Must Read Classics

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Does anybody have any suggestions for good classic literature?
Anything by Jane Austen is awesome!
2c with some 3a thrown in for fun!
How about George Orwell? 1984.
Jerzy Kosinski, Being There.
Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment (LOVED this)
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

my mind just went blank. more later.

these aren't august nominations are they?
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"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

4a, mbl, low porosity, normal thickness, fine hair.
I second Jane Austen and "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Dickens is good, too.
Deb in NJ; 3a, dark brown, longish, layered, fine, reasonably thick hair, pale skin

Proud mom of Chappy, a 10-year old Boykin Spaniel, also with chocolate brown, 3a curls

Chappysmom.com
Punctuality Rules!
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I second Jane Austen and "To Kill a Mockingbird."

&%$@#! is good, too.
Originally Posted by chappysmom
Totally agree. Was the last one, D*i*c*kens? I had to type it that way to avoid the censor.
"A thing of beauty is a joy forever: It's loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness; but will still keep a bower quiet for us, and a sleep full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing."... John Keats. (Endymion, Book I, 1-5)
these aren't august nominations are they?

No I was just wondering what everbody liked to read. I'm on a huge reading kick right now and since I finished the Illiad I'm looking for something else to fill the void.
I'm on a bit of a reading kick right now too, classics, biographies and 'chick-lit'. I've just realised that there are at least three books involving a girl who marries a laird and goes to live in a castle in Scotland. What is it with this particular plotline?

I know you asked for classics, but I thought I'd write a list of books I've particularly enjoyed. =) Sometimes it's nice to read something that's not too demanding. =)

1984 by George Orwell is a great read, as is Animal Farm.

One of my favourite books is Chocolat, by Joanne Harris. I've starting reading another of her books..I think it's called the Five Quarters of the Orange (something like that anyway).

It always amazes me that people like Jane Austen. I've tried really hard to get into her books, but I find them so boring.

Bridget Jones's Diary and The Edge of Reason by someone Fielding are very funny.

Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres is also very good, especially if you like poignant historical novels.


I'll write more as I think of them.

I second Jane Austen and "To Kill a Mockingbird."

&%$@#! is good, too.
Originally Posted by chappysmom
Totally agree. Was the last one, D*i*c*kens? I had to type it that way to avoid the censor.
Originally Posted by Gabby
Yes, it is! I wondered why it came up that way! (My mother had a similar problem on a Martha's Vineyard message board, trying to talk about dogs--Cocker Spaniels to be specific. I don't remember what it "translated" the first four letters to, but it certainly wasn't a breed of dog I'd ever heard of!

I'm chuckling, though . . . so many people hate Mr. D. because of their high school English classes . . . they'd probably agree that &%$@#! is just about right for him. (grin)
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Deb in NJ; 3a, dark brown, longish, layered, fine, reasonably thick hair, pale skin

Proud mom of Chappy, a 10-year old Boykin Spaniel, also with chocolate brown, 3a curls

Chappysmom.com
Punctuality Rules!
Booking Through Thursday
Papayahead-are you at all interested in continuing on the same vein?

If so, I recommend The Odyssey and The Aeneid, as they tie in to The Iliad.



I just bought 100 Years of Solitude, 100 Anos de Soledad and a Spanish-English dictionary. I *know* there are Spanish student versions of the book, which have explanatory notes in English with the text in Spanish, but looked and looked and couldn't find them (including on sites recommended on this board, which were awesome sites!) so I gave up and decided to buy the book in English and Spanish with a dictionary, and I'll just sturggle through.

I also bought A Clockwork Orange. No one else seemed to want it for a book discussion group book, so I'm going to just read it on my own.

I actually liked Heart of Darkness. That may make me wierd, but....

The Pearl is a good book for a classic which isn't European.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is actually considered non-fiction, though some of the conversations are made up. It's pretty chilling, but I enjoyed it.

I'm a HUGE fan of anything by Voltaire.


I also absolutely love Hamlet. And if you read it, you also have to go with Rozencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead-which isn't a classic, but should be!

I also like Shakespeare's royalty plays-the Henrys, Richards, etc.
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The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
-Speckla

But at least the pews never attend yoga!
NetG, thanks for the recommendations. I've already read The Odyssey for a class way back when and I think I'm done with the greeks for a while.

I've read 100 years of solitude (great book) but it never occurred to me to read it in Spanish that's a great idea. There's a website called online-literature.com that might be able to help you with student versions.


I didn't realize that "Rozencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" was a book. There is a movie that came out a while back with the same name. I really liked the movie, I guess I'll have to check out the book.
The R & G Are Dead movie may be even better than the book. I was impressed with just how well done it was. It was done by someone who truly understood the points behind the book, but added even more humor to it!


Ooh! I forgot to add Chaucer! I have a student version of that, so I read Chaucer in Middle English, but most modern English translations work well, too. I love The Canterbury Tales, but Chaucer has great short stories as well. With Canterbury Tales you can skip around, too, because of the way it's written-you read the beginning, but then can skip around and read whichever of the tales you want.

If you want, I could try to get a good recommendation of translators of Chaucer from a family member who did his thesis on Chaucer....he and I have fun talking, and everyone else looks at us like we're freaks!
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The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
-Speckla

But at least the pews never attend yoga!
hey NetG, I read A Clockwork Orange. When you start it, I suggest having a pen and pad handy. The slang is so thick in the first chapter. You'll probably need to write down the slang for reference until the second chapter....that's when it all started coming together for me. It's a great book, by the way.
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"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

4a, mbl, low porosity, normal thickness, fine hair.
Voltaire is amazing. I'm also a fan of Jane Eyre, I used to read it every year, it's so romantic.
Grapes of Wrath and Uncle Tom's Cabin are two of my favorites.
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Metamorphosis by Kafka

...and, of course, Animal Farm
i read "a tale of two cities" in 10th grade for lit class. although the first couple of chapters are boring (ESPECIALLY the first), you eventually get really into it. i almost cried when i read the last page for the first time. *sigh...* also, i really liked "the giver" and "girl with a pearl earring." i'm just starting to really kick back into reading again after a LONG break from it, so i'm interested in these nominations, too. one great short story, by the way, is "the blue hotel." really fascinating and myseterious. it's a long short story, by the way.
CurlyGab likes this.
mostly 3a, with 2b just on top; long, light brown hair; fair skin (rosy cheeks); blue eyes
my cousin made me read the giver and I couldn't put it down, luckily for me it was fairly short.
1984 is good by George orwell or try Memoirs of a Geisha I forgot who th author was though.
Do Harlequin Presents count? I used to be a member of their book club back in the 80s when everyone was a secretary or a nurse Penny Jordan wrote the best ones.

{edited to add reading list guides}

The New Lifetime Reading Plan: The Classical Guide to World Literature is a good place to start. Amazon has scores of reading lists that can get you started in the right direction, including Salon.com Reader's Guide to Contemporary Classics and The Literary 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Novelists, Playwrights, and Poets of All Time, to start.

Happy reading!
I'm just finishing The Jungle by Upton Sinclair for the first time. I really like it but I found it very depressing. It is definately applicable to life in the 21st century.

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