Just recently I've discovered (for myself) a literary gem which was not only crowned the 'best work of fiction ever written' by a majority of modern authors polled in 2002, but which was penned by a contemporary of Perkins, Ames and Sibbes, and released during Puritanism's Stuart heyday. Those of you with a bit more 'culcha' will know I'm talking about Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote of La Mancha, a lengthy satire describing the adventures of an elderly, self-appointed 'knight errant' who roams about looking for wrongs to right in homage to his beloved 'Dulcinea'. It was published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615.
Don Quixote is unique, say literary scholars, because it bridged the gap between ancient and modern literature, combining a traditional formula (chivalrous odyssey) with heavy doses of modern irony and psychological subtlety. Some say it was the first modern novel.
Anyway, I wanted to share this because my wife and I bought tickets to see the ballet version of Don Quixote recently, and to ensure we didn't show up on the night without a clue about its plot, we actually started reading it. And in spite of our Southern roots (we're both from Texas, i.e., low on the 'culcha' scale) we like it. Mind you, we're only a few chapters into its 940 pages, but we're enjoying the ride. Perhaps you would too.
Be aware there are some modern English translations of the Spanish original, like this one -- and online ones too (why not?). So unless you're a martyr or a brilliant wielder of la lengua de los cielos, you needn't read an archaic English or Spanish version. Also be aware this classic may not be appropriate for younger readers, as it contains some 'adult situations'.