30 Day Book Challenge: Day 12

Day #12: A book so emotionally draining you couldn’t complete it or had to set aside for a bit

Believe it or not I’ve never had this happen to me. For some reason I’ve always been drawn to books that are shocking, draining and disturbing. Nonfiction books in particular.

I don’t know what that says about me. I probably don’t want to know.

One of my favorite emotionally draining reads:

“A direct, hard-hitting study of China’s Great Leap Forward in light of newly opened archival material … A horrifically eye-opening work of a dark period of Chinese history that desperately cries out for further examination.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“An intensively researched litany of suffering, packed with statistics, grim anecdotes, and self-serving explanations by leaders responsible for the devastation.”—Publishers Weekly

“Dikotter has done a service to history and, when they are allowed to read it, to the Chinese themselves.”—Bloomberg

“This is an important work illustrating the dangers of one individual holding power to force millions to fulfill his personal fantasies.”—Booklist

“Uses newly opened archives and original interviews to detail the calamity in calm, if unavoidably grisly, detail.”—NewYorker.com

“A riveting and heartbreaking and illuminating read by an expert in the field…Mao’s madness comes through on every page.  A MUST READ.”—Travel Watch

If you haven’t read this one, you should. Seriously.

12 thoughts on “30 Day Book Challenge: Day 12

  1. We can enjoy our depressing books together! I haven't ever completely quit reading a book because it was depressing. I did take a break from reading All Fall on Your Knees for a couple of weeks, that one is super depressing, but really excellent.


  2. I tend to be drawn to difficult and disturbing books, too. A long time ago I decided not to probe into what that says about me! 🙂 Mao's Great Famine looks fascinating. I agree with Marce about We Need to Talk About Kevin, and I'd add Boy A by Jonathan Trigell.


  3. This will probably make you chuckle: the most recent books I had to put down for an hour or two every so often were The Cider House Rules and The Midwife of Hope River…for their graphic descriptions of childbirth. I don't do pain, needles, or the b-word, so the childbirth scenes had me squirming (and in some cases feeling very fainty). I'm a big wuss.


  4. The B-word! LOL, that did make me chuckle! I haven't read Midwife yet but Cider House is one of the BEST books in existence. I've done the b-word more than a few times, maybe that has dulled my reaction to it being written about 😉


  5. I want to say thank you to all of the dark book loving folks that commented on this post. I've always wondered if I was some sort of creepy creeper to enjoy those types of books so much. That may be the case, but at least I'm not alone!


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