Top 10 Classics I’m Going to Try to Read in 2013

This week’s top 10 list at The Broke and the Bookish is a freebie, which means everyone chose their own theme. And after wracking my brain for ideas, I’ve decided to list and publicly declare a list of Classic that I’m going to try to read in 2013. I actually own most of these (a few in dead tree variety, many are e-book Barnes and Noble Classics that I got free shortly after I got my Nook). This is part of my attempt to read some of the things that I already have, and part of my attempt to read some things that I feel like I *ought* to read. I reserve the right to bail on them if they are totally not my cup of tea.

As with most of my lists, these are in no particular order:

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

I have actually read quite a bit of this, and enjoyed it. It’s quite funny. I don’t remember why I stopped reading it, or why I haven’t picked it back up.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Part of why I want to read this is because I would like to see the recently released movie (starring Keira Knightly and Jude Law), but I’d like to read the book first.

Persuasion by Jane Austen

One of my favorite books of 2012 was For Darkness Shows the Stars, which was inspired by Persuasion. I have read several other Austen novels, and thought maybe I’d give this one a try.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

I was not a big fan of Shakespeare when we had to read him back in high school, but I don’t recall that we actually got to read his comedies.

Bleak House by Charles Dickens

The length of this one scares me a bit, but every list I’ve looked at say it’s his best. Also, as with several other items on my list, I can eventually watch the movie version.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

In researching this one, I discovered that the version I had, at 500+ pages was abridged. The full version is something like 1500 pages. Not sure which one I’m going to choose. I think for the maximum brag-ability, I’d better go for the whole enchilada.

I don’t have much to say about the rest of these, I’ve just picked them after perusing several lists of books that someone picked as important or must-read, these are the ones that seem to be the most appealing to me.

Brideshead Revisited by E.M. Forster

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackaray

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

Any thoughts or suggestions from my readers? I am definitely not foolish enough to make this a grand proclamation…it’s more a list to aim for!




  1. Elena says:

    I’m also reading Anna Karenina in 2013! My boyfriend gave me the gorgeous film tie-in European edition and I love it.

    I struggled with Bleak House last year, I highly recommend you to write down the names of the characters and how they are related, otherwise, you’ll feel frustrated and spend more time trying to figure out the relationships than actually enjoying the book.

    • Suzanne says:

      I am using “The Well Educated Mind” as my guide for “how” to read the classics, as a result, I was definitely planning on trying to make notes as I navigate any of these. Thanks for the heads up about characters names for Bleak House!

  2. wcs53 says:

    Nice list – good luck in getting through them all. I failed miserably in my 2012 challenges, although I read lots of books, they were mainly outside of my challenges. This year i’m going to choose my challenges more carefully. My Top Ten this week is Christmas book gifts.

    • Suzanne says:

      I have learned that even though I am declaring a challenge, I can’t know what the year and my interests are going to bring me, so I’m not going to feel too badly if I don’t get through everything. All 10 of these this year might be a little ambitious, but better to dream big than not at all, right?

  3. Quinn says:

    I’ve not read any of these classics, but I LOVE Jane Austen. I’ve only ever read Pride and Prejudice (my favorite book ever!), so I should read some more Austen. I want to read Emma first, I think, though. Good luck 🙂

  4. Susan Audrey says:

    I bet you’ll love The Count of Monte Cristo. I think you should read the unabridged version; I read the abridged version several years ago and wished I had gone for the whole thing. It’s a great story. Happy New Year!

  5. Eileen Dennery Mannion says:

    I reread Vanity Fair a few years ago, and it really took me a while to wade through it because there were quite a few references in it to gossip and occurrences of that time period that I was not aware of … I recommend looking for some kind of reader’s guide you can use to refer to …

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