I have never been so scared of words and the things they can unravel both within and without. Danielewski is king. I grovel at his feet.
  10. The Dark Tower series by Stephen King – A mammoth seven book series that I have only briefly dipped into. I don’t know if I can last the distance…

That’s my list of intimidating books guys. How about yours? Are there any above that scare the bejesus out of you? Would you add to the list?

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