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Intimidation List

I’ve been making dents in my TBR pile. While I am happy with the progress, I am intimidated by a good number of the books, for various reasons:

Houe Made of Dawn N. Scott Momaday.
Currently perusing it with undivided attention. The prose, beautiful but arduous, always seemed hazy to me that I rushed through it in high school.
The Fountainhead Ayn Rand.
Think Ayn Rand is more intimidating than the book itself.
Moby Dick Herman Melville.
Read an abridged version for AP English but had no motivation to read it again. Boredom can be intimidating.
Collected Fictions Jorge Luis Borges.
Maybe it’s the translation that turns me off. They are overly wordy and do not capture the dry, succinct language that somehow heightens the imaginative power of the stories. I’m resolved to read this one anyway.
In the First Circle Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
Both the size and the scope of this epic novel unnerve me, although I have heard from trusted sources that this could very well be one of the best novels that 20th century offers.
The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner
What book by Faulkner is not intimidating? I found this one, which I skimmed in 12th grade, more impossible than Ulysses.

10 Responses

  1. I am terribly intimidated by Ayn Rand as well – and glad to hear that I am not the only one 🙂

  2. That makes the TBR Dare a daring act. If I were to participate I would have been forced to read Remembrance of Things Past II (over 1000 pages) lol. I am saving it for a day I would have the need to.

  3. Dear Sir,

    I’m actually shocked by the last entry on your list. Given the complexity of some of the things I’ve read here, I think you just freaked yourself out in 12th grade (re: The Sound and the Fury). Give it a long slow approach and you’ll find it opens up like a bud in springtime. Absalom, Absalom!, that’s a different matter entirely.

    But I do agree on Rand. I can’t get past her philosophy to even attempt a longer work.



  4. As I Lay Dying is the easiest-to-read Faulkner novel. And the short stories are good, too.

  5. I tried to read The Sound and the Fury last month, but quickly gave up after the first section. Ugh. I hate stream-of-consciousness. Good luck with the rest of your TBR pile, though. 🙂

  6. I have the Collected Fictions of Borges too in my TBR eventually pile. The one translated by Andrew Hurley and put out by Penguin Classics?

    Since it’s short stories you could always do one story at a time (say per a week, while reading something else as your main novel).

  7. The reading life is too short to be intimidated! Just don’t read them. :<) I haven't read Faulkner for years but when my husband and I were in our twenties we read almost every book. I do like stream of consciousness and I love all those family connections. I keep thinking I'll go back to him, but I think the sadness would be harder for me to take now that I'm older. Does that make any sense?

  8. Most of these sound like read-alouds for me, the kinds of books that I only enjoy when I take the time to settle into each sentence for longer than I’m accustomed to doing with many contemporary reads. (I’ve read most of Ayn Rand’s novels, but the others would fit my idea of a demanding read, and the Borges pieces I’ve read were definitely read-alouds for me.)

  9. I passed an award on to you! Here is the link: http://tinyurl.com/49g9tje


  10. The Sound and the Fury gave me a headache. I would recommend two by Faulkner. As I Lay Dying is a wonderful book and is soon to be made into a movie if what I hear on Twitter this morning is true. The other by Faulkner that I adore is a short story called, A Rose for Emily. I hope you will find a Faulkner that you enjoy!

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