by Ayn Rand
We've got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you'll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)
(8) Snow Line
This is not an easy book. It's insanely long, dense, complicated, half the time you don't know what's going on (it is a mystery, but still), there seem to be hundreds of characters (was Ayn Rand channeling Dickens?), and there's an entire chapter devoted to philosophy. But this book is also wildly entertaining in parts. There's a lot of really great characters to follow, and some exciting sequences, like a dramatic plane crash. The language itself is also pretty easy to follow; it's the ideas that get tricky. This is the point of the book, though – it makes you think and challenges your preconceptions. Overall it can be slow reading, but it's also really thought-provoking and entertaining.