Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Novels: The "Should Have Read" List

As guilt goes, I have very little when it comes to reading. There are, however a few famous novels that I should have read but, as of today, have not. They are:

  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Most people read this in high school. I didn't. Huxley's work is sounding more relevant than ever so I plan to read it this year.
  • Ulysses by James Joyce. Some reluctance on this one is driven by the suspicion that it might not match its reputation. It's also a big sucker. The older I get, the more I favor shorter books, at least in fiction.
  • Anything ever written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Henry James. It's hard to get excited about either of these when there are still a few remaining books by Trollope and Dickens that are neglected. James will definitely be ahead of Fitzgerald on my schedule.
  • Middlemarch by George Eliot. The word is that this is not one to miss. [A copy is staring at me as I type.] Will read it this year. Promise.
Okay, it's your turn. What are your guilt-inducing famous novels?


Kurt Harden said...

War and Peace, Crime and Punishment and The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.

John said...

I admire your tenacity, Michael. But I gave up reading whole books some time ago when I realized there was more reading to do than I would ever finish in this life. And too many new creations, not only books but magazine articles, reports, poems, screenplays and such that are now coming on like an avalanche.
And that doesn't begin to touch the time-eating videos, music, movies, and the like... much of which is truly top notch, not-to-miss content.

Of your list, I did read Brave New world and enough of Ulysses to know what it is like (compare biting into a raw ginger root just to see what the pure taste is like... or pissing on an electric fence. You get the idea.)

So just this morning we have this insightful piece about the odds of anything happening and it reaffirmed my non-guilt about spending more time on books.


The stats may be about getting hurt in the shower. But looking through the other end of the telescope, it has to do with the vanishing of time we have left do do what we want...

Dan in Philly said...

I hope you enjoy Brave New World more than I did. Tried to read it a couple of years ago, and it just was waaaaaay dated to ideas which were popular when written, but have fallen out of favor, making it rather stale and trite to me. I enjoyed "1984" far more as far as dystopian fantasy goes.

As far as fiction books I really want to get around to, I would like to see what the deal is for "Ulysses," and I want to read "Anna Korinna," "Crime and Punishment," and I'm highly curious about some of the lesser well known works by Melville and Twain.

Eclecticity said...

1) Any novel by Dostoevsky.

2) and Twain

I will walk through the day with my head down thanks to you. But it's good to have gotten that off my chest. E.

CincyCat said...

Wuthering Heights. I greatly enjoy film adaptations of the story (especially the interpretation with Tom Hardy as Heathcliff), but I just can't get past the first chapter of the written novel. (My apologies to Ms. Bronte.)