What’s the toughest book you’ve ever read?

by Rebecca Weber

In graduate school, I was given an assignment: choose a book that you think is completely out of your comfort zone, something you might not otherwise read, and read it. I chose a book called No Disrespect by Sister Souljah. For those of you who are too young to have any idea who I am talking about, she was a rapper in the ’90s and is now an activist and author. Her book was tough with gritty descriptions of life, drugs, sex, and extreme poverty. This book grabbed my attention in a way that I didn’t expect and forced me to think outside my own paradigm.

If you’re looking for a book that might challenge your thinking, maybe you should check out Flavorwire’s list of 50 Incredibly Tough Books for Extreme Readers. While Sister Souljah didn’t make the list, among others, Joan DidionNadine Gordimer, and J.R.R. Tolkien did. Some of these books are tough because of the subjects they explore, some for the authors’ writing styles, and some because of their length. Evans Library has many of the books on this list including:

Look up additional titles in the library catalog, if you’re tough enough!


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