thinking about 13 before 30


I am currently 24 years old.

In 5 years and 9 months and a few days, I will turn 30.

By that day, I would like to have read 13 different classics of literature.

And this is where I need your help...

I've compiled a rough list, but I need to know what you've read that is considered a literature classic and that you'd recommend.

For example, "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen is a classic. Books from the "Twilight"series are not. So, please refrain from suggesting books like, "The Notebook." Again, NOT a classic.**

I've read many classics-- Faulkner, "To Kill a Mockingbird", "MacBeth", and most of "Moby Dick," but I need new recommendations from YOU! You can't always judge a book by its plot summary on Wikipedia, so I need real live people to talk to me.

If you were creating a "13 Before 30" list, what classics would be on it? I started "Pride and Prejudice" tonight, and so far, I love it. Tell me-- what are your faves? I need feedback from you! Leave me a comment and let me know what classics I need to read. I'll finalize my list, and post it so you can see what I'm going to read. Sound like a plan? Good!

And maybe you're like me and want to join me on my little mission. Leave that in the comments, too! I'm so excited about getting to "meet" lots of new "people" through my books and getting to "travel" to many "new" places on their pages. I know it's corny, but books really are amazing, and I feel obligated to read the works of so many great authors.

So, with that being said, I mus say thank you, Hemingway. Thank you, Harper Lee. Thank you, Jane Austen. Thank you, Charles Dickens, and thank you, William Faulkner. Thank you!

**I have read "The Notebook" AND seen the movie, and while I thoroughly enjoyed both, Nicholas Sparks does not write classics. He writes $4.97 classics for Wal-Mart. And as for "Twilight", I've seen the movie, and the good Lord does not allow me to read the 498+ page book in good conscience. I do not believe anything that Edward Cullen acts in will become a classic. Sorry, Ed.

***These are my opinions. You may love "Twilight" and "The Notebook", but I am just looking for something that still might be around at Barnes and Noble when I take my future children shopping for new books...weekly. Just like their father.

***This idea was inspired by the new development about "Tom Sawyer" and the "new" version of the book that turns the slang word into "slave," (you get the picture). As I said on Twitter last night, "Maybe it's not so much that Huckleberry Finn is offensive but more so that American history is offensive & accurately portrayed in the book." This very idea made me realize there are so many classics that I've never read, and literature is important to me. It's time to put my money where my mouth is...or my books where my eyes are.

****And yes, I have read "The Great Gatsby", and it's phenomenal. Great classics starter book!


  1. I loved reading A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens in my lit. class in high school. It's an excellent read!

  2. I definitely have the same goal. I'd love to read almost all of classic literature and own most of them. I just got Jane Austen's complete works on sale at Border's last weekend and started Sense and Sensibility. I will say that these are my favorites so far:
    Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
    The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
    1984 - George Orwell
    To Kill a Mocking Bird - Harper Lee
    Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
    Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
    Madame Bovary - Flaubert

  3. I love anything by Jane Austen! Pride and Prejudice is an all-time favorite. I haven't read it, but Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte has been on my internal list for a while. It's long, but I hear it's great!

  4. Hi Whitney - not sure if this counts for you as a classic, but I really love the first few books that Toni Morrison wrote - Song of Solomon, Beloved, and Sula - very powerful books and classics of American Literature for me! I would also suggest Ernest Hemingway (Old Man and the Sea is a classic even though it's short!)

    Hannah (long-time reader, first-time commenter!)

  5. 1984 is my favorite book of all time! I also have Brave New World on my short list!

  6. Brave New World, 1984, and Fahrenheit 451 formed my moral imagination more than any other books. Also, I think Animal Farm rekindled my love of reading in the 8th grade. It was the first book that I had ever read that had something beneath the surface.

  7. Thanks everyone for all the book suggestions. You guys make this so much easier on me!!