I’ve spent a fair amount of time this week trying to come up with a topic for a top ten book list . . . and honestly, I was just drawing a blank (feel free to suggest topics in the comments, if you’d like. I’d love more ideas.)  And then I lit on this – all the books I haven’t read yet . . . Given that the very idea of all the books I haven’t read is enough to give me chest pains, I thought perhaps I should do a various category of those books from time to time.index

So here, today, are the “classics” I wish I could say I’d read.

1. The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston – I’ve read pieces of this book over the years, and I’ve taught pieces of the book in writing classes . . . but I’ve never read the whole thing. Sigh.

2. War and Peace by Leo Tolstol – For someone who wanted, at one time, to study Russian literature in graduate school, this is a humbling admission.

3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – I feel sure there is some deficiency as a woman because of this oversight. However, I will rectify this one soon since I just downloaded the Kindle edition – it’s free on Amazon right now. (Just click on the link by #3 to order.)

4. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – I’ve read a lot of Dickens – Bleak House is my favorite – but not this one. Yet, the free Kindle edition I just got might help. (Click above to order.)

5. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie – If ever a book should have reached my grubby little fingers, it’s this one. I love read books that stir action; plus, Midnight’s Children is one of my all-time favorites . . . yet, alas, I have still not read it.

6. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand – At the AWP Conference one year, a bookseller gave me free copies of all Rand’s work . . . and still, I didn’t read it. Gah!

7. Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust – Another title that I’d read excerpts from but have failed to read in its entirety. I find the idea of reading this one quite daunting.

8. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoevskyCrime and Punishment is one of the most brilliant novels I’ve ever read, and yet, here sits Dostoevsky’s other masterpiece . . .neglected.

9. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez – P painted One Hundred Years of Solitude on our farmhouse steps . . . and I have not made my way to this book yet. Ugh.

10. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe – Given the way this book stirred people to abolitionism, I should definitely read it. Yet, the characterizations in the book – or what I’ve heard of them – make me conflicted. Still, I will read it.

What classics do you wish you’d read?

(What other book categories would you like to see top ten lists for?)