Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Julia's Top Ten Tuesday Rewind



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers’ answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND fill out Mr. Linky  . I
If you can't come up with ten, don't worry about it---post as many as you can!

By my count, this Top Ten Tuesday will be the 44th done by this site (what?!). Top Ten Tuesday has come a long way, from Childhood Favorites to Book to Movie wishlists. Across those 44 weeks there most likely have been Tuesdays where you just forgot, didn’t have the time or didn't know it existed and really wished that you could because it was such a cool week. Well, here is your chance to fix it!

Top Ten Tuesday Rewind is a chance for you to go back through the archives and chose a past TTT that you want to do, or maybe even redo! The best part is that the linky is going to be like a grab bag! You won’t know what it is until you get there!

Check out here for a list of past Top Ten Tuesdays and to see future Top Ten Tuesdays (next week is Top Ten Mean Girls In Books)

It was really hard to chose, but after consideration I am giving Jamie’s Top Ten Most Intimidating Books another go.

Julia's Top Ten Most Intimidating Books

1. Doctor Zhivago - Boris Pasternak
There are really two things that intimidate me about books. Their rating by people that have thus classified them as classics and their length. At 592 pages and having been made into at least one movie adaptation, that classifies it enough for me. And is enough to intimidate the hell out of me.

2. Paradise Lost - John Milton
I really, really want to read this. I even tried oncetwice. The problem is the verse. I mean it is brilliant (so I hear), but to really understand its brilliance I'd need to have a doctorate in mythology and allegory. So I stopped reading and read a book of compiled mythology. I didn't pick this back up yet. And now its been so long, I’ve forgotten the mythology! I am putting out a call for help here. I have heard it will help if I have the audio version, any good versions that anyone can point me to?

3. Anything by Tolstoy
It really comes down to a)it’s foreign and translated b)it’s from a different time c)it’s long. Beyond long. They move into tome territory.

4. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Also very long, but not even slightly light reading. All I know about this book is its very… feministic? I’m drifting into judgement territory but I feel like even if I did every give it a try, I would dislike it for the same reason I don’t really like politics. I could tell you what that reason is, but it would be the same one.

5. Books by Dostoevsky that are not The Brothers Karamazov
Mostly because I already read that one and in reading that one, I found out that I liked Dostoevsky’s writing, which puts me in between a rock and a hard place. I think I would enjoy his other books, but when I think about it I think about the things I didn’t like about The Brothers Karamazov and psych myself out of it.

6. Jane Autsen Novels
I can hear some of you snicker, but there is something about these novels that makes them really hard to get into for me. I remember getting about 30 pages into Pride and Prejudice before I had to move on to lighter fare. Maybe it’s the style, but I remember bemoaning the loss of dialog tags. I really want to read them. They sound like great books. But they just intimate me. I think the Bronte sisters works fall under the same category by no fault of their own.

7. Dickens
I’ve only read A Christmas Carol, but I feel if I ever tried to really give Dickens a shot I would be turned off by the language and comparing whatever work it was to whatever adaptation I had already seen. His works are all over the place.

8. 1984 - George Orwell
This time it's the science aspect. I read Dune and it kind of turned me off to sci fi books. Unfair, I know. I then read Fahrenheit 451, which is more dystopian, like 1984, and really enjoyed it. That hope of awesome keeps me coming back. I do want to read this though, even if they go into too much science detail (not that I know if they do or not). I just need to (wo)man up and read it.

9. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
This is not just this book. I want to read the whole Musketeers series. I've read the first one, but when I think about all the others and how big each is I just go read something else. It always comes down to length for me it seems. The bigger it is, the more arduous the process. But I guess the greater the reward?

10. Long Fantasy Series
I don’t know if this is fair or not, but if series go on forever, they could be the best works ever and I would be hard pressed to read them. Not so much for there never ending nature (helps though) but because I ‘d be worried I wouldn’t get that “I just finished a book” pay off that you get after the last page. I am attempting to conquer this fear right now by reading Name of the Wind. So far so good (except carrying around all the time is back breaking!).

So that’s my list! I am look forward to the grab bag below!

48 comments :

  1. I had to read 1984 as a summer read for my senior year, and I just couldn't really get into it. Maybe it would be different for me now. But then, I just didn't fully enjoy it like I do with other books.

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  2. I saw a list of the top 100 books and the bttom 100 books...Atlas Shrugged was on both lists! Ha!

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  3. Hoo boy, do I ever agree with you about Tolstoy. Just looking at War and Peace makes me want to faint. And I still need to read The Brothers Karamazov! How did you like it? :)

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  4. Definitely agree with Tolstoy. His work intimidates me, but I have War and Peace and a collection of his short stories on my shelf. I've been skirting around them for awhile though...

    I haven't found Dostoevsky to be intimidating, but I've only read one of his books - Notes From Underground. It's a bit much if you're not in the mood for it, but luckily the book is on the small side.

    I went with books I can't believe I've never read for this week. It was hard to decide.

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  5. Yes, those are definitely some majorly intimidating books! I do highly recommend 1984, Anna Karenina, and a bunch of Dickens. To a lesser extent I also enjoyed Crime and Punishment and The Count of Monte Cristo, but it does take some resolve to get through them :)

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  6. The only thing that made 1984 a pain for me was all of the book-within-a-book stuff, with a lot of the ideology. That just got insanely boring after a while, and I have to admit that I definitely skipped some of it. Otherwise, it isn't a particularly difficult read (especially compared to the other books you have on your list!).

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  7. The only thing that made 1984 a pain for me was all of the book-within-a-book stuff, with a lot of the ideology. That just got insanely boring after a while, and I have to admit that I definitely skipped some of it. Otherwise, it isn't a particularly difficult read (especially compared to the other books you have on your list!).

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  8. I am excited to be joining this week. :)

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  9. The two books I share the same intimidation factor with you are Atlas Shrugged (the heavy political/philosophical aspect seems to turn me off and yet it sounds intriguing...I don't know, I can't decide) and Paradise Lost (the language factor is also keeping me back---even though I've read all sorts of hefty literature before)!

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  10. Thanks for this rewind...I did "Childhood Favorites". :)

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  11. Great list! I agree with you on all of these especially Dickens (way too long and wordy) and the really old stuff like Paradise Lost (what does it all mean anyway, and will I understand ANY of it??)

    But if you like Brothers K, you should give Crime and Punishment a try. I enjoyed it and found it not as difficult as I thought it would be.

    I did Top Ten Favorite Places To Read

    http://desktopretreat.blogspot.com/2011/04/top-ten-favorite-places-to-read.html

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  12. nice one, i was just thinking recently that there were some older topics i wish I could have answered - of course, when it came down to it, i went with the same one you did and wrote about the books that intimidate me. I'm with you on Dostoevsky and some of tolstoy (i put War & Peace on my list, but loved Anna K). It's interesting to me how we end up being scared by books...yet it seems like we still want to read them, sometimes even more BECAUSE they're scary.

    Thanks for the great topic choice & getting me thinking about this stuff!

    -- Ellen

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  13. nice one, i was just thinking recently that there were some older topics i wish I could have answered - of course, when it came down to it, i went with the same one you did and wrote about the books that intimidate me. I'm with you on Dostoevsky and some of tolstoy (i put War & Peace on my list, but loved Anna K). It's interesting to me how we end up being scared by books...yet it seems like we still want to read them, sometimes even more BECAUSE they're scary.

    Thanks for the great topic choice & getting me thinking about this stuff!

    -- Ellen

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  14. Great list! I read an awesome review of the movie of Atlas Shrugged at the weekend.

    Title: Atlas Shrugged.

    Review: So did the audience.

    I did Dynamic Duos, which was LOTS of fun to think of.

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  15. Interesting list, thanks for posting.

    I have gone with the list of Top Ten Childhood Favourites.

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  16. So glad to see some of my own "phobia" books on the list! I agree with everyone about Tolstoy, I read Anna Karina, loved it, but after that his work overwhelmed me. Looking forward to next week's list!

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  17. I agree with your list except for Jane Austen. I became a big fan of her novels after watching some of the film adaptations. Maybe that helped me feel less intimidated. I definitely agree with you about Ayn Rand. I tried to read The Fountainhead several times over the years.

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  18. Oh no! You have to give P&P another try! :)

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  19. I think Austen's are the easier classics to get into - they are the original romantic comedies and I think you have to read them as such.

    I've only read Great Expectations by Dickens and whilst I love the story, he can be hard work.

    1984 certainly isn't to everyone's taste, but don't let a few books put you off a genre! Sci-fi is such a broad area.

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  20. There's no reason to be intimidated by 1984! It's really not science-y at all, at least not in a plot-usurping (honestly, I can't remember much science in it at all). The dystopia is much more prevalent. Plus, it's such a great book!

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  21. I came *this* close to doing intimidating books as well! I've got a lot of similar ones on my list.

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  22. If you enjoyed Dostoevsky, you don't want to miss The Idiot - it was amazing. I'm also a big fan of Dickens and Austen, but I can understand how they're not for everyone.

    Tolstoy is a beautiful, beautiful writer, and not as difficult as one would think (particularly if you find a good translation). I've read a few of his books (Death of Ivan Ilyich, Anna Karenina, War and Peace) and fell deeper and deeper in love each time. War and Peace was the icing on the cake, and made me a fan for life. If you get a moment, you should check out my review for it, it might inspire you to read it:

    http://www.roofbeamreader.net/2010/12/review-war-and-peace-by-leo-tolstoy.html

    Also - Atlas Shrugged is a tome for Objectivism, not at all a Feminist piece. And it was a horrid book. Skip it.

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  23. Tolstoy really is fantastic. It's worth the challenge.

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  24. I read Paradise Lost during my undergrad and enjoyed it. However, I think it definitely helped that I had a professor there pointing out/explaining a lot of things I would have otherwise missed. Once you get comfortable with the use of verse it's really amazing.

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  25. I agree with a lot of these! Especially Austen and Dickens. I had the same experience with Pride and Prejudice.

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  26. Atlas Shrugged does look daunting! I have to agree with a commenter above: The Idiot by Dostoevsky is well worth the read!

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  27. You're missing out on some really great books. I love Dickens and Austen. I'm also scared of Tolstoy and Milton though. The book I'd recommend you tackle most is 1984. It's amazing and so relevent to our culture. It'd probably also be the easiest to read. I also don't remember there being a lot of scientific stuff in it. It's more about the society.

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  28. Oh, you have to read Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky. It is incredible.

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  29. The titles even look intimidating!

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  30. I'm with you on a lot of your list. Especially Dickens. But I do enjoy Jane Austen, the Bronte's and I did read count of Monte Cristo. I'm a sucker for long fantasy series as well . . . Kaye—the road goes ever ever on

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  31. If it's any consolation, I had the same thoughts about Dickens, and about 'The Count of Monte Cristo'. But actually I was really surprised by 'Oliver Twist', in that it was easier than I expected and different enough from the adaptations to be fresh. 'The Count of Monte Cristo' was the same - easier than I expected, gripping, a proper old-fashioned tale of adventure and revenge, it was wonderful!

    I think sometimes it's just about timing - when the time's right they'll fall into your hands again, the fog will clear and ALL WILL BE WELL! :-)

    Ellie
    http://musingsofabookshopgirl.blogspot.com/

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  32. I had the same topic for this week. We share many of the same choices!

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  33. I get the long fantasy series thing. There are SOOOOO many that I want to read, but once I read one then I'll probably end up wanting to read them all... and that's just a lot.

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  34. You have to give pride and prejudice another chance sometime! It's a must read!

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  35. I think I say this every week...I love this meme! I love lists! This week I made a Top Ten Heroines list. Thanks again for hosting this!

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  36. I think I say this every week...I love this meme! I love lists! This week I made a Top Ten Heroines list. Thanks again for hosting this!

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  37. This is my first week participating in TTT!

    My Top 10

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  38. I'm with you on Dostoyevsky - The Idiot is the only book I've left unfinished in the last seven years!

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  39. 1984 doesn't have much of a science element, so I think you'd be okay with it.

    If you're after some more easy-going Dostoyevsky, try Notes from Underground or Notes from the House of the Dead. Although my personal favourite is Crime and Punishment. :)

    I'm listening to a whole bunch of classics in audio format at the moment. I have a 50 min walk to work, so it's a great way of killing time and forcing me to read the classics. I can finally say I've read Conrad!

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  40. Sorry, I accidentally added my link for this week on last weeks first. :( Stupid tab button.

    <3

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  41. There's an Atlas Shrugged movie coming out soon. Only in the Washington, D.C. area, but I'm sure it'll be on DVD eventually. It's part 1 of 3, I think.

    The Count of Monte Cristo is a great read. Sometimes it's easier to take in the classics on audio. Try raiding the library and seeing what all they have. A book you've been afraid of might turn out to be your favorite! :)

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  42. I've read most of the books you listed, and I can tell you that many of them are great. But I will also tell you that many of them were presented to me as daunting originally, too.

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  43. Just leaving a link back to my Top Ten Tuesday list. :)

    Loved yours. :)

    Suz @ A Soul Unsung

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  44. I am a huge Dostoevsky fan. I found TBK to be his most intimidating work. And I loved it. I hope you do eventually read his others.

    1984 is so worth it as well. As is The Count of Monte Cristo. The ending is so worth the intimidating feeling you get when you first started it.

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  46. Good list--I know on my own personal intimidating books list, The Master and Margarita is on top. Something about Russian novels strikes fear in my heart. . .

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  47. I agree with you on your Russian authors and books. I have Anna K. in my TBR pile and it keeps getting moved down! I chose funny book titles as my rewind subject. It is here:
    http://abookwormsblog1.blogspot.com/2011/04/top-ten-tuesday-most-hilarious-book.html

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  48. Sucha great idea to do a rewind. I did book covers and had a lot of fun with it!

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