Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - 10 Books that Were Hard to Read


Today's Top Ten Tuesday Topic from The Broke and The Bookish is the top ten books that were hard to read for whatever reason.  Here's my 10:

1.  The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom - Let me start off by saying I love this book.  I recommend to just about everyone and make myself reread it periodically to remind myself about what is truly good with humanity and religion.  The hard part was these people are real and they're so good good and kind and you know what's going to happen to them.  There were times I had to stop because I just couldn't take anymore in one sitting.

2.  The Diary of Anne Frank -  I had a similar reaction to this book that I had to The Hiding Place.  You forget sometimes what's going to happen because Anne is such a normal girl and then you remember and it's absolutely heart wrenching.

3.  Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery - I've read this book several times and it's always been one of my favorites partly because the setting - World War 1 Canada - is so unusual.  There have always been parts I've cried during because if you can stay dry-eyed during some of the Dog Monday parts I'm pretty sure you have no heart.  However, this most recent time I sobbed throughout the entire book.  I think age-wise I identified so much with Anne and Gilbert who were sending their children off to war.

4.  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - This wasn't hard to read but during the first night in the arena I had to make myself keep reading.  There were characters I really liked and I knew bad things were going to happen and I just didn't want them too.

5.  Passenger to Frankfurt by Agatha Christie - This is just hard to read.  There's 9000 characters and the plot is a jumbled mess.

6.  Grey Mask by Patricia Wentworth - I actually have read this recent and enjoyed it but the first time I barely made it through.  It's so much dryer than her other books I just had a hard time getting through it.

7.  Come Home to Me by Brenda Novak - This book had pretty much every book pet peeve rolled into 1 book.  There was a secret child, a potential accidental pregnancy, a guy whose a jerk to the female MC and bunches of TSTL (to stupid to live) characters.  The only reason I made it through is because Novak is a great storyteller.

8.  Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers - I wanted to love this one so much.  I wanted to be swept up in Mary Poppins magic.  But I just wasn't.  Mary was kind of mean and the stories seemed a little random.  I think I would've liked it better if I had lower expectations.

9.  My Life in France by Julia Child -  I don't like Julia.  Like really really don't like  her.  The food stuff was interesting and she was a pioneer in legitimizing the home cook but if she said one more thing about how close minded someone was I was going to throw the book at the wall.  It felt like she complained about everyone.  I wanted to tell her that maybe she was the problem.

10. This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - There was 1 scene towards the beginning that I just couldn't get past.  It ends up getting laughed off but the female lead basically rapes the guy and it's just put down as typical Molly rebellion.  I really liked the rest of the book and the characters together but I had a hard time getting past the beginning.

28 comments:

  1. I was feeling like I'd pretty much read all of Agatha Christie's books but "Passenger to Frankfurt" does not sound familiar... I may need to go find it and read it... and somehow how slog through the characters. ;)
    http://youmeandacupofteablog.blogspot.com/2014/09/top-ten-books-that-were-hard-for-me-to.html

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    1. I know some people have enjoyed it and so hopefully you will be one of those. It just didn't work for me!

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  2. Lots of books I'm not familiar with here and it's interesting to hear your thoughts about them. I'm going to find out more about The Hiding Place now.

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    1. The Hiding Place is really a book that everyone should read. It's just not an easy one to actually read!

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  3. I've only heard of a few of these. The Hunger Games was hard for me to put down, I remember actually flinching at certain parts of that book. It was so calm and then it became very fast paced all at once.

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    1. Definitely on The Hunger Games! I think I was holding my breath through a lot of that read.

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  4. The Hiding Place and The Diary of Anne Frank were two of my favorites, but I agree they are more difficult to get through b/c of their truth. But then Hunger Games wasn't true, but still the subject matter was challenging.

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    1. The fact that both The Hiding Place and Anne Frank were true definitely made them more difficult to read. While I didn't necessarily want to bad things to happen to the characters in Hunger Games I don't think the impact was quite as strong.

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  5. Let's see if my comment posts this time...Stupid blogger is being a jerk today.
    Anyhow, The Diary of Anne Frank was required reading for me in grade 6 or 7. I remember being blown away by what Anne experienced. Now that I'm a-somewhat- mature adult with a very different view on life I should give it another go.
    I've heard that reading Mary Poppins is nothing like the Disneyized version(s). Because I love my Disney Mary Poppins I think I'll skip ever reading the source material. Don't want to ruin a good thing.
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

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    1. Sorry for soooo many comments! I kept getting an error message. So of course I just kept trying to post my comment. Lol. Stupid blogger...

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    2. Blogger was pitching a temper tantrum this week. Hopefully it's calmed down a bit! I actually was underwhelmed by Anne Frank when I first read it and then when I read it in college it blew me away. It'd be interesting to see what you thought of it since you were impressed with it the first time.
      If you loved the Disney version than avoid the book of Mary Poppins. It just wasn't nearly as good!

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  6. What a list! I haven't read any of them.

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    1. Definitely don't read some of these though I do think everyone should read The Hiding Place at some point!

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  7. If this ends up being a repeat comment, it's because my reply from earlier was eaten up by the internet bugs. While I was reading The Hunger Games trilogy, I kept repeating Peeta's name in an effort to keep him from experiencing all that pain. It didn't work :(

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    1. Blogger seems to have been pitching a bit of a temper tantrum this week! I had a friend who had the same experience with Peeta. I was more worried that Katniss would end up having to kill Rue!

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  8. I can see where The Hunger Games would be that way... and I've heard that about Mary Poppins before, seems like. I only know the movie, kids love it but the book I've heard is... less fun. Great list!

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    1. Less fun is definitely the way I would describe Mary Poppins the book. I just found it odd to be honest.

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  9. I've only read Diary of Anne Frank and the Hunger Games, but have heard of a few of the others. It's a great list! I put Night by Elie Wiesel on mine for the same reason as Anne Frank or the Hiding Place, because it's true events and so sorrowful I will have to be in a certain frame of mind to read it for my Classics Club. Thanks for taking the time to think of these and share them.

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    1. The Hiding Place had a lot of hope which kept it from being too sorrowful. I've heard of Night and I think that would definitely be on my list as well.

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  10. I haven't read any of those books, however I was tempted by The Hunger Games until I saw the movie. After that I know those books would be too hard for me to read.
    Interesting list, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hunger Games was definitely intense though I found it easier than I thought it would be to read. It was just when I had to stop for the night and a key point that I didn't want to pick it back up!

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  11. Dying over the Julia Child one. That's too funny. On the SEP. Not so much. She's one I want to try so appreciate knowing that. I'd prob have a hard time with that.

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    1. I've liked SEP's more recent books a lot but her earlier ones have some ick issues. They're fun reading but there are some issues you have to get past. I just listened to The Great Escape which I enjoyed and there was one called What I Did for Love which was a lot of fun. Just stay with the newer ones and I think you'll be fine! As for Julia Child I know lots of people love that book but I really just wanted to yell at her.

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  12. I really enjoyed your comment about the Julia Child book. I met her once in an airport - she was in MacDonald's eating a Big Mac! While I haven't read the many of the books you reviewed, I did read the Hunger Games, Diary of Anne Frank, Passenger to Frankfurt and Mary Poppins. Your comments were spot on. With regard to the Agatha Christie, I cut the author some slack - with so many good books to her credit, I figured she was allowed one miss.

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    1. Okay I kind of like her a little more now since she was eating a Big Mac. That sounds incredibly human. Dealing with Child in book did not endear her to me though.I cut Agatha some slack as well for exactly the same reason you did! 1 out of 85 isn't too bad!

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  13. Good list, Katherine! I haven't read The Hiding Place yet, but I'm anticipating some of the same emotional difficulties I've had when I've read other books on the Holocaust and/or the horrors of that war. I know exactly where you cry in Rilla of Ingleside, because those parts get me too, every time. (Dog Monday, and oh, Walter! I weep just thinking of that.) Mary Poppins seems to be a book people either love or don't like at all. I actually enjoy Passenger to Frankfurt, although it's quite different from the usual Christie fare, but I can see why you don't enjoy it. As for Grey Mask, I had to laugh - that's the only Wentworth I've tried to read, and I gave up on her because it was so dry! Now that I know it's not typical of her books, I will try one of the others. :-)

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    1. Yes exactly! I get teary eyed just thinking about Walter as well. The Hiding Place is a tough book to read but the overall message of hope and forgiveness is really wonderful. I had wondered if Grey Mask was the Wentworth you had read! Definitely try another one. I'm glad you enjoyed Passenger to Frankfurt. I really wish I could make it work for me. Maybe it's a mood issue?

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  14. As I was going through all my books this weekend, I came across The Hiding Place and wondered if maybe it wasn't one I should re-read soon. It was definitely not one of the books I weeded out.

    Great list, Katherine!

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