Sunday, October 26, 2008

Classics List Predicaments

As I mentioned yesterday, I am working on a tentative list of Classics I will be reading this year. I plan to start in December and read one of these books per month. I've easily narrowed it down to fifteen books, but there are twelve months in a year. So, I need your input.

What books do you suggest on this list (or which ones do you suggest I take off of the list)?

I want to pick a book apprpriate for each month, like a longer book for the summer months, and an easier read for tough months like January (midterms) and September (first month of college). Which books would be best for each month?

On this list, I know I am going to read The Grapes of Wrath, A Christmas Carol (in December), and Wuthering Heights (for school).

I also need to read a Jane Austen Book. I really struggle with her. I have put Pride and Prejudice on the list because that seems to be her most popular, but that can change!

Here is my list:
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Alas, Babylon
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Brave New World
A Christmas Carol
The Grapes of Wrath
Oedipus Rex
Oliver Twist
Pride and Prejudice
The Taming of the Shrew
Wuthering Heights
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Gone With the Wind


Literature Crazy said...

Tough choices getting this down to 12. I guess I'd recommend either removing The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (and if I had to pick only one, I'd choose to read Huck Finn). Also, you could consider only reading one play, either Hamlet or The Taming of the Shrew. That would get you down to 13, which could be managed if you read one ever four weeks (rather than based on a calendar month).

Anonymous said...

I read the Adventures of Huck Finn and the Adventures of Tom Sawyer both in the past month and they are pretty quick and easy reads. Hamlet is also short but heavy, especially if you've never read it before. Pride and Prejudice is my most favorite Austen ever and I haven't talked to too many people who haven't enjoyed it. I hope you do as well.

Ali said...

The books on this list that I truly enjoyed reading when I was around your age were Gone with the Wind, The Grapes of Wrath, Wuthering Heights, the Shakespeare, and the Mark Twain books. I didn't hate the Dickens but didn't love it either. And I haven't read Pride and Prejudice, A Tree Grows in Brookly, Oedipus Rex, or Alas, Babylon.

What I'd do is read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and if you don't like it you can cross Huck Finn off your list. The books are very different but the style is the same. Read A Christmas Carol in December and then decide about Oliver Twist (same thing: very different books, but if you don't like A Christmas Carol you probably won't like Oliver Twist). Save Lolita for later. I couldn't get through it. Maybe I was expecting too much juiciness--it was scandalous when it was written but by today's (well, yesterday's) standards, I found it dry.

Also: Watch the plays (or movies of the plays) of Hamlet and The Taming of the Shrew before (or while) reading them. It really helps.

Ronnica said...

I don't like reading plays. They were never meant to be read. Instead, find a good commentary of sorts and watch a good rendition (sp?) of them. (I highly recommend Kenneth Branaugh's version of Hamlet.)

Have you watched Pride and Prejudice? If not, then I might suggest Sense and Sensibility instead. It's a little easier to follow (less sisters!). But if you're somewhat familiar with the characters it's not that confusing. I really like them both!

Oliver Twist is wonderful, but long. Dickens's style of writing and sense of humor is wonderful!

I also really liked Gone with the Wind, Wuthering Heights, and the Twain books.

Sarah said...

Thanks for all the help guys! I have it mostly figured out. I'll post the final results once I have them. The only thing I'm struggling over is Pride and Prejudice and all the plays.

Toni said...

My top three are: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Grapes of Wrath and Gone with the Wind I have re/re-read them all in the last three years!!! I give them all a high five.
I enjoy Pride and Prejudice also... but I am not always in an "Austin" sentence state of mind.
Great List. I am reading Wuthering Heights by 2/2009.