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Looking For Recommendations > Must Read Classics

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message 1: by Rachael (last edited Aug 19, 2009 06:51AM) (new)

Rachael (rprensner) As a book-lover I figure I must read the classics I don't get in school. I intended this summer to go on an intense classic-reading program... but alas vacations, work, and fluffier works called. Just wondering, what should I read next. I'll give a brief list of classics I have and haven't liked as guideline.

FAVORITE CLASSICS
The Great Gatsby
My Antonia
anything by Jane Austen
Jane Eyre
1984

NOT MY FAVORITE BUT STILL GOOD
Wuthering Heights
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Silas Marner
Shakespeare (love him performed- that's how it was meant to be)
Dickens (am very satisfied after finishing though he's undoubtedly dense. please don't recommend me any of him as I get plenty in school)
Ivanhoe
Agnes Grey
TO Kill a Mockingbird

CAN'T STAND
The Scarlet Letter
The Illiad
Heart of Darkness

So where should I go from here? Tolstoy? Gaskell? Elliot? Twain? Please something of a reasonable length as I do have plenty going on in my life and only so much time to devote.
Now forget most of my qualifications and please just recommend me something you think everyone should read:-)
Thanks!



message 2: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10060 comments Mod
Ha.. I hated Heart of Darkness too. Such a horrible short little book!

As for length, you might find some of my recommendations a tad long, but they are Sooooo worth the time:

The Mysterious Island - Jules Verne
The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
The Brothers Karamazov - Dostoevsky
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Fahrenheit 451 - Bradbury



message 3: by Liz (new)

Liz (lizgore) | 8 comments omg I love the scarlet letter


message 4: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) I'd second The Count of Monte Cristo absolutely! I loved that book so much, I was sad it ended even though it was super-long.

I'd also highly recommended Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. It's SO GOOD.


message 5: by Rachael (new)

Rachael (rprensner) Liz, I'm sure "The Scarlet Letter" is a "good book" as it's a classic, but wow is it fun to complain about.The writing drove me crazy from the beginning and the more I read the more the rest got to me.


message 6: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne (bellamy22) | 610 comments Rachael ... LOL, on 'The Scarlett Letter' (SO true)
totally agree on Shakespeare tho one exception being 'Midsummer Nights Dream'... which I will take in ANY form at ANY time******* tra la la !!!!!!


message 7: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne (bellamy22) | 610 comments Oh, by the way,
Welcome to the group, smarty!!! :)


message 8: by Petra (new)

Petra Becky wrote: "I'd second The Count of Monte Cristo absolutely! I loved that book so much, I was sad it ended even though it was super-long.

I'd also highly recommended Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hard..."


Count Of Monte Cristo is high on my TBR list. I've heard nothing but good reviews on it. I also enjoyed Far From The Madding Crowd.
Another good classic is Wilkie Collin's two books: The Woman In White and The Moonstone.


message 9: by Tara (new)

Tara Yes to Tolstoy! I recommend Anna Karenina, but admit it took me a long time to get through. I loved it though. Dostoevsky's biggies (Bro's Karamazov and Crime and Punishment) are worth a read too.

If you liked The Great Gatsby, maybe try Hemingway. They're sort of the same era, though their writing is different. I love both, and suggest The Sun Also Rises

And I also recommend John Steinbeck. East of Eden is one of my all-time favorites, but his shorter ones are great too.


message 10: by Katie (new)

Katie I agree with Tara that you might like East of Eden.

I'd also suggest Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston and The Unvanquished by William Faulker. I'm not sure why, but somehow they seem to fit with your list of likes.

But then again, you probably shouldn't take my advice--I LOVED Heart of Darkness. :-)


message 11: by Emily (last edited Aug 18, 2009 07:32AM) (new)

Emily Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1736 comments Faulkner is hard and confuses me but it's a nice confusion, if you follow me. Definitely if you have the time.

Also recommend Mark Twain or John Steinbeck. I particularly love Cannery Row.


message 13: by Kristin (new)

Kristin | 53 comments It's fairly "new" for a classic, but nonetheless, To Kill A Mockingbird is hands-down WONDERFUL and an "easy read" for a classic.


message 14: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jess0702) | 68 comments I highly recommend Dostoevsky, especially The Brothers Karamazov, though Crime and Punishmentis great too. Dostoevsky said he was heavily influenced by Dickens, and if you enjoy Dickens I imagine you will also like Dostoevsky (though they do share that whole ridiculously dense thing). Brothers K also has the Grand Inquisitor chapter, which is known in and of itself as some really great and thought-provoking writing.


message 15: by Liz (new)

Liz Rachael wrote: "Liz, I'm sure "The Scarlet Letter" is a "good book" as it's a classic, but wow is it fun to complain about.The writing drove me crazy from the beginning and the more I read the more the rest got to..."
I'm an English major, and I enjoy laughing at the symbolism in The Scarlet Letter.

I'd recommend An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott. It's been a while since I read it, but I really enjoyed it at the time.



message 16: by Svetlana (new)

Svetlana Kovalkova-McKenna | 12 comments I love The Illiad. I would love some time with Brodsky now, but lately for me it is Modern Biology, Science and Algebra - I enjoy it, I homeschool, but I need some time with my old book of poems by Brodsky. What can I say, there is nothing like a sun!


message 17: by John (last edited Aug 19, 2009 07:46AM) (new)

John Burns why do they need to be classics? Are great novels that don't have 101 english courses based on them not worthy of your attention? And how exactly are you defining "classic" anyway?
Here are the best, most famous books I've read:

The Picture of Dorian Gray
Crime and Punishment
War and Peace Though this is like over 1000p long. Incidentally, why suggest Tolstoy yourself and THEN ask for no books that are too long? Sure it's long but it's also probably the greatest novel ever written. Too many ppl avoid it because it's too long. War and Peace is tragically under-read amongst goodreads users.
Catch-22
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
All Quiet on the Western Front
The Grapes of Wrath
Fahrenheit 451
Lord of the Flies
One Hundred Years of Solitude

EDIT: sorry, you have read more modern books than the great gatsby. Wasnt paying attention.


message 18: by John (new)

John Burns also, regarding the other users recommendations, If you're gonna read dostoevsky (which you should) start with Crime and punishment as it's widely considered to be his best and is about half the length of the bros karamazov.
The count of monte cristo is an overlong pulp thriller with a fantastic story but little substance, which is OK if that's your sort of thing.
War and peace is a longer and more trying reading experience than Anna Karenina but is unquestionably the superior novel.


message 19: by Rachael (new)

Rachael (rprensner) Suzanne wrote: "Rachael ... LOL, on 'The Scarlett Letter' (SO true)
totally agree on Shakespeare tho one exception being 'Midsummer Nights Dream'... which I will take in ANY form at ANY time******* tra la la !!!!!!"


I was in "Midsummer Night's Dream"- it is absolutely hilarious!


message 20: by Genie (new)

Genie (genieinaustin) | 9 comments Mayor of Casterbridge-Thomas Hardy
The Unvanquished=William Faulkner
The Three Musketeers-Alexander Dumas
Crime and Punishment-Dosteovsky
All Quiet on the Western Front
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Cannery Row-Steinbeck
These are some of my favorites you haven't read


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) My choices would be East of Eden by Steinbeck. It is long, but I think it is his best book (although I like everything he has written). Another of my favorites is Mark Twain, especially A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.


message 22: by Carol (new)

Carol Genie wrote: "Mayor of Casterbridge-Thomas Hardy
The Unvanquished=William Faulkner
The Three Musketeers-Alexander Dumas
Crime and Punishment-Dosteovsky
All Quiet on the Western Front
One Hundred Years of Solitud..."


I hated One Hundred Years Of solitude. For me it was a very boring book. I guess I must be the only one who didn't get it. Classics I like are The Count Of Monte Christo, Les Miserable,Tale Of Two Cities,Dr.Zhivago,To Kill A Mockingbird,Gone With The Wind to name a small portion.


message 23: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Akittykat wrote: "Genie wrote: "Mayor of Casterbridge-Thomas Hardy
The Unvanquished=William Faulkner
The Three Musketeers-Alexander Dumas
Crime and Punishment-Dosteovsky
All Quiet on the Western Front
One Hundr..."

Hi Akittykat - I'll jump on the 100 Years bandwagon with you. I didn't necessarily hate it, but I did not like it much at all. My cousin and I were in the minority at our live book club meeting to discuss it. In fact, we never admitted to the group that we didn't like it !




message 24: by Clara (last edited Aug 28, 2009 08:00PM) (new)

Clara | 1 comments Gone With the Wind. It's very long, but I still read it faster than you can spit every time, its so good. And I agree with anything by Jane Austen. I only wish she had written more.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1736 comments I think the reason Regency romance is such a popular genre is that Miss Austen did not write nearly enough books.


message 26: by Emma (new)

Emma Audsley (emmaaudsley) | 10 comments Brave New World, Dracula & Frankenstein


message 27: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (ash88) | 34 comments Heart of Darkness, The Scarlet Letter and The Illiad were some of my favorite classics that I read in school!! BUT--- I had some really amazing teachers. I'm not sure if I would have gotten as much out of them if I hadn't.

Other favorites (that aren't anything like those :P ) Lord of the Flies (LOVED IT) and I agree about Steinbeck.. I have only read Grapes of Wrath but East of Eden is on my TBR list!

Also, if you liked The Great Gatsby and want something short, Fitzgerald has some great short stories worth checking out! :)


message 28: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Dono | 1 comments Hello, I am new to this group and to goodreads.com. I have recently started reading books for enjoyment and I am stumped as to what my next book should be. I read the entire twilight series and loved them, read april and oliver by tess callahan and loved it, and Jane Austen's complete novels series and loved them also. I was wondering if someone could be so kind as to recommend a few books. By the way I hated time travelers wife! Thanx for the help!


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1736 comments I see Jane Eyre is on your to-read list - how about that one? Excellent novel.


message 30: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie | 271 comments Rachel wrote: "Hello, I am new to this group and to goodreads.com. I have recently started reading books for enjoyment and I am stumped as to what my next book should be. I read the entire twilight series and lov..."

Or how about Wuthering Heights? That's one of my favorites. I also thought Daddy Long Legs and Little Women were highly readable. Are you looking for classics or just books in general to read?


message 31: by Katie (new)

Katie (katieisallbooked) | 109 comments I second Hemingway. The Sun Also Rises is my favorite. The Old Man and the Sea is another must-read in my opinion.

I also love The Awakening by Kate Chopin.


message 32: by Anne (new)

Anne (theoneanne) | 3 comments One of my favorite "classics" to recommend is Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham. For years I thought it was some kind of political treatise, but it's actually a wonderfully readable and relatable story about a young man trying to find his place in the world.


message 33: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 218 comments Anne wrote: "One of my favorite "classics" to recommend is Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham. For years I thought it was some kind of political treatise, but it's actually a wonderfully read..."

This is one of my favorite all time books.


message 35: by Anne (new)

Anne (theoneanne) | 3 comments Terri wrote: "Anne wrote: "One of my favorite "classics" to recommend is Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham. For years I thought it was some kind of political treatise, but it's actually a won..."

I would also recommend The Razor's Edge. Oh, and how about Brideshead Revisited (Evelyn Waugh) and The End of the Affair (Graham Greene)? Those three authors are kind of together in my head.


message 36: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10060 comments Mod
Rachel wrote: "Hello, I am new to this group and to goodreads.com. I have recently started reading books for enjoyment and I am stumped as to what my next book should be. I read the entire twilight series and lov..."


Rachel, you wont get many here because this is someone elses recommendation thread, and yours is off topic. Try posting your own thread in the folder for recommendations based on what you like, and I am sure you will get more attention that way!



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