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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!