I finished Wilkie Collins "The Woman in White" I know its taken me a while but it was a good read. The writing style certainly wasn't as slow as I feared.
My knowledge of the classics is pretty dire. I read Great Expectations (Dickens) and Emma (Austen) at school and that is about it.
Ally recommended Camille by Voltaire and Orlando by Virginia Woolf and some Austen. Kate recommended Dumas and Defoe. Both of those were by the ubiquitous Facebook which I'm getting more of a handle on. From not having a clue I have 1% of a clue :D I am playing Scrabble on there ... and losing.
My friend Min is probably saying read P&P or S&S she is a BIG Austen fan.