Recently, we have read two great contemporary novels: Kafka On the Shore by Haruki Murakami, and Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. They were completely different, in fact, almost nothing about them is the same except that they have both been written in the past 20 years by a Japanese writer and an American writer who are widely known in their countries as the leading living writers.
Both KOTS and Freedom have been books we have recommended to everyone we know who likes to read. They are easy reads in the general sense: you don’t have to have a Ph.D in Literature to appreciate the novels, but if you had a Ph.D in Literature, you would like them all the same (although chances are, you wouldn’t admit it).
But this got us thinking: what are 1o absolutely must-read in life that are slightly harder, more involved reads that we have read and can tell you that they are 10 absolutely must-reads in your lifetime. It was hard to pick what was a hard to read, because Henry Miller can be hard to read, but sometimes not that enjoyable, so we wanted these to be enjoyable. Proust is great, but really, Swan’s Way isn’t 100% a must for you if you are starting in 2011. And, we feel really weird leaving Don Quixote out, and Borges, or One Hundred Years of Solitude, but if you get to these titles and author, bravo.
And, we don’t have Kafka on here, because if you have neglected to read Kafka, then, well, not good, please leave. And if you haven’t read the Autobiography of Malcom X, or one Henry James novel, please catch up.
We aren’t trying to be obscure either. These are major texts, no surprises, but that means all the more you need to read them. —The Citrus Report Staff
1) Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
2a) Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
2b) Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner
3) Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
4) Mrs Dalloway by Virgina Woolf
5) The Odyssey
6) Slouching Towards Bethlehemby Joan Didion
7) The Wasteland by TS Eliot
Everything James Joyce ever wrote
9) Everything Gertrude Stein ever wrote
10) For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
From The Citrus Report
Posted By The Citrus Report