Top Ten Tuesday- Intimidation

This week The Broke and the Bookish ask us what our top ten most intimidating books are. Make sure to check back later this week for my June reviews and for a recap of my visit to Harry Potter World (or whatever the hell it's called). 

By the way, follow me on Bloglovin'! I'm really confused about the whole Google Reader Crisis 2013 (ohmygawd, send in the Red Cross! The National Guard!)- I assumed this meant my feed on the main Blogger screen would disappear but it's still alive and kickin'- for now, anyway. Nonetheless, I'm all hooked up with the Bloglovin' badge on the side if you're interested. 

Underworld by Don Delillo
Intimidation Factor: Length, complexity
I actually finished this last year after starting and stopping several times before. It would be fine if it was just long, but the text is pretty involved.

Building Stories by Chris Ware
Intimidation Factor: Knowing where to start
For those unfamiliar, Building Stories is a box full of pamphlets, books, posters, etc... that tell the stories of some inhabitants of an apartment complex. Basically it's an experimental graphic novel.

Anything by Mark Danielewski
Intimidation Factor: Complexity
My husband has read one or two of his books and has expressed his total bafflement at (I think) Only Revolutions. If he's confused then I know I would be. 

Ulysses by James Joyce
Intimidation Factor: Length, Complexity, Sense of Obligation
I feel guilty not having read this, considering I have my degree in English. I've been trying to convince my husband to read it concurrently so that we can discuss but am still honing my powers of persuasion.

Intimidation Factor: Complexity, Outside My Comfort Zone
Now that I teach high school and have to teach legit poetry I've had to step outside my comfort zone and work with the genre. It doesn't come naturally to me, especially when addressing meter, so it's something I have to make more of an effort on.

Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller
Intimidation Factor: Technique, Ingredients
I love Thomas Keller's book and have tried a few recipes (some with success, some without), but the bulk of them are really difficult and often call for ingredients or equipment that difficult to come by where I live.  

The Problem of Pain by CS Lewis
Intimidation Factor:Subject Matter
I struggle with religion and spirituality and have had this book sitting by my bed for over a year. 

What ruffles your feathers?


  1. James Joyce! Totally forgot about him...but I think I've also steered clear of him because my English prof in first year undergrad sort of loved to refer to him and I wasn't very fond of that prof so yeah, there's that association factor xP

    My TTT

  2. I've got James Joyce on my list too. I'm far too intimidated to read his work. Great list.

  3. James Joyce is also on my list. I feel like I need to read it and should have read it years ago in English class but it was never on the curriculum. Thanks for sharing.

    My TTT:

  4. I love Building Stories. I'll admit I haven't actually read it, but I love the concept and I love playing with the booklets (hello, I'm apparently five years old!).

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  5. I have Building Stories too. I picked it up at a used books store and when I opened it when I got home I had no idea what I was looking at. I guess you just need to dive in.

  6. I've been working on not feeling guilty over not liking certain classics. I was a creative writing major, and there was a lot of pressure in certain areas to appreciate all those famous old authors. But hey, I don't like Faulkner, and from what I've heard of "Ulysses," I definitely won't like it. My tastes are my own, though, and I'm over feeling ashamed of my reading tastes. Life is too short to waste it forcing yourself through books you don't enjoy!

    As for getting over poetry intimidation, you might want to check out Scott Poole - he writes irreverent, funny poems and takes pride in flouting the pretensions associated with poetry.

  7. I have read most of Lewis's works, but I will admit, that one I have left alone for the reason you mentioned on my blog: difficult topics are hard!

    (Thanks for visiting!)

  8. Blergh, poetry! For the most part I can't stand it -- the only poets I read with any regularity are Shakespeare and Hafiz, and they've been dead for centuries.

    Totally with you on the difficulties with religion. It's a tough subject for those who aren't struggling and haven't had negative experiences; it's even more so for those who are or have.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!