I've decided to include commentary because it's my blog and I can.
- I like them epic poems. I miss the days when poetry was a form of story telling rather than pubescent love. This is the original superhero (in the English language, at least). I mean he had the strength of ten men in each arm. How is that not the beginning of superstrength?
Agee, James - A Death in the Family
Austen, Jane - Pride and Prejudice
Baldwin, James - Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel - Waiting for Godot
- Ah, the birth of subtraction theater. As excellent to read as it is to watch, which is rare for any play. I'm also impressed that its first performance was in a California prison and the inmates loved it. Wonderful.
Brontë, Charlotte - Jane Eyre
Brontë, Emily - Wuthering Heights
Camus, Albert - The Stranger
Cather, Willa - Death Comes for the Archbishop
Chaucer, Geoffrey - The Canterbury Tales
- Many excellent stories all in verse form. If only people were better at translating this and keeping a rhyme scheme, that's the way it was meant to be read. my favorite is "The Tale of Sir Thopas," which is a riot. If only the other pilgrims let the Host finish the tale.
- While reading this, I kept thinking that most of the people deserved to lose their home, almost all of them were thoughtless jerks.
Conrad, Joseph - Heart of Darkness
- Yeah, I get it. "The horror." Yeah. I think it would have made a better ghost story, though.
- "Dulce et decorum est / Pro patria mori." That's what this book was about to me. Maybe I read it wrong, it was sixth grade after all. Still, why not have “The Open Boat”? A most excellent short story.
de Cervantes, Miguel - Don Quixote
- I told my creative writing teacher that I thought this book was sad and felt sorry for Quixote, he said I was wrong. I like the book, I laugh when I read it, but it's still sad.
- After you read this book, read Foe by JM Coetezee, it'll then be a really great novel.
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor - Crime and Punishment
Douglass, Frederick - Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
- Sure, he was a great man, but if you want a fun autobiography that's full of exaggerations, read the one Ben Franklin wrote.
Dumas, Alexandre - The Three Musketeers
Eliot, George - The Mill on the Floss
Ellison, Ralph - Invisible Man
Emerson, Ralph Waldo - Selected Essays
- When being forced to read his essays in school, I kept wondering what he'd think of the state of literature in the modern age, and the more I thought, the more I thought he wouldn't like it at all. Although, I don't think he cared for most of the literature of his age, either.
Faulkner, William - The Sound and the Fury
Fielding, Henry - Tom Jones
Fitzgerald, F. Scott - The Great Gatsby
- I've read it thrice for school and once for me. I love the description of the billboard. How it watches over the land. Is it judging them? And that ending image is brilliant.
Ford, Ford Madox - The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von - Faust
Golding, William - Lord of the Flies
Hardy, Thomas - Tess of the d'Urbervilles
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - The Scarlet Letter
- Upon my second read of this novel, I wasn't as impressed as I was the first time. Sure, it's still good, but his short stories are better. Read "Young Goodman Brown," it's my favorite of his.
Hemingway, Ernest - A Farewell to Arms
- Okay, so I haven't finished it. I bought it last week and started it, but figured it would be better to finish a book that I don't own first. So far it's good, but I liked The Sun Also Rises better, but I suppose people prefer a "love story."
- Greek mythology is one of my favorite things in the world. This story is more of a history lesson than mythology, I suppose. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie that they made based on this material, though. (You know, it stars an Elf, the Hulk, and Brad Pitt.) I hope they remember to make Achilles arrogant and Odysseus sly.
- Here's the mythology I crave from the ancient Greeks. Islands with gods on them. Winds being trapped in bags. Ten years on the sea. Traveling to Hades and back. Oh yeah.
Hurston, Zora Neale - Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous - Brave New World
- Thank goodness we don't worship Henery Ford.
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
- I'd like to think I'd have been treated better by my family if I had turned into a cockroach, wouldn't you?
Lee, Harper - To Kill a Mockingbird
Lewis, Sinclair - Babbitt
London, Jack - The Call of the Wild
- Why? Dear god, why did I read this book?
Marquez, Gabriel García - One Hundred Years of Solitude
Melville, Herman - Bartleby the Scrivener
- It didn't inspire me to run out and pick up the next book on the list, but it was good.
Miller, Arthur - The Crucible
- Probably his best play. Read it or watch it performed live. Avoid the movie, it just doesn't work (even though Miller worked on it). The dangers of mob mentality and believing in your fears more than each other even rings true with the crap that's going on today.
- I had a teacher who complained that the movie made the story out to be merely a ghost story, but that's what this book is, a brilliant ghost story.
- This wasn't what I expected it to be, but I was blown away almost as much as the lady in the story.
- If you read nothing else in this play, set dressing. That booklist describes the father perfectly.
- First, I hate that people believe this books about Communism, it's about FASCISM people. Great read. I love the end: "The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."
Plath, Sylvia - The Bell Jar
Poe, Edgar Allan - Selected Tales
- I've read them all. I love his hypnotic use of rhyme and meter, especially in "Annabel Lee."
Pynchon, Thomas - The Crying of Lot 49
Remarque, Erich Maria - All Quiet on the Western Front
- Finally, a novel about war that's honest, not the crap foisted upon the readers in The Red Badge of Courage. I was, however, disturbed that it was written by a guy who died and the novel didn't end with his death. Disturbing.
Roth, Henry - Call It Sleep
Salinger, J.D. - The Catcher in the Rye
Shakespeare, William - Hamlet
- Great, great, great. The story of a man pretending to go insane to keep from going insane. Brilliant. And without this play, one of my favorite plays would never have been written.
- Not at good as the one above, but still nice. The best scene is the one with the porter ("it provokes the desire, but it takes / away the performance"), brilliant.
- Probably my favorite of the bunch. None is more fun or lyrical, to me.
- Am I the only person in the world who doesn't think this is the greatest love story of all time, but instead it's making fun of teenage love? I think I am, but I know that I'm right, even if you all refuse to acknowledge my brilliance.
- My Fair Lady has better emotion and some great songs. Go see that instead.
- I think that the monster should have just left the doctor alone to go mad, that would have been a more fitting punishment.
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander - One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles - Antigone
Sophocles - Oedipus Rex
- It was the Oracle's fault. If it hadn't have sent the prophecy, Oedipus wouldn't have been left out to die and he wouldn't have killed his father and he wouldn't have married his mother and he wouldn't have had to blind himself. It was the Oracle's fault.
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
- I don't think he knew what he was writing about. Three miles out of city isn't a wilderness, even in the 1800s.
Turgenev, Ivan - Fathers and Sons
Twain, Mark - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
- I don't read the last ten or fifteen chapters of this book anymore. I hate them. If I had the nerve, I'd rip the pages from my copy and burn them.
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. - Slaughterhouse-Five
Walker, Alice - The Color Purple
Wharton, Edith - The House of Mirth
Welty, Eudora - Collected Stories
Whitman, Walt - Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar - The Picture of Dorian Gray
- Excellent story, but even better is the preface. But it doesn't matter because, to quote Wilde, "All art is quite useless."
- Why this one instead of A Streetcar Named Desire? I do like this one, I just think the other is better, that's all.
Wright, Richard - Native Son
So, if you made it through the list, what surprised you that I didn't have bolded? What surprised you that I did? What should I read that's on the list? Why, do you think, there aren't more late 20th century writers on this list?