10 Essential Penguin Classics, Redux

A note from Penguin:

Last year, Penguin compiled a list of the 10 Essential Penguin Classics we thought every person should read. We thought our list was complete. We were wrong.

Thanks to your outstanding, passionate feedback (Where was Don Quixote? War and Peace? On the Road?) the list is being recreated, this time by YOU.

What are YOUR Top 10 Essential Penguin Classics? Click here to peruse the longlist of 100 and then vote for your top 10 before November 1st. Everyone who votes will be entered for a chance to win a wonderful prize—one of three tote bags filled with three of our much-beloved Penguin Deluxe Classics—so make sure your voice is heard!

In November we will announce a shortlist of 25 Classics, curated entirely by YOUR votes and opinions. Check for updates regularly on the Top 10 Essential Penguin Classics website and chat about your choices at the Essential Classics Redux community page.

The ten which I voted for from this list include:

  1. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  2. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  3. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  4. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  6. Madame Bovary by Gustauve Flaubert
  7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  8. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  9. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  10. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

…and your list? Which titles do you feel deserve the top ten place?

17 thoughts on “10 Essential Penguin Classics, Redux”

  1. My ten selections: Crime and Punishment, Don Quixote, Madame Bovary, The Waste Land and Other Poems, Hamlet, The Divine Comedy, Fear and Trembling, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Metamorphosis and Other Stories and Gulliver's Travels


  2. Whenever I see these lists, I wish I could say I've read more of them. I found a few of my favorites on the shortlist though. East of Eden, The Power and the Glory, Call of the Wild/White Fang. I should probably do this Count of Monte Cristo readalong. It's one I've wanted to read forever, but haven't actually done!


  3. Anthony, thanks for sharing your list of top ten; I haven't read most of them. 😉 I mostly go for Russian classics, personally.Joan Hunter Dunn, one almost can't get enough of Anna Karenina. I keep thinking of her as I'm finishing Madame Bovary. Somehow, the two are linked in my mind, through their despair, their relationships, their deaths, even though they are different characters in different circumstances.Kathleen, The Count of Monte Cristo is a fabulous tale with a unique twist on revenge as I recall.Coffee and a Book Chick and Megan, now I have to ask who's hosting a readalong of The Count? Apparently I've been content in my own little corner of the blogosphere not to know this.


  4. I agree with your list more than the Penguin's top 10. I do agree with Jane Eyre but not sure how the others got there on the list, I'm sure there are more well loved titles than the ones mentioned!


  5. I'm interested that A Tale of Two Cities is there. This really captured my imagination when I was in my youth. Anything by Dickens is a classic for me. I would like to read the Russian classics, though.By the way I've moved to a different URL address – it's http://7hills.blogspot.comI would like to join you for the C.S. Lewis read.I would like to join you in December for the C.S. Lewis read.


  6. This was so much fun! I loved how the survey asked for our "favorites," and not the most influential or significant — because that would be a whole different list!Here are my favorites:The Orestia, Pride and Prejudice, The Canterbury Tales, Little Women, The Prince, Le Morte D'Arthur, The Waste Land and other Poems, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Twenty Love Songs and a Song of Despair.


  7. Oh Bellezza–I wish I could agree with you on Brothers Karamazov. Which translation did you read? I'm hoping hoping hoping I'll finally finish this week (only 140 pages left), but it's been a struggle. Probably the biggest struggle I've ever had with a book.On the other than, I read Les Miserables this year and found it fantastic–would definitely put it on my top 10. You've got some intimidating books on your list! 😉


  8. Nice list, Bellezza! I did some contemplating on your list and discovered that you have six European books, 3 English books and 1 American books on your list. You seem to be big fan of European literature – especially Russian and French 🙂


  9. Vishy, it's true: I am a huge fan of European literature (most especially Russian). I took several Russian lit classes in college, but never enough to suit me as I had to fulfill the requirements for my double major in Elementary Education and Psychology. I'd love to go back to school for more degrees some day! 😉


  10. We be the editors, what privilege, but then, what responsibility! After reading the Penguin site, lucky me… I'm spared! Since I don't live in the US, I'm not eligible to vote. Whew! I'm glad to be removed from such an arduous task, for after looking at the long list, I knew I would not be able to make up my mind.


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