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Top Ten from The Classics Club to read this year

Thanks to The Classics Club my list of classic books to be read over the next five years has grown to nearly one hundred. Since I’ve been flipping through pages and pulling books off shelves and reshelving them, I thought I’d share the top ten titles that are speaking to me now and a few that are crying out for my attention.

My top ten picks from the classics to be read in 2012

  1. Transformation in Christ by Diedrich von Hildebrand – Reading now 05/17/12
  2. Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes (2010) – It’s staring at me, I tell you. Besides, I want to read something that took 30 years to write, was published 2 years ago, and is already considered by many to be a classic.
  3. The Christmas Novels by Charles Dickens (1843 – 1848) – We are celebrating 200 years of Dickens this year, after all, and the holidays seem a fine fit for this trio.
  4. Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov (1951) – I’ve had this book on my TBR stack for decades. It’s time.
  5. Flannery O’Connor: Collected Works by Flannery O’Connor (1946 – 1964) – I’ve been dancing around this author for years. Another one whose time has come.
  6. Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury (1990) RR – Because it’s wonderful, passionate, and so deserving of many re-reads, and because Bradbury is a writer’s writer and should be read and devoured annually.
  7. Paradise Lost by John Milton (1667) – I’ve read parts but never all. I think I’m ready for the full  “Paradise” experience.
  8. A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain (1880) – Everyone needs a little Twain in their life, and as a travel writer I’ve been remiss in not reading this one.
  9. 1984 by George Orwell (1948) – Because…well, just because.
  10. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953) RR – It’s been ages since I first met Bradbury within these pages; it’s time to reconnect.

So that’s my off-the-cuff picks for the year. We all know I have a capricious muse so I reserve the right to change as the days and moods twist and turn. What about you? What’s on your TBR for 2012? You still have a good six months to make it happen. You don’t have to blog about it, share it here in the comment section-I’d love to know your choices.


For info on The Classics Club and my complete 50+ book choices, go here: The Classics Club project.
Thanks to Jillian (A Room of One’s Own) for her twist on this Tuesday’s Top Ten, and thanks to the folks at The Broke and The Bookish for the whole Top Ten Tuesday weekly meme. (Yes, my days are jumbled.) 

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  • Jillian

    What a great list! I just scrolled through your Goodreads books to add some titles to my Nook. Most notably, I found and added Edgar Allen Poe and Sir Walter Scott. :) I’ve read Dickens’s Christmas books. I hope you enjoy them. :-)

  • Gedwards004

    I think that just by listing it you’ve inspired me to look into Transformation in Christ.  Evidently it deals deeply with the most important question in human life.  Flannery O’Connor wrote a lot of unique, bizarre, unsettling and meaningful stories in her short life.  I haven’t read her longer works.  You can’t go wrong with anything by Charles Dickens…I think he will be rightfully beloved through the ages.  A favorite author of mine (T. Wolfe) said that fools have called Milton glacial and austere, and yet he wrote the most sensuous lines of earthly magic that have yet been written.  I say raise the roof beam high for Paradise Lost.  I read an Isaac Asimov annotated version and, years later, bought the book (and listened to it) on CD.  Il Penseroso and L’Allegro (I didn’t look up the spellings) are two of my favorite shorter poems of Milton.  I think they contain the sensuous magic Wolfe spoke of.  Ray Bradbury is super…I don’t remember being enthralled by Speak, Memory by Nabokov, but maybe you will be.  Orwell…because…as you said.  I really like the first half of Twain’s Life on the Mississippi.  You have a lot of great reading ahead, just on this list of ten.  I wish you happy wayfaring in it.

  • Vikk Simmons

    I’ll look forward to your thoughts on Transformation. I’m enjoying it so far though I’m only half-way into chapter 2. Flannery O’Conner is one writer I’ve been itching to read for several years and I agree with you about Dickens though I sometimes wonder what exactly it is that captures so many imaginations. 

    Looks like we share a number of interests. I’m looking forward to reading your blog. Thanks for stopping by and offering so much. I appreciate the time and your thoughts and suggestions. 

  • Vikk Simmons

    Thanks, Jilliann. I’m so glad you found a few titles to add to the Nook. Realling looking forward to your take on Poe. I’m not going to read your notes on the Christmas books until I’ve finished but I do want to see what you thought. 

    Last night I finally figured out how to import my books from LibraryThing so my GoodReads is quite a bit larger this morning. About 150 of them didn’t transfer for one reason or another so I’ll have to manually add them later but the whole process was amazingly easy. 

  • Gedwards004

    Thank you for your answer.  I got interested in Dickens early from having to wait in the library for my father who was doing genealogical research and I discovered a lot of Dickens’ works on the shelves while waiting for the family history obsession to finish for the day.  In regard to his appeal, Dickens presents us with a crowded and amazing gallery of characters.  He gives us the eccentrics that some of our souls long for.  Harold Bloom says that he is “rammed with life.”  There is exuberance about him and (from Bloom again) something waiflike in his genius.  All the novels are compelling and absorbing, even the dry parts.  And I can’t recommend highly enough reading through listening with recorded books, but I know they don’t suit everyone.   Listening to books does enable you to sort of double-up and to cover more works than you would have ever been able to, otherwise.  You have compiled a top-notch list of selections to forge ahead in and I wish you the best in it.  (Flannery O’Connor is something else, in her own right.)