Well, Rebecca has come up with another Book List topic this week that was easy to answer but rather thought inspiring. I'm going to answer with the three books that have been in the house for years and yet I have put off reading for various reasons.
Three Books That Intimidate Me
1. Ulysses by James Joyce
Ulysses chronicles the passage of Leopold Bloom through Dublin during an ordinary day, June 16, 1904 (the day of Joyce's first date with his future wife, Nora Barnacle). The title alludes to Odysseus (Latinised into Ulysses), the hero of Homer's Odyssey, and establishes a series of parallels between characters and events in Homer's poem and Joyce's novel (e.g., the correspondences between Leopold Bloom and Odysseus, Molly Bloom and Penelope, and Stephen Dedalus and Telemachus). Joyce fans worldwide now celebrate June 16 as Bloomsday. (via Wikipedia)
I am a big fan of The Odyssey but this one has been collecting dust in the house for years. I think my hesitation on this one comes from my fear of stream-of-consciousness writing.
2. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Don Quixote has become so entranced reading tales of chivalry that he decides to turn knight errant himself. In the company of his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, these exploits blossom in all sorts of wonderful ways. While Quixote's fancy often leads him astray—he tilts at windmills, imagining them to be giants—Sancho acquires cunning and a certain sagacity. Sane madman and wise fool, they roam the world together-and together they have haunted readers' imaginations for nearly four hundred years. (via Penguin Books)
I've always been intrigued by this story. My mom used to play the soundtrack from The Man of La Mancha. I know the name of Quixote's horse (Rocinante). And yet, I just never pick this one up. I always imagine that it will be slow reading but how would I know, right?
3. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
This is the only one of three that I have actually started at some point (probably about seven or eight years ago). I think I read maybe the first ten pages or so and got confused by the number of different names that were thrown at me right away. It's partly a Russian thing (patrynomics, surnames, nicknames) but not entirely because I have read other Russian lit. I saw a recommendation a few weeks ago on someone else's blog to just watch the movie first. I usually don't do that but in this case it could be the only thing that gets me to finally pick up the book or pass on it forever.In the grand tradition of the epic novel, Boris Pasternak’s masterpiece brings to life the drama and immensity of the Russian Revolution through the story of the gifted physician-poet, Zhivago; the revolutionary, Strelnikov; and Lara, the passionate woman they both love. Caught up in the great events of politics and war that eventually destroy him and millions of others, Zhivago clings to the private world of family life and love, embodied especially in the magical Lara. (via Random House)
So what are the books that either are languishing on your shelves or TBR lists because you're too scared to pick them up? Or are you so intimidated that there are books that won't even make it to your lists?
Formulating a reading plan as I type,