my Cult Classics

In this blog I mentioned an article in the Telegraph listing their Top 50 Cult Classic Books. I decided to come up with my own list, still using their definition of "cult," which gives a wide berth in choosing the books on my list.

I loved parts of their definition so much that I had to share it here: "'What is a cult book? We tried and failed to arrive at a definition: books often found in the pockets of murderers; books that you take very seriously when you are 17; books whose readers can be identified to all with the formula “whacko"; books our children just won’t get…Cult books are somehow, intangibly, different from simple bestsellers – though many of them are that…They are different from books that have big new ideas – though many of them are that…In compiling our list, we were looking for the sort of book that people wear like a leather jacket or carry around like a totem. The book that rewires your head: that turns you on to psychedelics; makes you want to move to Greece; makes you a pacifist; gives you a way of thinking about yourself as a woman, or a voice in your head that makes it feel okay to be a teenager; conjures into being a character who becomes a permanent inhabitant of your mental flophouse. We were able to agree, finally, on one thing: you know a cult book when you see one. And people have passionate feelings on both sides: our appeal for suggestions yielded enough for a list at least three times as long as this one.'"

I am not sure that all of my mine would fall under that description, so I have instead posted a list of 50 Classic favorites. (You will note that books in a series, i.e., Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Little House on the Prarie are counted together as I read those books as one long work, only broken up for print-ability (and to make more money). These are the books that shaped the person I am and the way that I think.

So, without further ado, my Top 50 Classics (in no particular order):

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Roots by Alex Haley
Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
Our Town by Thornton Wilder
Lord of the Rings (all 3 books) by J.R.R. Tolkein
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Night by Elie Wiesel
Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Little House on the Prarie Series (9 books) by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
To Kill a Mockinbird by Harper Lee
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Harry Potter (all 7 books) by J.K. Rowling
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Snows of Killimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Picnic Lightning by Billy Collins
The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Marie Remarque
The Chronicles of Narnia (all 7 books) by C.S. Lewis
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
The Count of Monty Cristo by Alexander Dumas
Beowulf by Anonymous
A Boy's Will by Robert Frost
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
The Bible
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Narative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave: written by himself by Frederick Douglass
Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare


Miss Cellaneous said…
Holy cats! Good job, Monster. You are such a great list-maker.
Mummy Dearest said…

Where is my blogging friend? Playing with a ball of yarn over in the corner? Come back to us!
Anonymous said…
You are a great list-maker! Very cool!


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