Top Ten Tuesday is a wonderful weekly event hosted by the wonderful blog The Broke and the Bookish where each week a different top ten list is featured! If you haven’t checked out their blog, I encourage you to head over there since it really is a fantastic site!
This week the theme is all about books that were a chore to get through, whether they were a struggle but then you ended up loving them or in the case of my TT post, you just struggled to read the book from start to finish and probably should have DNF’d the book! I’ve read several books like that, but I can only list ten, so I’ve listed a mix of ten that I have read this year and a few oldies-all that drove me crazy while reading them, and I probably should have DNF some of them but I struggled to the end! Oh, and click on the book title for its Goodreads synopsis!
Here are my Top Ten Books that Were a Chore to Read:
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler Published May 24, 2016
I loved the sound of the premise and plot, but I could not get into the book at all. It dragged and dragged until I wanted to cry. There was very little plot once you actually started reading, and the characters lacked substance. I’m still not sure what all the hype was about this book last summer. A 2 star read for me.
The One & Only by Emily Giffin Published May 20, 2014
I love Emily Giffin; she is one of my favorite authors, so I was shocked when I could barely get through this book! In all honesty, this is one of the worst books that I have read, ever. Seriously, ever. And I have read well over 2000 books, so that says something. I remember thinking that it had to get better because it was an Emily Giffin book, so I keep chugging away when I should have DNF’d it! A 1 star read for me.
Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau Published 1849
Since I’m an English major, I have had to read a lot of the classics, either in college or while teaching, which I haven’t minded since my love of classic literature is one reason why I wanted to major in English and then become an English Literature professor! However, there are just some works that you really struggle with and this has been my biggest one. In college, I was assigned Civil Disobedience but no matter what, I couldn’t get into it. To say it was as struggle to read in college would be an understatement. Boring! So, so boring! And my entire teaching career I have had to force myself to put this on my syllabus if I was teaching a semester of American Literature just I would not bore my students. Funny, because I love Walden by Thoreau, so I’m not sure what the problem is! This was definitely a 2 Star read for me although I know it deserves more 😦
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years #1)
by Gregory Maguire Published September 29,1995
I was so excited to read Wicked after seeing the musical on Broadway! It was riveting and stunning, and I still listen to the soundtrack and sing the songs! Elphaba is one green person I would love to be! So I was not happy when the book was just, well, not that good, and it took me over a month to read it! I had been tricked by the wonders of Broadway and my love of Oz from the original books and movie into thinking this would be perfection. And I listened to all the hype. Utterly boring from start to finish…but still there was something there, some quality that made me finish to the end and give it 3 Stars.
Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda Expected publication: September 19, 2017
I just read this one the beginning of August, and it is getting really mixed reviews. People are loving it or not. For me, it was a chore to read. I really wanted to read it because the cover is so gorgeous; isn’t it stunning?? But it was painful to finish since I knew 25% in what the entire book was about. For me, it was flat and emotionless, and I found nothing suspenseful about it. I kept hoping it would get better or even exciting, but I was disappointed. A 2-2.5 Star read for me.
Three Sisters, Three Queens (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #8) by Philippa Gregory Published August 9, 2016 by Touchstone
I’ve been a fan of Philippa Gregory’s books for years but sometimes her books do not live up to expectations. This was one of those, and I had to force myself to read it. It took 7 months for me to muddle through the book when it would normally take 3 days or less if I was engrossed in it. I only gave it 3 Stars because of its historical content and the brilliance of Gregory’s writing at times. And it’s about the Tudors, so I couldn’t really give it less…
The Goddesses by Swan Huntley Published July 25, 2017
I thought this would be a fantastic, suspenseful book based on the synopsis but wow! What a strange experience. A couple of months after reading it, and I’m still baffled and wondering why I struggled through this book. I should have DNF’d it since I skipped parts that were just too awful to read anyway. Boring and an unbelievable plot made for hard reading. A 2.5 Star read at best.
Dune by Frank Herbert Published June 1, 1965
I have no idea why I read this book in the first place since I am not a science fiction fan at all, and I have never read sci-fi since. I’m sure that it is a fantastic book, and I know that it is without a doubt the cornerstone of the sci-fi genre. Plus, it’s one of my husband’ favorite books! But it was torture for me to read it. I could not connect with the book since I thought the plot dragged on and on and on..you get the idea. And the characters were unlikeable but in a way that made me want to throw something. I thought my eyeballs were going to fall out by the time I was done. I did give it 3 Stars because Herbert is a genius writer.
Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka Published August 1, 2017
I expected so much more from Girl in Snow, but I was disappointed. It wasn’t mysterious at all even though it involved a murdered girl, and that was what I expected…hoped it would be about solving. And the pacing was so very slow for me that I had to force myself to keep reading, especially since there was something missing in the plot in my opinion. The writing was gorgeous at times, but others it was so young that I felt I was reading my student’s creative writing essays. That was frustrating and made the book a hard book to finish. Kukafka is talented, but this was a 2.5 star read for me.
Le Divorce by Diane Johnson Published January 1, 1997
Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world, and I have always been fascinated by French culture. So I was hoping that this would be a wonderful read about French culture through the eyes of an American. While it was to a point, it was so hard to read since it wavered between literary pretentiousness, chick lit, satire, and commentary. If the prose had been written one way, it would have been a lovely read instead of a chore. This ranks up there as one of the worst books I’ve ever read. A 1.5 Star read for me, and I should have DNF’d, but I will never learn!
What books have you struggled to read from start to finish? Have any of them turned into books you loved? Were there some that were such a chore to read that you tossed them in the DNF pile? I’d love to hear your thoughts!