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Gary Wassner
November 25th, 2004, 09:15 PM
So, do you agree or disagree? How many have you read?


The Three Musketeers (1844) Alexandre Dumas

Ivanhoe (1820) Sir Walter Scott

The Count of Monte Cristo (1844) Alexandre Dumas

Last of the Mohicans (1826) James Fenimore Cooper

Moby Dick (1851) Herman Melville

A Tale of Two Cities (1859) Charles Dickens

Robin Hood (1883) Howard Pyle

Arabian Nights (1704) Antony Galland

Les Miserables (1862) Victor Hugo

Robinson Crusoe (1719) Daniel Defoe

Don Quixote (1605) Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Washington Irving: Rip Van Winkle (1819), The Headless Horseman (1819)

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1883) Robert Louis Stevenson

Westward Ho! (1855) Charles Kingsley

Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) Harriet Beecher Stowe

Gulliver's Travels (1726) Jonathan Swift

The Deerslayer (1841) James Fenimore Cooper

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831) Victor Hugo

Huckleberry Finn (1884) Mark Twain

The Corsican Brothers (1845) Alexandre Dumas

3 Famous Mysteries: The Sign of the Four (1890) Arthur Conan Doyle, The Flayed Hand (1880) Guy de Maupassant, Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841) Edgar Allen Poe

The Pathfinder (1840) James Fenimore Cooper

Oliver Twist (1838) Charles Dickens

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889) Mark Twain

Two Years Before the Mast (1840) Richard Henry Dana Jr.

Frankenstein (1818) Mary Shelley

Marco Polo (1921) Donn Byrne

Michael Strogoff (1876) Jules Verne

The Prince and the Pauper (1882) Mark Twain

The Moonstone (1868) William Wilkie Collins

The Black Arrow (1888) Robert Louis Stevenson

Lorna Doone (1869) Richard Doddridge Blackmore

Sherlock Holmes Stories: A Study in Scarlet (1887) Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902) Arthur Conan Doyle

Mysterious Island (1874) Jules Verne

Last Days of Pompeii (1834) Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Typee (1846) Herman Melville

The Pioneers (1822) James Fenimore Cooper

The Adventures of Cellini (1562) Benvenuto Cellini

Jane Eyre (1847) Charlotte Bronte

Edgar Allen Poe Mysteries: Pit and the Pendulum (1845), Adventures of Hans Pfall (1845), The Fall of the House of Usher (1838)

Twenty Years After (1845) Alexandre Dumas

Swiss Family Robinson (1813) Johann Wyss

Great Expectations (1861) Charles Dickens

Mysteries of Paris (1842) Eugene Sue

Tom Brown's School Days (1856) Thomas Hughes

Kidnapped (1886) Robert Louis Stevenson

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1870) Jules Verne

David Copperfield (1850) Charles Dickens

Alice in Wonderland (1865) Lewis Carroll (C.L. Dodgson)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) Mark Twain

The Spy (1821) James Fenimore Cooper

The House of the Seven Gables (1851) Nathaniel Hawthorne

A Christmas Carol (1843) Charles Dickens

The Man in the Iron Mask (1850) Alexandre Dumas

Silas Marner (1861) George Eliot (Marian Evans)

Toilers of the Sea (1866) Victor Hugo

The Song of Hiawatha (1855) Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Prairie (1827) James Fenimore Cooper

Wuthering Heights (1847) Emily Bronte

Black Beauty (1860) Anna Sewell

The Woman in White (1860) William Wilkie Collins

Western Stories: The Luck of Roaring Camp (1870) Bret Harte, The Outcasts of Poker Flats (1870) Bret Harte

Man Without a Country (1863) Edward Everett Hale

Treasure Island (1883) Robert Louis Stevenson

Benjamin Franklin (1817) Benjamin Franklin

The Cloister and the Hearth (1861) Charles Reade

The Scottish Chiefs (1809) Jane Porter

Julius Caesar (1607) William Shakespeare

Around the World in Eighty Days (1873) Jules Verne

The Pilot (1823) James Fenimore Cooper

The Man Who Laughs (1869) Victor Hugo

The Oregon Trail (1849) Francis Parkman

The Black Tulip (1850) Alexandre Dumas

Mr. Midshipman Easy (1836) Captain Frederick Marryat

The Lady of the Lake (1810) Sir Walter Scott

The Prisoner of Zenda (1894) Anthony Hope (Hawkins)

The Iliad (962 B.C.) Homer

Joan of Arc (1801) Frederick Schiller

Cyrano de Bergerac (1897) Edmond Rostand

White Fang (1906) Jack London

The Odyssey (927 B.C.) Homer

The Master of Ballantrae (1889) Robert Louis Stevenson

The Jungle Book (1894) Rudyard Kipling

Edgar Allen Poe: The Gold Bug (1843), The Tell-Tale Heart (1845), A Cask of Amontillado (1845)

The Sea Wolf (1904) Jack London

Under Two Flags (1868) Ouida (Louisa de la Rame)

A Midsummer Night's Dream (1600) William Shakespeare

Men of Iron (1891) Howard Pyle

Crime and Punishment (1866) Feodor Dostoevsky

Green Mansions (1904) William Henry Hudson

The Call of the Wild (1903) Jack London

Henry W. Longfellow: Courtship of Miles Standish (1858), Evangeline (1847)

Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894) Mark Twain

David Balfour (1893) Robert Louis Stevenson

All Quiet on the Western Front (1928) Erich Maria Remarque

Daniel Boone (1939) John Bakeless

King Solomon's Mines (1885) H. Rider Heggard

The Red Badge of Courage (1895) Stephen Crane


Hamlet (1603) William Shakespeare

Mutiny on the Bounty (1932) Charles Nordhoff & James Hall

William Tell (1804) Frederick Schiller

The White Company (1891) Arthur Conan Doyle

Men Against the Sea (1933) Charles Nordhoff & James Hall

Bring 'em Back Alive (1930) Frank Buck & Edward Anthony

From the Earth to the Moon (1870) Jules Verne

Buffalo Bill (1920) William F. Cody

King of the Khyber Rifles (1916) Talbot Mundy

Knights of the Round Table (1903) Howard Pyle

Pitcairn's Island (1939) Charles Nordhoff & James Hall

The Speckled Band (1892) Arthur Conan Doyle

The Talisman (1825) Sir Walter Scott

Kit Carson (1873) John S.C. Abbott

The Forty-Five Guardsmen (1848) Alexandre Dumas

The Red Rover (1827) James Fenimore Cooper

How I Found Livingstone (1872) Henry M. Stanley

Robert Louis Stevenson: The Bottle Imp (1891), The Beach at Falesa (1892)

Captains Courageous (1897) Rudyard Kipling

Rob Roy (1818) Sir Walter Scott

Soldiers of Fortune (1897) Richard Harding Davis

The Hurricane (1936) Charles Nordhoff & James Hall

Wild Bill Hickok (no author listed)

The Mutineers (1920) Charles Boardman Hawes

Fang and Claw (1935) Frank Buck

War of the Worlds (1898) H.G. Wells

The Oxbow Incident (1940) Walter Van Tilburg Clark

The Downfall (1892) Emile Zola

The King of the Mountains (1857) Edmond About

Macbeth (1606) William Shakespeare

Davy Crockett (no author listed)

Caesar's Conquests (51 B.C.) Julius Caesar

The Covered Wagon (1922) Emerson Hough

The Dark Frigate (1923) Charles Boardman Hawes

The Time Machine (1895) H.G. Wells

Romeo and Juliet (1597) William Shakespeare

Waterloo (1868) Emile Erckmann & Alexandre Chatrian

Lord Jim (1900) Joseph Conrad (Korzeniowski)

The Little Savage (1848) Captain Frederick Marryat

A Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864) Jules Verne

In the Reign of Terror (1890) G.A. Henty

On Jungle Trails (1936) Frank Bucks

Castle Dangerous (1831) Sir Walter Scott

Abraham Lincoln (1952) Benjamin Thomas

Kim (1901) Rudyard Kipling

The First Men in the Moon (1901) H.G. Wells

The Crisis (1901) Winston Churchill

With Fire and Sword (1890) Henry Sienkiewicz

Ben Hur (1880) Lew Wallace

Lafitte the Pirate (1930) Lyle Saxon

Off on a Comet (1878) Jules Verne

The Virginian (1902) Owen Wister

Won by the Sword (1899) G.A. Henty

Wild Animals I Have Known (1898) Ernest Thompson Seton

The Invisible Man (1897) H.G. Wells

The Conspiracy of the Pontiac (1851) Francis Parkman

The Lion of the North (1890) G.A. Henty

Conquest of Mexico (1632) Bernal Diez Del Castillo

Lives of the Hunted (1902) Ernest Thompson Seton

The Conspirators (1843) Alexandre Dumas

The Octopus (1901) Frank Norris

The Food of the Gods (1904) H.G. Wells

Cleopatra (1889) H. Rider Haggard

Robur the Conqueror (1886) Jules Verne

Master of the World (1904) Jules Verne

The Cossack Chief (1839) Nikotai Gogol

The Queen's Necklace (1849) Alexandre Dumas

Tigers and Traitors (1880) Jules Verne

Faust (1808/1832) Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

SubZero61992
November 25th, 2004, 09:19 PM
Havent read any of them but I think LordOfTheRings is excellent.
Also Harry Potter is great.

Gary Wassner
November 25th, 2004, 09:21 PM
Sub, if you really are serious about expanding your mind, grab a few titles from the lists people offer you and try them out. If you want specific advice for someone your age, just ask. There are plenty of well read people here who will gladly offer it up.

SubZero61992
November 25th, 2004, 09:23 PM
Yes but what people offer must be in my library, such books I like does not come there.
I am thankful LOTR is there or else I would be failing one of my goals in Reading class.

Miriamele
November 25th, 2004, 10:36 PM
Wow, that's quite a list you've compiled there, Gemquest! Did you copy and paste it from somewhere or type it all in? How many of those classics have you read yourself?

As to whether or not all those books should really be considered "classics,", I don't know because I haven't read most of them. But I'll comment briefly on the ones I have read.

Last of the Mohicans: I picked this one up because I adored the movie. What a mistake! The prose was too flowery and pretentious, and the story dull. I put the book down after a chapter or two because all the author had done thus far was describe the main characters!

A Tale of Two Cities: Dickens was a brilliant writer, in my opinion. His characters were vibrant and interesting. However, I put this book down after getting halfway through because even though the characters were interesting, there were simply too many of them doing too many different things and I couldn't see for the life of me where the story was going or even what the main story was.

Robin Hood: I read this book for a university essay and was pleasantly surprised. There's nothing sophisticated about this book, but it's entertaining and filled with funny moments. A few times it made me laugh out loud.

Les Miserables: Well-drawn characters for whom we really feel sympathy populate this book. It's well-written, but very long and very depressing. I would never read it a second time--it was hard enough to get through the first time.

Oliver Twist: I loved this book, even if the plot is driven along by a ridiculous sequence of coincidences. Who can help but like Oliver after everything the poor kid goes through? I wanted to read to the end as quickly as I could to see how things would work out for him, because I knew that his fortunes had to turn around eventually.

Sherlock Holmes: Brilliant, if wordy. Doyle provides an interesting glimpse not only into the mind of an ingenious man but into the less savoury side of Victorian society.

Jane Eyre: One of my favourite books, ever. The quintessential gothic romance, beautifully written.

Great Expectations: A good book, although I didn't like it as much as Oliver Twist. Some memorable characters and suspenseful scenes.

David Copperfield: This one was hard to get through but I had to read it for school. I don't remember much about it except that I found the treatment of and attitudes toward women in the book to be disgusting. Dora was David's "doll," and she acted like one too. I assume this was intentional on Dickens' part.

Alice in Wonderland: I have always disliked this book--it's just too creepy!

Wuthering Heights: This book is all right, but in my opinion overrated. The tragic ending is too melodramatic. I think Charlotte was the better of the Bronte sisters.

Black Beauty: One of my favourite books as a child, and I think an important book in that it was the first to bring to the public's attention the issue of cruelty to animals. Telling the story from the horse's point of view was a brilliant idea for the time.

Julius Caesar, Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet: Shakespeare was a genius. I love all of his plays and I think it's sad that a lot of schools aren't teaching them anymore. I would also add King Lear to the list.

The Illiad: Interesting, but very long and hard to get through! The characters in this book like to make very long speeches....perhaps the translation I was reading just wasn't the best.

Crime and Punishment: I wasn't sure what to expect from this book but I really enjoyed it. Lots of keen observations of humanity and substantial food for thought. Not a light read by any means but good all the same.

Lord Jim: Ugh. I really, really don't like Joseph Conrad. Lord Jim is one of the dullest, most depressing, and long winded books I've read. I was reading it for a university course but couldn't read it all the way through--I skipped a few chapters towards the end. I've read Heart of Darkness as well and found it only marginally better, because it wasn't as long.

Gulliver's Travels: Very, very strange book, but interesting and thought-provoking. Surprisingly graphic (there is some nudity and gore.)

Ben-Hur: Very dull. Couldn't get much past the first few chapters.

Well, those are all of the ones I've read off your list, Gemquest. Some of them I liked and some I hated. When it comes to old books, the main downfall seems to be that a lot of them needed some serious editing! I can't stand a book that drags on and on, no matter how clean the prose...however I'm sure that every book on your list is there for a reason. Maybe the ones I didn't like I just didn't appreciate in the proper way.

I would add a few to your list of books that should be "classics:"
Tess of the D'Urbervilles (Thomas Hardy)
Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy)
Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma (Jane Austen)
Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)

TheEarCollector
November 26th, 2004, 12:29 AM
These might not be classics in the purest sense, but I am going to throw out 1984 by George Orwell and Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein.

On top of that I just want to highlight All Quiet on the Western Front - Awesome book that I don't think gets a lot of the credit it deserves.

Gulliver's Travels - Well if you realize it is a commentary on English culture it makes it a WHOLE different story, Johnathan Swift is great, check out "A Modest Proposal" if you haven't read it already (essay by Swift). I will just say I love his way of solving issues of hunger amongst the Irish catholics.

Deerslayer though... Alright it's a classic ONLY BECAUSE it begins the action-hero type of character, but as a piece of literature I think it is garbage. Cooper defies logic every few pages (though I like character names like "The Bounding Boy" ;) I forgot the French name) with entire regiments of British troops prancing around Indian territory. The stories are crazy, and I think the writing is just horrible - though I was entertained by Last of the Mohicans for some reason (which defied even more logic when a guy puts on a bear skin and nobody can tell its just a guy wearing a bear skin).
With the exception of Deerslayer, because it introduces the idea of the "action hero" or whatever you want to call it (the I can do anything guy fro mthe movies), I am going to have to demand that all references to James Fenimore Cooper be stricken from your list and minds .

You are missing Hamlet, I thought I would love all Shakespeare after this play (turns out I don't, but Hamlet is without a doubt a classic that needs mention).

TheEarCollector
November 26th, 2004, 12:37 AM
I had added Crime and Punishment (nothing like a story that gives meaning to beating a dead horse) but apparently I missed it in your list... Whoops

Apparently I missed Last of the Mohicans on your list too, bah time for sleep

And I missed Hamlet too... Oh well at least you didn't have Starship Troopers or 1984 ;) I think

Beleg
November 26th, 2004, 01:18 AM
I have read about 50-55 of these. Most were excellent, all good with the exception of Prisoner of Zenda, Pudd'nhead Wilson, Hamlet and Tom Brown's schooldays.

Hereford Eye
November 26th, 2004, 10:21 AM
Just counted the ones I hadn't read and reached 87. For the ones I think I did read, I know some of them I owe to the Classics Illustrated Comic Books of the late "40s and 50s so does that truly count as reading them? And then there are movie adaptations, I think that's how I earned one or two to my accomplishments.
My list would not include about half of the 87 on your list that I have not read and would include all Shakespeare's play and the sonnets. I'd add Chaucer and Dante Alleghierri's work, Milton, Spencer, and Kipling's The Man Who Would be King as well as a good deal of his poetry. I'd add Ibsen's plays, Joyce's Finnegan's Wake Since your list includes Caesar and Churchhill, I'd add Gibbon's The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. Plato's Republic and Montaigne's Essays.

Sort of like my tastes versus your tastes and we know I have much better taste. :D Were you, by any chance, attempting to compile a list of the books you have read in your life time? That would be a daunting project for me to undertake. Have no idea where or how I would start and shudder at the thought of how much time it would take to complete.

Gary Wassner
November 26th, 2004, 01:57 PM
Actually, this thread began when Maus suggested somewhere else that I try to remember the list of classics my research librarian gave me many years ago when I decided to reread many of the books I was forced to read as a kid and a young adult. I contacted my local library, a small town library, and though the research librarian that gave me the original list is no longer there, they did give me this one. If I remember correctly, the one I worked from a long time ago was not quite as long, though it was long and daunting nevertheless. I did not complile this myself. I started with the first one and spent quite a long time reading through to the end. I have to admit that I did not complete every book. Some were just not for me, but most were so worth reading, and I did make an effort on each one.