why not start with something like "the prince"? i have a $2 copy sitting in my room.
I'd like to do classics as well, though i think we may be talking about diff classics...
Basically, I'd like to read the original source material for the current disciplines of philosophy and the social sciences.
Original novels on the other hand don't interest me that much, b/c they have all been done better by now. With a few exceptions. well, i take that back. the old stuff did have a certain appeal that new stuff doesn't. people spent years writing a single book, and put many layers into their writing... people don't do that so much anymore. that said, i find a great deal of the old stuff dull, despite these layers.
Tolkien for example. I actually really like his books, and there is nothing quite like them. And some of the complexity is incredible. Even the cosmology, you can tell that he really thought about it, and made it in the way myth/religion sets things up. but he is very dry, and his storytelling isn't as good as others that have built upon his work.
Modern fantasy authors rarely meet his standards of detail, and even when they come close, you can tell that someone built in artificial details... tolkein is just so integrated. but, that said, the books of today have more complex stories, are better written in terms of engaging the reader, and have more... well, everything.
anyway, rambling over for now. not sure what point i was trying to get across.
Threading the Gerbil since 1982