Monday, January 20, 2014

English Class and Assigned Reading

In high school, and maybe even some in college, it seems like there is always some form of unofficial book list that most teachers and school curriculums follow. A lot of high schoolers read books like A Catcher in the Rye, The Lord of the Flies, and Of Mice and Men. Other favorites include selected works from Dickens, Austen or Brontë, Orwell, and the occasional Homer.

But when I compare my high school reading lists to those of other peoples' high school experiences, I discover that I oftentimes lack a solid "classics" repertoire.  Yes, I read the three aforementioned novels; yes, I read both The Iliad and The Odyssey in the 12th grade, but I still have yet to read the complete works of Jane Austen, I have yet to read a single word by Tolstoy, and I don't even know what 1984 is about.

So this year, I would like to read more classic literature.  I've already started this by planning to read A Tale of Two Cities this month, and other books that I would like to read at some point this year include:

- Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
- My Antonia by Willa Cather
- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
- Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
- The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

If you had to suggest a "classic" for me to read, what would it be and why?


  1. Anna Karenina! Multiple complex love stories that run in and out of each other. It's one of my favorites :)
    Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky is another favorite (I'm partial to Russian literature...). Faulkner is always good for a brain workout - As I Lay Dying was the first I read of his. A Tale of Two Cities is also one of my very favorites, so I hope you like it!

  2. War and Peace. I could spend a lifetime reading and re-reading the complete novel.