Hurray! Back on track with the old blog with yet another glorious Top Ten Tuesday to perk up the dud end of the week courtesy of The Broke and the Bookish. This one is a little negative (and very similar to this one from May) but, you never know, it may well persuade me to have a re-read and see if it all clicks together a little better. Let’s face it folks, however much we read and however bright we may be, much to our dismay we can’t always sail through our books, even those we thought we’d love. Here are my current top ten tricky ones:
1. The Barefoot Queen; Ildefonso Falcones – this took one serious weekend of stealth reading to finish, topped off by me scrawling ‘too long!’ in pen on the front! (I know, I was that frustrated). A massively corny, swashbuckling read that I judged from the cover from the off….I should have considered myself warned.
2. Misfortune; Wesley Stace – a rather unfortunate tale that, although hugely quirky and thought-provoking on the whole gender-identity front, lost its way in the last quarter and was almost impossible to finish.
3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; Stieg Larsson – Pre-Relish days I impulse-bought the whole Larsson trilogy, so sick I was of people harping on about it. Although this is an easy ready, I found it boring in the extreme and simply didn’t care. Needless to say I haven’t read the others. Yawn. Bye bye girl-with-no-face.
5. Beloved; Toni Morrison – I don’t know why I found this (widely considered) modern classic so hard to read. The prose isn’t particularly difficult and it is ground breaking in its gut-wrenching portrayal of slavery. However it is, quite rightly, a devastating read and really dragged me down. Make sure you’re in a happy place when you read this one.
6. The Teleportation Accident; Ned Beauman – a book so baffling, silly and smart-arse that, frankly, I couldn’t even be bothered to try and understand Beauman’s madcap world.
7. The Robber Bridegroom; Eudora Welty – primarily a tricky dialect barrier but a wonderful book and brilliant writer all the same.
8. Hard Times; Charles Dickens – I love you Charles but oh Stephen Blackpool, you and your faux northern accent were the bane of my life and a huge interruption to an altogether perfect novel.
9. The Picture of Dorian Gray; Oscar Wilde – finally finished this classic this year after starting three times and failing miserably. I think the effected posh boy malarkey put me off a little. God only knows why because Wilde clearly is a master of suspenseful, psychological fiction.
And for the boyfriend (of ‘Seed’s Reads’ fame) >>>>>>
10 The Count of Monte Cristo; Alexandre Dumas – My other half has been taking part discreetly in Literary Relish for years (see: ‘Seed’s Reads’ in the right hand column), being an avid book lover himself. His personal Everest has always been this doorstop of a book, a rip-roaring adventure I must pick up myself one day….