Every year I promise myself that I will enrich my reading life inclusions of some classic/literary reads, and every year, for the most part, I cast aside my worn copy of something classically beautiful and head to the Young Adult section. Of course, there's nothing wrong with either, but I do feel a bit deficient in my literary life. I can't help but think the inclusion of these would make me a better writer. Here are a few of my picks:
Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald: I have often tried to read The Great Gatsby, and found that although Fitzgerald is a phenomenal wordsmith, I never quite connect with anyone, and I end up putting it down. But this past month, I've been inspired by my little cousin, Richard, who has found a favorite novel in Gatsby. I'll try to read Gatsby sometime next year, but I thought I might try one of Fitzgerald's other novels to perhaps whet my palette before diving into Gatsby. Tender Is The Night felt like a great start, and I'm intrigued by its moroseness. Perhaps, also because, Fitzgerald believes it's his best work.
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskill: I so tried to crack into this novel but for some reason, I never dived back in. Watching the BBC serial has made up my mind that it will be a wonderful story. I realllllly want to give it a go.
Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger: Inspired by fellow bluestocking, Casee Marie, I feel I cannot go back in time without reading Salinger. I read Franny and Zooey once whilst in school, and I'm convinced that I just wasn't ready for it. I hope to like at least two of his nine stories.
Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote: I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but I must be the only female on the planet who can't stand the film. Audrey is always beautiful and intriguing, but I just could not relate or sympathize with Holly, or her naming her cat, 'Cat', or her 'Go-Lightly' surname. And then one day, during my internship, fellow bluestocking, Dana, spoke so highly of the novel, and its differences from the film that I wanted to settle this for once and for all.
On The Road by Jack Kerouac: I've been trying to finish this novel for at least four years now. It's been countlessly mentioned on Novel Days, and I find I just can't seem to shake it until I've finished it! I may not fall into every one of Kerouac's works, but I'm in love with him. There you go :-).
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: Two of my little cousins have come to me, and expressed that this novel has changed their outlook on life. The End.
Dreaming In Cuban by Cristina Garcia: I started reading this earlier this year, and fell in love with its' magical realism and lyrical music. Unfortunately, it got lost between a reading rut and a literary surge, and I don't want it to fall in the cracks. I want to introduce all the more Latino writers into my literary world.
Tracks by Louise Erdrich: This novel has spent even more time in my library. I started this in my freshman year of college around 8 years ago, and I walked into my family library thinking...I really should finish that one. I want to read more works by or about Native Americans, as I hold cultural traces to both the Cherokee and Mohawk Native American tribes. Not to mention, of the Native works I have read, they hold some of the most naturally exquisite descriptive abilities.
Young Hearts Crying by Richard Yates: I've always wanted to read one of his novels, but have been too afraid. I don't necessarily feel like being discouraged from my dream of succeeding, and after watching Revolutionary Road, I felt as hollow as an empty soda can. Nevertheless, this novel has been sitting on my TBR pile for the past year.
What novels are you looking forward to reading that you would like to conquer?