Search

List of my favorite Ten Great Works of Literature

February 23rd, 2011 by Michael Tabor

I am a voracious reader and have read perhaps 500 + novels or pieces of literature in my lifetime and perhaps even more works of non-fiction. Unfortunately, I actually find myself reading more and more non-fiction for reasons I’m not quite sure.

In my opinion Literature is far more important than Non-fiction because unlike the latter there is an artistic quality that speaks to us beautifully regardless, even if the subject matter is ugly. Literature speaks to us in a voice that can never be duplicated in non-fiction; the themes are universal and literature is abundant in eternal truths and it enriches us with a feeling that never leaves us. Once you have read ‘Moby Dick’ or ‘Tom Sawyer’ one can never be the same. 

And finally, and most obviously unlike almost all non-fiction, Literature passes the test of time. I am reading a half dozen books on non fiction right now and I can assure you that most of the stuff I’m reading will be obsolete or not relevant in ten years or so, however ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ will remain a classic forever and never become outdated.  

To list just 10 of my favorites is more or less arbitrary because I have hundreds of favorites but nevertheless here they are and please note they are not in any particular order: 

  1. Lolita’- Vladimir Nabokov, 1955 –Really every one of Nabokov’s novels is a masterpiece. Nabakov’s native tongue was Russian but was fluent in French and obviously a master craftsman in English. As a matter of fact I believe he was the greatest English writing stylist of the 20th Century. What makes Lolita so fascinating is that it is a combination of art of the highest order mixed with taboo and utter revulsion – in pedophilia. Yet the Master manages to pull it off; every single page is teeming with allusions and metaphor. My suggestion is to read the ‘Annotated Lolita’.
  2. ‘Lord of the Flies’- William Golding, 1954 – I read this when I was a teenager and re-read it in my thirties. If you haven’t read it or don’t know the (they also made 2 films – one good; the older one and the newer version one unwatchable.) story it’s about a group of young schoolboys trapped on an island after surviving a plane crash. This is an incredibly profound book- Golding explores good and evil, survival of the fittest, chaos and order, law and anarchy, civilization and anarchy. After reading this you will invariably ask yourself – is man innately evil? Is man born with an incredible thirst for power? Does man implement structure in order to control masses of people? Great book !  

This is turning out to be a longer blog than I expected. Honestly I can write 10 blogs just on a single book. I will attempt to summarize the next eight books over the next coulple of blogs and I urge you to join in and give me your thoughts. 

WHADAWETHINK ? What are your favorite works of literature? Do you prefer literature or novels over non-fiction? I read a lot of novels when I was young and am very interested in current events, I’m assuming that’s why I read more non-fiction now – What do you think? What book has changed your life forever ?

If you like this site and you want to support WHADAWETHINK – click onto the widget shown here and shop at Amazon. Note: Any purchase at all will help WHADAWETHINK, so you don’t have to purchase the exact product displayed in the ad. Thanks and keep coming back.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
line01

5 Responses to “List of my favorite Ten Great Works of Literature”

  1. le duke de fromage Says:

    MR. TABOR, AGE AND MATURITY EFFECT MY PERCEPTION OF AUTHORS AND BOOKS. WHILE SOME NEVER BECOME OTDATED, MY THOUGHTS AND IDEAS CHANGE. WOULD YOUR PERCEPT OF LOLITA TODAY BE THE SAME AS THE FIRST TIME YOU READ IT? THE VALUE OF A BOOK IS THE IMPACT IT MADE ON YOU.

  2. Michael Tabor Says:

    Yes I agree with you. I will finish my list today, but you’re in fact correct. I was going to include J.D. Salinger’s ‘Catcher in the Rye’ but I read that in high school and have no interest in reading it again.
    I am 47 years old and my tastes have changed with regard to everything. For example – music – I used to like hard rock, now it gives me a headache so I just listen to classical or easy Jazz.
    Do you still read fiction ? As I mentioned in my blog, I may read parts of my favoites but there is nothing but non- fiction on my desk.

  3. le duke de fromage Says:

    mr. tabor, i do read fiction,my tastes run in cycles, lately i have been persuing historical figures, having finished two books on napoleon, and the duke of wellington. however to my discredit, i do read a lot of junk.i do have a preference for travel, historical adventure and military of all eras. at my age the past seems more interesting than the future.as for rereading, one of the great joys of reading is a familar passage or quote you relate to.

  4. Verda Keniry Says:

    Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  5. bricsys Says:

    nice website.. i really liked reading your article.

Leave a Reply