Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic focuses on books that are hard to read, for any number of reasons. For my list, I’m including books that were hard to take — some because the subject matter is very emotional or upsetting, some because of the high levels of violence or horror, and at least one because I just hated the reading experience (but finished it anyway).
1) Room by Emma Donoghue: This story of abduction, imprisonment, and abuse, as seen through the eyes of a five-year-old, made me feel like I’d been put through a wringer.
2) The Pact by Jodi Picoult: The Pact was my first Jodi Picoult novel, and while I loved it, I was also devastated throughout. So much pain, both on the part of the teens involved and their parents.
3) The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell: The Sparrow is one of my very favorite books, and it’s beautiful in so many ways, and yet the main character suffers so tragically that it’s simply heartbreaking to read.
4) A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon: Bad things happen to Diana Gabaldon’s characters in all of her books, and yet in this one, the 6th in the Outlander series, the bad just keeps coming and coming and coming. It’s still essential reading for fans of the series, but it’s really hard to take… and considering that the book is over 1,400 pages in length, that’s a lot of bad to deal with.
5) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: No explanation needed, right? TFiOS is a beautiful book, but who can read a book about teens with terminal cancer and not completely melt down? Not me.
6) Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein: Another beautifully written book, but so tragic and disturbing to read.
7) Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay: A terribly sad novel that hits so many of my auto-cry buttons. Imperiled children, family tragedy, Holocaust, generations of suffering. Reading this book felt like getting punched over and over and over.
8) Hater by David Moody: I probably wouldn’t have finished this book had it not been a gift, due to the unrelenting violence and bloodshed and overall intense level of senseless mayhem and hatred. I ended up glad to have stuck with it and the rest of the trilogy, as the story is fascinating, but these books are definitely not for the faint of heart.
9) NOS4A2 by Joe Hill: I loved NOS4A2, but I also can’t recall the last time I was this creeped out by a book.
10) The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson: I hated this book. Really hated it. I read it through to the end to see what would happen, but I found it just vile, with its oversensationalized violence and brutality.
What books are on your list this week?
Share your links, and I’ll come check out your top 10!
If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Bookshelf Fantasies! And don’t forget to check out our regular weekly feature, Thursday Quotables. Happy reading!
Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!