Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Yes, I Digress: Classics

I recently joined a Classics Challenge that's running through the end of October. I thought Trisha, the challenge owner, did something really cool with this challenge. She asked for everyone participating to post two things in the comments: first, a book they would consider a "future" classic (this list will go toward bonus points in the challenge), and second, a book they would recommend for beginners to classic reading. What a great way to spice up classics! Let's face it, they are sometimes daunting and not always very entertaining. It's been really interesting to look through these lists. She posted the picks from the last two years: 2008 and 2009. I've been scanning through them and furiously adding to my TBR stack.

I also loved the "beginner" classics list. It was fun to revisit books I've already read and loved and then think about which ones I could squeeze in this year that I've never read. And it's nice to know that the people who recommended these reads regard them as "easy." It makes the prospect of tackling them seem a little less painful, no? So, I thought I'd share some with you from the list. If you haven't had a chance to read these, you really ought to make some room in your reading repertoire for one or two this year! I know I am! +/-

Here are some that I have read and can vouch for:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Who doesn't love this book?! By all accounts, one of the best-loved classics ever. And easy-peasy to boot.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - I loved this book in high school. Really a true classic. The black and white film with Gregory Peck based on the book is also top notch. Read, then watch. You'll love it.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Another high school English class pick. Hauntingly fantastic. I also love the movie made of this book with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. Again, I would recommend reading the book first.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - Love Louisa! This book is probably the easiest of the bunch. Wonderful story about family and love. Give it a go!

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith - I read this book over a very hot summer at a job I despised. It really lifted my spirits. It's a sweet story of hardship and love.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - I've never met a Bronte I didn't like, and this classic is no exception. Adore a Gothic love story, you will too!

And here are some I'm adding to my list:

Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck
1984 by George Orwell
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Here are some others:

Jude the Obsure by Thomas Hardy
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West
Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Great list, right? So, get on those classics people! And join the challenge if you'd like. =)

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