1. The Penelopiad, by Margaret Atwood: A different view of Homer's Odyssey.
2. Middlemarch, by George Eliot: A stone-cold classic. One of the best, ever.
3. The Portable Dorothy Parker: Stories and poems about vulnerability, told in a jaded voice.
4. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut: The list's token dystopian vision-dream.
5. Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman: Americana at its finest.
5 Wreck-Approved Adaptations of Classics (But Read the Books First)
1. Pride and Prejudice (1995), from the Jane Austen novel: This miniseries was wildly popular (in some circles) for a reason.
2. Jane Eyre (2006), from the Charlotte Bronte novel: OK, we completely solved this one five years ago. It really was close to perfect. Can we stop making new versions now?
3. Our Mutual Friend (1998), from the Charles Dickens novel (Rec. #88): A banquet of a novel became a banquet of a miniseries.
4. Wives and Daughters (1999), from the Elizabeth Gaskell novel: People forget about Gaskell, a contemporary of Dickens, but they shouldn't. She's brilliant.
5. Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1998): Justine Waddell seems born to play this role, but remember that Thomas Hardy's heroines get put through the wringer.
1. The Up series (Rec. #33): A fascinating (and legendary) documentary series.
2. The History Boys (Rec. #115): Charming smart-alecks try for places at Cambridge and Oxford.
3. My Family and Other Animals (Rec. #125): Like the Mitfords, but with fewer Nazi connections.
4. Party Girl (Rec. #141): The best club scene/library movie of all time.
5. Sliding Doors: A missed train splits a woman's life in two.