Favorite classics?

With my free time this summer I’ve been trying to tackle some challenging books. Well, this project actually began back in the autumn when I decided that it was time I finally finish reading a Russian novel, as opposed to just starting them, which I have done several times. I chose “Anna Karenina” because a woman I worked with several years ago had been on her third reading of it and told me that it was her favorite book.

I liked the book at first, but then the characters began to grate on my nerves as much as an actual human in the flesh might. That’s a testament to Tolstoy’s skill at character development, I guess. I plodded along for four months — occasionally pausing to read something else — and finally finished. So at least I can brag about that for the rest of my life.

I’ve been focusing more on American writers lately, and the more I delve into the collection at our library, the more I feel as though my education is really lacking. I did read Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Steinbeck in school, but there are so many acclaimed writers that I have no experience with.

I tried “The Adventures of Augie March” by Saul Bellow, but I couldn’t force myself to go on. That man loves a long sentence. Now I’m reading some short stories by Eudora Welty and finding them much more agreeable. So I’ll seek your input. What should I be reading? Or perhaps I should ask, what would I enjoy reading? I’m definitely looking for books that could be considered classic, which I guess is to say that the authors should be well known and dead.

3 thoughts on “Favorite classics?

  1. Anais nin – fem erotica…much better than this fifty shades nonsense

    Confederacy of dunces-toole

    Anything and everything by Kurt vonnegut

  2. I never know whether to answer on your blog or FB. I’ll answer here this time to keep you guessing. Let me think back to my grad school days for some suggestions . . .

    Flannery O’Connor’s short fiction seems like a must. I found it pretty enjoyable, too. And you might like her book on writing — Mystery and Manners.
    Where I’m Calling From: Short Fiction of Raymond Carver. It’s definitely more modern, but he’s both well known and dead.
    Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. I really liked this book, but it helped that I immediately followed it with The Hours my Michael Cunningham.
    The Prime of Miss Jane Brodie by Murial Spark

  3. I know you are looking for classics, aka dead authors, but I have read a couple of books that are just plain awesome…..

    The Shack
    The Art of Racing in the Rain
    Heaven is for Real

    And yes I like fifty shades of nonsense, but that is because my life is often times so serious that I need something that is just ridiculous.

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