Top Ten Tuesday: Classics I Should Have Read By Now

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

We return to Top Ten Tuesday to confess just how awful we are at reading classic books.

1. Anna Karenina. I am seriously procrastinating on my Russian literature.

2. Bleak House. I’ve seen the BBC miniseries, which totally counts, right? After reading “The Three Musketeers,” I’m not sure I like reading the serial style, so I may never get to this one.

3. Dracula. This one I actually started and then abandoned about halfway through. I’m not really sure why, but comic books were probably involved.

4. My Antonia. I loved “O Pioneers” when I read it in college, but despite purchasing this book, I still haven’t read it.

5. The Color Purple. I missed out on several books in high school when I took a class that divided the students into groups and assigned each group a different book, in order for them to teach that book to the rest of the class. I think we read “The Things We Carried,” which is very good, but I’d already read it and “The Color Purple” is just one of those things people ought to read.

6. Gone with the Wind. I didn’t even make it through the whole movie, so I’m afraid to start the book. Scarlett irritated me! And I’m sure there’s character development – there must be, since so many people seem to idolize her – but wow, in a book that size, it must be a long slog to get there.

7. 1984. I know, I know. I actually got most of the way through this one, but when it became a book-within-a-book, I lost interest.

8. The Jungle Book. I have a few Kipling books that I’ve never gotten to, but I’m interested in how they hold up story-wise and also what they look like through the postcolonial perspective that I did a lot of college reading in.

9. The Catcher In the Rye. This is on pretty much every must-read list, but the premise never appealed to me.

10. The Grapes of Wrath. I’m almost afraid to read this one since I liked “East of Eden” so much. I can’t win: either it will disappoint me, or I’ll love it and it will displace “East of Eden.”

Are there any of these that I should absolutely read right away? Any I can skip? What isn’t on this list that should be?


3 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Classics I Should Have Read By Now

  1. I think “Anna Karenina” is going in my give away pile. I’ve started it maybe 5 times and I don’t care enough how it ends to finish it. If I ever do need it, the library will have it, right?

    “Dracula” is fun, and the basis for so much of the two + decade vampire frenzy that I think it’s a worthwhile read (and not too long). I like “1984” for its general creepiness and because “Big Brother” is such a part of the cultural mind meld today. I really like knowing where those things start.

    I’ve also read “Catcher in the Rye” (blech — I do not get the hype at all), “Grapes of Wrath” (I found it quick and interesting more for context — Dust Bowl, The Great Depression) than the story, and “Gone with the Wind” (skip it, finish the movie).

    Now that I’m giving up (officially!) on AK, I think the only one of your unread classics on my list is “The Color Purple.” I also swear that some day I will finish Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Marble Faun” because I love him. “Slaughter House 5” is on my list, too. Not sure if I’ve mostly given up on classics or just that there is so much to read that I’m not that directed in my choosing anymore.

  2. I hear ya about 1984… I really must get around to reading it. I cringe a little every time I come across a reference to characters or situations from the book and realize I have no idea what the connection even is.

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