The classics. We don’t often get along. Most times, I avoid them thinking they are too hard to read or too boring, but they sometimes surprise me. Since starting this blog, I’ve realized that it’s best that I’m not forced to read the classics. I just about hated all the ones I was forced to read for classes, but when I picked up some on my own, I ended up liking them (The Great Gatsby) or was at least patient with them (She).
I owned more classics than I currently have on my shelves, but I donated a bunch to my library the last time I weeded my shelves. There were some I knew I’d never read (like a huge book of Edgar Allan Poe’s work I had. It was too big and intimidating. I’ll get access to his work some other way) and others I didn’t want to keep (again — She by H. Rider Haggard, which was racist, xenophobic, sexist, and every other negative thing but written quite well and was interesting in some parts).
I would like to read more classics — I even joined the Classics Club Reading Challenge to do so — but I read books based on my mood, and I never gravitate toward the classics. I keep telling myself that I’ll try harder, and I have, but it’s mostly to pick up small, quick reads, lol. But I’m optimistic that I’ll work through more of them eventually.
Anyway, we’re touring my second bookcase:
And we’re on the classics shelf — the shelf all the way at the bottom. We’re on the second row:
SITTING ON TOP
Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley
The Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell
Every Tongue Got to Confess: Negro Folk-Tales From the Gulf States by Zora Neale Hurston
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter
Jazz by Toni Morrison ★★★★☆
I read this for a college class and really liked it. The professor was the only person I’ve ever heard say that Jazz, Beloved, and Paradise make up a trilogy. I haven’t yet read Paradise, but I’d like to.
STACKED: LEFT TO RIGHT
The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, 2nd edition by Henry Louis Gates and Nellie Y. McKay (eds.)
The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. B, 7th edition by Nina Baym (ed.)
The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. A, 7th edition by Nina Baym (ed.)
These three are from college, but I decided to hold onto them because they are great collections of American classic work.
The Odyssey by Homer, transl. by Robert Fagles
The Iliad by Homer, transl. by Robert Fagles
Jason and the Argonauts by Apollonius of Rhodes, transl. by Aaron Poochigian ★★★★☆
I loved this and consider it a favorite. It was such a good read! And I think it’s because Poochigian did a great job with the translation. I believe I bought the Odyssey and the Iliad (versions above) shortly after completing this, hoping that I’d enjoy them as much too. But I was mightily bored by Fagles’s translation of The Iliad and am not sure if I’ll try his Odyssey.
The Yellow Wall-Paper, Herland, and Selected Writings by Charlotte Perkins Gilman ★★★★★
That rating is for the “Yellow Wall-Paper,” Gilman’s short story about a woman who’s encouraged by her husband to do nothing but eat and sleep in order to overcome her bout of depression. It’s a really good read about how the narrator overcomes her husband’s power over her.
Greek Tragedy: by Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles by Shomit Dutta (ed.)
The Three Theban Plays: Antigone, Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles, transl. by Robert Fagles
I think I’ve only read “Antigone.” I didn’t care for it much.
Botchan by Natsume Sōseki, transl. by J. Cohn
The Penguin Book of Witches by Katherine Howe (ed.)
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
I’ve tried several times to read this book, but it always bores me. I have another edition that’s more for kids, so I’ll see how that goes.
STACKED: LEFT TO RIGHT
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, transl. by John Rutherford
As with Tom Jones, I like the story but have yet to complete it because the writing drags sometimes and becomes boring, losing me.
Summer by Edith Wharton
The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius, transl. by Robert Graves
The Complete Aeschylus, Vol. I: The Oresteia by Aeschylus, edited by Peter Burian & Alan Shapiro
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, transl. by Susan Bernofsky
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain ★★★☆☆
I have no idea why I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads. I preferred it to Tom Sawyer, but I didn’t like it that much.
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
Utopia by Thomas More, transl. by Ralph Robinson
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
So, similar to the Tom Stoppard play School for Scandal, I like the story in the Age of Innocence, but I don’t like reading it. I get so bored. I do like seeing renditions of it in movies and TV shows.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Iliad by Homer, transl. by Ennis Rees
I bought this after trying the Fagles translation that kept putting me to sleep.
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Total books in this row(s) = 33
How many I completed = 11
How many I will unhaul = 0
Total shelves so far = 7
Total books so far = 592
How many completed = 236
How many I will unhaul = 23