Campus Voices

Navigating the Literary Labyrinth

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If you’re anything like me, you’re very good at being halfway through half a dozen books at any given moment and not so good at getting to the end of any one of them. That’s the issue with my love affair with literature — there are just too many good books and too little time. Of course, winter break is the perfect time to tackle a stack of books, but then you’re faced with another question: Where do you start?

One way that I like to track my progress through the wonderful labyrinth of literature is to utilize great lists like this one: “100 novels everyone should read,” courtesy of The Telegraph. First of all, they provide me with a finite (though, admittedly, not small) number of candidates, but they also give me an idea of what my priorities ought to be. These are the sort of books that have stood the test of time. If a generation or two or three of mankind has found these books exciting, funny, intriguing, eye-opening, enthralling — aren’t they worth a perusal?

And, if you’re looking for something a little more specific, why not take a look at this list of essential British reads (courtesy of Oxford — they should know), or this list of American classics, or if you’re really feeling adventurous, this list of the best sci-fi/fantasy books from NPR listeners.

Now, it’s probably about time I stop writing and go finish “Far From The Madding Crowd.” (It’s great, by the way. I highly recommend it.)