A suggestion on what to do with James Joyce:
Try reading 25 pages a day, out loud, in your best bad Irish accent. (Seriously - some of what seems like idiolectic obscurity is just a question of how you pronounce your vowels.) You'll be maddened, you'll be moved, and you'll be done in about four weeks.
And on Edmund Spencer's The Faerie Queen:
The Faerie Queene is allegory to the power of allegory. Or it is allegory drunk out of its mind on sugary wine, dressed up in layers of costumery, made to run singing through the garden of Eden at four o' clock in the morning before falling down in a heap at sunrise to make silver love to itself.
But then, I love reading about reading. As they say, your mileage may vary.