This is a neat weekly feature over at a blog I really enjoy, The Broke and the Bookish. They read books similar to some that I've been reviewing, and they're fun and they write well. Totally worth checking out!
Ten Twelve Books That Were Hard for Me to Read for Various Reasons
To be honest, I kind of struggled just to write this list. Going back over all the books that made me uncomfortable made me uncomfortable all over again. Looking at my list, I notice a trend: I'm quite uneasy with books that discuss sexual activities at any length, or that offend on a religious basis. Please note that this list is NOT book-bashing; these books just weren't for me.
1. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. The main character was born a hermaphrodite, and the condition played a large part in the book and I blushed so much.
2. Lisey's Story and Gerald's Game by Stephen King. Both of these contain actual or borderline rape, and that's hard to read.
3. Neonomicon by Alan Moore. Just a personal thing; I am personally not comfortable with quite so much graphic love-times.
4. Push and The Kid by Sapphire. The stark, honest portrayal of the lives the characters lead were shocking and made me uncomfortable. As they should. But still, hard to read.
5. Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman. Nick and I also don't share any political or religious views. I found some of the statements in the book to be borderline offensive.
6. When Will Jesus Bring the Porkchops? by George Carlin. Mr. Carlin and I apparently differ greatly on our religious and political views... didn't find this funny at all, and sometimes offensive.
7. Dear Girls Above Me by Charlie McDowell. This is a series of "letters" that the author has written to the girls who live in the apartment above him. However, he chose to publish them on social media rather than actually talk to the girls themselves. He's publishing their conversations and activities to the world without their knowledge, and that made me feel skeevy.
8. The House of Night series by P.C. and Kristen Cast. Just bad plot with silly, thoughtless teen characters.
9. Balkan Ghosts by Robert D. Kaplan. I can no longer remember how, when, and why I came to own this book, but I do. And I try to read every book I own on my shelves. So I suffered through a very, very, very detailed history of the Balkan region. This book wasn't terrible except that I'm not actually a student of Balkan history.
10. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. This is an incredibly lengthy, dense book that takes place during the French Revolution. I often found myself completely lost. It took 2 weeks to read. I'm glad I pushed through, but it was sometimes hard to see the forest for the trees while I was in the middle of it.
11. Anything by Dr. Ken Mufuka. Self-published, with little or no editing. I find it difficult to read "published" works with spelling or grammar errors.
12. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. Not for the reason you'd suspect, but just because I didn't feel it was well-written.