by Simon Maso
Rough Guides
In shops now
Okay, kids, pay attention to this one.  For all you little teenage trouble-makers who need to cheat your way through summer school, this book may help (and since it’s pocket-size, you can probably sneak it under some desks as needed).  Although, really, when it comes to cheating, I’m just as bad as a Breakfast Club-er myself.  I think I’ve read more books of lists (i.e. skimmed) than the books that are actually on said lists.  This light little book groups all its subjects into themes: Romance, School, Outsiders, Bildungsromans, etc.  Many of the usual suspects appear in this Rough Guide, including: “Lolita,” “The Outsider,” “To the Lighthouse,” “Little Women” and about 200 more.  There’s just about a page on each title – short, succinct, informative.  And, as needed, Mason reccommends a translation, tells you what to read next, or (supposedly AFTER you’ve done the reading), which film adaptations to look to.  For my part, I think I need to sit down with the early Dickens of “The Pickwick Papers” “The Rough Guide to Classic Novels” has done its part – I am inspired.  And now I must put it down and pick up the very heavy pile of those hundreds of classics I have yet to stop reading about and, well, read.