Five I really should read some day

Prompted by a post at the WaPo book blog, I started wondering what would be on my list of five books I really should read. At first, I thought the original post was a little strong in saying not having read the books was embarrassing. Now I’m not so sure.

Here’s the five I decided upon:

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Anything by Ernest Hemingway
Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky
Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

Granted, the last two may be influenced by my Russian reading binge over the last year. But there’s no question I ought to be embarrassed at never having read the others on the list. All my kids have read Gatsby, some twice. How can someone who has practiced law for 20+ years never have read Harper Lee’s classic? And given my years as a reporter and love of simple, concise writing, it is disgraceful I’ve not read one or more Hemingway works.

So I’m thinking maybe I should start reading at least one “classic” a month as a process of literary redemption.

All my life I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.

Ernest Hemingway, Selected Letters 1917-1961

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