A conversation with one of my close friends last week got me thinking about which books become essential to us and how we each define a classic. She noticed that my to-read shelf on the right side of my blog had To Kill A Mockinbird listed and was stunned that I had never read it (and I was an English major in college!) Somehow through middle school, high school and college I was never exposed to the book, and though I want to read it I haven't gotten around to it yet. Add to that Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Catcher in the Rye and I feel much less well-read than I sometimes think I am! On the other hand, I consider John Steinbeck one of the best American writers and The Grapes of Wrath an absolute must-read while others have an adverse reaction to his writing. It's humbling to realize that there is still a wide world of literature to be read and exposed to and so fascinating to see what each person considers a "classic."
Are there any classics that you haven't read? Any that you're planning to get to or don't feel bad about skipping?