Classic Book of the Month

I’ve written before about my attempts to make up for a lack of “classic” education in my literature background.  Last year I tackled Catch-22 (ugh) and a pair of Ernest Hemingway titles (A Farewell to Arms and The Sun Also Rises), and a couple years ago I read Madame Bovary, The Great Gatsby, East of Eden, and Slaughterhouse-5.  Let 2010 be the year in which I read at least one classic per month.  By classic, I suppose I mean books that are traditionally taught in literature classes or those that are legendarily classic in the sense that people name-check them and they are still in print.  I won’t include those I’ve already read (although I could be persuaded to re-read Persuasion by Jane Austen).  So far I have a couple of books weighing down my shelves that are promising for this venture: Emma by Jane Austen and Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.

So help me out, now that I’m covered through February.  What else should be on my must-read list for 2010?  I’m thinking about The Grapes of Wrath and perhaps more Hemingway.  I haven’t read any of the big Russian books (Crime and Punishment, Anna Karenina, The Brothers Karamazov), so those are definite possibilities.  And as I go along, of course I welcome comments and guest posts on said classics.  Sometimes it helps to have a friend or two along on what might otherwise be a bit of a slog.

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3 responses to “Classic Book of the Month

  1. I’ve read each of the three Russian big books you’ve referred. All three are very very good. I’d also add War and Peace to the mix. I read it a year ago, and it has become one of my favorites of all time.

  2. Sounds like a good plan Lauren, but you need to drop your Hemingway crutch and branch out.

    I say go super classic and read the Iliad.

    • Done – read the Iliad senior year in high school. Lots of “and he speared Damocles, son of Ichythes, through the chest and blood spurted out.” At least, as I recall.

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