Top Ten Tuesday – Books that Should not be “Forgotten”

Top Ten Tuesday is a very popular (and fun) weekly meme that is sponsored by the creative folks over at “The Broke and the Bookish.” This week’s assignment: “Top Ten “Older” Books You Don’t Want People To Forget About (you can define older however you wish. Basically just backlisted books you think are great. Basically the point is to share books that could be forgotten about in the midst of all the new releases)”

Okay, I’ll take a stab at that. 🙂 (I fear my list is also sort of a “lesser known books people shouldn’t forget about,” though.)

1. Erewhon by Samuel Butler
More famous for The Way of All Flesh, Butler also Wrote this odd (for his era anyway) book. Kind of Shangri-La type theme (his is in remote New Zealand, though) and quite interesting. I love this book cover, too!


2. The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander
Great “YA” adventure of a different era. Sadly, I rarely hear these being discussed in the blogging world today, but I just started re-reading the first one, “The Book of Three” this past weekend. High adventure!

3. The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer
God, let us never stop reading these seminal works. They, and the Greek myths in general, served as a great inspiration for so much of later literature.

4. Silas Marner by George Eliot
Everyone else seems to talk about The Mill on the Floss instead of this Eliot work, which is my favorite. Poignant ‘reformation, of a miserly hermit. Once upon a time it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to describe me as such. 🙂

5. The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett
While not in danger of being forgotten, this one should be read more often. When I first read it, I was in something of a rut in my own life and identified with the re-awakening theme of the sickly child.

6. Earth Abides by George Stewart
An early sci-fi classic that I was unaware of myself until this year. Great, fun, post-apocalyptic (In this case the apocalypse is a plague) reading.


7. The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
Wonderful story of the decline and fall of an “old money” family set in my home town of Indianapolis. Also a great movie – starring Timothy Holt (of Treasure of the Sierra Madre fame…)

8. The Sufferings of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Sometimes aka “The Sorrows of Young Werther.” I think some are scared off from reading this by Goethe’s intimidating intellectual reputation. I found it very readable, if very tragic.

9. Guy Mannering by Sir Walter Scott
Scott wrote a long series of “Waverley” novels that seem to be largely forgotten today. I’ve only scratched their surface myself, but Guy Mannering (subtitled “The Astrologer”) is my favorite so far. And the gypsy, Meg Mereilles, is one of my favorite “minor” characters in literature.

10. The Town and the City by Jack Kerouac
“Everyone” has read “On the Road” and many of Kerouac’s
other transparently autobiographical works, but this more traditional novel (admittedly still hugely autobiographical) seems largely forgotten. It’s one of my favorite books of the past five years.


Well, that’s it for me. What books are in your Top Ten Tuesday this week? I’m off to The Broke and the Bookish to check some of them out. (their are so many participants in this meme you can’t read them all. I usually pick a number between one and ten and then read every tenth one. How do YOU pick which entries to read?



  1. Birgit said,

    October 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I’ve never read Homer *shamefully hangs her head*, but maybe one day? I wish I had the time to get into all those classics but somehow the temptation of new books is often so much bigger.


    • Jay said,

      October 3, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Birgit. I know just how you feel. It’s often a battle between what I want to read and what I feel I SHOULD read. Sometimes we get lucky and the two meet, though. 🙂


  2. Dale said,

    October 2, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    I have never heard of Samuel Butler’s novel, but it sounds great! Harry Potter beat out the Prydain Chronicles with my kids. While Harry’s great, I have to say that I hold a very, very small grudge against him because of that.


    • Jay said,

      October 3, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      Hi Dale,
      I think it was in the mid ’90s when I first discovered Butler. I’ve read The Way of All Flesh a couple times. I think he also wrote a book called “Erewhon Revisited” or some similar title.


  3. October 2, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Oh man, you went seriously old school! YES PLEASE.


    • Jay said,

      October 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      “That’s how I roll,” Lisa. 🙂 thanks for stopping by!


  4. Linda said,

    October 2, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    I’m not familiar with most of these. I’ll have to look into them.


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