Sunday, August 5, 2012

BW32: Difficult books

Ulysses Sepia by 96dpi

A few Christmases ago, my husband decided he was going to buy me the largest possible book he could find, the one with the most words.  I ended up with War and Peace (1440 pages) and an independently published book called Walls of Phantoms (1320 pages)   I enjoyed the first and for my husband I slogged through the latter.  The links are to my reviews.   So I was quite amused and relieved when did a search today and discovered he could have gotten me Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time (7 volumes at 4211 pages), Madison Cooper's Sironia, Texas (2 Volumes at 1731 pages) or Luo Guanzhong's Romance of the Three Kingdom's (4 Volumes at 2342 pages).  I think I got off lightly.  

While perusing the interwebz, I stumbled across The Millions Difficult Books series which they started in 2009 and for 2012 have put together a list of the top ten they consider the most difficult of the difficult.
Check out the link for their reasoning. 

The Faerie Queen

To The Lighthouse

A Tale of a Tub

Phenomenology of Spirit

The Making of Americans



Being and Time

Finnegan's Wake
Women and Men

The only book on this particular list I've read is To The Lighthouse and while stream of consciousness writing is not easy to read, can't say it was the most difficult book I have ever read.  Would have to say Nausea by Jean Paul Sartre which, like it's title, was simply nauseating.

Have you read any of these books?  What is the one book you would consider the most difficult so far to read?

Link to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you have multiple reviews, then type in (multi) after your name and link to your general blog url. If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.


  1. I recently discovered Proust! LOL! It was on this list about 1001 books you have to read. That list had quite a few of those "hard ones." I think I will skip them and stick to my current list. After finishing The Well-Educated Mind List, I launched into the 100 Great Books List and Invitation to the Classics List. I am going to swear off lists after that!

    Plato was surprisingly easy to read though. I liked it.

    1. I just learned about Proust last year and have yet to read anything by him. Eventually. Have fun with your currently great books list.

  2. Finished book #31 "The Actor and the Housewife" by Shannon Hale. A sweet, fun story that has an incredibly sad part right towards the end.

  3. finished Sweet Tea at Sunrise by Sherryl Woods. Only one book left in the series :-( and it looks like she's moved on to other books.

    I've only heard of one of the books but several of the authors were recognized. Haven't read any of them but I'm thinking it would make a great challenge ;-)

    1. I've read her Chesepeake series but none of the sweet magnolias. Will have to give them a try.

  4. I'll keep posting one book a week ... but I am proud to announce that I am officially over the 52 book mark. The end of July found me at 54.

  5. I don't think I could handle any of the difficult books right now! ;)

  6. I tend to stay away from those kind--but I did make it through War and Peace last year.


Thank you for your kind comments.