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TBR

Chinese Author Cao Xueqin (1715-1763)

TBR is a real bookworm’s term: It’s an acronym for To Be Read. We all have our TBR piles. Here is a look at mine, consisting mostly of Asian classics (some of which are multi-volume) and various Medieval and Ancient Greek and Roman classics. Here are some 22 classics which I will attempt, in my own desultory fashion, to read while I am able:

  • Anonymous, The Mahabharata (India)
  • Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron (Italy)
  • Hermann Broch, The Sleepwalkers (Austria)
  • Cao Xueqin, The Dream of the Red Chamber (aka The Story of the Stone) (China)
  • Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (England)
  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky, A Raw Youth (aka The Adolescent) (Russia)
  • Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man (USA)
  • William Faulkner, A Fable (USA)
  • Gunter Grass, The Tin Drum (Germany)
  • João Guimarães Rosa, The Devil to Pay in the Backlands (Brazil)
  • Henry James, The Bostonians (USA)
  • Kalidasa, The Shakuntala (India)
  • Yasunari Kawabata, The Sound of the Mountain (Japan)
  • Lucretius, On the Nature of Things (Ancient Rome)
  • Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Complete Essays (France)
  • Shikibu Murasaki, The Tale of Genji (Japan)
  • Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities (Germany)
  • Ovid, Metamorphoses (Ancient Rome)
  • Plato, The Republic (Ancient Greece)
  • Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin (Russia)
  • Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children (India)
  • Valmiki, Ramayana (India)

Some of the above works are major; others are relatively minor. The Faulkner and Dostoyevsky, for instance, are there only because they are the only novels by the two authors I have not read. I have already picked up a copy of Henry James’s The Bostonians to read next month.