Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Yet More Conversation about Reading Challenging Books . . .

This conversation began on September 12th and continued on September 14th, 17th, and 19th… Challenging book

We had a comment on the post on the 19th; so, we can carry the discussion further…

That last post had a list of 10 purportedly difficult or challenging books; and, Martina’s comment is acknowledging a book on that list:

“‘The Scarlet Letter‘ was my subject for final exams in my English class at university. I didn’t think it was ‘difficult’; but, ‘challenging’ is a good term to describe it. There are so many layers of meaning, and not all of them are easily accessed by a young person.”


Another proof that Challenging can be Good :-)

I’ll wrap up this installment of our conversation with that list of 10 Challenging Books followed by a few questions to encourage you to, perhaps, share a comment…

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot
Naked Lunch by William Burroughs
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Finnegans Wake by James Joyce


Would you like to share your thoughts on any of those 10 listed books that you might have read…?

What are some of your other reading challenges…?

What are some reading challenges you enjoy dealing with…?

What are some challenges that drive you crazy…?

How about reading challenges your friends or acquaintances reveal…?

Perhaps you’ll share challenges you used to have but you’ve overcome…?

Reminderit only takes one comment to keep this discussion going………
If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
Our Blog Conversations are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays—the rest of the week, I share valuable posts from other blogs

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

6 responses to “Yet More Conversation about Reading Challenging Books . . .

  1. Jane Watson September 24, 2018 at 9:20 am

    I have read (and enjoyed) ‘The Waste Land’ and ‘War and Peace’ and dipped into some of the others… I think the most difficult books I have read were difficult for me at the time, not because I could not read them, but because the subject matter was outside my then limited experience as a young person. I struggled with ‘Heart of Darkness’, Middlemarch and Tess of the D’Urbervilles….I understood what they were about on a superficial level but I could not see what they were saying on a deeper more metaphoric level. Now I would like to go back and read these books as a more mature person.

    Actually I think my prize for my most difficult book would have to be ‘Hereward The Wake’ written by by Charles Kingsley (London: Macmillan, 1866) which according to Wikipedia describes the life of:

    “…Hereward the Wake (pronounced /ˈhɛrɪwəd/[1]) (c. 1035 – c.1072), (also known as Hereward the Outlaw or Hereward the Exile), [who] was an Anglo-Saxon nobleman and a leader of local resistance to the Norman Conquest of England…”

    All I can remember when I attempted this book at thirteen is that Hereward spent a lot of time running around the Fens and bogs in East Anglia, which were very wet and so foreign to me, a young Australian, they were almost fascinating….

    But apparently, also according to Wikipedia, a more recent version of Hereward’s exploits by Mike Ripley came out in 2007, which sounds a lot more riveting because:

    “…Hereward is portrayed as a prototype Robin Hood, but also as a drug-taking, psychopathic arsonist, in Mike Ripley’s novel The Legend of Hereward the Wake (2007)…”

    So try that one first :-) :-)


  2. Pingback: Further Conversation about Reading Challenging Books . . . | Notes from An Alien

  3. Pingback: Even Further Conversation about Reading Challenging Books . . . | Notes from An Alien

  4. Pingback: Still Further Conversation about Reading Challenging Books . . . | Notes from An Alien

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