This is a BrokeandBookish topic – Favourite Classics.
You know what, I don’t like a lot of classics. And I haven’t re-read any of late. These are the books I have good memories of but probably don’t remember all that well:
- The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas: Just this one. I am going to pretend the sequels didn’t happen because they make me very sad. I also like this series even more after watching the recent BBC show with Steph. Good times. 🙂
- The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas: Hmm. I guess even when I was younger I liked to read a lot by the same writer. Or I just liked revenge stories? I was an odd one. (Haha, “was”.)
- Panchatantra: They are animal fables from India, and they came in these slim, illustrated volumes. I had devoured them over rickety train rides.
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: This I’ve actually re-read several times. Maybe it traumatized me early on, because I am pretty sure this book is the reason I love all things nightmarish.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl: I mean, it has chocolate in the title. Of course I read and loved it.
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I like her other stories (“Love and Freindship” is a riot, and “Lady Susan” is deliciously dark), and this one is my favourite – although recent rereads have left me with a much greater appreciation of her skill.
- Antigone by Sophocles. Antigone’s lament when she says goodbye to life and light as she walks toward her tomb is incredibly moving.
- As You Like It by William Shakespeare is funny and bold and an amusing antidote to the pastoral style so popular at the time. Studying Hamlet three times in four years has left me a little weary of that prince, which is unfortunate because the play has great and very quotable lines. I’ve forgotten large chunks of the histories, also a pity.
- Little House in the Big Woods and the other Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
- Paddy the Beaver by Thornton Burgess. Plus the other books in the series, such as Reddy Fox. My dad read these when he was a boy, and he read them to me when we camped out.
I’m not really sure what counts as classics – are we meant to be choosing The Odyssey or Blueberries for Sal? Haha, I’m just being snarky. The idea of the “Classic” is incredibly protean.Well, here it is, this is as classic as I can think of at the moment:
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I love this book. The idea of the “modern prometheus” resounds through fiction of all forms and it will probably continue to do so. This tale has it all – politics, intrigue, sex, murder, adventure, villainy and goodness. It reaches back into mythology and yet impacts the most far fetched of science fiction.
- A Christmas Carol by Dickens. I have always enjoyed this story, in it’s many renditions (including the Muppets!) to the very lengthy original listing of food on the Ghost of Christmas Past’s table. It’s witty, it’s touching and it’s a darn good story.
- The works of Tolkein (The Hobbit and LOTR especially). As has been said before – I began reading literature with Tolkein and I have yet to return from the fiction.
- The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. This was the first of H.G. Wells classic science fiction’s that I read – and probably the closest to a dystopian read that I got to until I picked up 1984. Still this book resounds with me, I love the idea of time travel, and the way that Wells imagined it is just so ingrained in my mind. Wells set out are rules and consequences and began asking that fundamental Science Fiction question: is scientific progress really worth it?
- Persuasion by Austen. This, her last novel, has remained my favourite. From it’s very title to her main characters Anne and Wentworth this is her sharpest and funniest work and one that I should revisit sometime soon.
Classic (according to Google) as an adjective means: judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind. I don’t know about highest quality and being outstanding in its genre – this depends on who is judging and how these judges are biased and what is considered classic in the English speaking world were written by people I have nothing in common with. But that’s an article for some other day. Some classics that I like are:
- Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery
I recently reread Anne and was amazed by how much I still liked the book. I loved it when I was a kid and I love it now that I am an adult. Perhaps that’s the true test of a book aiming to be a classic?
- Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Okay, Mr. Rochester has been and always will be a creep in my eyes because who keeps his wife locked up in an attic and then tries to marry a younger and vulnerable woman? But Jane is awesome and more awesome than Jane is the writing. I honestly don’t care much for Bronte’s stories but her writing always wins me over.
- Persuasion – Jane Austen
Yep, everything Stephie said.
- Matilda – Roald Dahl
I just loved the idea of a heroine who loved to read as much as I do.
- Heidi – Johanna Spyri
Heidi was so isolated from everything and I felt the same way because I lived in Fiji and I couldn’t help feeling that there was an entire world out there that I couldn’t get to, a world that was much brighter, much more fun than what I had.