Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Top Ten Tuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and today's topic focuses on the classics. What are the top ten classics you can't believe you haven't read? This is a sore spot for me, because I like to pride myself on reading mostly older books, but sometimes it's just difficult to get into them and I give up and go for something a little less meaty, which has been quite often, especially since finishing college where I did more than enough heavy reading and analyzing! But here is my list, in no particular order. Most of these are on my to-read list for 2015, as well.
1. Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray
To be honest, I have made it more than halfway through this book a couple of times. But I guess I'm not meant to be reading long and involved books on a Kindle. I just can't keep things straight when flipping back pages to remember things isn't really possible. I love the story, I just can't finish it. Now I have a hardcover copy of it and it's on my reading list for this year.
2. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
Russian literature intimidates me, which might explain why I own an assortment of novels and have not yet managed to read any. This is a story that my heart wants so deeply to know and love, so it's time to crack it open.
3. The Tale of Genji, by Murasaki Shikibu
Having known about what is likely the world's first true novel since I was quite young, I am sincerely shocked I have not read Genji yet. I've even checked out a lengthy English translation with footnotes from the library at least three times. Never been the right moment, I suppose. As part of my quest to read more world classics, I'm going to get through this one. How can you not want to read a Japanese work written in the 500s and on top of that, penned by a lady-in-waiting at the imperial court?? (Thank you, Carmen Sandiego.)
4. Paradise Lost, by John Milton
I have read excerpts of Milton in the past, and the absolute beauty of his words blew me away. Fairly certain I had a copy of this book sitting on my nightstand through most of high school and some of college. And yet I never really read it. I've read multiple translations of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy (which is one of my favorite works of all time), so there is no reason I shouldn't have read this beautiful work of art.
5. Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo
This might be my favorite musical of all time, so it is a genuine crime against myself that I have not yet read the book. Especially since The Hunchback of Notre Dame is one of the first classics (other than English) that I fell in love with in high school.
6. Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
I am woefully under-read on the works of Dickens, and I am actually ashamed to write that. But anyway, this is one of his works that I am most sad I have not read yet.
7. The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins
I include this for two basic reasons, one being that it's a tale that deeply appeals to me, and two being that I purchased a copy of this book in high school and I still haven't read it.
8. This Side of Paradise, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Considering that Gatsby is so good, and that many people have told me that his other novels are even better, I just don't know why I haven't read this yet.
9. Tess of the D'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy
There are multiple film adaptations of this book that I have seen, and yet I have not actually read the book. I don't have anything profound to say about this one, just that I'm surprised I haven't read it.
10. On the Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin
So it's nonfiction, but many would lump this in with classics, I think. At any rate, it's been sitting on my shelf for a few years since I got a free copy, and I've wanted to read it for as long as I can remember.
I tried very hard to make sure my list wasn't all classics of English literature, which is partly in keeping with my reading plans for the year. Seems to me I did a decent job. What classics are you surprised you haven't managed to read yet?