To-Read List ~ Literature Edition

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In junior high and high school, I read literature for fun.  I devoured Jane Austen, Shakespeare, and the Brontes in between reading epic fantasy novels and YA.  All those fun and games came to an end, however, when I became an English major in college.  Since I had to read tons and tons of literature for school work, I got burnt out quickly. I haven’t really read much literature since I graduated, but I think I’m getting recovered enough to start again.  (I actually have one or two of the books on this list out of the library right now so I’m, at least, partway committed.)

I’m hoping this little list will give me some direction and serve as a reminder that it’s  about time I rediscover my love of literature.

The To-Read List:

  1. As You Like It by William Shakespeare ~ I’m a huge dork about Shakespeare. I love plays like Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Twelfth Night, but I never thought I’d enjoy As You Like It because all of the adaptations I’d seen left me feeling ambivalent. Of course, then I watched the Globe theater’s production on DVD and fell in love. I really want to read it now.
  2. Middlemarch by George Eliot ~ I’ve seen a lot written about Middlemarch lately and, since everyone seems to think it’s a fantastic book, I think it’s about time to read it. I can’t actually believe I’ve gone this long without reading any Eliot book. I think it has a lot to do with their insane length though.
  3. Sylvia’s Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell ~ I’ve owned this book forever, but I still haven’t read it. Instead, I’ve read North and South, Wives and Daughters, and Cranford. I loved those books by Gaskell so I know I’ll love this one too. I guess it’s just easier to work up enthusiasm for her books when they have adaptations with hunky actors.
  4. Villette by Charlotte Bronte ~ I’m more an Austen girl than a Bronte fan, but I like the sisters’ books in moderation. I’ve heard Villette is better than Wuthering Heights and maybe even Jane Eyre too so I figure I might as well give it a try.
  5. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy ~ I’ve begun this book about five different times. I enjoy (not the right word probably) Hardy’s other work and, from the adaptation I saw, I believe I’ll like this one too.  For some reason, I just have such a hard time getting into the book. I WILL read it though. . .someday.

Are there any classics you’ve been meaning to read? Any recommendations of goodies to add to my to-read list?

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