New? Read My Introduction
About The Project
Four years ago, I started this document to organize my reading. The list started as about 20 classic novels that I had always wanted to read and never had time for. Since then, it has expanded into what we see today.
I'm hoping to write short articles about each text, and what I got out of reading it. If you click into a completed book and see a blank page, that means I haven’t written anything yet. If you’re wondering, why is this mostly empty? It’s mostly a personal reference document that I hope to getting around to filling all the way out. I have a lot of hidden notes on each book that need to be refined. Hopefully, for now, this can have use as a reference document.
Why The Classics?
There were a lot of books I didn’t read during my undergrad, or didn’t read well, and I wanted to go back and give them another shot. To great success! It’s been a very interesting couple of years reading them, and I feel like I have learned a lot about life in the process. Maybe someday this question will get its own page on the blog, but for now there are a lot of better people who’ve written about the classics. I’ll link a few below.
Italo Calvino - Why Read The Classics (If paywalled, Google the title + ‘.pdf’ for a free copy)
Harold Bloom – The Western Canon (PDF)
Bloom, The Western Canon - 1994
David Denby’s, Great Books - 1996
How to read The Classics?
Obviously, the main thing you learn when reading the classics is how to read the classics. I thought I would give some tips here that I picked up that will hopefully help you on your journey.
About The List
These books are compiled from Columbia’s Lit Hum, and Contemporary Civilization Classes (part of their Gen Ed program), St. John’s College Curriculum Reading List, and just some random books I’m curious about.
Wherever possible, I linked PDF copies of the texts. Project Gutenberg is an excellent resource for public domain books. If you're comfortable with a terminal, I created a bash script that downloads and organizes files from the Project Gutenberg.
I hope this can be of some interest to you. If you are interested in learning more or have any comments or suggestions, please send me an email at: email@example.com