I finished a book from one of my favorite authors last night and tonight felt the need to start a new book. While tripping my way through my library I ran across a collected works of Robert Louis Stevenson that opens up with "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and includes others such as "The Bottle Imp" and "The Body Snatcher". It suddenly struck me that I had never read this "..Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" although I know the "gist" of the story. Who hasn't heard a rendition of it? It seemed suddenly to me though that I lacked something, not knowing the original story. And what of the other stories in the book? What other jewels are hidden there? Hmm....I think I must read the book and find out.
Then I got to thinking of other "stories' that I "basically knew the gist of" but had never read (or even saw the movie rendition of) and I was struck with one thought. How ignorant am I?! How lazy? I always thought of myself as "well read" but as I look at it in retrospect.....I'm not. I just read a lot. I know the basic line of Wuthering Heights as I've listened to and can sing along with Pat Benetar and have watched the old black and white movie at least once when I couldn't sleep at night. (Thank you Turner Classic Movies!) What a sad commentary on my literary knowledge is that?! Before you fillet me alive with how movies and songs leave out the best parts of a literary piece, let me plead with you that I know this, truly I do. How much of the Harry Potter saga has to be left on the cutting room floor in the interests of time and cinematography?! Trust me, I know. I've read the books so many times (as have many of you) that I almost gasp when there are missing parts. But I understand, I truly do. And what of the missing parts of the Lord of the Rings saga on film?!!!
So, as I was reading in the bath tonight I found it hard to concentrate as I was struck with the thought that maybe there where other stories that I was missing out on. Then I had a brilliant thought! "I'll ask the blogisphere!" So I ask you all as my friends. What books do you recommend? What would you consider an absolute can not miss out on "classic". For whatever reason. I promise that what ever you offer up I'll truly try to read. I guess it's safe to say that there are NO obvious answers, so please......post them up in the comments and I'll start a Must Read list. I'll even post it here if there is enough interest. ( Yes dear, that includes The Constitution.) I know that one that comes to mind is "Pride and Prejudice". I'm suppose to know what that's about and just cannot express it myself. So there. How's that for meeting "ignorance" face on?