Register to reply

Classic and Modern Literature Recommendations

by Secular Angel
Tags: classic, literature, modern, recommendations
Share this thread:
Secular Angel
#1
Nov27-04, 07:25 PM
P: 1
I want to become an avid reader but there are so many books out there. So I want to know what's the best that the world of literature can offer? It can be recent or classic. I am setting no limits on the number of books recommended.
Phys.Org News Partner Science news on Phys.org
Bees able to spot which flowers offer best rewards before landing
Classic Lewis Carroll character inspires new ecological model
When cooperation counts: Researchers find sperm benefit from grouping together in mice
meteor
#2
Nov27-04, 08:05 PM
P: 915
One of the first books that I read in english was "Missionary travels and researches in South Africa", by David Livingstone. Very entertaining if you like adventure novels. The Project Gutenberg (where I read it) offers it for free here
http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext97/mtrav10.txt
fourier jr
#3
Nov27-04, 09:09 PM
P: 948
frankenstein - mary shelley

Grizzlycomet
#4
Nov27-04, 09:18 PM
P: 43
Classic and Modern Literature Recommendations

Any Douglas Adams book
honestrosewater
#5
Nov27-04, 09:22 PM
PF Gold
honestrosewater's Avatar
P: 2,330
1) Shakespeare's "Hamlet." You can find it online here http://www.bartleby.com/70/index42.html
This is the Oxford edition. The Arden editions are my favoirite. Your library may have it, otherwise you'll have to buy it.
2) Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea." This work is still under copyright, but your library should have a copy. If it doesn't, shame on them and you'll have to buy it.
These two are the best in their field, and, stylistically, all other works fall somewhere between them (in my opinion, of course).

Some favorite authors and favorite works...
Novel:
Hemingway (under copyright) The Old Man and the Sea
I generally don't like novels so can't recommend others.

Drama:
Shakespeare (http://www.bartleby.com/70/) Hamlet, Troilus & Cressida, Othello, Macbeth, King Lear, Julius Caesar, Henry V
Sophocles (http://classics.mit.edu/Browse/browse-Sophocles.html) Oedipus the King

Short story:
Poe (http://eserver.org/books/poe/) Murders in the Rue Morgue

Poetry:
Shakespeare (http://www.bartleby.com/70/index1.html) Sonnets
Wordsworth (http://www.bartleby.com/145/)

Visit the homepages of the sites above for other ideas, or google "online literature" (don't include the quotes). Beware of "Twain classics": something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.

Happy reading,
Rachel
Gokul43201
#6
Nov27-04, 09:25 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Gokul43201's Avatar
P: 11,155
It's my experience that you are either an avid reador, or you're not...it's hard to "become" one.

If you enjoy reading, you'll probably read anything you can get your hands on. And I know a lot of folks who were avid readers at one time, but the internet changed all that.

As far as recommendations go, what I think are good, you (or someone else) may not. The voracious readers usually find their niche or a style that they enjoy simply by exploring various genres, styles and periods. However, there are some authors/poets that are generally accepted by the public as great writers, and you probably know who they are : Dickens, Twain, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Byron, and so on.

I would suggest that you actually start with modern literature and work your way back to the classics and before...so you can get used to the changing language along the way. And among the moderns I'd suggest you start with the likes of London, Conan Doyle or Kipling before jumping into Hemingway, Eliot or Joyce.
honestrosewater
#7
Nov27-04, 09:25 PM
PF Gold
honestrosewater's Avatar
P: 2,330
Quote Quote by fourier jr
frankenstein - mary shelley
I'll second this suggestion- I love the story & her style. You can read it in one sitting- preferably alone, at night. (http://www.literature.org/authors/sh.../frankenstein/)

___

Adding to what Gokul said... it helps to watch a performance of an older story (ex. Shakespeare) before reading it, to get accustomed to the language and style. There are plenty of movies out there if the theatre doesn't appeal to you. For Shakespeare, I think Branagh is the best intro. Many novels have also been adapted for the screen.
Dooga Blackrazor
#8
Nov27-04, 09:40 PM
P: 372
Shakespeare: Hamlet or Macbeth. For a play that isn't talked about much "The Merchant of Venice" is quite enjoyable. Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist" is interesting. "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee - That is excellent. "The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck: This book is decent to read and just seems better than it was when your done. Tolkien's LOTR trilogy if you haven't read it. "The Hobbit" is magnificent. The Harry Potter books are fun.

All those books are easy reads - with the exception of Shakespeare's works which require knowledge of less commonly used words.
Moonbear
#9
Nov27-04, 09:49 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Moonbear's Avatar
P: 12,271
Secular Angel, are you male or female? I have a collection of classics that I'll go write down the titles of (easier than trying to remember what I've read ), but I don't really think most of them would appeal to men. They are works by some of the early women writers who wrote much better versions of what we could call romance novels nowadays (more emotion, less smut).

Though, a more gender-neutral classic, nobody can go through life without having read The Great Gatsby. It's much better when you can read it for enjoyment than when your English Lit teacher is pestering you to find the symbolism on every page. I enjoyed Hemingway's works too, but haven't read them since high school, so can't remember much other than that I enjoyed them. And no library is complete without all of the Sherlock Holme's stories.
tribdog
#10
Nov27-04, 09:57 PM
P: 693
I didn't like The Great Gatsby.
If you want to read some very good books you can not beat the Harry Potter stories. There's a reason why they caused such a sensation.
Black Holes and Time Warps by Kip Thorne is a good, not too technical physics book.
If you want to be a book snob like everyone in the above posts I'd suggest Don Quixote, very funny in a 16th century sort of way.
Moby Dick is another great one, if you can get through the first couple hundred pages.
When I was younger I read James Herriot's "All Creatures Great and Small" et al. over and over and over. I'll bet I've read them at least 20 times each.
I'll agree with the Douglas Adams books for the most part, although I think the hitchhikers series is better than Dirk Gently.
Moonbear
#11
Nov27-04, 10:10 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Moonbear's Avatar
P: 12,271
Quote Quote by tribdog
I didn't like The Great Gatsby.
I didn't either the first two times I read it, because both times I had to read it for classes I was taking that required spending forever on a single pages picking it apart and analyzing it. Then I decided one summer to go back and start re-reading those classics I hated when forced to read them, and found I actually enjoy many of them now.


If you want to read some very good books you can not beat the Harry Potter stories. There's a reason why they caused such a sensation.
I haven't gotten around to reading any of those yet. Maybe I should put those books on my Christmas list. Wait, who am I going to give that list to anyway? Darn. Guess not.

If you want to be a book snob like everyone in the above posts I'd suggest Don Quixote, very funny in a 16th century sort of way.
Moby Dick is another great one, if you can get through the first couple hundred pages.
Haven't read Don Quixote, and Moby Dick is still sitting on the bookshelf with a bookmark somewhere in those first 100 pages. It gets better after that? Maybe I'll go back to it.

When I was younger I read James Herriot's "All Creatures Great and Small" et al. over and over and over. I'll bet I've read them at least 20 times each.
Yes, yes, yes! I had forgotten all about Herriot! Love those books! I need to get new copies and add them to the permanent library.

Albert Camus' The Plague was good too. Dark though.

I have yet to finish the book (don't know if anyone has), but I attempted War and Peace once upon a time. The part of it I read I really enjoyed, but now it's been so long, it's hard to go back without starting from the beginning again because I can't remember which character is which anymore. Besides, it's not really a portable book for taking on flights, which is when I do a lot of reading, and everyone makes fun of me for reading it.
tribdog
#12
Nov27-04, 10:16 PM
P: 693
harry potter books get better and better with each one. Everyone should read them.
James Herriot is probably responsible for more vets than any other 20 factors. I've never met a vet yet who didn't read the books as a child, and I've asked a lot of vets.
Another author who is easy to read and enjoyable is...can't remember the name and I've read 15 or so of his books. He wrote Theif of Time and Mort and a bunch more.
tribdog
#13
Nov27-04, 10:21 PM
P: 693
Oh, I should also mention David Eddings. The Belgariad and the Mallorean (I think those were the names of two series) were great back in my Fantasy period. I read them many many times.
I can't stand 99% of Dean Koontz's books, but I was stuck in a house where they were the only books available and "Watchers" was pretty good. I want a dog like that.
recon
#14
Nov27-04, 10:30 PM
recon's Avatar
P: 406
Quote Quote by tribdog
Oh, I should also mention David Eddings. The Belgariad and the Mallorean (I think those were the names of two series) were great back in my Fantasy period. I read them many many times.
Yeah, they were excellent reads. There are five books in each of the series. Evo's a fan of the books, if I'm not mistaken.
Moonbear
#15
Nov27-04, 10:32 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Moonbear's Avatar
P: 12,271
Quote Quote by tribdog
harry potter books get better and better with each one. Everyone should read them.
James Herriot is probably responsible for more vets than any other 20 factors. I've never met a vet yet who didn't read the books as a child, and I've asked a lot of vets.
Another author who is easy to read and enjoyable is...can't remember the name and I've read 15 or so of his books. He wrote Theif of Time and Mort and a bunch more.
Funny thing is I didn't read James Herriot while still a kid, I read his book after I was in grad school working on my degree in Animal Sciences. It made it even better, because I could truly relate to some of the funny stories!
honestrosewater
#16
Nov27-04, 10:34 PM
PF Gold
honestrosewater's Avatar
P: 2,330
Quote Quote by tribdog
If you want to be a book snob like everyone in the above posts
?!? Everyone has suggested either literature they personally enjoy or tips on how to find literature Secular Angel might enjoy. How does that make them snobs?!
tribdog
#17
Nov27-04, 10:36 PM
P: 693
My mom bought Herriots books for me when I was in 7th or 8th grade, but I didn't want to read them. She made me sit down and at least try reading one of them. Once I got started I couldn't stop. She said I kept her and my dad awake at night because I'd be downstairs laughing so loudly. I also bawled my eyes out 85-90 times too though. I read the books so many times I knew exactly what was coming up next and I'd skip the chapters that made me cry.
Moonbear
#18
Nov27-04, 10:39 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Moonbear's Avatar
P: 12,271
Quote Quote by tribdog
My mom bought Herriots books for me when I was in 7th or 8th grade, but I didn't want to read them. She made me sit down and at least try reading one of them. Once I got started I couldn't stop. She said I kept her and my dad awake at night because I'd be downstairs laughing so loudly. I also bawled my eyes out 85-90 times too though. I read the books so many times I knew exactly what was coming up next and I'd skip the chapters that made me cry.
Careful, we're going to start thinking you're sensitive again.

I just emailed my sister and put the Harry Potter books on my Christmas wish list! That and a Lego set I saw when in the toy store. I don't want practical presents this year, I want FUN ones!


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Literature Resources History & Humanities 24
Has modern philosophy a modern perspective? General Discussion 19
Cosmology Literature Cosmology 7
HELP! need recommanded literature General Physics 1
Literature Forums General Discussion 0