Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Julia's Top Ten Classic Books that She Can't Believe She Hasn't Read


For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

I like to consider myself well read, and compared to the majority of the population, I am. But despite my 50 odd books a year and my proclivity to call myself "bookish", I am woefully under-read in the classics. Here are the top ten of those that I can't believe I haven't yet read.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
I know, guys. I know. The long-time readers of this site will recognize P&P's presence on my list, since it's been there in 2010, 2011, 2013, and on my Booklikes page in 2014. I don't know what else I can say to this, really. I love romance. I love this story. But for some odd reason I just haven't read this book. It's a bucket list read for me, that's for certain.

2. 1984 by George Orwell
I love dystopian future stories. I love sci-fi movies and probably should branch out into some more sci-fi lit. But 1984 remains unread. I wonder if I just have to be in the right mood to read this one. The last time I tried, I was in China and not in the mood for such depressing literature (because I was feeling alone in the real world. I didn't need my lit to reflect that). I wonder if now that I am generally happy if it would be a good time to pick this up, especially with the parallels of the online/governmental experience today.

3. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Out of the seven, I am pretty sure I have only read three, at most four. These books, this series right here, are the books that brought me back into reading. I had been half-assing my reading tests up until that point, because somewhere between kindergarten and third grade I lost the reading bug. Then I found The Magicians Nephew and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and I loved those kids. But when I read A Horse and His Boy, I was thinking, "Who are these people? Where are Lucy and Susan?" and I stopped reading. I fully blame my compulsion to read things in series order and Harper Collin's for making that order Chronological instead of Published order. I want to go back the read the rest of the series that brought me back in the fold, but as of yet I have not.

4. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
In high school, one might say I had an obsession with The Lord of the Rings and Middle Earth. I read The Lord of the Rings after I saw The Two Towers movie and fell into a world of fan-fiction and obsession. Hell, I was so into elves I even read The Silmarillion. But I never read The Hobbit. I tried, but it's tone is so different from the rest that I could just not get into it. I am not sure that it would be any different now, although I am not so obsessed with middle earth that I couldnt see the forrest from the Ents anymore. I want to give this one another shot.

5. Paradise Lost by John Milton
I realize this book isn't on everyone's To-Read list, but it has been on mine for over ten years now. I fell in love with the idea when we read a snippet in British Literature. Then that love was solidified when I read Golden Compass. But, I still really want to read the original epic poem. Alas, what I think has been holding me back on this one is finding a good annotated version that can help with some of the allusions and references.

6. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
I use the phrase all the time, but I have never read the work on which it is based. Every time I say it, too, I think to myself, "I really should read that book." I feel like it says something about the book when the title makes it into the vernacular, and I want to find out what!

7. The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
Here's a classic many people can't believe I haven't read. I loved The Lords of Discipline and have told myself since then that I needed to check out more of Conroy's work. I just haven't gotten around to reading this one (or any others) yet. Hopefully someday soon!

8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Really this could read any book by the Bronte sisters. I feel guilty about Jane Eyre the most, so much so that I had different movie versions in my Netflix queue to watch that I would not allow myself to view until I read the book. Well that didn't turn out too well. I still want to read the book!

9. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
I am lumping this as a classic because I think of it as a classic fantasy series. These books are one of the series to read if you like fantasy, or so I've been told. I have actually been told by multiple people that I would like these, but alas, they sit lingering in my TBR queue hopeful that one day I will get to them.

10. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
For similar reasons as 1984, I feel like I haven't been in the right mindset to read this one yet. But really that is a silly excuse. Apparently I own two copies of it on my eReader too. No excuses now. I must get reading!

What about you all? What are some classics that you can't believe you haven't read yet? Are there any that didn't make my list that I should check out?

Link up your own list of books you cant believe you havent/want to read below. Happy Tuesday!









43 comments:

  1. Classics, nice!! I really want to read Les Mis and Hunchback someday. They're so long that they're daunting, though! I'd also like to re-read some childhood favorite classics! As for Narnia...I tend to read Magician's Nephew both first AND last, lol. I love the finale <3 Good choices! I was looking at MISTBORN earlier tonight! I know it's supposed to be so good, but the summary just never grabs me!

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  2. I also haven't read Catch 22, The Time Machine, or all of Narnia (I only got through two? Maybe one? Yikes) - worst Master of English Lit ever. =p

    This week's TTT is all about shame, isn't it? =p

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    1. There are definitely some on my list that I'm ashamed of!

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  3. A couple of classics also made my list. I read 1984 in high school, but it wasn't a favorite of mine. I could never make it through Atlas Shrugged.

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  4. You absolutely MUST read 1984! It was one of the first "classics" I ever read and actually liked. Likely largely in part due to the fact that I read it over the summer and didn't have to deal with class discussion, but it's definitely one of the reasons I decided I like dystopians. :)

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  5. There are definitely a few on the list I should read

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  6. Paradise Lost is tied with Emma by Jane Austen as my favorite book ever. It's gorgeously written, even if its views on women are slightly (read: a whole lot) misogynistic.

    Mistborn is also amazing. I read it a few years ago and couldn't put it down.

    And Jane Eyre, well I love it, but read P&P first. There are priorities here.

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  7. I 've read 1984. I like it, but some part of the book bored me. The Chronicles of Narnia is a good series. I read it years ago and I remember loving it.
    Mistborn is also on my list.

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  8. I've only read P&P. I think I'm going to read Mistborn soon. I've heard such great things.

    Honestly, I've had a rocky past with the classics. Disliked more than I liked, though I was blown away by Brave New World. Not so much a shocker that I picked dystopian for the genre of choice this week.

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  9. I've tried The Hobbit twice and given up. I'm pleased I'm not the only one! I love the LOTR films though, so would like to give it another go at some point soon. Paradise Lost is heavy going, but worth it. The Norton Anthology version has good annotations (and loads of other writers too), although I recommend reading a summary of each book before you start it for clarity! Great list!

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  10. Great list! I recommend checking out Nineteen Eighty-Four and Jane Eyre, they're both amazing. :)

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  11. I absolutely adored the Hobbit -but then again, I am a huge Middle Earth fan- and The Final Empire as well. Both are really great fantasy reads! And The Chronicles of Narnia as well, of course. I think I've read about 3 of them.

    I really want to read the others too, especially 1984 and Jane Eyre.

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  12. I chose Classics too. And I had to admit I have not read The Chronicles of Narnia. I gave my self points for making sure all 3 children read it! ;) Thanks for hosting.

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  14. I have most of those on my list too! 1984 is always something I've wanted to read forever and Jane Austen's books too. I habe read Narnia, though. Amazing books! Great list!!

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  15. Pride and Prejudice is a must read! I haven't read any of the others though, but I really, really want to read Jame Eyre.
    "Wonderous Reviews

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  16. There are definitely some classics I need to read as well... Jane Eyre, Fahrenheit 451... I know there are others but I'm drawing a blank!

    I just recently read Mistborn and loved it! Pride and Prejudice is good. Also really love The Chronicles of Narnia (though some books are grand slams and some are more just OK, but overall it's still very worthwhile). I found 1984 a little disappointing/overrated, but I can still see the importance of it.

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  17. Okay, so you definitely need to get on Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre stat! They're both gorgeous in very different ways. Also, if you just power through The Horse and His Boy (I felt the same about it as you did, like, I don't care about these people, give me Narnia back), the rest of the books are good.

    I've never read any LOTR except The Hobbit, which I hated, so I've just never really given the rest of the series a chance. I've been meaning to, I just...haven't worked up the motivation/effort yet. =\ Also, 1984 is great, but you do have to be in the right mood for it.

    For my TTT I did classic horror novels I can't believe I haven't read yet, despite being such a horror junkie!

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  18. Great list! I'm a bit behind on some classics too... But I have read all of Conroy's books! (I grew up in SC; maybe that's why I'm so drawn to his books.) I definitely recommend The Water is Wide. It's probably his shortest book, and, in my humble opinion, his sweetest. It's nonfiction, but reads like fiction, about his time spent teaching in a one-room school on a barrier island. Happy reading!

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  19. I'm not a big classics reader. That being said, I have read a few on your list - Pride and Prejudice, The Hobbit (at my husband's insistence), Jane Eyre (as a teen), and Prince of Tides. I read another blogger recently saying that Prince of Tides had not held up well for her when she did a re-read. I suspect that might be true for me as well.

    The others on your list - well, I suspect I'll never get to them. Especially Milton. This is my first time trying Ten on Tuesday and I selected mystery classics that I've never read for my post. Enjoyed putting together my list!

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  20. So many of these ring true for me! I have read P&P but I really feel I need to reread a few more times to really understand the whole story. I just recently bought a Tolkein box set which included The Hobbit so that's on TBR pile and hopefully will be a good experience!

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  21. The only one I've read on your list is Jane Eyre. All of the rest of them are on my TBR as well as some other classics including Anna Karenina and Wuthering Heights. I feel like I've missed out on some really great books but most of them seem so intimidating. One of my goals is to read more Classics though.

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  22. I haven't read a lot of the classics as well and I really want to. Especially Les Mis. This is my first time taking part in the meme and am super excited :)

    Megan @ http://readingawaythedays.blogspot.co.uk

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  23. These are all great choices. Of any of them I'd say the top pick here should definitely be Pride and Prejudice. It's so good! I hope you love it.

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  24. I just read 1984 last year and thought it was great! Jane Eyre was on my list as well. :)

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  25. 1984 is on my list too, but I do wonder if I'll ever be in the mood for it. I started in a couple years ago, but put it down because just reading it made me feel claustrophobic. I was amazed in the small amount I read how much terminology from this book are now things we say like "thought police".

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  26. Mistborn, the Time Machine and Catch-22 are on my TBR list for the same reasons!!! And I'd pick on you for not reading Jane Eyre, The Hobbit or P&P yet, but I have some books on my I can't believe list that I need picking about too!!!

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  27. The Chronicles of Narnia and Mistborn are in my TBR list as well. I vote for The Hobbit, 1984 and The Time Machine for your immediate top 10 to read :) Those are the must-reads, and 1984 is a timeless classic, but it does describe the times we live in more than anything.

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  28. Sense and Sensibility is on my list of classics to read, along with Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South, To Kill a Mockingbird, Kipling's Kim, and (perhaps) a re-read of Jane Eyre. I should probably also read The Time Machine. And another arguable fantasy classic: The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle, which I started as a child and didn't finish.

    As for your list - do read The Hobbit and the Narnia books!

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  29. I remember my aunt giving me the entire Narnia series when I was little. And I read them and enjoyed them. I had no idea what allegory was. Now that I'm and adult, I really want to reread the series so I can see how it connects with Christianity.

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  30. There are a lot on this list that I need to read too! But when given the choice between a classic and something new and exciting, I almost always pick the new book, so they keep falling to the end of my TBR!

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  31. Catch-22 is phenomenal. Will make you laugh and cry.

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  32. Great list! I've read most of these, but I've never heard of Mistborn. I am intrigued. :-)

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  33. I appreciate it very much, at least I know from it someone is reading the contents I have here.

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  34. 1984 and THE TIME MACHINE are on my list of dystopians I can't believe I haven't read. I do love the Mistborn series and hope you get to it soon!

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  35. Great list! 1984, The Hobbit, Jane Eyre, Narnia and Pride & Prejudice I've read and I guarantee you'll love them (obviously!) The others sound great, too.

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  36. I can't believe you haven't read them either--you should get on that :) Have a nice week. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

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  37. I'm right there with you - haven't read any of the books on your list except for The Prince of Tides, which I just reviewed after a re-read. I have to say that it wasn't as fantastic as The Lords of Discipline (my fave Conroy), but still loved it.

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  38. I've tagged you for the Versatile Blogger award! Have a look at my post here: https://victoriajaynesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/versatile-blogger-award/

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  39. OMG...you haven't read Pride and Prejudice?! Please tell me you've at least watched the BBC adaptation!!!!!!

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  40. Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice are both so great! Two of my favorite books! :)

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  41. Classic I really want to read but haven't are Jane Eyre, Emma, and Wuthering Heights. Ah, also Anne of Green Gables. I've read Pride and Prejudice and ended up loving that book. You should read that! The Hobbit is also amazing! ^^

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  42. I so need to read Jane Eyre. And Catch-22. But my classics TBR list consists of the original Sherlock Holmes stories. I love Cumberbatch and Downey Jr as Sherlock and I'm 99% sure I'll love McKellan's portrayal. So I feel like I need to read the original inspiration

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