I studied the classics in college

I first saw this meme on Zoot’s site, and I thought it would be interesting to see where I fell on the reading-list spectrum. As a former English lit major, I think I did pretty well. However, I wish they had a designation for “one of the most awful, excruciating books I’ve ever read” because several on this list earned that characterization. I’m looking at you, Anything-by-James-Joyce. Like Zoot, I only underlined books I actually own and have true intentions of reading. There are others on the list I’d like to read, but I’m not going to get crazy here.

Here is how this works…

Bold those you’ve read.
Italicize books you have started but couldn’t finish.
Add an asterisk* to those you have read more than once.
Underline those on your To Be Read list.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights*
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi: A Novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice*
Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveller’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables*
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter*
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye

On the Road

The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

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5 Responses to I studied the classics in college

  1. Jennie says:

    I thought about doing this and even saved it as a draft, but after realizing I had read appx. 5 of the titles and had only heard of a few more (only a SLIGHT exaggeration), I thought it would be too horrifying (especially as an English major).

    I’m looking for another book meme I saw recently that included a few more recently published titles.

  2. rimarama says:

    Aha! I knew you were an English major! That’s why I like you so much 🙂

    Definitely read “Unbearable Lightness of Being.” That one made a big impression on me.

  3. mommymartin says:

    Oooo, fellow English major! Mind if I borrow this one?

  4. Gosh, I think I read most of those in high school. (making face) You should read Freakonomics – it’s really good, interesting. ewww – Mists of Avalon is good too – it’s about King Arthur told from his sister’s perspective.

    Which books earned the title of most excruciating??

  5. noodle says:

    It would simply be too embarassing for me to attempt this list, because I think I would end up looking sort of uneducated. It’s an interesting collection of titles though.

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