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I'm trying to come up with 50 or so titles for a peronalised Classics* challenge; however, I don't want to go reading a book I have no interest in just because it's considered a classic so I'm having a spot of trouble.

 

I hope the list so far will give you an idea what I'm after (note: glaring omissions from the opus of mentioned authors are deliberate, i.e. I'm not intrigued by Dostoevskij's The Brothers Karamazov and have already read Hawthorne's The Scarlet letter).

 

Art, philosophy and grand ideals are what most stirs me in books if that's any help.

 

* for the sake of (my) convenience, we shall define 'Classic' as 'an awesome book written pre-1900'.

 

The list so far

 

Honor

Edited by BookJumper

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If you haven't already read them, here are a few I've enjoyed that you might like too:

 

Anthony Hope - The Prisoner of Zenda

Alexandre Dumas - The Three Musketeers

John Cleland - Fanny Hill: The Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (although this one has quite a lot of sex in it, so maybe not)

Charlotte Bronte - Jane Eyre

Washington Irving - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

J. Sheridan LeFanu - Carmilla

Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

Anne Bronte - The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Wilkie Collins – Woman in White

 

And a few more I have on Mount TBR that look to be very good:

Anne Bronte – Agnes Grey

Daniel Defoe – Moll Flanders

Daniel Defoe – Robinson Crusoe

Victor Hugo – The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

Victor Hugo – Les Miserables Vol.1

Victor Hugo – Les Miserables Vol 2

William Thackeray – Vanity Fair

Leo Tolstoy – Anna Karenina

Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited

 

I assume you've either read the Jane Austens or have no interest from them (ensuring their absence from your list), along with any more Charles Dickens. I have a few of his on Mount TBR too.

Edited by Kell

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Rob - Fathers and Sons sounds brilliant... *ioinks it for her own*.

 

Kell - I've read and enjoyed Les Miserabl

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Dumas wrote a book on Robin Hood?! I'm shocked enough to want to scourge the earth for it!

 

Doestovsky's The Devils is supposed to be a good read, but I've yet to tackle that one myself and am not sure that it might not be too close to Crime and Punishment/The Idiot/The Brothers Karamazov.

 

Hmn... How about Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe since you're reading a book on Robin Hood?

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Dumas wrote a book on Robin Hood?! I'm shocked enough to want to scourge the earth for it!
My thoughts exactly :friends0: thank you, Wiki!

 

I've already read and adored Ivanhoe :D granted, that was over a decade ago so I don't remember it terribly well, but still.

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In the short time between now and then, I've discovered that it is very different from the ballads. Speaking of which, I want to read some of those.

 

 

Mark Twain's Joan of Arc is also a fantastic read. I loved it when I read it in january. And how about Pilgrim's Progress (which I do not want to torture myself by reading before I'm 70).

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*nabs Joan of Arc* although thanks but no thanks re: The Pilgrim's Progress, I had to read bits of it for university and was bored out of my skull.

 

By the way, you might want to look into George MacDonald, whom I added to the list about 5 minutes ago - any 19th century fantasy writer who influenced C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien can't be bad now can he?

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I've read a story of his. I have Douglas Anderson's Tales Before Tolkien, which, if I might add, is something every fan of modern fantasy should read as it discusses the roots of fantasy itself. The story I've read is "The Golden Key." Now it's been two years but I remember it being very Grimmish, which was the tone for such stories back then. But I don't like to think I'd enjoy a novel written entirely in that fashion.

 

 

 

Here's my review of Joan of Arc, by the way.

 

 

And there's also Tales before Lewis which does the same function. But I've never really liked CS Lewis for some reason.

Edited by vinay87

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The Three Musketeers is remarkably undaunting to read. And - from what I can tell - you can easily ignore the sequels.

 

I was going to mention Tolstoy, but I assume that you omitted him from the original list for a reason, given how obvious he is. But, just in case: War and Peace actually is a great book, and really covers the grand themes of how history works.

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Vinay - I love Lewis, so hopefully there should be no reason for me not to enjoy MacDonald!

 

I can't ignore official sequels Andy - that's not how I roll! If I put The Three Musketeers on Mount TBR I'd be making a committment to read the others also.

 

A for Tolstoy, I'm ignoring him for the aforementioned reason of being too depressing, which is also why I'm avoiding Dostoevskij's longer works.

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I can vouch for The Three Musketeers being excessivly undaunting. It flies past like nobody's business - adventure writing at its very best. THe escapades of the Musketeers was one of the most enjoyable reads I had the year I read it. I really must get round to the sequels though - I keep forgetting about them!

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... not in Italian they're not :friends0: which is the language I would be reading the works of the Dumas boys in - considering how similar French is to Italian in sound and syntax, it would be daft for me to be reading English translations.

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I don't know if you're deliberately leaving Robert Louis Stevenson out, but The Master Of Ballantrae is quite an enjoyable read, and one of his less common books, I think. It's written in a different style from Treasure Island, which I hate.

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How about The War of the Worlds to add a bit of variety? (first published in 1898 if memory serves!).

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I don't know if you're deliberately leaving Robert Louis Stevenson out
... indeed it is a deliberate oversight :D as I hated both Treasure Island and Jekyll & Hyde. Admittedly, Jekyll & Hyde had a good plot to it, but I just can't stomach how the guy writes. He bores me to tears and then some.

 

How about The War of the Worlds to add a bit of variety? (first published in 1898 if memory serves!).
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt (I was only a kiddie then, but surely it still counts if I can remember reading it?) :D!

 

I'll add 'Cousin Bette' by Honore de Balzac. Art and social mores. A mature work.
Having never read but only heard good things about Balzac, *looks into this one*.

 

By the by, you'll all be happy to know that I've succumbed to the peer pressure and added Dumas p

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I've read 20,000 Leages, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Around the World in 80 Days and thoroughly enjoyed them, other suggestions?

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From the Earth to the Moon? That's supposed to be one of his classics, or how about The Lost World, by Arthur Conan Doyle?

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I've read 20,000 Leages, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Around the World in 80 Days and thoroughly enjoyed them, other suggestions?

 

Yes - Michael Strogoff.:D Marvellous story charting his adventures as courier to the czar. It can be a bit difficult to get hold of though.

 

Also, have you thought of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. There you have a whole spectrum of story styles, from the mystery to the bawdy.:D I just luv'em.

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I've encountered Chaucer while doing Medieval lit in uni and couldn't get into him at all:lurker: I'm pinching Strogoff however, that definitely sounds like my type of thing.

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I'll add 'Cousin Bette' by Honore de Balzac. Art and social mores. A mature work.

 

 

On that note, you might also try his 'Sarassine', a little book I was very impressed with some time ago. Has more or less the same themes as Sirinrob mentioned above, if I remember correctly.

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Ooooh, Sarrasine sounds very much up my alley (I do enjoy a bit of tragic love!), thank you Tristan :D.

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