Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Further Conversation about Reading Challenging Books . . .

Challenging Books This conversation began on September 12th and continued on September 14th, 17th, 19th, and 21st

The posts on the 19th and 21st had a list of Challenging books

And, though there’ve been 9 readers’ comments in the posts of this discussion, the one on the 21st is what’s let this conversation continue today…

This comment comes from an accomplished author living in Melbourne, Australia (our author begins by referring to books in the mentioned list...):

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/) (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, that 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…”The Legend of Hereward: A Novel of Norman England“…’

“So, try that one first :-) :-) “

I honestly can’t remember any books I read when I was thirteen :-)

Though, I’ve had a relative tell me that, when I visited their home as a young boy, I’d sit for hours reading their encyclopedias…

Plus, my voracious reading has never been long absent from my life; though, it’s too bad I can’t remember the challenging books, except for the works of C. J. Cherryh ( …always a fulfilling and refreshing Challenge... ).


What are some of your 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

5 responses to “Further Conversation about Reading Challenging Books . . .

  1. martinaseveckepohlen September 25, 2018 at 1:57 am

    One summer term in the early 1990s, I had an English class reading The Canterbury Tales. Although ist was a literary subject, the professor usually taught linguistics. But older versions of languages (many lanuages!) were a kind of hobby of his, and therefore we looked at Chaucer’s text in a different and surprisingly entertaining way. After that class I spend the summer vacation reading a modern translation of The Canterbury Tales. If I dadn’t had the class before I would have given up. The lack of historical knowledge, the metaphores I could just recognize as metaphores but not understand … but I finally finished the book. Looking back, it was definitely a challenge but I gained a glimpse at so many facets of history and mythology.


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

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

  4. Pingback: Blog Conversation about Reading Print Books or Ebooks? | Notes from An Alien

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