Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists of other bloggers who participate!


July 2: Top Ten Most Intimidating Books (might be intimated by size, content, that everyone else loves it but you are sure you won’t etc)

Atlas Shrugged

1. Atlas Shrugged; Ayn Rand. A hefty 1,168 pages. This book feels even longer, heavy on the politics, and a pretty depressing view of human nature.

bell jar

2. The Bell Jar; Sylvia Plath. This is one of those books that you’re told are good–depressing, dark, but good. It’s a little hard to nerve yourself to dive into that darkness, though.

Monte Cristo

3. The Count of Monte Cristo; Alexandre Dumas. Another big book–1,276 pages. And reading about crazy, crazy revenge is always a little scary.

Crime and Punishment

4. Crime and Punishment; Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I have never read a Russian novel that wasn’t deeply depressing.


5. Cryptonomicon; Neal Stephenson.  This book, like many by Stephenson, is long–1,168 pages. Pretty much anything he wrote could qualify for this list. When does a book intimidate based on length alone? I’m not sure, but over 1,000 pages ought to qualify.


6. Deliverance; James Dickey. I knew this book would have some disturbing scenes, and it did–disturbing and graphic. The ‘paddle faster, I hear banjos’ joke? Not so funny now.

helter skelter

7. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders; Vincent Bugliosi. A friend recommended this book to me, and I always read whatever my friends recommend. I am a terrible wimp when it comes to death, blood, and/or suffering, so I expected this book to creep me out. It did.

kite runner

8. The Kite Runner; Khaled Hosseini. Another book I saw that I ‘had’ to read, but I knew the subject was going to be depressing–it contains some harsh truths.

Les Mis

9. Les Miserables; Victor Hugo. One, this book is 1,463 pages. Which is verrry long. Two, it’s about a whole bunch of miserable people, suffering and dying.


10. Lolita; Vladimir Nabokov. Just knowing what this book was about made me not want to read it, but it was on a 100 Novel List, so I decided to give it a try. I didn’t finish it.


About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

6 responses »

  1. Marcia says:

    Finally! A list I’m familiar with! 😀 I’ve read all but 2, The Kite Runner and Cryptonomicon, which I confess, I’ve never heard of. And most of them, I read when I was very young. High school age. (Lo, those many years ago!) Though, of course, Deliverance and Helter-Skelter were written a bit after that. I actually liked every one of them, except Lolita, which I couldn’t finish either. Ugh. As a teenager, I was quite fond of Ayn Rand. Read The Fountainhead, too. And saw the movie. Looking back on these books now, I’m not sure I would want to invest the time involved in any of them. Too many goodies in my In Basket, waiting for me. And not enough patience with the heavier issues, I guess.

  2. I’m a huge fan of Hugo’s Les Mis, but I’ll admit that it’s one I encourage people to read in abridged form if the full text intimidates them. I love Hugo’s tangents into French history, philosophy and ethics, but they do get to be a bit much. I’m currently stuck in the Waterloo chapter in my reread. 🙂

  3. Melissa @ Swamp of Boredom says:

    I read Helter Skelter in high school. I have no idea what I was thinking. Disturbing is putting it mildly.

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