Lots of people have been doing some form of the “literary confessions” or the “I really should have read this, why haven’t I yet?” meme, so I thought I would too. So let’s see — what are the books it seems I should have read by this point but haven’t yet gotten to?
- Shakespeare’s history plays. With the exception of Julius Caesar, I haven’t read any of them. Almost all the Shakespeare I’ve read was for a full-semester college course on the subject, and the professor I had didn’t emphasize the history plays, going for the tragedies and a few comedies instead. I haven’t gotten motivated to read them on my own.
- I’ve read some of the Canterbury Tales but not all of them. Actually, I wonder how many people have read all of them instead of reading just the most famous ones. Regardless, it seems like I should have read the whole thing. But no.
- Everyman, the play. Can you see a theme in this list so far? If it’s before, say, 1660, the chances are decent I haven’t read it.
- The Aeneid. As far as major epics go, I’ve read The Iliad, The Odyssey, and Paradise Lost, but I’ve ignored Virgil.
- But on to some more (relatively) modern things. Oliver Twist. I’ve read my fair share of Dickens — Bleak House, Our Mutual Friend, Great Expectations, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, A Christmas Carol. But no Oliver Twist and no Hard Times.
- Billy Budd. I’ve read Moby Dick, but nothing else by Melville. In fact, I’m not that great on the Americans, generally. I’ve read The Scarlet Letter, but not House of Seven Gables or Blithedale Romance; I’ve read relatively little Poe; and I’ve read The Pioneers by Cooper but not Last of the Mohicans or any other of his novels.
- The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. This is one that many people get to in High School or thereabouts, right? I missed it somehow.
- Anything by Margaret Atwood. I have Alias Grace and Hobgoblin owns The Handmaid’s Tale, but I have yet to pick her up. Soon, hopefully soon. I follow her on Twitter after all.
- Catch-22. Hobgoblin encourages me to read this every once in a while, but without any success. I’m not against reading it, but I don’t think it’s exactly my sort of book.
- The Last Temptation of Christ. This is one I would like to get to, but I say that about thousands of books.
So that’s my list. I think I’d better get reading now.