Friday, July 3, 2009

Greg's Summer Classics Reading Program

Our modern lives sometimes feel lacking in the adventure department - or at least mine does. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. And I certainly have plenty of drama - just not enough adventure, in the classic literary sense.

I've also become aware that, as a professional, I get jam-packed with reading from business books, blogs and magazines. And I'm in the midst of an intensive 21-month bible study program at church that involves 4-5 hours of study (I hate to call it homework) per week. When you throw bi-weekly Baseball America in there, there's not a lot of room for pure leisure reading.

So I decided to kill two birds with one stone by creating Greg's Summer Classics Reading Program. I kicked it off last May with 3 books that I'd never read, but now absolutely love. [I should point out at this juncture that I had failed in this experiment in the summer of 2007 by starting with Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. While I may one day share the common opinion that this book is a wonder, its density caused me to slowly grind to a halt somewhere around the 4th chapter. EPIC FAIL!] Anyway, the 3 books I tackled in the summer of 2008 were:

The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Baroness Orczy
The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

I absolutely loved all 3 of these books . . . and incidentally, they helped me to understand Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn a lot better. Tom had clearly read all three when he decided to break Jim out of prison! They're fast-paced, have great characters and twisty plots, and can be read while drinking a Manhattan on your porch [trust me, I can verify this fact].

The program was such a success last summer that I decided to give it another shot. My 3 selections for this summer are (DRUM ROLL):

Cyrano de Bergerac - Edmond Rostand
The Last of the Mohicans - James Fenimore Cooper
Dracula - Bram Stoker

I'm halfway through Cyrano, and am loving it. Cyrano's character is brilliant (in fact, one of his oratories will be the subject of an upcoming blog post at

What books are YOU reading this summer? What adventure classics do I need to add to my list? Your comments are welcome . . .

1 comment:

  1. hi, greg. i have to admit that i'm not always one for rereading the classics. my 21st century mindset gets in the way, making me want to throttle anna karenina and madame bovary. however, i'd *always* recommend any works of shakespeare. a recent read that still has a hold on me is cormac mccarthy's, "the road." i have many more books i'd recommend if you're looking beyond the classics.

    happy reading,