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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)

(9) Mount Everest

Yeah, Milton's Samson is a toughie. But it has an amazing view from the top. Milton's poetry is truly beautiful (really) but its imagery and language isn't always the easiest to follow. Plus, he expects you to have a good grasp of the Biblical story of Samson. Throw in a total lack of stage directions, and you've got the setup for an arduous climb. But we're here to Sherpa you to the top—and we're pretty sure you'll thank us when you're there.

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