Thursday, April 12, 2012

Reading the Classics

Thank you for all the great book suggestions!

I've mentioned before, the need to clean up my websites and find some sort of direction for this blog to take.  I've been doing a lot of brainstorming and building a new site, and I think it's going to be pretty cool.  The new site will be at the same address, but will pull all my stuff under one umbrella.

With that, I'll also be refocusing my blog.  This blog has tended to be a collection of whatever was on my mind at the time.  Much like first drafts of my books, it's been more about trying to find out what I want to say rather than what I'm actually saying.  So, when I transition over, I'm going to focus on 3 things:

1.  Books
2.  Writing
3.  News about writing

For number 2, I'm going to try to line up some cool to other authors, talk to editors and agents.  Stuff like that.  Rather than me just babbling about writing.

For number 1, though, I want to talk about books.  Really discuss them.  So many book have had a big influence on me, and I think there's so much value in really digging into them.  And now we're at the point of this post.

All through high school, I was a slacker.  I missed out on reading a LOT of classics.  Moby Dick?  Never read it.  Wuthering Heights?  Never read it.  A Tale of Two Cities?  Never read it.  King Lear, Metamorphosis, War and Peace...never read any of them.  I've read some classics.  I've read nearly everything by Hemmingway (because I hated him) and a lot of medieval and renaissance literature (since that's what I focused on in college), but I missed a lot of classic literature.  Like Oliver Twist.

So, to combine my current inability to find anything I want to read with my new blog focus and my desire to read the classics, I want to know from you all where I should start.  What are your favorite classic books.  Books that every person should read.  They can be from any period, any place.  I'll let you know if I've read it or not, and add it to the list if I haven't.

Let's read some classics.


  1. Hmm. I try to read a classic every year, just because, but some are certainly better than others.

    I really like Dickens, and he's certainly easier to follow than Joyce or Faulkner, but I think I'll read Fitzgerald this year.

    I still haven't read The Great Gatsby, and I even went to the same high school as the author.

  2. I need to read some classics as well. However, there are just way too many to narrow it down.

    One author that has re-entered the spotlight is Edgar Rice Burroughs thanks to John Carter. Most of his sci-fi books have a tendency for the protagonist to have a romance with a princess, but they are all pretty interesting.

  3. I went through a "read improving books" phase when I was young* and foolish* and it was a miserable slog through things I didn't understand and didn't enjoy. Now that I am old* and wise** I only read what I want and I stop if I don't like it. Here are a couple of the paths I took to falling madly in love with the classics:

    THEY EYRE AFFAIR by Jasper Fforde. Clever and wildly imaginative fantasy, based on/in the story of JANE EYRE, which I hadn't read at the time. The two books enhance each other and the modern eases the transition to the classic.

    E.M Forster. I started with MAURICE after picking up the movie (quite good) and being thunderstruck that a real gay love story was based on a novel by a dude born in the 1800s. MAURICE is phenomenal and E.M. Forster understands people so well and writes them so sympathetically but not without humor, at times scathing but also fond.

    * -er
    ** allegedly


Keep it clean, keep it classy, and jokes are always appreciated.