Today, the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish have asked us to list ten classics that rock.
Considering I am part of the Classics Club reading challenge, this week’s top ten is a walk in the park for me. I can think of so many books to list faster than it takes me to type this sentence.
First up, here are two cherished classics that I read and loved as a little girl.
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B.White is an adorable book about the friendship between a spider and a pig. I recently reread this book with my daughter and was still (as an adult) utterly charmed by this book.
- Another children’s classic that I loved and re-read recently is Winnie the Pooh by A.A.Milne. Such an idyllic life, I want to live with these wonderful characters in the 100-acre wood, and in fact was seriously considering naming my house Pooh Corner, only I got outvoted by everyone at home 🙁 .
- I loved, loved, loved One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (bless his soul) when I read it last year. I started off this book with a lot of trepidation. What if I disliked it as much as Love in the Time of Cholera? I didn’t want to hate on his books too much. But I needn’t have feared, I savored every bit of 100 years.
- The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky is another favorite. Maybe it was the translation, but this book has to be one of the more accessible Russian novels. It’s long, but it had a soap-opera style feel to it, plus a lot of philosophy added on. I can’t say this is a book I will be hopping to read again and again, but I loved it very much at the time I did read it.
- I have disliked most of the George Eliot books I’ve read – Adam Bede and Silas Marner were just too dour for me, The Mill on the Floss was lovely, but why did they have to die? Sob. But Middlemarch was just perfect. It’s mature in style but not prosy, and most important of all, there is no unnecessary tragedy or melodrama.
- Bleak House to me is the best of Charles Dickens. Don’t get taken in by the book title, this book is laugh out loud funny in places, the story moves along at a quick pace, and before I knew it, I was done with the book. Highly recommend!
- I don’t know if I can call Beloved by Toni Morrison a modern classic. It was published in 1987 but it is set in the times after the American Civil war. But I don’t want to quibble over definitions here. I loved this book, it’s a provocative book and is written in a manner to get a strong reaction from the reader. Love it or hate it, I think it’s a book that should be read, not just for the theme, but also the literary techniques used by the author.
- A classic dystopia for me is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Unlike most other dystopian novels, at the end of this novel you are not entirely sure whose point of view is the more valid – the establishment or the rebels. It’s also one of those dystopian novels where if you sit back and think about the book, you feel that we are actually living in this world that Huxley has created.
- I love a strong female protagonist and a story with a strong feminist slant, so how can I not love The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwwod? Hands down, one of the best novels I have ever read.
- I also love good spy fiction and there’s no era better than the Cold War when it comes to spy novels, and no book better than Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carré.
Here are two of my favorite translated classics.
Here are two of my favorite British classics (note the absence of the Bronte sisters, Austen, and Hardy). I am not trying to be contrary or interesting by omitting them. It’s just that Hardy’s tormented heroines have never been my thing, and while Austen and the Brontes wrote a lot of great books, I can’t honestly pick any one of their books out and say this one, this is my favorite. They are all good.
So, instead I pay my respects towards George Eliot and Charles Dickens.
Now comes the turn of the modern classics.
So this makes up my top ten list people. Which classic books are your faves? Oh! and if you are Canadian, Happy Canadian Day!!! Have a great holiday!