7 'Classics' to Take Off Your Reading List

And what to read instead
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2018 2:54 PM CDT
Updated Apr 28, 2018 10:05 AM CDT
Author Samuel Longhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, is seen in this undated file photo.   (AP Photo, File)

(Newser) – If you've ever found yourself struggling through a so-called "classic" book only to find yourself thinking, "How racist/sexist/boring," you're not alone. The editors of GQ, along with some current authors, have put together a list of 21 such books (technically 20, because one of them got two votes) that are simply outdated and should be struck from the "Great Books" canon. The list got itself mentioned on Fox & Friends last weekend, and not in a good way—it includes the Bible, which Jesse Ball calls "repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned," leading Fox News religion contributor Father Jonathan Morris to push back by calling its inclusion on the list "foolish," USA Today reports. Lots of social media users also decried the choice, and evangelist Franklin Graham said the editors "couldn't be more wrong." As for what else made the list, here's a sampling—along with the books the editors and the authors they spoke to think you should read instead:

  1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: This is the book that got two votes. "Mark Twain was a racist. ... He was a man of his time, so let's leave him there," writes Tommy Orange. Instead, he suggests reading The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll by Alvaro Mutis; Caity Weaver suggests Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.

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