Stephen M's Reviews > 100 Must-read Classic Novels

100 Must-read Classic Novels by Nick Rennison
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Sep 17, 12

bookshelves: to-read

Stolen from MJ who Stole from the Ingenious Trendsetter Mr. Bryant:

Authors for Whom I Have a Borderline Personality Disorder Type of Love
David Mitchell
David Foster Wallace
Sylvia Plath
Virginia Woolf
Haruki Murakami

Loved Me Passionately But Didn’t Call the Next Morning
Thomas Pynchon
James Joyce

I Appreciate You. What Else Do You Want From Me? Don’t Get too Close.
Raymond Carver
Flannery O’Connor
Tobias Wolff

It’s Complicated
Don Delillo
Jonathan Franzen
Dave Eggers

Don’t Let my High-Brow Friends See Me Loving You!
John Green
J.K. Rowling

Hey Girls, Not All Men Are Patriarchal Pigs. I’d Love You With All the Sensitivity You Deserve
Anne Carson
Adrienne Rich

If You Ever Stop Writing, Some Puppies Are Gonna Get Hurt
Vernon D. Burns

I Wanna Be Cool Too!
Jean-Paul Sartre
Albert Camus
Franz Kafka

Want to Scream My Hate From the Highest Mountaintop
Ayn Rand

I’d Write a Dissertation on Your Grocery Lists
Billy Collins

Pomo Circle Jerkin’
Mark Z. Danielewski
Paul Auster
Italo Calvino

Why?
Hemingway
Stephen King
D.H. Lawrence
George Orwell
John Banville
Ray Bradbury
Nathaniel Hawthorne

We Have a Special Future Together (once I get around to actually reading more of you!)
Dostoyevsky
Richard Powers
B.S. Johnson
Knut Hamsun
China Mieville
Carson McCullers
Michel Faber
Joseph McElroy

New Kids on the Block had a Couple of Hits
Ryan Boudinot
Amelia Gray
Wells Tower
Karen Russell
Paul Murray

Eh, meh, mah, ummm, I mean, yeah, I guess, I mean Know, I know
Jonathan Safran Foer
Gary Shteyngart

Where is the Planet Earth?
Ben Marcus
Brain Evenson

That Nostalgic Childhood Love, the Best Kind
J.D. Salinger
Avi

Ughh.... Mom! Do I have to???
Phillip Roth
Jane Austen
Dickens

Ya’ll Just a Bunch a Freaky Geniuses
Gabriel García Marquez
William Faulkner
Vladimir Nabokov
Cormac McCarthy
Jorge Luis Borges

Sci-Fi Feminists are freakin’ Sexy
Ursula K. Le Guin
Octavia E. Butler
Margaret Atwood
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Comments (showing 1-35 of 35) (35 new)

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message 1: by Kris (new)

Kris You are awesome, Stephen.

That is all.

:)


message 2: by MJ (new) - added it

MJ Nicholls Brilliant!


message 3: by Richard (new) - added it

Richard Re: Jane Austen and Dickens.

Yes, Stephen, your mom called and said you have to.


message 4: by B0nnie (new)

B0nnie I like your loves (and share the same passion for Ms. Rand) - but you've made Orwell roll in his grave, sob.


message 5: by Stephen M (new) - added it

Stephen M Thanks all. Everyone should make lists. It was way fun.

I knew you'd take offense Bonnie. I'm sorry! I wish I could get into his novels. Maybe some day.


message 6: by B0nnie (new)

B0nnie No offense taken, lol. But forget the novels, read the journalism and essays. Some day!


message 8: by Riku (new)

Riku Sayuj China Mieville in that company. My bookshelf wouldn't tolerate such, let alone a list.


message 9: by Paul (new) - added it

Paul great stuff...


message 10: by Steve (new)

Steve If anybody could write a dissertation on the grocery lists of Billy Collins, it would be you, Stephen. And I bet it would be great.


message 11: by Stephen M (new) - added it

Stephen M Ha, thanks guys. Billy Collins is a genius, specially with the minor things in life. I feel like he would write something particular moving about a trip to the market.


message 12: by notgettingenough (last edited Sep 21, 2012 07:08AM) (new)

notgettingenough I’d Write a Dissertation on Your Grocery Lists
Billy Collins


I am always finding things ambiguous that I'm not supposed to. Whoever Billy Collins is, I thought this meant he writes really really REALLY long grocery lists with - hence - lots of space to write a Dissertation. Having thought it over further and reading the comments thread, I see I was wrong.


message 13: by Manny (new) - added it

Manny I read it to mean that Stephen was planning a very short dissertation and liked to reuse paper. But I see I was wrong too.


message 14: by Richard (new) - added it

Richard On the importance of grocery lists, see: A Canticle for Leibowitz.


message 15: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Ha! Got a great laugh out of this. PoMo Circle Jerking.. hilarious. And Paul Auster, need to investigate.


message 16: by Steve (new)

Steve I can see how notgettingenough and Manny could interpret his statement that way, but I knew from previous reviews that Stephen is a big fan of down-to-earth Poet Laureate Billy. As Stephen says in comment 12, Collins is the type to find meaning in the seemingly mundane.

Imagining Stephen's thesis on Collins and grocery experiences, it wouldn't surprise me to see him tie in DFW's speculations (from This is Water) about people standing in line to pay. What do we truly know about them? What should our attitudes be, mindful of the possibilities? We default to impatient and irked all too easily. Maybe Collins would put this scene in a more pleasing light. And Stephen strikes me as the kind of guy who could go deep with that.


message 17: by Stephen M (new) - added it

Stephen M Steve wrote: "I can see how notgettingenough and Manny could interpret his statement that way, but I knew from previous reviews that Stephen is a big fan of down-to-earth Poet Laureate Billy. As Stephen says in..."

Ha, thanks Steve. You've got it right on the head there. Of all the authors I've read I feel like Mr. Collins would be the most likely to write something really profound with the grocery list genre.


message 18: by Steve (new)

Steve In my experience, grocery lists are often a sub genre:

Italian meats
Provolone cheese
Lettuce
Tomato
Giardiniera
Seasoning
Large sub roll


message 19: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Isn't "seasoning" more a general category than an item?


message 20: by Steve (last edited Sep 21, 2012 12:45PM) (new)

Steve Good point, Miriam, but for me it's a mnemonic for a specific Italian seasoning blend -- heavy on the oregano. As Billy Collins might agree, the art in lists often comes down to the words you exclude; what you can evoke from the well-chosen few.


message 21: by Paul (new) - added it

Paul Re the Why? category - does that mean : why would anyone feel the need to read these mopes? Or : why did God make these guys in the first place? Or : why did I waste my time?


message 22: by Stephen M (new) - added it

Stephen M All of 'em. I felt like writing "why do people like this so much?" was too narrow and specific.


message 23: by Stephen M (new) - added it

Stephen M Steve wrote: "Good point, Miriam, but for me it's a mnemonic for a specific Italian seasoning blend -- heavy on the oregano. As Billy Collins might agree, the art in lists often comes down to the words you excl..."

Dang Steve, you've already got this grocery list genre cornered. Do you have any grocery poetry in store? Or is it too hard to produce?


message 24: by Steve (new)

Steve Produce, Stephen? There's been a lot of punning in these parts lately, but I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt with that one. Oh, but I just now noticed "in store". That was no accident. Nor was it food for thought.


message 25: by Stephen M (last edited Sep 21, 2012 02:57PM) (new) - added it

Stephen M Haha you got it!

Sometimes I feel like I should highlight my puns in blue.

My best ones go unnoticed.


message 26: by Chance (new)

Chance Maree Thanks Stephen! Lovin' these lists!


message 27: by Richard (new) - added it

Richard Stephen M wrote: "Haha you got it!

Sometimes I feel like I should highlight my puns in blue.

My best ones go unnoticed."


I'll always notice your puns, Stephen. Always.


message 28: by Stephen M (new) - added it

Stephen M Ah, well Richard you are the punning master 'round these parts.


message 29: by Richard (new) - added it

Richard Stephen M wrote: "Ah, well Richard you are the punning master 'round these parts."

Well, it's good to have some friendly competition, such as yourself. Otherwise I would get lazy and the quality of the puns would deteriorate. :)


Jonathan Stephen M wrote: "Ah, well Richard you are the punning master 'round these parts."

I'v circled many areas of goodreads and I must agree with Stephen's well-rounded assessment.


message 31: by Richard (new) - added it

Richard Jonathan wrote: "Stephen M wrote: "Ah, well Richard you are the punning master 'round these parts."

I've circled many areas of goodreads and I must agree with Stephen's well-rounded assessment."


Awww thanks! I feel so... what's the word?... validated!


Jonathan I'm glad that my comment was so valid.


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

i can't believe your mum told you to read phillip roth.


message 34: by Stephen M (new) - added it

Stephen M a cruel mother, she is.


message 35: by Dustin (new) - added it

Dustin We Have a Special Future Together (once I get around to actually reading more of you!)
Dostoyevsky
Richard Powers
B.S. Johnson
Knut Hamsun
China Mieville
Carson McCullers
Michel Faber
Joseph McElroy..



Awesome list, Stephen! I'm utterly thrilled, and kind of surprised, to know that one of my all-time favorite authors, Richard Powers, made the list!!

And McElroy, too, of course, but I have not had to pleasure to read him yet..


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