Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Ten on Tuesday: Top 10 Favorite Classic Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is Top Ten Classic Books. I had a major Classic book phase in high school. It was basically all I read. I decided to choose my top 8 and then 2 that I am embarrassed to admit I have never read.

The Count of Monte Cristo
by: Alexandre Dumas

Should you read it?: Yes
Category: Adult

This one is my all-time favorite. I realize that morally it may not be the best book to be obsessed with because it's basically about one guy just getting major revenge on everyone who ever hurt him, but I still love it. His plan was so specific and thought-out and calculated and it was just completely genius! I really enjoyed the entire unabridged thing. And I was completely infuriated by the movie, by the way. It is absolutely nothing like the book at all.

The Awakening
by: Kate Chopin

Should you read it?: Maybe
...if you would enjoy the plot line (see below).
Category: Adult

Again, this was one of my favorites in high school. It is one of the earliest feminist novels. It is about a woman, Edna Pontellier and her struggle to deal with the life she has and the life she wants. She is married with 2 sons and she has so many responsibilities and expectations and she just wants to be free of those things. She meets another man who awakens a different reality to her. I will say that ultimately it is very sad and after having children, I don't think I would enjoy reading it as much as I did in high school, but I still remember it as one of my favorite classic books.

Pride & Prejudice
by: Jane Austen

Should you read it?: Yes
Category: Adult

I mean, really, who has not heard of this book? And who read it and didn't absolutely adore it? This was required reading my senior year of high school and it was supposed to take us like 2 weeks to finish it and I read the entire thing in 2 nights. Ahhh Mr. Darcy. I mean this just really opened up a whole world for me of reading books that having anything to do with Pride & Prejudice (see Prom & Prejudice that I read earlier this year). I love it.

Les Miserables
by: Victor Hugo

Should you read it?: Maybe
...if you're in for a long, ultimately sad read.
Category: Adult

This book is really sad. I mean, it's title means The Miserable Ones, so why wouldn't it be sad? But I still read it - twice technically. I read the abridged version for school and I liked it so much that I wanted to read the unabridged version. Again, I think I just loved the way all the stories weaved together and how everyone was connected. It was similar to the way I felt about The Count of Monte Cristo and I read them about the same time.

Wuthering Heights
by: Emily Bronte

Should you read it?: Maybe
...if you want another sad book.
Category: Adult

This is another one that I just don't understand exactly why I liked it. It's just a horrible story overall of the mistreatment of Heathcliff and the way he gets revenge on the people who mistreated him, but it's not as cool in my opinion as The Count of Monte Cristo. It's just really sad. I loved Heathcliff and Catherine. I mean, who doesn't love the line "He's more myself than I am. Whatever souls are made of, his and mine are the same." Although it's been more than 10 years since I read that book, so I hope it's talking about Heathcliff and Catherine. I just remember loving the quote. But overall, it's just a sad book and a sad story. Although when I read it, I loved it. Thus it is on the list.

The Chronicles of Narnia
by: C. S. Lewis

Should you read it?: Yes
Category: Young Adult/Middle Grade

Now this is some quality literature. I recommend reading this book aloud to your kids. It is just such a beautifully written series of books. Covering the story of various children who play a role in the world of Narnia, the story includes overall themes that are central to Christianity, but even to just morality in general. They're also just fantastic fantasy stories that would be enjoyed by anyone of any age!

The Scarlet Letter
by: Nathaniel Hawthorne

Should you read it?: Yes
Category: Adult

This is the story of Hester Prynne, a woman living alone in a Puritan settlement in Boston, because her husband never joined her in America. Hester ends up pregnant and is forced to wear the scarlet letter "A" on her chest for adultery, after having the child. The story centers around the public shame and disgrace she must suffer alone because she refuses to give up the name of the father of her child. It is really an incredible story of the depths of our own shame as well as the depths of our own acceptance of who we are. I could go into a lot of detail about this one because we read it for class, so I had to really dive deep into it, but suffice it to say, I really enjoyed it. I may have enjoyed this one as much as I did because I read it my junior year of high school when my best friend was pregnant. We attended a private Christian school, so just imagine the connections I made.

The Catcher in the Rye
by: J. D. Salinger

Should you read it?: Maybe
...if you have an open mind about narrators of books.
Category: Adult

Now, this book is challenging for me to write about. I have read it a couple of times. I read it in high school and I loved it. I read it again in college for a class and I loved it again, but after discussing it with others in the class, I found out that some people just hate it and hate the character of Holden Caulfield. Granted, he is probably depressed, crazy and just all-around strange, he was an interesting narrator and I think that was my favorite thing about the book. It was just interesting. That doesn't mean I think he should be a model character for people to follow, but it just means I enjoyed the flow of the book. 


2 I really should have read...

The Great Gatsby
by: F. Scott Fitzgerald

I own this book. I have picked it up several times and have wanted to read it, but I just never have. I have no idea why not.

A Tale of Two Cities
by: Charles Dickens

Again, another one that I own and I have no idea why I haven't read it. It does have one of the best opening lines, but I still just haven't fully started it.


What were your favorite classic books? See other favorites at the Top Ten post for this week!

3 comments:

  1. I haven't really read any classic books! I'm hoping to read The Great Gatsby soon as well as The Catcher in the Rye.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love that you included Narnia! I didn't think to add it to my list, but it is such a wonderful series. I'm having a blast listening to my son's reactions to those stories.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I only read The Awakening.. The ending was kinda sad tho.. And half-way through The Tale of Two Cities.

    ReplyDelete