Sometime around the end of high school, I decided to make a point of reading classics. Austen and Dickens proved a delight beyond words, but some authors gave me more of a challenge. Hence, about half this list. The other half is a bit more random.
1. Les Miserables (Victor Hugo). Hugo tried hard to bore me to death with about 900 of the 1200 pages, but I kept going; I had to know what happened to Valjean and Cosette and Marius.
2. For Whom the Bell Tolls (Ernest Hemingway). I knew Hemingway would be depressing in places, but I felt like I ought to face up and read him anyway. The point of this work seemed to be that a little romance and a lot of... er, getting the earth to move... is what makes this horrific life worth living, but I'm sure Masha can point out the more worthwhile aspects of the story. :)
3. The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoevsky). This was an intentional stretch of personal taste. I liked it, or at least I liked Alyosha, but I had a hard time making much sense of it at the time and should probably re-read it. When I later read Crime and Punishment, though, I loved that.
4. The Divine Comedy (Dante). Shakespeare excepted, I find poetry extraordinarily difficult to read, but I've loved this work enough to read it more than once.
5. Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë). George finally talked me into reading it. :) That's tomorrow's review post, so I'll maintain my silence for now.
6. The Hunger Games books (Suzanne Collins). I usually prefer to avoid books that are very violent, and while I saw some good in especially the first of this series, the third in particular was a devastating read.
7. Phyllis Whitney's books. My grandmother loved these, so I read a couple. Murder mysteries creep me out. Psychopathic murder mysteries really creep me out.
8. And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie). Along the same lines as the above murder mysteries. Possibly worse.
9. The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien). I read them after seeing the first movie, and found them occasionally dull, often wandering, and generally difficult to get through. A couple of years ago, I read them again and loved them. Some things just take time.
10. Jurassic Park and its sequel (Michael Crichton). I know so many people who have loved those books and the movies, but quite frankly, they're two of the books I'm most sorry I ever read. Horrifying. :P
What books have you read from outside your comfort zone?