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.
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 Dostoevsky – Crime 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?)