Friday, October 15, 2010

The Classics

I've been thinking a lot lately about the "classics"...those books that you "should" have read, but never actually got around to. As an English major, I read a lot in school (although, oddly, I think I read more of the classics in high school than I did in college), but in a lot ways, I've always been more drawn to the current best sellers than the tried-and-true cannon.

I decided to research what books I "should" have read. One Google search later, I discovered the "100 Books That Everyone Should Read at Lease Once" least according to the "experts" at Their list is an interesting blend of modern and old school literature. Of the list, I've read about 45 or so (though some of those I think were abridged versions), and I have some type of connection to a handful of others (that is, I've read excerpts, I own, etc.).

I've listed below some of the ones that I haven't read (or, at least, I don't think I've read them). Maybe I'll add these (or some of them!) to my reading list....

The Catcher in the Rye
Fahrenheit 451
Jane Eyre
The Giver
The Kite Runner
Wuthering Heights
Brave New World
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Color Purple
Crime and Punishment
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
One Hundred Years of Solitude
A Tale of Two Cities
Memoirs of a Geisha
Anna Karenina
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
The Hiding Place
War and Peace

What do you think? Any good ones on that list? Any that should be added?


katiejoy said...

I have a few of these if you want to borrow...

Jim Penny said...

I have read five on your list. Catcher in the Rye was banned back in the day, which means I read it in high school..openly.

Twain wrote something like "A classic is something that everyone wants to have read, but that no one wants to read." An interesting take from a writer who could make a classic from a grocery list.

Wandering Family said...

I know this is like a month or two late, but if you have to read one off that list, read The Hiding Place.

Crime and Punishment is also good, as is War and Peace, but they are good in the "classical" sense mentioned by Jim. Good, but work.

By far the worst book on your list (I haven't read all of them, but of the ones I have) is Catcher in the Rye. I can sum it up - an obnoxious teenager wanders around New York City being rebellious. It's impossible to like him or to care what happens to him - utter rubbish.

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