My Canon by Blair Hopkins

by Mark Chmiel

Mark Chmiel told me about the concept of the syllabus (books you are required to read for a given literature class) and one’s personal canon (books that have been significant to you personally, regardless of their literary status). This list is my personal canon, in no particular order. These are books I have either read more than once, or that I find myself thinking of and making connections to long after the fact, in some cases years and years after my reading of the book.

Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Betsy and the Great World by Maud Hart Lovelace
Betsy’s Wedding by Maud Hart Lovelace
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Jekyll and Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Suicide Club by Robert Louis Stevenson
In Arabian Nights by Tahir Shah
The Caliph’s House by Tahir Shah
“Eveline” by James Joyce (short story)
An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L’Engle
The Arm of the Starfish by Madeleine L’Engle
The Joys of Love by Madeleine L’Engle
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Emma by Jane Austen
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
“Don’t Look Now” by Daphne DuMaurier (short story)
Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“The Birthday of the Infanta” by Oscar Wilde (short story)
“Antigone” by Sophocles (play)
A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott
Lois the Witch by Elizabeth Gaskell
“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” by Edward Albee (play)
“The Crucible” by Arthur Miller (play)
The Monk by Matthew G. Lewis
The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon by Richard Zimler
In the Wake of the Plague by Norman Cantor
Claire d’Albe by Sophie Cottin
Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Wild Queen by Carolyn Meyer
In Mozart’s Shadow by Carolyn Meyer
Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
The Last Day: Wrath, Ruin and Reason in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755

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