Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Year of Classics

The other day Matt and I were reading this list of the "Top 100 Classics" and it started me thinking... I haven't read even half of these! Probably half of the classics that I have read were read in middle and high school. There are several that I've read that I hardly remember. I decided to make a list of the ones I really want to read including those I want to reread. Then I decided that I should dedicate myself to this list for the next year! I've also made a little pact with myself that if I read the first 50 pages of any given book and I can't get into it I will put it down and move on. This way I wont force anything, but I can at least try them all. I have a good idea about the ones I wont make it through, but it can't hurt to try:) Matt is currently reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy to me every night and I love love love it. It's such a great book. We are almost halfway through it, which is quite a feat because it is a very long story! I also started reading The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway and, although I'm only about 40 pages into it, I really like it so far. 
Hopefully in a year's time I can make a pretty good size dent in the list of classics I'd like to read in my lifetime. I'm not delusional enough to think I could ever read them all in a year's time (unless that was all I did all day, everyday), but hey, it's a good start! Below is a rough list of starters in no particular order. As you can see I've compiled a few copies, and I'm on the lookout for more!. If any of you have favorites I would love to hear your thoughts! If you can think of some that aren't on this list please please tell me! I'll keep you posted on my thoughts throughout my quest! It will be interesting to see how far I get by July 2011...

Lord of the Flies by William Golding (I absolutely hated this book in high school, but maybe I'll love it now!)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (This was my favorite book when I was young.)
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (Have any of you read this? The premise sounds a little ridiculous...)
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Hamlet by William Shakespeare (I'm ashamed to say I haven't read any of these three Shakespeare novels.)
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (This was also one of my favorites in high school.)
Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Ulysses by James Joyce (I'm not going to kid myself, but I will be happy to make it through 50 pages!)
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Sophie's Choice by William Styron (I'm not sure if I can handle how horribly sad this is going to be... ugh!)
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Emma by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (I hear it's a little tedious, but I may love it.)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (One of my all time favorites, but I haven't read it in a very long time.)
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Ana Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (yah!)
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Can you believe I've never read this whole book? I love the movie!)
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger 
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (My sis-in-law inspired me to tackle this loooong story.)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Whew... Here I go. Wish me luck!


  1. Oh my gosh! That's daunting and impressive!My favs were To Kill a Mockingbird (50th anniversary of this book this year), Great Expectations and Sophie's Choice about killed me. Can you believe I've never read Wuthering Heights? Tell me when you get to that. I'll read it, too. In fact, let us know when you start a new book so we can read along with you if we want. Kinda like a little book club. You know how I feel about that. Is Matt reading them all to you?;) See you guys tomorrow. Mona

  2. Wow, that's an awesome list. I have to say though, that I tried to read Lord of the Flies again recently and hate it still. Plus, I found out some information about the author and I decided to boycott any of his works. Not that it makes a difference. :) I did read The Metamorphosis in college, and I remember liking it, but I don't remember too much of it. Enjoy all your fun books!

  3. Mona- Have you read The Sun Also Rises? I'm soooo down for a book club! It's so much more fun when you can discuss it. And no, Matt's not reading them all to me:) I wish though! I think he should be a narrator. He is amazing at reading out loud.
    Cari- I think I may feel the same about Lord of the Flies. What did you find out about the author? I'm curious now!

  4. Ashley, I think your list is very commendable! What a cool project for you guys to take on! All these books are amazing in their own way. I'm starting on my own qualifying exam reading list next month, and several of these texts are on my list, so if you want to talk about them you know where to find me! Lord knows I could use the discussion before I have to take this scary exam!

    Love, Danelle

  5. Save Gone With the Wind for last, because it's the best! We can watch the movie together afterward. So much drama!