I just got finished reading On the Road by Kerouac and I'm starting In Cold Blood by Capote. I've read 2 Faulkners, 3 Steinbecks, and a couple of Hemingways. I've still got a couple of Austen and Dickens to go as well. If I didn't read it in HS, I'm reading it now.

2007 seems to be the year in which I fill in some of the gaps in my reading of the best books of all time. I think I've read most of the classics in mystery fiction, but I'm curious to know what books all of you are missing in your "education" of the genre and reading at large.

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Same as John with regard to the Russian authors, although I do have some on the TBR mountain, along with some Thackeray. My Dickens is patchy - I've read only a handful - and I haven't read ON THE ROAD since I was a kid. Like you, I've got a copy of IN COLD BLOOD (TBR) - but I've got no Austen. Read one (PERSUASION) and that was quite enough for me. In the genre, I'm busy catching up with things that have been written/recommended by the good folk here on Crimespace. Currently reading HARD MAN (Allan Guthrie) and loving it. GUN MONKEYS (Victor Gischler) is most likely up next, either that or COLD GRANITE (Stuart MacBride). They're both calling to me...
Don't know whether to laugh or cry. I've got a BA in English Lit and the list of books I haven't read, starting with Hamlet and going through Moby Dick, all of Austen, all of Trollope, most of Dickens and all of Faulkner. Add that to such minor non-English authors as Cervantes, Dante, Balzac, Mann, Proust, Goethe, Flaubert and Tolstoy with whom I have no acquaintance, and you can constructed a pretty impressive "100 Best" list. And every time I decide to rectify this situation, some kind of perverse passive aggression makes me start at the beginning, so I now hold the unofficial world record for starting to read the Iliad (although I actually finished it last year, courtesy of the brilliant Fagles translation).
When we were much younger and sillier my hubby decided to read Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra to me at bedtime. I never heard past page one. Great for insomnia!
Moby Dick, The Magic Mountain, Middlemarch, The Sound and the Fury in the lit area. I think I have read almost all of the classic crime fiction but probably have missed some of them. Congrats on doing this. Each summer I vow to read Moby or Mountain and give up. I like other books by Elliott, Faulkner and Thomas Mann but not those listed. And poetry is a vast uncharted sea.
Love Light in August and As I Lay Dying but this one eludes me.
"The Great Gatsby," "The Catcher in the Rye," "To Kill a Mockingbird," and the novella and the short stoires contained in Phillip Roth's "Goodbye Columbus." You didn't mention mysteries but I assume you've read Chandler and Hammett, and for a take on cozies, Agatha Christie, but there's always Nero Wolfe. You might also try Norman Mailer's, "The Naked and the Dead," but I can't say that I'd recommend anything else by this man who is a walking, talking and otherwise obnoxious advertisement for himself--much like Britny Spears and P. Diddy, or whatever his current name is.
Jeff and I both did a read through of all the Nero Wolfe in order only a year ago so those are done. I have read some of almost everything but not all of anything. Strangely enough, Sherlock Holmes is one I never managed more than a few pages of. Don't tell my mother, she is the resident expert on Holmes.
Like Bill Mehlman, I was an English major in college, so I read a lot of the classics then. Add on a graduate degree in creative writing when I filled in some gaps. There's still a lot that I haven't read-- but I find I don't have the patience for much "classic" literature any more. The "Big Read" book for this year was Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms," and I'm a big Hemingway fan, but I found some parts of the book tough going. I can't imagine reading Faulkner or Hawthorne or Melville now, but I admire anyone who does.

I belong to a GLBT book group, and part of our mission is to read all those "classic" books that we never did. We actually got hold of a list of the top 100 GLBT books (listed by someone, don't remember who) and have started working our way down it.

If I had to pick something from English Lit I'd say I'd like to fill out my Austen & George Eliot gaps, and read more Sherlock Holmes as well.
I've had James Joyce's ULYSSES sitting on my bookshelf for many, many years and have never been able to get through it. At least once a year I'll pick it up, get a massive headache and put it back down. Still haven't gotten to more than a smattering of Rilke (must correct some day soon), and actually almost all of the non-English classics are sadly under-rep'd in my list o' books read. Good god, I'm such an American...
Lots of general classics missing. Only ever read one Dickens, one Faulkner, one Steinbeck, one Tolstoy,one James Joyce, a few Zola, a few Albert Camus. Hemingway is a big gap I think, as is Woman in White (alleged to be the prototype detective story). And of course non-European/US fiction is a gaping hole.

In the crime genre; no Nero Wolfe, no Ken Bruen, no Helene Tursten.
I have not read In Cold Blood as yet, but would like to. I saw the movie, Capote, and in my opinion Philip Seymour Hoffman must be the greatest actor of his generation, followed closely by Sean Penn.

For Russian authors you can't beat Dostoevski or Tolstoy. For German writers, try Gunter Grass and Franz Kafka (originally a Czech, but he wrote in German). Or view Australia's finest: Patrick White and Peter Carey.
I saw that movie last week. He was fabulous wasn't he. What a fine actor Hoffman is.


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