Via Booking Through Thursday:

What’s the hardest/most challenging book you’ve ever read? Was it worth the effort? Did you read it by choice or was it an assignment/obligation?

The hardest book I’ve ever read is Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe. Now, to be fair, Chaucer is perhaps more difficult, but I had a teacher walking me through that one. I tackled Ivanhoe on my own at the age of 12, hence the level of trouble I had.

It took me well over three months to finish (the only book I’ve ever read to take more than a weekend), the going was rough, and the only thing that saved me was the notes and definitions that my mom had written in the margins when she first read it.

I was inspired to read it because I loved the 1997 TV mini-series with Ciarán Hinds as Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert. Even at that young age, I understood that the book was pretty much always better than the movie, so I pounced on the book once I located it on my mother’s bookshelf.

I’ve been meaning to go back and re-read Ivanhoe. To be honest, I don’t really remember much of the book itself, though I still know the story inside and out. I attribute that to being young when I read it and not fully grasping everything in there.

Anyways, very challenging book, but so worth it! It’s a good read and a fun story – good mini-series too!