The 8 Hardest Books to Read of All Time - PureWowA few months back, one of our customers sent us a special request for a list of 10 books we felt everyone absolutely must read in his or her lifetime. The question intrigued us and we immediately launched into a heated debate. Should the Bible be on the list? No text has influenced Western culture more, but might it be equally important to read the Koran or the Torah for a more enlightened worldview? How could we whittle down our list to just 10 books?
The 25 Most Challenging Books You Will Ever Read
What book to you humble brag about having read? We all have one, that super-difficult book you slogged through one summer on principle in your pre-DNFing days. As I see it, there are two basic categories of difficult. Some books are difficult to read because of the subject matter. Other books are difficult to physically process as prose.
If you've made it all the way through any of these, give yourself a pat on the back. Bonus points if you actually understood what you were reading. What makes it challenging: There's no clear plot — it's all stream of consciousness, filled with idiosyncratic language, free association, and an overall attempt to capture the feeling of dreams. After seven decades, Joyce scholars continue to argue over what it all means. Excerpt: "Sir Tristram, violer d'amores, fr'over the short sea, had passencore rearrived from North Armorica on this side the scraggy isthmus of Europe Minor to wielderfight his penisolate war: nor had topsawyer's rocks by the stream Oconee exaggerated themselse to Laurens County's gorgios while they went doublin their mumper all the time: nor avoice from afire bellowsed mishe mishe to tauftauf thuartpeatrick: not yet, though venissoon after, had a kidscad buttended a bland old isaac: not yet, though all's fair in vanessy, were sosie sesthers wroth with twone nathandjoe. What makes it challenging: The style is stream of consciousness with three different narrators and one third-person section. The first narrator is mentally disabled to the extent that he cannot process linear time and jumps between past and present mid-sentence.