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papayahed 07-19-2004 01:11 PM

Must Read Classics
Does anybody have any suggestions for good classic literature?

californiawaves 07-19-2004 04:29 PM

Anything by Jane Austen is awesome!

curlyarca 07-19-2004 06:47 PM

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? :oops:

chappysmom 07-19-2004 08:05 PM

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

Dickens is good, too.

BookishCurly 07-19-2004 09:26 PM


Originally Posted by chappysmom
I second Jane Austen and "To Kill a Mockingbird."

&%$@#! is good, too.

Totally agree. Was the last one, D*i*c*kens? I had to type it that way to avoid the censor. :lol:

papayahed 07-20-2004 10:01 AM


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.

Mip 07-20-2004 12:48 PM

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.


chappysmom 07-20-2004 04:06 PM


Originally Posted by Gabby

Originally Posted by chappysmom
I second Jane Austen and "To Kill a Mockingbird."

&%$@#! is good, too.

Totally agree. Was the last one, D*i*c*kens? I had to type it that way to avoid the censor. :lol:

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)

NetG 07-20-2004 06:23 PM

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.

papayahed 07-21-2004 07:49 AM

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 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.

NetG 07-21-2004 11:13 AM

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!

curlyarca 07-21-2004 04:46 PM

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.

hestercurls 10-15-2004 02:51 PM

Voltaire is amazing. I'm also a fan of Jane Eyre, I used to read it every year, it's so romantic.

Summer91 10-25-2004 07:53 AM

Grapes of Wrath and Uncle Tom's Cabin are two of my favorites.

n_y_chic 11-18-2004 01:00 PM

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

botticelliesque 11-25-2004 12:28 AM

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. :)

papayahed 11-28-2004 04:37 PM

my cousin made me read the giver and I couldn't put it down, luckily for me it was fairly short.

rebecklez 12-17-2004 05:49 PM

1984 is good by George orwell or try Memoirs of a Geisha I forgot who th author was though.

closetcurly 12-27-2004 10:37 AM

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 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!

L'n-z 12-29-2004 04:04 PM

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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