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Must Read Classics

papayahedpapayahed Posts: 1,282Registered Users
Does anybody have any suggestions for good classic literature?
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  • californiawavescaliforniawaves Posts: 55Registered Users
    Anything by Jane Austen is awesome!
    2c with some 3a thrown in for fun!
  • curlyarcacurlyarca Posts: 8,449Registered Users
    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:

    "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

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  • chappysmomchappysmom Posts: 107Registered Users
    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

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  • BookishCurlyBookishCurly Posts: 75Registered Users
    chappysmom wrote:
    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:
    "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)
  • papayahedpapayahed Posts: 1,282Registered Users
    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.
  • MipMip Posts: 233Registered Users
    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.

    :D
  • chappysmomchappysmom Posts: 107Registered Users
    Gabby wrote:
    chappysmom wrote:
    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)
    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

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  • NetGNetG Posts: 8,116Registered Users
    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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  • papayahedpapayahed Posts: 1,282Registered Users
    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.
  • NetGNetG Posts: 8,116Registered Users
    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!
    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!
  • curlyarcacurlyarca Posts: 8,449Registered Users
    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.

    "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

    4a, mbl, low porosity, normal thickness, fine hair.
  • hestercurlshestercurls Posts: 31Registered Users
    Voltaire is amazing. I'm also a fan of Jane Eyre, I used to read it every year, it's so romantic.
  • Summer91Summer91 Posts: 265Registered Users
    Grapes of Wrath and Uncle Tom's Cabin are two of my favorites.
  • n_y_chicn_y_chic Posts: 19Registered Users
    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
  • botticelliesquebotticelliesque Posts: 5Registered Users
    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. :)
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  • papayahedpapayahed Posts: 1,282Registered Users
    my cousin made me read the giver and I couldn't put it down, luckily for me it was fairly short.
  • rebecklezrebecklez Posts: 2Registered Users
    1984 is good by George orwell or try Memoirs of a Geisha I forgot who th author was though.
  • closetcurlyclosetcurly Posts: 43Registered Users
    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!
  • L'n-zL'n-z Posts: 208Registered Users
    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.
    8)
  • superrach3superrach3 Posts: 40Registered Users
    Jane Austen is the greatest! Pride and Prejudice, or Sense and Sensibility are the best of her books, but they're all wonderful.
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  • alove15alove15 Posts: 27Registered Users
    East of Eden by John Steinbeck is amazing.
  • nandiknitsnandiknits Posts: 260Registered Users
    Some of my favorite classics are:

    Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
    Lord of the Rings by Tolkien
    Anna Karinena by Tolstoy
    All of the Jane Austin books
    To Kill A Mockingbird
    Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
    them by Joyce Carol Oates
    The Magus by John Fowles

    I could go on and on.....
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  • yeahitsmeyeahitsme Posts: 8Registered Users
    I would say go for Oscar Wilde! The picture of Dorian Gray is amazing obviously but I also really enjoy reading his plays (the importance of being earnest being my favourite)

    I also loved Dracula, Jekyll & Hyde and Frankenstein :)

    Not sure this would be what you're looking for but I suppose some people call it a classic: Brave new world by aldous huxley. I loved it even though I'm not into that genre at all! Ties in with 1984 quite nicely too
  • kaybkayb Posts: 5,054Registered Users
    Hamlet!!! :love7::love7::love7::love7: It has everything, love, revenge, drama....one of the best books ever written IMHO.
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  • coolcurlyfrycoolcurlyfry Posts: 21Registered Users
    Pride and predjudice (again)
    i like George Orwell a lot - try Animal Farm and 1984
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  • alessialessi Posts: 10Registered Users
    Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    A Separate Peace by John Knowles
    The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

    and I'm not sure if this one is really a 'classic' but it is one of my favorite books...
    Lolita by Vladimir Nabacov
  • anniemaeanniemae Posts: 1,702Registered Users
    East of Eden - the bestest ever!! :love4:

    Les Miserables

    The Good Earth - very, very good
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  • MagooMagoo Posts: 2,173Registered Users
    Love Jane Eyre. I've read it several times.
    I also agree with many of the ones listed by the previous posters.
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  • djfoo4djfoo4 Posts: 32Registered Users
    Another fan of Jane Eyre!
  • MadHatter89MadHatter89 Posts: 18Registered Users
    - Persuasion by Jane Austen

    - A Thousand and One Nights by A Bunch of Various/Unknown People

    - Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

    Happy reading!
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