reading · Reading & Writing

Books That Are Worth the Struggle

Hi, friends! It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday with The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is books that you struggled to get into but ended up loving.

worth the struggle

This one was difficult for me because I don’t typically push through a book if I’m not loving it. Life is short and there are too many books to read, so there has to be a good reason for me to keep going! Here’s my list:


A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara – here’s the link to my original post. I only read this because it was a book club pick at work and I STILL almost didn’t even start it. Look at the cover. That guy is in agony. I knew that the book was about a person that was severely abused as a child and lots of self mutilation was involved. I am prone to depression and it was the middle of winter when we picked it. But I read it. And I loved it. Yanagihara’s writing was beautiful and made every second of this tome worth it.


The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro – here’s my original blog post. This is a strange addition for me, because I actually loved this book from start to finish. But I think I read it at the exact perfect time for me because it had a really slow burn. If I had tried to read it at any other time in my life, I would have put it down. But there is just a little something dragging you through this one and the ending was incredibly beautiful. I think a lot of people have tried to read it and haven’t made it through. I’m here to say that it’s worth it! Keep reading!

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Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – here’s my original post. I had tried to read this so many times and was never successful. I finally finished it last year and really enjoyed it! Not as good as My Cousin Rachel, but it is the classic du Maurier that most people know. It’s creepy and suspenseful, so perfect for this time of year!


Rules of Civility by Amor Towles – my original thoughts. When I first started reading this, I thought it was TOO over the top. It was snappy and used a ton of alliterations and metaphors and similes — I just thought that Towles was trying too hard. But I quickly came to realize that he was setting the tone – that’s how people talked during this era in New York City. And I’m so glad that I kept reading because it ended up being SO GOOD.


Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein – my blog post on this one. I thought that this one seemed rather slow, but it was worth reading in the end. I haven’t read a ton of WWII books that are focused on women actually serving in the military in roles other than nurses, so this was an interesting perspective for me. And I think almost all WWII books are worth reading anyway!


The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters – here’s my original post. Okay – if you like gothic books or ghost stories, make sure you get through at least 10% of this book before you decide that it’s not for you. This is another that I’ve tried to read multiple times and just couldn’t get through. But I kept hearing that this is one of the best gothic stories of our time, so I had to try again. And: this is one of the best gothic stories of our time — it’s true!!


Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz – my post on this one is scheduled to be published on Wednesday. I hadn’t realized that this was YA when I picked it out and was disappointed by the simplistic writing at the beginning. But Lin Manuel-Miranda was narrating the audiobook and I quickly became intrigued by Ari, the main character. I say it in my upcoming review, but this is the American coming of age story that we’ve been waiting for. Mandatory reading for everyone.


The Secret History by Donna Tartt – I don’t have a blog post on this one! But it’s another that I tried to read multiple times and just couldn’t get through. But I didn’t give up because I kept seeing it recommended by so many people with so many reading styles that I knew it had to be for me. And it was. Really creepy and cozy all at once — Tartt is such a great writer!


The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins – some brief thoughts are here. This was one of the best books that I read in 2016 and I had left it for dead at one point. Once I got past the persistent nausea that I felt while reading it, I completely loved it. I loved the idea of living in an expansive library and having your own “cell.” Sounds compelling, right??!


The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith – brief thoughts are buried in this post. I was drawn to this because “Robert Galbraith” is one of JK Rowling’s pen names. I’m not sure why it took me a bit to get into it. I think it’s because the writing and scenes felt so different from Harry Potter, which is what I had in mind. But once the tracks in my brain readjusted and I read it without any expectations, I really loved this (and the whole series!)


I can’t wait to explore the other links in this link-up and find EVEN more books to read! Do you disagree with any of my picks? Or agree? Let me know in the comments!!

15 thoughts on “Books That Are Worth the Struggle

    1. Hahahaha — you’re not the only one! I think I ended up loving it because my brother in law was diagnosed with early insult Alzheimer’s and it felt like a huge allegory (is that the right term?) for living with the disease.

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  1. My 17-year-old daughter is reading Rebecca right now. I haven’t read it myself, but over the weekend, she dropped her phone onto the table and walked away. When I asked if she was okay she said, “That book… I – I didn’t see that coming. I am shook!” So yeah, I’m going to have to read this as soon as she’s done with it!

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thanks

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    1. Hahaha, that’s so funny! I’m glad she’s enjoying it though. I’m impressed – I tried reading it as a teenager and didn’t make it! Please read it!! Thanks for your link!

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      1. I was rather impressed myself – she’s not much of a reader so for her to get so fully involved in something makes me very curious about the book itself. As soon as she’s done with it for class, it’s mine!

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