Some books are notoriously difficult to finish rather than widely read. While taking the time to sit back and work through a difficult book can be a huge request, the rewards for doing so are often impressive. Moreover, the experience of absorbing great literature or learning from a heavy book can be an award in itself.
Today, we’ll take a look at seven popular, challenging books—and why you should read them, anyway.
About date time
“The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in a random way, but rather reflect a certain basic order, which may or may not be inspired by inspiration.”
Stephen Hawking’s bestselling book on cosmology delves into the history of human understanding of the universe, explains our current models of how it all works, and discusses areas in which physics is proceeding in an accessible and ingenious way. While covering some esoteric topics, the book is famous for having only one mathematical equation, E = mc2.
Although 25 million copies have been sold, the book bears the namesake of Hawking Index It is not an entirely scientific measure of how much people will read from the book before they quit smoking. The index measures the five most distinct parts of the Amazon Kindle version of the book to see how close they are to the start. The idea is that the closer these are to the beginning, the less likely most readers will get to the end of the book. Hawking’s book scored 6.6% on the index, indicating that most of those who pick it up never finish – or even come close to finishing it.
Those who finish it not only have the famous brilliance of Dr. Hawking but also understand how the human mind has evolved, and with it, our concept of our place in the universe. If that’s not a good reason to finish a book, then what is?
a hundred years of isolation
Several years later, when faced with the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia had to remember that distant evening when his father took him to discover the ice.
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The multigenerational story of the Buendia family in Macondo, Colombia, penned by Gabriel García Márquez, has sold 50 million copies and can be read in dozens of languages. It is considered its author’s masterpiece and one of the best literary works from Latin America.
The book has a complex story and is open to many interpretations of its central themes. It provides a line chart and alternative ways of looking at how time works for various characters. Magical realism gives us fictional events in a fictional city combined with real events that affect family history, which can be confusing for those unfamiliar with the genre.
However, the book earned its praise for a reason. William Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, went so far as to say that “reading should be required of the entire human race.”
“Love loves love.”
A classic of modern literature that follows a man around Dublin on an ordinary day, Ulysses By James Joyce is one go-to example of a literary masterpiece that is terribly difficult to read while also being highly regarded by those who have been able to do so.
The book is written in the style of a stream of consciousness – perhaps the best example of this – that can be difficult and stressful to work with if you are not prepared. It is also a long text, coming in at 265,222 words. (The average novel is less than half that.) The changing writing styles that reflect the changing mental states of the main characters can also be overwhelming.
Ulysses, With his Stream of Consciousness style, he gives us insight into the characters’ lives as they live rather than just how you observe them. In addition, the richness of connections between the different parts of the text and its references to other works help give it a sense of completeness, making the reader feel connected to places and events that they have only seen through the characters. eyes.
But if you can’t finish it, don’t feel bad. British writer Virginia Woolf – who used the stream of consciousness herself – got to 200 pages and then decided she couldn’t be bothered to get past the rest.
“They don’t have to show us Catch 22,” replied the old woman. “The law says they don’t have to.”
“What law says they don’t have to?”
A novel by Joseph Heller about a US Air Force bomber during the Italian campaign of World War II, catch 22 It explores the madness inherent in every bureaucracy, the comedy within every tragedy, and the paradoxes involved in every life that cannot be remedied by logic alone. The novel is the direct source of the term “Catch-22” (a situation in which contradictory rules prevent a solution) and the inspiration for the term “black comedy” (first used to describe the novel).
The book is notorious for its confusion with ambiguous language, highly non-linear plot, and story elements that alternate between lofty, bizarre, and horrific grounds very quickly. Notwithstanding, Harper Lee, author to kill a mockingbird, he said that catch 22 It was the only war novel I’d ever read that made sense. It’s also funny and can help readers deal with the absurdity and moral grayness of their lives.
“If we take a little pain, nettles will be useful; we neglect it and it becomes harmful. Then we kill it. How many men are like nettles! My friends, remember this, that there are no weeds, no men of no worth, there are only bad farmers.”
Written by Victor Hugo, this is the story of Jean Valjean, a group of young revolutionaries, a young girl named Cosette, and a resolute policeman who gazes at the world in black and white as they navigate life in France as they transition from office. The era of revolution.
The text is a whopping 545,925 words, and much of the book is not connected to the main plot line. These chapters contain discussions on topics such as monasteries, architecture, French history, and the Parisian sewage system. Many instead choose to watch one of the movie versions – which could still hit five hours – It’s not surprising.
Despite the length of the text and separate plot sections that Hugo called the chapters “brackets,” the full version of the book rewards any reader willing to consider each chapter. The topics covered apply to humanity at all times and in all places, while the questions raised disturb the reader as much as the characters.
His Highness replied, “There is no art or education that can be pursued half-heartedly, and any art worthy of learning will surely be rewarded generously for the effort expended for its study.”
Written by Murasaki Shikibu, this is a story that explores the lives of members of the Japanese imperial court and claims to be the first novel ever written. Tracing the fall of a prince as he is demoted to a member of an ordinary mob, the book gives us an in-depth look at a world long gone.
Our original script, part of which appears to be missing, is in an old copy of Classical Japanese. Only in modern times have translations of the text into contemporary Japanese and English given the book to a wider audience. The original text does not name characters, expects the reader to fully understand 11th century Japanese poetry, and has so many homophones that many readers are left unable to comprehend what is going on. Attempts to translate the work must balance fidelity to the original text with a desire for readability—a tightrope walk that often pleases no one.
For those who find the translation they love, the book provides not only an inside description of classic Japan but also a sense of how the medium of the novel has evolved over the past thousand years.
Capital in the twenty-first century
“Honestly, economics has yet to overcome his childish passion for mathematics.”
An examination of modern capitalism through history and the lenses of political economy, Capital in the twenty-first century by Thomas Piketty It sparked a storm of controversy when it was first published in 2013. In the years since its publication, a number of follow-up books have appeared, including some of his Dr. Piketty On his own, he explored the foundations and implications of this text’s basic thesis – that investment returns are higher than wages and are likely to continue to be so.
The book can be a bit dense for those who have not studied economics; It scores lower on the Hawking Index than it does About date time, by 2.4%. It is about 600 pages long and covers economic history, a notoriously dry topic.
Nevertheless, the book still has the potential to help readers understand modern economic and social problems and can provide a course in the history of modern economies. While Dr. Piketty has tempered the positive reception of the book and the theory put forward in it by reminding us how messy economics can be, it remains a vital tool for understanding the world we live in.