Difficult Book Lists
Top 10 Greatest Novels of All Time
The Hardest Books We’ve Ever Read
Back in , The Millions started its "Difficult Books" series --devoted to identifying the hardest and most frustrating books ever written, as well as what made them so hard and frustrating. The two curators, Emily Colette Wilkinson and Garth Risk Hallberg, have selected the most difficult of the most difficult, telling us about the 10 literary Mt. Everests waiting out there for you to climb, should you be so bold. If you can somehow read all 10, you probably ascend to the being immediately above Homo sapiens. How many have you read? What books would you add? Let us know in the comments!
What book to you humble brag about having read? We all have one, that super-difficult book you slogged through one summer on principle in your pre-DNFing days. As I see it, there are two basic categories of difficult. Some books are difficult to read because of the subject matter. Other books are difficult to physically process as prose.
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Maybe the authors of these hardest books to read are laughing at all of us right now, or maybe they didn't even mean to make the book so tough, but here we all are, slogging through these book swamps, trying to figure out what the hell James Joyce is even on about with Ulysses. Hard books to read run the gamut. Some are just too long, like War and Peace. Others are just perplexing and no one will ever know what's really going on in them, even that kid in your Honors College literature class who thinks he is so cool. Still others of the most difficult books ever written aren't even really that complicated, they just happen to be as boring as listening to anyone, anywhere, at anytime, talking about traffic.