Apr 10, 2010

Venture Into Classics

So I finished my last highbrow crap novel today, (Shoulder the Sky, by Anne Perry... great WWI novel and mystery, by the way. And Anne Perry is perhaps the most prolific Amazing author of Pulp Fiction who is also LDS. I reccomend her... if you're not also doing classics for a while) from the stack I'd checked out to speed my postpartum recovery along. So now (deep breath) I'm irrevocably venturing into classics.

My goal is to not read any other book until I finish all the ones on this list. What I have done is combine the two lists that I linked to in my last post, excluding nonfiction. This, I have decided, is a purely fiction venture. The nice thing about combining the lists is the first had a great list of the best classics of all time, the second also included classic novels in the category of romantic fiction, juvenile literature, science fiction and crime. SO hopefully my list is varied enough that I'll be able to get through it without getting bogged down and depressed. I'm planning on enjoying this immensely, but as Sunny said in a comment on my post, Classics can run to the depressing. I remember my high-school English classes being frustrating for this reason. And my verdict, from high school English, is that the single most depressing novel ever written is Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton. Holy Cow. Don't read it.

So, this list is alphabetized by Author, and I figure this is as good an order as any, because then genres, styles, and periods will be varied and I won't get, as I said, bogged down. That's my tentative plan, to read them in the order of from top to bottom of this list. But I reserve the right to take a departure and delve into C.S. Lewis or Arthur Conan Doyle if I've hit three or more depressing, dark novels in a row and can't stomach the thought of another right away.

And I've also added something to this project... I plan on buying all these novels. Because when I'm done, I'll have an AMAZING library. I'm a homeschool mom and so this is necessary (in my opinion) plus, what is not to love about having a fairly complete selection of classics that you can go back to, that your kids learning how to read might pick up, that you can reference? I'm so excited to be placing such giants as For Whom The Bell Tolls firmly on my bookshelves next to Princess Diaries and Silhouette in Scarlet (love you, Meg Cabot and Elizabeth Peters!)
Here's the list:

Chinua Achebe, Nigeria, (b. 1930), Things Fall Apart
Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark, (1805-1875), Fairy Tales and Stories
Isaac Asimov, Foundation
Jane Austen, England, (1775-1817), Pride and Prejudice
Honore de Balzac, France, (1799-1850), Old Goriot
Samuel Beckett, Ireland, (1906-1989), Trilogy: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable
William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience
Giovanni Boccaccio, Italy, (1313-1375), Decameron
Jorge Luis Borges, Argentina, (1899-1986), Collected Fictions
Charlotte Brontë Jane Eyre
Emily Bronte, England, (1818-1848), Wuthering Heights
Jean de Brunhoff, Babar
Albert Camus, France, (1913-1960), The Stranger
John le Carré, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Paul Celan, Romania/France, (1920-1970), Poems.
Louis-Ferdinand Celine, France, (1894-1961), Journey to the End of the Night
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Spain, (1547-1616), Don Quixote
Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep
Geoffrey Chaucer, England, (1340-1400), Canterbury Tales
Anton P Chekhov, Russia, (1860-1904), Selected Stories
Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express
Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey
Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Complete Sherlock Holmes
Joseph Conrad, England,(1857-1924), Nostromo
Dante Alighieri, Italy, (1265-1321), The Divine Comedy
Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Charles Dickens, England, (1812-1870), Great Expectations, David Copperfield
Denis Diderot, France, (1713-1784), Jacques the Fatalist and His Master
Alfred Doblin, Germany, (1878-1957), Berlin Alexanderplatz
Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881), Crime and Punishment; The Idiot; The Possessed; The Brothers Karamazov
Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca
Choderlos de Laclos, Les Liaisons Dangereuses
George Eliot, England, (1819-1880), Middlemarch
T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland
Ralph Ellison, United States, (1914-1994), Invisible Man
Patricia Highsmith, The Talented Mr Ripley
Euripides, Greece, (c 480-406 BC), Medea
William Faulkner, United States, (1897-1962), Absalom, Absalom; The Sound and the Fury
Gustave Flaubert, France, (1821-1880), Madame Bovary; A Sentimental Education
Federico Garcia Lorca, Spain, (1898-1936), Gypsy Ballads
Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Colombia, (b. 1928), One Hundred Years of Solitude; Love in the Time of Cholera
William Gibson, Neuromancer
Gilgamesh, Mesopotamia (c 1800 BC).
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany, (1749-1832), Faust
Nikolai Gogol, Russia, (1809-1852), Dead Souls
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Gunter Grass, Germany, (b.1927), The Tin Drum
Robert Graves, I, Claudius
Joao Guimaraes Rosa, Brazil, (1880-1967), The Devil to Pay in the Backlands
Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon
Knut Hamsun, Norway, (1859-1952), Hunger.
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Thomas Harris, Red Dragon
Ernest Hemingway, United States, (1899-1961), The Old Man and the Sea, For Whom The Bell Toll
Homer, Greece, (c 700 BC), The Iliad and The Odyssey
Ted Hughes, Collected Poems
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
Henrik Ibsen, Norway (1828-1906), A Doll's House
Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady
The Book of Job, Israel. (600-400 BC).
James Joyce, Ireland, (1882-1941), Ulysses
Franz Kafka, Bohemia, (1883-1924), The Complete Stories; The Trial; The Castle Bohemia
Kalidasa, India, (c. 400), The Recognition of Sakuntala
Yasunari Kawabata, Japan, (1899-1972), The Sound of the Mountain
Nikos Kazantzakis, Greece, (1883-1957), Zorba the Greek
John Keats, Odes
DH Lawrence, England, (1885-1930), Sons and Lovers
Halldor K Laxness, Iceland, (1902-1998), Independent People
Elmore Leonard, Killshot
Giacomo Leopardi, Italy, (1798-1837), Complete Poems
Doris Lessing, England, (b.1919), The Golden Notebook
C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Astrid Lindgren, Sweden, (1907-2002), Pippi Longstocking
Lu Xun, China, (1881-1936), Diary of a Madman and Other Stories
Mahabharata, India, (c 500 BC).
Naguib Mahfouz, Egypt, (b. 1911), Children of Gebelawi
Thomas Malory, Le Morte D'Arthur
Thomas Mann, Germany, (1875-1955), Buddenbrook; The Magic Mountain
Herman Melville, United States, (1819-1891), Moby Dick
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
John Milton, Paradise Lost
Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind
Michel de Montaigne, France, (1533-1592), Essays.
Elsa Morante, Italy, (1918-1985), History
Toni Morrison, United States, (b. 1931), Beloved
Shikibu Murasaki, Japan, (N/A), The Tale of Genji Genji
Robert Musil, Austria, (1880-1942), The Man Without Qualities
Vladimir Nabokov, Russia/United States, (1899-1977), Lolita
E. Nesbit, The Railway Children
Njaals Saga, Iceland, (c 1300).
Patrick O'Brian, Master and Commander
George Orwell, England, (1903-1950), 1984
Ovid, Italy, (c 43 BC), Metamorphoses
Boris Pasternak, Dr Zhivago
Fernando Pessoa, Portugal, (1888-1935), The Book of Disquiet
Jean Plaidy, The Plantagenet Saga
Edgar Allan Poe, United States, (1809-1849), The Complete Tales, The Murders in the Rue Morgue
Marcel Proust, France, (1871-1922), Remembrance of Things Past
Philip Pullman, His Dark Materials
Francois Rabelais, France, (1495-1553), Gargantua and Pantagruel
Arthur Ransome, Swallows and Amazons
Mary Renault, Alexander Trilogy
Philip Roth, The Human Stain
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter
Juan Rulfo, Mexico, (1918-1986), Pedro Paramo
Jalal ad-din Rumi, Afghanistan, (1207-1273), Mathnawi
Salman Rushdie, India/Britain, (b. 1947), Midnight's Children
Sheikh Musharrif ud-din Sadi, Iran, (c 1200-1292), The Orchard
Tayeb Salih, Sudan, (b. 1929), Season of Migration to the North
Jose Saramago, Portugal, (b. 1922), Blindness
William Shakespeare, England, (1564-1616), Hamlet; King Lear; Othello, Sonnets
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Sophocles, Greece, (496-406 BC), Oedipus the King
Muriel Spark, The Ballad of Peckham Rye
Stendhal, France, (1783-1842), The Red and the Black
Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
Laurence Sterne, Ireland, (1713-1768), The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy
Italo Svevo, Italy, (1861-1928), Confessions of Zeno
Jonathan Swift, Ireland, (1667-1745), Gulliver's Travels
William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair
J.R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
Leo Tolstoy, Russia, (1828-1910), War and Peace; Anna Karenina; The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories
Anthony Trollope The Barchester Chronicles
Thousand and One Nights, India/Iran/Iraq/Egypt, (700-1500).
Mark Twain, United States, (1835-1910), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
John Updike, Rabbit series
Valmiki, India, (c 300 BC), Ramayana
Jules Verne, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
Virgil, Italy, (70-19 BC), The Aeneid
Evelyn Waugh, Sword of Honour trilogy
H.G. Wells, The Time Machine
Walt Whitman, United States, (1819-1892), Leaves of Grass
Virginia Woolf, England, (1882-1941), Mrs. Dalloway; To the Lighthouse
William Wordsworth, The Prelude
John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids
W. B. Yeats, Collected Poems
Marguerite Yourcenar, France, (1903-1987), Memoirs of Hadrian

SO first up, "Things Fall Apart." Ironically, My little sister has been lobbying for me to read this novel for the past year. She always mentions it. I"m looking forward to it.

BTW, any Utah Vally-ites should know that PIoneer Book in Provo (center street) is moving locations and they are having a progressive book sale (increasing discounts until they sell off all their stock) from now (started yesterday) until the 25th of May. SO, a great opportunity to get some books you've been wanting for the right price. Plus the owner is a great guy, really interesting. He's head of the Sons of Utah Pioneers society in Provo, and very interesting to talk to (if you have a while to talk ;)


Putz said...

good heavens to mergretroid, it would take me into the vast hereafter to finish a list like that{read my present hereafterbolg on putz}

Anonymous said...

hmmm...you've read some of these already, I think. P and P by Austen, Jane Eyre, Harry P, etc...
so now you can just go straight to the stinkers, like Conrad, Dosoyevsky, etc. I think you'll like Woman in White. It's improbably victorianly weirdly ominiously funny but not really. A classic mystery.


I can't figure out my google identity anymore so I'm always anonymous.

Putz said...

mom>>>>you have to get with this new computer age, you can't remain on the fringes of computerdom or bogdom>>>>get into the bog>>>be modren millie>>>we all like you>>>>i went to your silly blog the other day and you haven't followed through at all>>.shame sashame

Janell said...

I loved Pioneer Books!

Sigh. I have yet to find a good used book store here. Half Price Books is king down here, and they're just too organized for my tastes.