Fave literature

  • Novels/Novellas
  • Notes from Underground - Fyodor Dostoevsky (9/10)
  • 1984 - George Orwell (8.5/10)
  • The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (8/10)
  • The Stranger - Albert Camus (8/10)
  • Animal Farm - George Orwell (8/10)
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke (8/10)
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll (8/10)
  • Three Men in a Boat - Jerome K. Jerome (7.5/10)
  • The Time Machine - H.G. Wells (7.5/10)
  • Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe (7.5/10)
  • The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger (7.5/10)
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - R.L. Stevenson (7.5/10)
  • Winnie-the-Pooh - A.A. Milne (7.5/10)
  • The Westing Game - Ellen Raskin (7.5/10)
  • The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Jester (7.5/10)
  • Pippi Longstocking - Astrid Lindgren (7.5/10)
  • The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery (7.5/10)
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle (7.5/10)
  • The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien (7.5/10)
  • Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury (7.5/10)
  • Plays
  • Death of a Salesman - Arthur Miller (9/10)
  • Uncle Vanya - Anton Chekhov (8/10)
  • Doctor Faustus - Christopher Marlowe (8/10)
  • Three Sisters - Anton Chekhov (8/10)
  • The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde (7.5/10)
  • Poetry
  • (see my Favourite Poems list)
  • Picture Books
  • Oh, the Places You'll Go! - Dr Seuss
  • Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak
  • Owl Moon - Jane Yolen
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day - Judith Viorst
  • Nonfiction
  • The Movies 100 Years From Now - D.W. Griffith
  • Short stories/short story collections
  • "The Yellow Wallpaper" - Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle
  • "The Tell-Tale Heart" - Edgar Allan Poe
  • "The Middle Years" - Henry James
  • "The Beast in the Jungle" - Henry James
  • "The Gift of the Magi" - O. Henry
  • Comics
  • Calvin and Hobbes - Bill Waterson
Author Comments: 

Under consideration: A bunch of Shakespeare plays (King Lear, Hamlet, Macbeth, etc.)

Short story suggestion:
House of Asterion by Borges. House of Asterion by Borges. House of Asterion by Borges. House of Asterion by Borges. House of Asterion by Borges.

In complete honesty, it's nice seeing Winnie the Pooh. I loved the books as a child and today I can see how eloquent and profound Milne was. It's a shame that one often sees his quotes--like Shakespeare, Pope and Emerson--wrenched from their context and aphorized, though there is undeniable wisdom and power even in his smaller phrases and passages. That said, I really don't like Catcher in the Rye. I read it a few years back and found Caulfield unbearable.

I was at the bookstore the other day and was tempted to pick up Notes from the Underground but put it down; one of these days I will get to it! Since Dostoevsky is at the top of your list: have you explored the other great Russians? Tolstoy and Chekhov of course, but also the harrowing Isaac Babel, and the deeply moving and intelligent Turgenev.

Completely agree with what you said about Winnie the Pooh: it's amazing how simple the style is, and yet it doesn't feel empty at all. It's the most unpretentious thing ever.

Re Catcher in the Rye: Hard to explain what's so great about it. I didn't mind Caulfield being unbearable...can't think of anything else to say right now. Maybe I'll be able to explain better after a re-read.

Re Notes from Underground: That's a pity :P Hope you'll get it soon. As for other Russians, I have neglected them to a shameful degree. I might have read Tolstoy's novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich (not sure about the spelling) long ago, but I don't remember much about it now!

I'm reading Frankenstein these days, planning to read the short story House of Asterion (recommended to me by Zacharyyy above) soon, along with several novels: In the Lighthouse, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Fathers and Sons, etc. Need to revisit Shakespeare's plays as well: I read a few when I was quite young, and I'm sure I didn't get them all that well!

Henry James Sr is reported to have said--half-exasperatingly, half-admiringly--to his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson, "O you man without a handle!" I think this description could be profitably applied to Shakespeare. Every time I return to his texts there is almost a feeling of unfamiliarity: I notice something new, and feel like I understand less. In the Lighthouse is yet another text I've neglected!... I like A Portrait but prefer Ulysses and sections I've read of Dubliners. Fathers and Sons is a full blown masterpiece.

It's nice seeing a list about literature around here!

You're making me even more excited to get started with Shakespeare :D

I've been thinking about making a list similar to AfterHours' "albums and their movie equivalents" list, but with novels and their album equivalents (or vice versa?) Perhaps I should save it for when I've explored literature and music much more than now. Meanwhile, suggestions are welcome of course :)

Only nine novels above 8.0? It seems you are hard to please :P .
The only Dostoevsky novel I've read so far (unfortunately) is one of my favorites of all time: Brothers Karamazov. I think it's going to be at least a 9 for you.

Another recommendation: my favorite book of the ones I've read, including novels, poetry and theatre (around 80 shamefully), is also by a russian author: Mikhail Bulgakov. The novel is The Master and Margarita.

It's not high standards, but underexposure that accounts for that. My experience with literature roughly amounts to the equivalent of watching a bunch of Pixar movies. Thanks for the recommendations by the way; hopefully this year I'll be able to manage my time well and improve this lift significantly.

Yes to Chekhov! One of my favourites. I'm very interested in Olivier's Uncle Vanya... Sadly, I haven't seen any dramatizations of Chekhov's plays.

While I'm here, I recommend Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians. I just reread it the other day (literally, it's only ~150pgs) and it was absolutely astonishing. One of the greats.

It was depressing but a great read nonetheless. I'm also very interested in Olivier's version but I don't know where to find it. [What's your opinion of the Wilde play btw?]

Thanks a lot for the recommendation, I'll definitely look for it whenever I visit a bookstore!

I didn't enjoy Importance at all, but that may not be Wilde's fault entirely. I saw a National Theatre screening of it and the sound was poorly done; everything seemed too loud, and consequently grated to the point I considered walking out. Although I clearly understood everything, there is no doubt this aspect had a negative impact on the entire experience. That said, I didn't find it funny at all; the humour just seemed really dated. I don't even remember the specifics of the narrative very well.

Cool to see someone taking a shot at ratings for literature.

You should try it! :P

I may do that once Ive brought my other lists to a better point of relative completeness.

Meaning you'll never do it because relative completeness is an illusion.

Maybe, maybe not. It's not my priority right now but maybe I'll get into it at a later point.

Relative completeness ... in other words: when I feel more complete about my lists and they're all caught up to a satisfactory degree. Not an illusion really, but maybe the idea of reading all those novels and poetry would be for me...