Besides a great post entitled "Overlooked Fiction", Slate Magazine (scroll down to the end of the post) offers
Prominent writers (like Scott Turow, Joyce Carol Oates, Michael Connolly) confess their favorite beach reads here
Books prominent critics haven't read here
Roundup of the books that famous people loved in college here
Famous books that prominent critics haven't read here
This last is the best, though. The article is called "The Literary Critic's Shelf of Shame." Here's a quote that should give high schoolers a lift:
The most distressing revelation is that many of the authors deemed most impenetrable—Dickens, Hawthorne, the Brontës, Melville—are mainstays on high-school and college freshman reading lists. Students will either take heart or sigh in frustration. On the one hand, it's comforting to know that the pros couldn't slog through these books either. But on the other: If the experts couldn't get through them, how are you supposed to?Critics haven't read Ulysses, The Scarlet Letter, Anna Karenina, War and Peace. A reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Colin Romano admits to having recently read Crime and Punishment.
I recently TAUGHT Crime and Punishment to my Books & Brunch classes at a local community college. Most of them loved? liked it very much. Mr. Romano is right the crime does come first and then there are another 500 pages about guilt, repentence and redemption. Sound good?
Enjoy! Oh, and Happy Halloween!
the teach :)