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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Top Ten Classics I Intend to Read . . . Eventually

Got this idea from Bluerose's Heart who posted this same list on her blog a week back. Well, not the same same. Her list looked a little bit different from mine.

Classics cause me reader's guilt. I always feel that I either should have read them, should be reading them, or perhaps that they should be read as the "very next thing." But I either haven't, or am not, or have no immediate, driving intentions of doing so. I need help. Maybe making this list will inspire me.

Oh, and by the way, I refuse to consider Harry Potter a Classic just yet - despite the fact that I've seen lists that include him as a "must read" for classic literature. (Is anyone else insulted just by the mention of that?!)

1. How Should We Then Live?, by Francis A. Schaeffer is a Christian classic which I confess I've always felt the "have to" more than the "want to" when it comes to actually reading it. I feel that I ought to and so I purchased a copy years and years (and years and years) ago. I just haven't read it yet.



Any convincing and motivating arguments to provide me with the proper "want" so that I will truly read it?

2. Stormy, Misty's Foal



I found a copy of this one at Goodwill for $0.99 after I finished reading Misty of Chincoteague (linked to my review.) My friend who recommended the first one suggested I'd like the other books in the series and I have no doubts that she is absolutely correct. (As $0.99 isn't much of a gamble - why not!?) I'm looking forward to it.

3. The Woman in White has been on my To Be Read list (and personal bookshelf) for a very long time.



I go through phases with mysteries. I really like them for awhile and then I want nothing to do with them because I don't like being tense or scared when I read. I have to pick this one up when I'm in a mystery phase.

4. The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I read his Crime and Punishment a few years back and LOVED it! I would simply be delighted to spend more time with his writings. I just haven't made the time yet. Which is regrettable because I've no doubt I would enjoy the time thoroughly and such time would be very well spent!



5. Notes from the Underground, by Dostoevsky. Same reasons as above, although I don't think this title sounds half as interesting. I'm just really curious about his other writings now.



6. If ANY classic was going to cause me guilt it would have to be A Tale of Two Cities. There is almost no point in you regulars commenting on this particular title any longer. I hate Charles Dickens as "the regulars" well know.


I have tried to read this particular book a couple of times now. I even made it through the first chapter. And I stayed awake for it! Barely! Jonathan really likes this story though and so I keep telling myself I should read this one. I have the same feelings about training for and running a 10K. Why? Why do something you loathe the very thought of?

Because of the glowing sense of accomplishment? I think the root of that is pride, personally, and since we're supposed to avoid prideful attitudes, I think I should avoid A Tale of Two Cities.

Yes. That sounds like a good and valid argument to me. Yes. Yes. . .

7. Speaking of pride . . . the only reason I have not yet read The Grapes of Wrath is because someone I didn't like once told me I should read this book.

Oh yes, I CAN be that petty.



8. Again with the pride - Variation in C (for Carrie, of course) - is 1984.



I only want to read this one so that I can sound cool and understand what all the cool people who have already read this book talk about. I hate it when people reference it and I have to sit there in stupefied ignorance, wondering exactly what is in this book that makes everyone else sound intellectual.

9. The Great Gatsby. I read the Cliff Note version when I was studying for a test one time. I admit that to hopefully counter-balance all the pride mentioned in my previous three selections. I'm a sad, sad little person.



10. The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling.



Whoops! I mean this one:



I figure if I'm going to pull out The Mom Card and say that you have to read the books before you watch the movies then I should probably read this particular classic. Maybe I can read it with my children. That sounds like fun! And it buys me time.

See? Now just read through that list and the things I've admitted. Guilt, guilt, guilt! I don't think we're supposed to live that way!

But I'm good with guilt. In some situations it is my friend. When it comes to books, it is most definitely my friend and it drives me onward at times, for better or for worse.

What about you? Are there ten classics that you feel you ought to read? Do tell. Make me feel better.

;)

33 comments:

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

Haven't read 1 - 6 or 10. Have read 7 & 9(didn't care for either). Have no desire to read 8.

I've always wanted to read Dickens. I think I like the thought of it more than the actual doing it.

Liz said...

I haven't read of any of these books either, if that makes you feel better. Hee Hee!

Caniad said...

The Brothers Karamazov is long and difficult. (And it's not like there's anything really happy in there.) It's worth the read, though; just give yourself time.

A Tale of Two Cities is boring and typical Dickens, but you could probably put it away in a long afternoon. I'd say it's a must-read only to be able to claim you read it (and because there are plenty of cultural references that reflect back on it).

Bluerose said...

I'm definitely feeling my "Classic" ignorance! I've never heard of the first five, and the only one of the others I've read is The Great Gatsby. I don't remember liking it, though.

Jessi E. (The Elliott Review) said...

I really want to read Notes from the Underground and the Francis Schaeffer book as well... Haven't gotten around to it. The Woman in White and The Brothers Karamazov are great... Also like Tale of Two Cities, but it took me a while to get into.

Barbara H. said...

I think in the past three years I have actually read most of the classics I had been wanting to get to. But there are always more...the only one of these I have read is 1984 for some class (and I don't remember much about it) and A Tale of Two Cities, which we've discussed many times. :-) As I've said before, though it's one of my favorite novels now (tied with Les Mis for 1st), it did take me several attempts to actually get through it.

I've wanted to read Schaefer -- I've read one of his wife's books (Art of Homemaking, very good) and have read about him, but I don't think I have actually read him.

Dostoevsky is one I feel I probably should read, but he seems daunting.

Lisa writes... said...

I would NOT consider myself a fan of Dickens, by any means. I recently read Our Mutual Friend because it's a favorite of a dear friend of mine but I didn't really like it much. And I've started Bleak House (ugh!) but never got very far. All that to say: I really, really liked A Tale of Two Cities. A lot.

I've read The Woman in White, but that's all I can remember. Clearly didn't make much of an impression, good or bad.

I'd like to read Karamazov but find it daunting. Would I like it? I can't decide, not based on what I know of the plot.

I read Gatsby not too long ago (maybe for a 5M4B classics club?). It was also ok, not a great favorite either.

1984? No thanks. The Grapes of Wrath, perhaps...

Great list! I'll be looking forward to seeing what you read and what you think!

Sarah M. said...

I am relieved that this is NOT your nightstand list. For a minute I misread and thoguht it was and I was like... WOW, that's ambitious... Heh... I've read a few of the books you've listed and even enjoyed them. There are still more I should read, but haven't.

The Grapes of Wrath - I tried to in highschool, but was turned off when I learned there was mention of rape in the story. I somehow still feel I should have finished it... but oh well. I can say I read East of Eden, which I was proud of finishing.

As for the rest... this is a great post idea. I think I'll save it for later in the week. That will give me time to think about it...

Carrie said...

@Sarah M. - HAHAHA! Oh my. That WOULD make for a hazardous and stressful reading month!

Taia said...

I read How Should We Then Live a few years ago (Ronan was a baby or I was pregnant) and thought it was pretty dated. I think you could skip this one and read a C S Lewis book with more benefit.

Susan said...

Hmmm ... well, I wouldn't say I had a specific list, but I do enjoy most of the classics I read. And I'm glad you did have a list, because it made for a good blog post :) I read Misty of Ch. as a child and enjoyed it; I bet I'd like the author's other as well. I remember the Schaeffer film series being shown at our church when I was a teen. I was fascinated by it. I'll be interested to see what you think of the book. I read a memoir by their son, Frankie(??) and thought that was quite interesting. Evidently he's quite a character.

jmaestrp said...

If you don't like Dickens, you might still like A Tale of Two Cities. It's not his usual. For a comparison, you might not like The Three Musketeers that much, but like The Count of Monte Cristo. It's a totally different book from say, The Pickwick Papers or Great Expectations. However, the commenter who says it's a long afternoon read must be WAY faster than me, because short it is not.

Cassandra said...

Out of your list, the only ones I've read are The Great Gatsby and Grapes of Wrath. Unfortunately, I didn't like either of those! It's a great list, though!

It will be interesting to read Jungle Book and see how different it is from the movie version. I'm sure there's a pretty big difference!

Renee said...

Great post! I have been toying with reading some of the classics but I keep waiting to be motivated.

Quick question about Emily New Moon - I started out liking the TV series but as I got into it I found it not to be to my taste. Are the books anything like the tv series - it seems so unlike the few other books of L.M. Montgomery that I have read so far.

bekahcubed said...

I am horribly bound to the "ought to read" lists. I review them and think, "Yes, I should read that...and that...and that...and that." Never mind that I hate everything I've ever read by that author, that I have heard the storyline and think it sounds positively horrid, and that the "authority" putting out the list may not be such an authority after all--if someone says I "ought" to read something, I ought to read it.

I'll be stealing your stolen idea for a post tomorrow.

Jennifer said...

From your list I've read A Tale of Two Cities, The Grapes of Wrath, and The Great Gatsby. All of which I really enjoyed.

It takes a while to get into A Tale of Two Cities, but the ending is really worth it. The Grapes of Wrath was a bit too much in the crude language department, but, whoa, was it powerful. The Great Gatsby is just...interesting. :)

Crime and Punishment is on my TBR list. I'm happy to hear that someone loved it!!

I completely agree with wanting to read something just to say you read it. A couple of months ago I talked with someone who had finally finished War and Peace. I just want to read it so I can have bragging rights. :/

I love the idea of reading the books before reading the movies. Haven't done it much, but I do think it is better!

Can I steal this idea too? :) Though I'm not sure that I can narrow it down to ten.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

No comment. ;-)

I couldn't resist (re: Tale of Two Cities). Let's see--I read Grapes of Wrath as a requirement for 11th grade English and was ver put off by the language in it. I've read and taught Great Gatsby numerous times. Right now I can't remember if I've read 1984. I haven't read anything by anybody Russian except One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.

I need to write up a post like this, but then again, I don't need any more guilt in my life. ;-). Fun post!

Janet said...

Let's see:

Stormy is very sad. I discontinued it as a read-aloud because I knew I'd blubber like a baby.

I've read Tale of 2 C and loved it. Liked Great Gatsby. Eh on 1984.

Never read any Wilkie Collins, so that's a good reminder. I've tried Brother Karamazov and failed (guilt, guilt). I've read some Francis Schaeffer, but not that one.

I don't really like Kipling and have never read TJB. I did read Grapes of Wrath but don't remember it.

All of which is to say that I find your list engaging! :-)

Carrie said...

@Taia - Good to know.

@Susan - Yes, I can't say that I much care for the way Shaeffer's son has decided to approach the world.

@Caniad/jmaestro - haha. Well, I probably COULD put it away in a day if I had a day. And yes, Canaid is a very fast (and diligent!) reader. That's the problem. The book would take me an ETERNITY to get through at this point. Or so it feels.

@Renee - OH I rather loathe the Emily of New Moon tv serious. It was warped. And that is a subject that definitely riles people's opinion. See here (where I reviewed the Emily of New Moon tv series:)

http://www.5minutesforbooks.com/2166/emily-of-new-moon/

@Janet - Thanks for the heads up on Stormy being sad. I'll proceed with caution then.

Shonya said...

I'm with you on Dostoevsky--let's read them sometime!! (LOL, my list of books to read is quite overwhelming. . .)

*carrie* said...

Carrie,

I was an English major, and the only one on your list I've read is Gatsby.

There are many classics I've never read. And I confess that I've only read 2 Jane Austen books, even though I'm a huge fan of the movies!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say to pick up Wilkie Collins! The Woman in White is awesome, as is The Moonstone. The Brother's Karamazov is good but tough. It's the kind of book that's best when read with others to discuss, because it has so many layers. I'm planning to read The Great Gatsby this year.

Danielle said...

Oops, I'm the one who posted above!

Krista said...

I have some major gaps in my Classics ignorance as well. I'm with you on Tale of Two Cities though, I think maybe I made it through the first chapter before I put it down!
And one summer while working in Yellowstone I picked up Gatsby because I'd had an English prof the year before that was constantly referencing him and Daisy and I had no idea what he was talking about. It was an interesting read and it's stuck with me all these years. I think it's a huge part of our culture and as such you really start to understand when people reference it what they're talking about. But maybe you got all that from the Cliff Notes version!
It's still waaaaay better than Dickens though! ;)

Ronnica said...

You've got a list I've got strong feelings for! The Woman in White is good. I've tried a couple of times to read Brothers Karamazov after also loving Crime and Punishment but I can't seem to get through it. Put it down again because it's basically been a year since I've read a classic since I was stuck on it. 1984 in spite of one skippable scene, is one of my favorites. I cry at the ending every time.

hopeinbrazil said...

This is a great thought-provoking post. Even though I try to keep up a steady stream of classics, there are still so many I've yet to read!

Sherry said...

I've read eight out of the ten books on your list (she says,pridefully), and I think all eight are worth your time, including Mr. Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. What can I say to sway you anti-Dickensians into an appreciation of the his work?

The two I haven't read are Stormy (because I'm not much on horse books) and the Steinbeck. I hate Steinbeck. I feel about Steinbeck the way you feel about Dickens, only more so. 1984 is worth reading because it is so often quoted and referenced, and because Orwell was so good at predicting the future --in a general sort of way.

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