Thursday, August 16, 2012

EVERYBODY loves LISTS: 10 Classic Books I Feel Like I Need to Read

I am a list lover.  I actually keep a running master list in a notebook of books I want to read. (Prior to that, book recommendations lived in the margins of my planner...and in my phone...and on tons of random post-it notes...I needed to consolidate!).  Over the course of my literary self-education, I feel like there are several classic tomes that keep coming up as essential reading.  I've narrowed my list down to ten for the next year or so...or more... (in the spirit of manageability):

  1. Middlemarch by George Eliot    I feel like I keep coming across this title, and I've never read anything by Ms. Evans, so the time has come to see what all the fuss is about.
  2. The Brothers Karamazov by Foydor Dostoevsky   Crime and Punishment was required reading back in high school, and I think enough time has gone by that I've sufficiently recovered enough to give him another go.
  3. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf     Last time I was in Baltimore, I rescued some books my parents were ready to part with that were originally published in the 50s and 60s.  Among them was Mrs. Dalloway, which has been on my "must read" list since reading Bouillier's The Mystery Guest.  I'm about 2/3 of the way through.
  4. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray   His middlename is "Makepeace."  'Nuff said.
  5. Persuasion by Jane Austen   I'm an Austen lover, and was given her complete works for my 18th birthday by my Aunt Aimee, but as of yet haven't made it past Emma and Pride and Prejudice.
  6. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens    Similar to Dostoevsky, I read Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities in 6th grade and haven't revisited his work since.  It's time.
  7. Ulysses by James Joyce      I hated Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man when I read it in high school, but I feel like maybe with the benefit of age and perspective, I'll come to feel differently about Joyce...
  8. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust     I accidentally bought Sodom and Gomorrah a few years ago not realizing (until I started the introduction) that it was 4 novels into a 6 novel I'd like to start at the beginning and work my way through...or at least try...
  9. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee     I know.  I know.  It's time.  Past time, actually.
  10. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence    I LOVED reading about Geoff Dyer trying to write about reading D.H. Lawrence.  So maybe reading D.H. Lawrence will be equally as enjoyable?
What do you think?  What should I add?  Omit?  

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