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LunaLee

If you were only going to have your student read 10 "classics"...

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To Kill a Mocking Bird, Shakespeare, 1984, Mark Twain, Odyssey.  These are the first ones that come to mind. Curious to see how this list develops.

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Les Miserables, The Hiding Place, Julius Caesar, The Chosen...

 

Just some personal favorites.

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A Midsummer Nights Dream, Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth

 

Iliad, Odyssey, Gilgamesh

 

The Jungle, Uncle Toms Cabin

 

Animal Farm, 1984

 

Dang it. I need more than 10. Suffer.

 

Autobiographies of Fredrick Douglass, Benjamin Franklin & Booker T Washington

 

Travels (Marco Polo)

 

Civil Disobedience

 

The Death of Socrates

 

Um... more. I'll tell you sometime.  ;)

 

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My 13yo just put the back of her hand to her forehead and dramatically declared, "I would die!" over the mere idea.

 

 

Off the top of my head...

Bible

Iliad and Odyssey in one volume

LOTR trilogy

Dante

Shakespeare complete collection

Bulfinch or Apollodorus

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Great Expectations, Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights. My personal favorites.

 

But if I only had 10, I would try for many eras, many cultures, and many literary forms. Also I would try to pick ones that are referenced a lot in our culture. So

 

Many cultures and eras and forms:

Illiad/Odyssey

Dante's Inferno

All's Quiet on the Western Front

The Tao

Great Expectations

Shakespeare

Poetry - not sure which

 

Because they are referenced a lot:

Brave New World

1984

Lord of the Rings

 

Oh dear, probably needed some nonfiction. Perhaps the Federalists papers, especially if you are in America.

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That's hard.

 

Odyssey

Beowulf

excerpts of the Canterbury Tales

Macbeth and Much Ado About Nothing (2 plays in exchange for a novel)

Excerpts of the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers

Autobiography of Fredrick Douglas

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Tales of Edgar Alan Poe

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Hiding Place

 

10 is just not enough.

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I always need a specific goal for making a book list; just "10 classics" wouldn't narrow the field enough for me; I'd need more parameters. ;) Examples:

- most frequently alluded to in other literature, films, and culture as a whole (the Bible; Greek myths; plays by Shakespeare; ancient epics: The Iliad, The Odyssey, The Aeneid; and works on King Arthur)

- most likely to expose students to a wide variety of genres and types of literature
- most likely to help the student see/understand a particular time/culture
- most likely to reveal worldviews
- most likely to be of interest or connect with the student
- most "meaty" or obvious in helping the student learn how to analyze literature
- most frequently covered in high school -- OR -- most frequent college-bound reading list titles
- most likely to encourage and challenge your student in their beliefs
- most likely to impart some of your family values to your student

 

 

So, instead of my personal "only 10 classics list" (because, no way I can limit myself to 10!  :tongue_smilie: ) here's Literature that is most frequently covered in high school:

 

Works Most Frequently Taught in High School (in order of frequency)
1. To Kill A Mockingbird
2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
3. a play by Shakespeare
4. something by Dickens
5. Farenheit 451
6. Lord of the Flies
7. The Odyssey
8. 1984
9. The Scarlet Letter
10. these equally are in "most frequent" or "top ten" high school lists: Catcher in the Rye; Grapes of Wrath; Animal Farm; Price & Prejudice; Diary of Anne Frank; Red Badge of Courage; or Things Fall Apart

 

And in case you want enough works for all of high school ;), then here is a longer list:

 

35 Classic Works Most Frequently Taught in High School
(listed roughly in order of when they were WRITTEN, not in order of frequency)
- The Iliad (Homer)
- The Odyssey (Homer)
- Beowulf (translation by Heaney)
- a play by Shakespeare (usually a choice from: Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, Henry V, or Julius Caesar)
- The Last of the Mohicans (Cooper)
- The Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne)
- Pride and Prejudice -- OR -- Emma (Austen)
- Frankenstein (Shelley)
- Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
- Great Expectations (Dickens)
- a short story by Edgar Allen Poe (usually a choice from: Tell Tale Heart, Cask of Amontillado, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Gold Bug, or The Rue Morgue)
- Adventures of Tom Sawyer -- OR -- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Twain)
- Moby Dick (Melville) 
- Treasure Island (Stevenson)
- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Stevenson) -- novella
- a Sherlock Holmes short story (usually a choice from: The Blue Carbuncle, The Red Headed League, A Scandal in Bohemia, The Adventure of the Dancing Men, or The Problem of Thor Bridge)
- The Red Badge of Courage (Crane) 
- a short story by O. Henry (usually The Gift of the Magi; or perhaps The Ransom of Red Chief)
- Call of the Wild (London) 
- The Open Window (Saki) -- short story
- All Quiet on the Western Front (Remarque) 
- The Most Dangerous Game (Connell) -- short story
- The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
- Animal Farm (Orwell) -- novella
- 1984 (Orwell) 
- Anne Frank: The Diary of Young Girl (Frank)
- Lord of the Flies (Goldman)
- The Grapes of Wrath (Steinbeck) 
- Things Fall Apart (Achebe)
- Death of a Salesman (Miller) -- play
- Farenheit 451 (Bradbury) 
- Catcher in the Rye (Salinger)
- A Farewell to Arms -- OR -- The Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway)
- To Kill A Mockingbird (Lee)
- The Lottery (Jackson) -- short story

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Top 10:

  1. The Bible -- Heavily referenced. Culturally relevant even if you are not a believer. Segues into many great discussions and debates and can provide a jumping off point for further studies of history, languages (English, Latin, Greek, Hebrew or just about any other language IF you have additional resources or use a dual language version), literature, geography, law, philosophy and just about everything else.
  2. Shakespeare's Complete Works -- Crucial to understanding the English language and literary traditions. Some of the best examples of poetry, prose and dramatic and tragic literary theater. Provides a great key to further studies in history, English, writing, speaking, memory work, and art.
  3. A Poetry Anthology -- There are quite a few out there. I'd probably go with an Oxford book of verse, but there are plenty of others out there that offer serious competition.
  4. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley -- Classic horror and a compelling study of human nature. Many discussions to be had, much inspiration to be found.
  5. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee -- Classic tale of American justice, injustice, right, wrong, and everything in between.
  6. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley -- The future of science is rife with ethical dilemmas and immoral horrors! Or is it? You decide. Debate, philosophy, morals, and science all wrapped in one tight package.
  7. The Works of Thomas Paine -- The foundation of the founding fathers; a great thinker who is often overlooked.
  8. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien -- A novel that takes a good hard look at a rarely studied (at the high school level, anyway) and turbulent period of history. If you're going to read a war book, this one should be it, imo.
  9. Watership Down by Richard Adams -- A fantasy classic that isn't a series. Plenty to discuss here.
  10. I would leave this last slot open for my child to fill in with a book of their own choosing or finding. :)

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THE KNOWLEDGE MOST WORTH HAVING

pages 7-8 from Book by Book by Michael Dirda

 

“Once in a class of graduate students,†recalled the distinguished Canadian Robertson Davies, “I met a young man who did not know who Noah was.â€

What should a person know of the world’s literature? It has always seemed obvious to me that the great patterning works ought to lie at the heart of any structured reading program. By “patterning works†I mean those that later authors regularly build on, allude to, work against. There aren’t that many of these key books, and they aren’t all obvious classics. Here’s the roughly chronological short list of those that the diligent might read through in a year or two. For such famous works you can hardly go wrong with any good modern editions, though the Bible the Authorized, or King James, Version is the one that has most influenced the diction and imagery of the English prose.

 

The Bible (Old and New Testament)

Bulfinch’s Mythology (or any other account of the Greek, Roman, and Norse Myths)

Homer, The Iliad and the Odyssey

Plutarch, Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans

Dante, Inferno

The Arabian Nights

Thomas Malory, Le Morte D’Arthur (tales of King Arthur and his knights)

Shakespeare’s major plays, especially Hamlet, Henry IV, Part One, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the Tempest

Cervantes, Don Quixote

Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels

The fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson

Any substantial collection of the world’s major folktales

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Lewis Caroll, Alice in Wonderland

Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

 

Know these well, and nearly all of the world’s literature will be an open book to you.

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THE KNOWLEDGE MOST WORTH HAVING

pages 7-8 from Book by Book by Michael Dirda

 

“Once in a class of graduate students,†recalled the distinguished Canadian Robertson Davies, “I met a young man who did not know who Noah was.â€

What should a person know of the world’s literature? It has always seemed obvious to me that the great patterning works ought to lie at the heart of any structured reading program. By “patterning works†I mean those that later authors regularly build on, allude to, work against. There aren’t that many of these key books, and they aren’t all obvious classics. Here’s the roughly chronological short list of those that the diligent might read through in a year or two. For such famous works you can hardly go wrong with any good modern editions, though the Bible the Authorized, or King James, Version is the one that has most influenced the diction and imagery of the English prose.

 

The Bible (Old and New Testament)

Bulfinch’s Mythology (or any other account of the Greek, Roman, and Norse Myths)

Homer, The Iliad and the Odyssey

Plutarch, Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans

Dante, Inferno

The Arabian Nights

Thomas Malory, Le Morte D’Arthur (tales of King Arthur and his knights)

Shakespeare’s major plays, especially Hamlet, Henry IV, Part One, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the Tempest

Cervantes, Don Quixote

Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels

The fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson

Any substantial collection of the world’s major folktales

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Lewis Caroll, Alice in Wonderland

Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

 

Know these well, and nearly all of the world’s literature will be an open book to you.

This was always my reasoning for having my kids read classics. The above list looks a lot like mine, though I also add Pilgrim's Progress and David Copperfield.

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My personal list would be: 

 

Iliad

Odyssey

Beowulf

Something about King Arthur

a grouping of short stories (Poe, Holmes, others)

Huckleberry Finn

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Something about the Holocaust: Night, Diary of Anne Frank

To Kill a Mockingbird

Fahrenheit 451

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The Bible (Old and New Testament)

Bulfinch’s Mythology (or any other account of the Greek, Roman, and Norse Myths)

Homer, The Iliad and the Odyssey

Plutarch, Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans

Dante, Inferno

The Arabian Nights

Thomas Malory, Le Morte D’Arthur (tales of King Arthur and his knights)

Shakespeare’s major plays, especially Hamlet, Henry IV, Part One, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the Tempest

Cervantes, Don Quixote

Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels

The fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson

Any substantial collection of the world’s major folktales

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Lewis Caroll, Alice in Wonderland

Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

 

Know these well, and nearly all of the world’s literature will be an open book to you.

 

I'm curious.... Why would Sherlock Holmes be in this category?  We've read & enjoyed a few Sherlock Holmes stories, but I hadn't thought of them as great literature, or as fundamental to later literature.

 

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I'm curious.... Why would Sherlock Holmes be in this category? We've read & enjoyed a few Sherlock Holmes stories, but I hadn't thought of them as great literature, or as fundamental to later literature.

 

The Dirda list is "patterning works", which I understand to be works that were copied and referenced to. I guess Sherlock was the first mystery series. Pride and prejudice the first romance. I just copied and pasted the list, rather than am recommending it. I'm still dwelling on it. I started reading the list. At first, when I found the list, I was very excited. Now, I'm looking at it very critically.

 

The past couple weeks I have been reading what I WANT to read, more than what I SHOULD read. I have a few more pages left of Johnny Tremain. Maybe it's "below" my level, but is any good literature even below level? The week before I reread most of Charlotte's Web. I did get bored with that and didn't finish it, though.

 

I'm trying to pick next week's book and just don't know what I want to read. I have wasted 2 hours already choosing from the library overdrive books. The benefits of a list are less wasted time. The books can be obtained long before needing them.

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I'm curious.... Why would Sherlock Holmes be in this category?  We've read & enjoyed a few Sherlock Holmes stories, but I hadn't thought of them as great literature, or as fundamental to later literature.

I also think reading a single story would give a person a fairly good idea of the main characters (Holmes, Watson, perhaps Moriarty -- though does anyone really care?) and Holmes's techniques. Reading them all seems unnecessary if the only reason is for the ability to detect a cultural reference. The only references I've really come across are, "Elementary, my dear Watson" and references to the lack of barking in Hound of the Baskervilles. Each particular story is not so memorable.

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Works Most Frequently Taught in High School (in order of frequency)

1. To Kill A Mockingbird

2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

3. a play by Shakespeare

4. something by Dickens

5. Farenheit 451

6. Lord of the Flies

7. The Odyssey

8. 1984

9. The Scarlet Letter

10. these equally are in "most frequent" or "top ten" high school lists: Catcher in the Rye; Grapes of Wrath; Animal Farm; Price & Prejudice; Diary of Anne Frank; Red Badge of Courage; or Things Fall Apart

 

 

 

Do you have a link for this?

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I also think reading a single story would give a person a fairly good idea of the main characters (Holmes, Watson, perhaps Moriarty -- though does anyone really care?) and Holmes's techniques. Reading them all seems unnecessary if the only reason is for the ability to detect a cultural reference. The only references I've really come across are, "Elementary, my dear Watson" and references to the lack of barking in Hound of the Baskervilles. Each particular story is not so memorable.

Books all seem so equal to me. And there are so many of them.

 

I spent another hour picking a book and still don't have one. Ugh!

 

I'm realizing I'm drawn to historical fiction. And that I have no desire whatsoever to read fantasy or shakespeare right now.

 

I need at least one really easy read on my Kindle each week, so I can just carry it around and feel a little sense of accomplishment by ticking off a growing list of books read.

 

I want to read Brave New World, but am waiting for a hold on a library download.

 

I think I need to find a solid middle grades historical fiction list. The type everyone else is abandoning right now for real literature. I learned an awful lot from reading historical fiction as a kid. Fast easy reads. Learn a little history. Learn a little about human nature. Some of the authors are just great writers in general.

 

I'm glad I found the Dirda list, because I can't move on from things until I fully have them, The Dirda list was exactly what I WAS looking for. I have weeks and weeks of short story lessons planned for LLATL American and EIL 1. I need just some easy books while I'm not reading longer works for those curricula.

 

Everything seems so equal and blah and not free.

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I think I need to find a solid middle grades historical fiction list. The type everyone else is abandoning right now for real literature. I learned an awful lot from reading historical fiction as a kid. Fast easy reads. Learn a little history. Learn a little about human nature. Some of the authors are just great writers in general.

Jean Fritz is quite prolific. As a kid, I read and reread Homesick: My Own Story. 

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I only got partway through reading before a discussion erupted in my kitchen. My 13yo made his own list, which I've listed below. Now I'm off to read the rest of the thread.

 

Iliad

Odyssey

Aeneid

a play by Shakespeare

Oliver Twist

Huckleberry Finn

To Kill a Mockingbird

Diary of Anne Frank

Frankenstein

Old Man and the Sea

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Do you have a link for this?

 

I pulled this list together on my own, from what I've seen most frequently included in high school English programs and classes, plus looking through a number of high school curricula, online syllabi, and some "top 10" and "top 25" types of lists.

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I want to read Brave New World, but am waiting for a hold on a library download.

 

Hunter, just knowing a bit of your background shared in other threads, I just want to express concern and support for you, and suggest walking carefully through Brave New World (and 1984 even more so). Perhaps a really good study guide or a real life book companion who knows you and can provide some background and helpful discussion might be helpful? (The Monarch notes are the only thing I can think of at the moment, although they are not as thorough as one might wish for.)

 

 Hugs and best wishes, Lori D.

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Hunter, just knowing a bit of your background shared in other threads, I just want to express concern and support for you, and suggest walking carefully through Brave New World (and 1984 even more so). Perhaps a really good study guide or a real life book companion who knows you and can provide some background and helpful discussion might be helpful? (The Monarch notes are the only thing I can think of at the moment, although they are not as thorough as one might wish for.)

 

 Hugs and best wishes, Lori D.

 

Thank you for the warning! Maybe it's a good thing, then, that I can't get it for I don't know how long. Sometimes things are meant to be.

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Jean Fritz is quite prolific. As a kid, I read and reread Homesick: My Own Story. 

 

Ugh! Overdrive doesn't have even one of her books at my library. I just asked them to buy one. I'm going to check my other libraries, that I don't use as much. Thanks for the tip!

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I'm a huge Dickens fan, so my top two would be David Copperfield and Tale of Two Cities.  After that... I don't know.  It would require a lot more thought to narrow it down!

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Hunter, just knowing a bit of your background shared in other threads, I just want to express concern and support for you, and suggest walking carefully through Brave New World (and 1984 even more so). 

I agree with you; one thing is, I read a book by "Emma Larkin" (a pseudonym) about her trip to Burma, to understand the Burmese opinion of George Orwell, in the book Finding George Orwell in Burma. It might give you insight into how he understood Burma and governmental control.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4761169

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Brave New World is recommended in Story-Killers and other books that advocate reading more fiction in contrast to the new CC non-fiction push.

 

I read 1984 back in 1984, but not since. I've never read Animal Farm.

 

It was the recommendation in Story-Killers that got me wanting to read Brave New World. It's a pretty expensive book compared to other books of it's time. Paperbacks range from $14.99 to $18.99 at brick and mortar stores.

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Thanks everyone. A lot of those are titles I chose as well. DS has become a dawdler. Procrastinator. 15 y/o boy. Something. I don't know. I don't want to say this year has been a bust,  but it cetainly hasn't gone well as I had hoped. He isn't reading as much he should be and so anytime we study/read a novel it's like 6-8 weeks with reading and writing. At that pace we won't hit nearly as many classics as I'd like. I also have him read non-fiction in science. 

 

For example this year he's read:

Ender's Game (this was mostly free reading)

Murder on the Orient Express

Treasure Island

To Kill a Mockingbird

Gulliver's Travels (just now starting)

Microbe Hunters

Silent Spring

The Violinist's Thumb

Cats Are Not Peas

On the Origin of Species

Hot Zone (starting Next week)

 

It's about half of what I had planned which was one novel and one science/geography book per month.

 

There are A LOT of really good books out there and not all of them are "classics"-I just wanted to come up with a base list of 10 or so MUST READ books for the next three years and build from there. Must read because there's a particular lesson/value I want him to learn from it, makes him think about his beliefs, is alluded to in other literature or media and is culturally important.

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Luna Lee, I just remembered this list as it's a different way of choosing, via "most important" or "most frequent" authors. Hope it helps, and doesn't add to the overwhelming great lists posted on this thread! :)

 

AMERICAN

 

classic, must-read American titles:

- To Kill a Mockingbird (Lee) 

- The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)

 

the "pick one" American authors:

 

pick one by Nathaniel Hawthorne:

- The Scarlett Letter (novel)

- The House of Seven Gables (novel)

- The Minister's Black Veil (short story)

- Young Goodman Brown (short story)

- Rappaccini's Daughter (short story)

- My Kinsman, Major Molieneux (short story)

 

pick one by Herman Melville

- Moby Dick (long novel)

- Billy Budd (novella)

- Bartleby the Scrivner (short story)

 

pick one by Jack London:

- White Fang (novel)

- The Call of the Wild (novel)

- The Sea Wolf (novel)

- To Build a Fire (short story)

 

pick one by Mark Twain:

- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (novel)

- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (novel)

- The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (short story)

- Story without an End (short story)

 

pick one by Stephen Crane:

- The Red Badge of Courage (Crane) -- novella; coming of age storie set in the Civil War

- Bride Comes to Yellow Sky (Crane) -- short story; comedic, yet poignant

- The Open Boat (Crane) -- short story; semi-autobiographical tale of survival

- The Monster (Crane) -- short story; in saving a child from a burning house a man is terribly scarred

 

pick one by Edgar Allen Poe

- The Raven (poem)

- Fall of the House of Usher (short story)

- The Cask of Almontilado (short story)

- The Black Cat (short story)

- The Masque of the Red Death (short story)

- The Tell-Tale Heart (short story)

- The Murders in the Rue Morgue (Poe) -- short story

 

pick one by O. Henry

- Gift of the Magi (Henry) -- short story

- The Ransom of Red Chief (Henry) -- short story

- The Last Leaf (Henry) -- short story

 

pick one by Ernest Hemingway

- Farewell to Arms (novel)

- The Old Man and the Sea (novella)

- Snows of Kilimanjaro (short story)

- For Whom the Bell Tolls (novel)

 

pick one by John Steinbeck

- The Pearl (novella)

- The Red Pony (short story)

- The Grapes of Wrath (novel)

- Of Mice and Men (play)

 

pick one by Ray Bradbury

- Farenheit 451 (novel)

- The Martian Chronicles (short story collection)

- There Will Come Soft Rains (short story)

- Something Wicked This Way Comes (novel)

 

pick one biography:

- Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography - Colonial times

- Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass - Colonial times

- Black Like Me (Griffin) -- the author's experiences in 1960s rural South disguised as an African American

 

pick poems by classic American poets

- Emily Dickinson

- Robert Frost

- Langston Huges

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

- Walt Whitman

- William Carlos Williams

 

pick one classic American play to read or watch:

- Raisin in the Sun (Hansberry)

- Our Town (Wilder)

- Death of a Salesman (Miller) 

- The Crucible (Miller)

- Ah, Wilderness! (O'Neill)

- The Glass Menagerie (Williams) 

 

pick from other classic short stories

- The Most Dangerous Game (Connell)

- The Lady or the Tiger (Stockton)

- The Lottery (Jackson)

- Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge (Bierce)

- Story of an Hour (Chopin)

- The Luck of Roaring Camp (Harte)

- Rip Van Winkle (short story)

- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (short story)

- Thank You Ma'am (Hughes)

- The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas (Le Guin)

- A Jury of Her Peers (Glaspell)

- A Good Man is Hard to Find (O'Connor)

- a short story by choice of other author:

Willa Cather, Edith Wharton, Henry James, Katherine Porter, Eudora Welty, William Faulkner...

 

 

BRITISH

 

must-read British classics

- Beowulf

- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

- Canterbury Tales (Chaucer) -- excerpts

 

the "pick one" British authors:

 

pick one by a Bronte sister:

- Jane Eyre

- Wuthering Heights

 

pick one by Jane Austen:

- Pride and Prejudice

- Emma

- Sense and Sensibility

 

pick one by Charles Dickens:

- A Christmas Carol (novella)

- Tale of Two Cities (novel)

- Oliver Twist (novel)

- David Copperfield (novel)

- Great Expectations (novel)

 

pick one by Shakespeare (and try to see several films of various plays for more exposure):

- Midsummer Night's Dream (comedy)

- Much Ado About Nothing (comedy)

- Twelfth Night (comedy)

- Merchant of Venice (comedy)

- Hamlet (tragedy)

- Macbeth (tragedy)

- King Lear (tragedy)

- Romeo & Juliet (tragedy)

- Henry V (history)

- Julius Caesar (history)

- various sonnets

 

pick one play to read or watch

- The Importance of Being Ernest (Wilde)

- Pygmalion (Shaw)

 

pick poems from the classic British poets:

- William Blake

- Elizabeth Browning

- Lord Byron

- Samuel Coleridge

- John Donne

- John Keats

- DH Lawrence

- Christina Rossetti

- Percy Shelley

- Alfred Tennyson

- William Wordsworth

 

pick from frequently-read works:

- Paradise Lost (Milton) 

- Robinson Crusoe (Defoe)

- Treasure Island (Stevenson)

- Lord of the Flies (Golding)

- Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Stevenson)

- Frankenstein (Shelley)

- Brave New World (Huxley)

- The Time Machine (or War of the Worlds) (Wells)

- Sherlock Holmes (Doyle) -- short stories

 

pick from frequently-read short stories

- The Monkey's Paw (WW Jacobs)

- A Child's Christmas in Wales (Dylan)

 

 

pick from Christian authors:

 

George MacDonald

- Phantastes (novel)

- Lilith (novel)

- The Golden Key (short story)

- The Light Princess (short story)

 

GK Chesterton:

- The Man Who Was Thursday (novel)

- Orthodoxy (apologetics)

- Father Brown mysteries (short stories)

 

CS Lewis

- Till We Have Faces (novel)

- Mere Christianity (apologetics)

- The Great Divorce (theology)

- The Screwtape Letters (theology)

- the space trilogy: Out of the Silent Planet; Perelandra; That Hideous Strength (novels)

 

JRR Tolkien

- Lord of the Rings trilogy (novels)

- Farmer Giles of Ham (short story)

- Smith of Wooton Major (short story)

- Leaf by Niggle (short story)

 

Charles Williams

- Descent into Hell (novel)

- War in Heaven (novel)

- Et in Sempiternum Pereant (short story)

 

Dorothy Sayers

- The Man Born to be King (play)

- Peter Wimsey mysteries (short stories, and, novels)

 

 

WORLD

 

pick from frequently read works

- The Illiad (Homer)

- The Odyssey (Homer) 

- Oedipus cycle: Oedipus the King, Antigone, Oedipus at Colonus (Sophocles)

- The Aeneid (Virgil)

- The Inferno (part of "The Divine Comedy") (Dante)

- Don Quixote (Cervantes) 

- Les Miserables (Hugo)

- Things Fall Apart (Achebe)

- Cry, The Beloved Country (Paton) 

- Crime and Punishment (Dostoyevsky)

- War and Peace -- or -- Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)

 

short stories by:

- Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina)

- Franz Kafka (German)

- Leo Tolstoy  (Russian)

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Love this topic but absolutely could NOT do only 10.

Wow.

A few reasons for reading literature is to become well versed in other styles of writing, understanding other ages of language, becoming familiar with oft referenced material from the classics... and so on.  The list of benefits is very long.

 

To only read 10 is a waste in my opinion. Just my opinion though, of course.

 

 

 

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LOVE LOVE LOVE that list just 3 posts above! Many of the same novels I found by spending too many hours researching, if I'd only had that broken down list four years ago! HA! Here are my top ten....

 

Plato's "The Republic"

Beowulf (or Odyssey...like both)

John Milton's Paradise Lost or Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress

Jonathon Swift "Gulliver's Travels"

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov

James Fenimore Cooper's "The Last of the Mohicans"

Alexandre Dumas "The Last of the Mohicans"

Charles Dickens "Nicholas Nickleby" or "Tale of Two Cities"

Paton "Cry the Beloved Country"

 

Very hard to narrow them down, but those are the ones that stood out to me the past 4 years, mainly I've been looking for authors who show and don't tell..these authors are very good at showing...so I like these :)

 

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