Classics

I’ve decided to put off the next Ferret of the Week until next week because I will be out of town for my second family reunion later this week, and because of the minor disaster that is my knee. I got a bug bite on the back of my right knee last week, and over the course of 6 days, it swelled up, turned purple, and this morning kinda exploded. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it was still no fun, and I’m not doing much walking. I will put a photo of how it looked last night, pre-eruption, at the bottom of this entry so you will have ample warning to avoid it if so desired.

Between now and Wednesday, when my flight leaves, I’m going to talk about books. Tomorrow and Wednesday I am hoping to put up some reviews of my most recent reads, but for today, I’ll take the easy route. I’ve been seeing this list of classic literature floating around the blogs lately. Can’t seem to find where it comes from, or why these particular titles are chosen out of all the potential thousands and millions of excellent books, but oh well—who am I to stop the spread of a meme?

Titles I’ve read are in bold, and my comments are in parenthesis:

Beowulf
Achebe, Chinua – Things Fall Apart
Agee, James – A Death in the Family
Austen, Jane – Pride and Prejudice (I’ve read all of her books.)
Baldwin, James – Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel – Waiting for Godot
Bellow, Saul – The Adventures of Augie March
Brontë, Charlotte – Jane Eyre (Oddly enough, rereading it right now.)
Brontë, Emily – Wuthering Heights
Camus, Albert – The Stranger (On my list. The Plague was excellent.)
Cather, Willa – Death Comes for the Archbishop
Chaucer, Geoffrey – The Canterbury Tales (In Middle English.)
Chekhov, Anton – The Cherry Orchard
Chopin, Kate – The Awakening
Conrad, Joseph – Heart of Darkness (Been avoiding this one.)
Cooper, James Fenimore – The Last of the Mohicans (And The Deerhunter.)
Crane, Stephen – The Red Badge of Courage (Possibly, but if so, I was a child and don’t really remember.)
Dante – Inferno (Read the entire Divine Comedy.)
de Cervantes, Miguel – Don Quixote (One of my all-time favorites.)
Defoe, Daniel – Robinson Crusoe (Read Moll Flanders, though, and really didn’t like it)
Dickens, Charles – A Tale of Two Cities (Another favorite; I’ve read several of his books, though not all, and love David Copperfield too.)
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor – Crime and Punishment (On my list; I have definitely read The Devils, and possibly The Idiot)
Douglass, Frederick – Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Dreiser, Theodore – An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexandre – The Three Musketeers (And the Man with the Iron Mask, Count of Monte Cristo, and Queen Margot.)
Eliot, George – The Mill on the Floss (On my list; Middlemarch was great.)
Ellison, Ralph – Invisible Man (Possibly read it, but I can’t really remember.)
Emerson, Ralph Waldo – Selected Essays
Faulkner, William – As I Lay Dying (I’ve avoided Faulkner like the plague.)
Faulkner, William – The Sound and the Fury
Fielding, Henry – Tom Jones (On the list; the antithesis of Clarissa?)
Fitzgerald, F. Scott – The Great Gatsby
Flaubert, Gustave – Madame Bovary
Ford, Ford Madox – The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von – Faust
Golding, William – Lord of the Flies
Hardy, Thomas – Tess of the d’Urbervilles (I strongly dislike Hardy, yet have read most of his books of my own accord: Return of the Native, Jude the Obscure, Mayor of Casterbridge, Far From the Madding Crowd, etc.)
Hawthorne, Nathaniel – The Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne’s not my favorite; also forced myself through The House of Seven Gables.)
Heller, Joseph – Catch 22 (Started it, but wasn’t able to finish – blech!)
Hemingway, Ernest – A Farewell to Arms (Another name I have been avoiding.)
Homer – The Iliad
Homer – The Odyssey (No comment – hangs head in shame)
Hugo, Victor – The Hunchback of Notre Dame (And Les Miserables, another favorite.)
Hurston, Zora Neale – Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous – Brave New World
Ibsen, Henrik – A Doll’s House (Saw it performed…)
James, Henry – The Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry – The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Kafka, Franz – The Metamorphosis
Kingston, Maxine Hong – The Woman Warrior
Lee, Harper – To Kill a Mockingbird
Lewis, Sinclair – Babbitt
London, Jack – The Call of the Wild
Mann, Thomas – The Magic Mountain
Marquez, Gabriel García – One Hundred Years of Solitude
Melville, Herman – Bartleby the Scrivener
Melville, Herman – Moby Dick (One of these days…)
Miller, Arthur – The Crucible
Morrison, Toni – Beloved
O’Connor, Flannery – A Good Man is Hard to Find
O’Neill, Eugene – Long Day’s Journey into Night
Orwell, George – Animal Farm (Not my favorite Orwell – 1984 was better.)
Pasternak, Boris – Doctor Zhivago (Love the movie!)
Plath, Sylvia – The Bell Jar
Poe, Edgar Allan – Selected Tales (Poe’s great; I especially like his humorous stories.)
Proust, Marcel – Swann’s Way
Pynchon, Thomas – The Crying of Lot 49
Remarque, Erich Maria – All Quiet on the Western Front
Rostand, Edmond – Cyrano de Bergerac
Roth, Henry – Call It Sleep
Salinger, J.D. – The Catcher in the Rye
Shakespeare, William – Hamlet (I’ve read more Shakespeare than I feel like listing here: most of the comedies, all the sonnets, tragedies and romances, and fewer of the early and history plays.)
Shakespeare, William – Macbeth
Shakespeare, William – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shakespeare, William – Romeo and Juliet
Shaw, George Bernard – Pygmalion
Shelley, Mary – Frankenstein
Silko, Leslie Marmon – Ceremony
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander – One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles – Antigone
Sophocles – Oedipus Rex
Steinbeck, John – The Grapes of Wrath
Stevenson, Robert Louis – Treasure Island
Stowe, Harriet Beecher – Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Swift, Jonathan – Gulliver’s Travels
Thackeray, William – Vanity Fair
Thoreau, Henry David – Walden
Tolstoy, Leo – War and Peace (And Anna Karenina.)
Turgenev, Ivan – Fathers and Sons (DH Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers has a similar title, but I suppose that doesn’t count.)
Twain, Mark – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Also Tom Sawyer and Connecticut Yankee.)
Voltaire – Candide
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. – Slaughterhouse-Five
Walker, Alice – The Color Purple
Wharton, Edith – The House of Mirth (Also Age of Innocence and Ethan Frome
Welty, Eudora – Collected Stories
Whitman, Walt – Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar – The Picture of Dorian Gray (And The Importance of Being Earnest.)
Williams, Tennessee – The Glass Menagerie
Woolf, Virginia – To the Lighthouse (Read Jacob’s Room and loved it.)
Wright, Richard – Native Son

Not a bad number, all considered, though there are many more classics I’ve read that got left off the list. And this will give me some more titles to add on to my personal reading list.

Alright, I gave you plenty of warning. Here’s the spider bite, as of last night:

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<p>Now my knee is covered in bandages, and thanks to the antibiotic shot, I should be on the mend soon. No fun at all.</p>
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