I’ve been inspired. Which isn’t exactly a rarity where reading is concerned. I recently read about a reading challenge on a fellow blogger and lover of literature’s website and have decided to embark on one of my very own, though I am scaling it down a bit only because there isn’t enough time in one person’s life to read ALL the things.
Here’s the scoop: my challenge is to make a list of 10 classics, not necessarily American classics – just any book generally considered a classic in literature. The source of my inspiration allows for books you’ve previously read but I am limiting myself to ones I’ve never gotten to and some I’ve even dreaded reading but feel I owe it to myself as a literature enthusiast to read. (It is a challenge, after all.) As soon as I’m finished with the book I’m currently reading (Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond, if you must know), I will embark on reading every title on this list, hopefully with no more than a week or two devoted to each selection.
So, here’s my list:
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
- Moby Dick by Herman Melville
- The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
- Silas Marner by George Eliot
Wow. Looking at it now, I realize there is only one book by a female author on it. (George Eliot is the pen name of female British author Mary Ann Evans.) Before you judge me, allow me to say it’s only because I’ve already read every book by Jane Austen, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Secret Garden, The House of Mirth and The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, which are, collectively, the most popular and famous classics by women. I guess it’s time I give the men their fair shake.
For anyone else up to the challenge, make your list and share it in the comments. And get ready… in a few weeks, the games will begin!