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Which five classics would you say...


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I'll try to narrow it down to 5.

 

To Kill A Mockingbird

Of Mice and Men

Jane Eyre

a Jane Austen Work

An EM Forster work

A Shakespeare work

Plato or something similar, just because I suffered through The Republic, so I feel others should have to as well. :lol:

Something Dickens

 

 

Ok I quit this is too hard. :laugh:

 

Edited by Runningmom80
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To a God Unknown (Steinbeck)

100 Years of Solitude (Garcia Marquez)

A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)

Sula (Morrison)

Notes of Underground (Dostoyevsky)

 

And if not limited to five I would add the collected works of all of the above authors. Plus Jane Austen and The Diary of Anne Frank. And a good translation of Gilgamesh.

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Dante's Inferno, a Shakespeare play, The Iliad and The Odyssey (OK, that's 2), a Dicken's work like Great Expectations, and Karl Marx.

This is a good list. For myself I'd change a couple of things, but keep the same cultural fits. For the Shakespeare I would choose A Midsummer Night's Dream. Sub the Aeneid for the Iliad. Instead of Marx go for Mark - Twain's Life on the Mississippi.

 

Five titles are not nearly enough!

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Five is hard! I keep changing my list and having arguments with myself while I delete things to keep it down to five. I love a lot of things others have posted and feel bad leaving them off my Top Five list.

 

The Grapes of Wrath

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Merchant of Venice

Frankenstein

The Age of Innocence

 

But if you want to read something you maybe haven't already read, read Stoner by John Williams

Edited by Chrysalis Academy
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Moby Dick (Melville)

Sister Carrie (Dreiser)

The Golden Bowl (James)

All the King's Men (Warren)

Buddenbrooks (Mann)

100 Years of Solitude (Garcia-Marquez)

The Trial (Kafka) 

Tin Drum (Grass)

Crime and Punishment (Dostoevsky)

Cancer Ward (Solzhenitsyn) 

 

Cancer Ward was one of those starkly life changing books for me. 

 

I'll add the following to that list:

Germinal by Emile Zola

In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust (and don't stop at Swann's Way. The full work is deep and powerful as a whole; much less so if read as a sampling part.)

Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

 

Caveat:  I don't necessarily think these are THE five books to read, but if you've already read the usual standard high school assignment fare, it's worthwhile to expand your reach into these I've listed above. 

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Five off the top of my head

 

Huckleberry Finn

To Kill a Mockingbird

Pride and Prejudice

A Midsummer Night's Dream (or Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet or Macbeth)

My Antonia

 

Those were all at the top of my list of things I wanted to share with my kids during their home school years--works I felt they needed to know. Actually, we never got to P&P, but hopefully they'll read it during their high school years!

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"All adults should have read this in his or her life"? I'm using a little bit looser definition of "classic"; i.e., I won't quibble if you say the first Harry Potter, or The Magician's Nephew. :)

 

At some point this year, I want to read a classic that I never read and I want to choose well.

 

Too many. Five? Just five? Of all time?!?

 

The Canterbury Tales, Hamlet, Shahnameh (The Book of Kings), The Iliad, Moby Dick. If I *must* choose only five of all time. Obviously I think most people should have read parts of the Bible and the Qur'an for context but I'll save that for religious studies.

 

Okay, but let's talk modern classics? Five? Really? Okay. Okay. On top of the other five:

 

  • Midnight's Children
  • A Hero of Our Time
  • Things Fall Apart
  • The Stranger
  • The Joy Luck Club
  • Last of the Mohicans

 

No wait, no wait, those are all colonialism and neo colonialism and don't even touch on many things. I didn't include the love stories. I didn't include A Fine Balance! I didn't include Black Like Me. Or The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. I didn't include The Luminaries which I am reading now and I totally forgot Handmaid's Tale, Homage to Catalonia, or what about Edna St. Vincent Millay's poems?

 

I'm terribly sorry but I'm unable to fulfill your request. My directive is to keep reading and reading and don't forget the poets.

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Kristin Lavransdatter--does it pick up? I gave it a try and had a hard time wading through the first several pages.

Well, that is a weighty tome. I don't remember thinking it was slow to get going. It was a little more interesting after she started to have babies because I kept wondering if she would have a girl.

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One that I did not see that made an impact on my is "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich."

DD had that assigned in high school and claimed to hate it. :) we usually like similar books, so I don't think that one makes my list.

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Too many. Five? Just five? Of all time?!?

 

The Canterbury Tales, Hamlet, Shahnameh (The Book of Kings), The Iliad, Moby Dick. If I *must* choose only five of all time. Obviously I think most people should have read parts of the Bible and the Qur'an for context but I'll save that for religious studies.

 

Okay, but let's talk modern classics? Five? Really? Okay. Okay. On top of the other five:

 

  • Midnight's Children
  • A Hero of Our Time
  • Things Fall Apart
  • The Stranger
  • The Joy Luck Club
  • Last of the Mohicans

No wait, no wait, those are all colonialism and neo colonialism and don't even touch on many things. I didn't include the love stories. I didn't include A Fine Balance! I didn't include Black Like Me. Or The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. I didn't include The Luminaries which I am reading now and I totally forgot Handmaid's Tale, Homage to Catalonia, or what about Edna St. Vincent Millay's poems?

 

I'm terribly sorry but I'm unable to fulfill your request. My directive is to keep reading and reading and don't forget the poets.

:D. Well, fortunately, I have read Canterbury Tales, Hamlet, The Iliad and the vast majority of The Bible. I have not read Moby Dick (don't tell Spy Car). I haven't read any of your other suggestions, either. So lots of choices right here.

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I love threads like this!!

 

I'm not sure I'll have anything new to add.  There are certainly "classics' that I would recommend you *not* read because they were dull as toast... :laugh:

 

I've recently read in an article that we are living in a time of  "Brave New World" and not "1984"  - I'd share the article but it's political.    I've read 1984, but never Brave New World, so that is now on my list.

 

Here's my list of 5:

 

To Kill a Mockingbird

Far From the Madding Crowd

Tennent of Wildfell Hall

Heart of Darkness

Little Prince

 

 

 

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Too many. Five? Just five? Of all time?!?

 

The Canterbury Tales, Hamlet, Shahnameh (The Book of Kings), The Iliad, Moby Dick. If I *must* choose only five of all time. Obviously I think most people should have read parts of the Bible and the Qur'an for context but I'll save that for religious studies.

 

Okay, but let's talk modern classics? Five? Really? Okay. Okay. On top of the other five:

 

  • Midnight's Children
  • A Hero of Our Time
  • Things Fall Apart
  • The Stranger
  • The Joy Luck Club
  • Last of the Mohicans

 

No wait, no wait, those are all colonialism and neo colonialism and don't even touch on many things. I didn't include the love stories. I didn't include A Fine Balance! I didn't include Black Like Me. Or The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. I didn't include The Luminaries which I am reading now and I totally forgot Handmaid's Tale, Homage to Catalonia, or what about Edna St. Vincent Millay's poems?

 

I'm terribly sorry but I'm unable to fulfill your request. My directive is to keep reading and reading and don't forget the poets.

 

I agree... Five is hard to keep to.

 

I like your list, BTW.. 

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Cancer Ward was one of those starkly life changing books for me. 

 

I'll add the following to that list:

Germinal by Emile Zola

In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust (and don't stop at Swann's Way. The full work is deep and powerful as a whole; much less so if read as a sampling part.)

Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

 

Caveat:  I don't necessarily think these are THE five books to read, but if you've already read the usual standard high school assignment fare, it's worthwhile to expand your reach into these I've listed above. 

 

My husband has said the same thing.  I've read bits and pieces of it. 

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Kristin Lavransdatter--does it pick up? I gave it a try and had a hard time wading through the first several pages.

 

Perhaps try a different translation. I like Tiina Nunnally's. Archer uses archaic language in his translation making it feel like it's dragging for some people.

 

ETA: Archer's was the first one I read because Nunnally's had not yet been published. Even then it was my favorite book, but it did take me awhile to get into it. When I read Nunnally's, it just felt more energetic.

Edited by Jane Elliot
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I can't pick a top five, but some random thoughts of things I have enjoyed. I included a number of shorter works as I presume you don't still want to be reading Ulysses this time next year, lol.

 

Sherlock Holmes. You can read a story in an hour or so, or less? Follow up with a Jeremy Brett video, as they are close to the original. So typically 19th century, like Dickens.

 

Edgar Allan Poe, perhaps Fall of House of Usher. Eerie. Short story, easy read. Follow up with Robertson Davies, a Canadian author, High Spirits, ghost stories.

 

If you want Dickens, think about Hard Times. I love novels like Bleak House, but it is long and has zillions of characters. Hard Times is short, but still great Dickensian character too.

 

Jane Austen, Emma or P&P. See Wilde, below (can't move text easily on phone, sorry).

 

Wuthering Heights. Romanticism par excellence. Maybe follow up with Thomas Hardy.

 

Oscar Wilde, Importance of Being Earnest. Comedy of manners. A quick read. Fun to compare with Austen.

 

1984. Eerily prescient. You could follow up with Brave New World.

 

Sophocles. Antigone or Electra. You could also follow up with modern retellings of either.

 

I would listen to, rather than read, some well known Shakespeare, either a play or a sonnet. Check out the app by Touchpress.

 

ETA

I looked at other posts, and I see my suggestions are short, easy, and lightweight compared to many other suggestions. Please, that reflects on me, lol, not what I think op is capable of! Also, most of my suggestions have been made into films or TV -- I am feeling unworthy of WTM....

Edited by Alessandra
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I think the word should makes my answer very different. Five books everyone should read for cultural context:

 

The Iliad or The Odyssey

Romeo and Juliet

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Lord of the Rings

Harry Potter

 

Those are not necessarily classics and are not my 5 favorite classics. Five of my favorite classics which I don't think everyone should read but I enjoyed so I'll suggest:

 

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

The Importance of Being Ernest

Around the World in 80 Days

The Three Musketeers

Dracula

 

Ok that list seems random; it is very hard to pick just 5.

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Perhaps try a different translation. I like Tiina Nunnally's. Archer uses archaic language in his translation making it feel like it's dragging for some people.

 

ETA: Archer's was the first one I read because Nunnally's had not yet been published. Even then it was my favorite book, but it did take me awhile to get into it. When I read Nunnally's, it just felt more energetic.

Oh, I hadn't even considered the translation issue.  I just downloaded the freebie at Amazon, so I bet it was the Archer.  Thanks!

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