'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #16

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at the wonderful blog; Broke and Bookish. This weeks is Top Ten Books Dealing With Tough Subjects (abuse, suicide, grief etc or something personal hard for you). I'm finding this one quite difficult so it's gonna be as many as I can think of. I try to avoid 'realistic' books that deal with tough subjects. I'm such a baby. So, in no particular order:

  • Harry Potter series (J. K. Rowling) - A series which deals with grief, murder, adolescent fame, being orphaned and being hunted by the most dangerous wizard in the world. For what began as a children's series it is amazing how dark the majority of the themes are within the book. 
  • The Fault in Our Stars (John Green) - A book which deals with cancer, loss, grief. This was probably one of the most upsetting books that I have recently read for a long time. It was brutally honest with no sugar coating. A beautiful but sad, sad book.
  • Lover Awakened (J. R. Ward) - The third book within the Blackdagger Brotherhood series. This book reveals the torturous past of the brother Zsadist. This is the book that made him my favourite brother. It deals with rape, imprisonment, slavery, torture, mental abuse. To the present day within the series he carries his scars - physically and mentally.
  • Stolen (Kelley Armstrong) - The second book within the Women of the Otherworld series. This book deals with the kidnap of Elena by psychopathic scientists. There are so many tough subjects within this book. It deals with blackmail, imprisonment, grief, child kidnap, sexual harassment. Dark stuff. 
  • Tipping the Velvet (Sarah Waters) - This is a neo-Victorian (modern writers writing about and exploring the Victorian age) and it deals with some pretty hefty issues with regards to sexuality. It deals with sexuality, prostitution, grief, heartbreak, loss, poverty. It's a book about struggle and the fight to accept your true identity. I loved it. 
  • Hottentot Venus (Barbara Chase-Ribould) - Another neo-Victorian book. I didn't enjoy this book. I honestly don't think it's possible to. It's not a bad book, not at all, but the issues within it are far too rough to enjoy reading it. It's based on a true story of a black woman which was enslaved by the British colony. Race, sexuality, appearance, objectification, isolation, grief, drugs. All of these are explored within this book. Sarah Baartman is there to be ogled, laughed at and to disgust people. It's such an uncomfortable read.  
  • The Casual Vacancy (J. K. Rowling) - Rowling's first step away from Harry Potter; she really couldn't have gotten much further if she'd tries. A book which contains all of the everyday social politics and issues of a country; it contains many uncomfortable truths about poverty, drugs, adolescents, cheating, lying, scheming. It really does have it all.
  • Rebecca (Daphne du Maurier) - A book that deals with loss, murder, death and the fight of one woman to drag her new husband out of the past which involved his now deceased ex wife. It's beautifully written and deals with so many issues. I recommend du Maurier to everyone!
This is my list. Another one to add is a general theme which ANYTHING that refers to anxiety or panic attacks in any way shape or form gets me. I find it incredibly difficult to distance myself from the characters when they are going through that when it is so, so familiar to me. I tend to try and avoid them before my own heart rate joins theirs haha. 

The toughest book I have read so far is John Green's The Fault in our Stars. What's the toughest book you guys have read? 


  1. I still haven't read The Fault in our Stars! It's sitting on my bookcase and I really need to get around to reading it.
    I definitely agree with you about the Harry Potter series. The books got darker as they went on. So many people got murdered!

  2. Definitely agree with HP and The Casual Vacancy - both covered such dark themes but like you said, so far apart from each other. Great list!

  3. I would've never thought of Lover Awakened, but you're absolutely right. Good choices!

    Here's my list this week --> TTT @ Krista's Dust Jacket

  4. Nice list! I don't even know them all so I have to look some up.

  5. I think the toughest book I've read recently (other than Harry Potter) would be Me Before You. So terribly heart-wrenching.

  6. Many of these are new to me. I still need to read The Casual Vacancy. Great add with Harry Potter - your right that this series deals with so many tough issues.

    Thanks for stopping by!
    Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

  7. I try to avoid realistic books that deal with tough subjects too. :D I completely forgot about Lover Awakened, but that is a great book and so emotional. I <3 Z. Great picks!
    Thanks for stopping by my TTT.

  8. Great top 10 list. Zsadist and Elena both deserve to be on the list. What happened to them was horrible. Thanks for dropping by my Top 10 Tuesday Post this week! +New follower!

    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages


Please leave a comment, I love reading each and every one of them :).
This blog is an award free zone. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and I appreciate them :).