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Favorite Classics

By Mike Smoody

Despite the hoary adjective, a classic is a book that never grows old. As many readers attest a great work grows with you and becomes something new at each stage of your life. These are works of depth and genius and as such are an endless source of discussion. Please join us at our quarterly Classic Book Discussion to get a taste of what great literature is all about. Below is a list of some of my favorites.

  • Crime and Punishment

    1993 by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    Known for his psychological perspicacity, in Crime and Punishment Dostoevsky makes you feel the guilt and fear at committing murder. Reading the novel has been compared to having a nightmare and indeed, the feverishness, the stifling Petersburg air and the gruesome memory of the brutal murder haunt the pages.

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  • Love In the Time of Cholera

    1988 by Gabriel García Márquez

    If I could live inside of a novel this would be the one. Rich in language and imagery and charged with eroticism, every line and every scene is calculated to fill the reader with longing.

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  • To the Lighthouse

    1981 by Virginia Woolf

    A novel told from inside the minds of its characters, we become acquainted with an intimacy rarely experienced in art or life. The characters are so wonderful and become so familiar that the end of the novel feels like a painful separation.

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  • Metamorphoses : a new translation, contexts, criticism

    2010 by 43 B Ovid

    Ovid’s epic poem seeks to contain the whole history and mythology of the Greco-Roman world. Touching, amusing and very readable, if you had to read one work of ancient literature this should be it.

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  • Brave New World : with the essay "Brave new world revisited"

    2004 by Aldous Huxley

    Huxley’s dystopian vision is an assault on eugenics and the mindless pursuit of pleasure. Elegant and easy to read, Huxley’s clear message that science alone cannot solve life’s problems is told through a story of outsiders and conformists in conflict with each other and the “perfect” society they inhabit.

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  • Winesburg, Ohio

    2008 by Sherwood Anderson

    The directness and simplicity of Anderson’s style had a major influence on 20th century American prose. But it is the stories in this collection: stories of loneliness, despair, impotence, heartbreak and misunderstanding in a small Midwestern town that would influence later greats such as Faulkner, Hemingway and Steinbeck.

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  • Treasure Island

    1998 by Robert Louis Stevenson

    Never a dull moment in this classic adventure story. The classic pirate tale stands up to any adventure story before or since.

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