Top Ten Tuesday, a concept started by The Broke and the Bookish, is a themed post that connects bloggers to bloggers, bloggers to readers, and readers to readers. Every Tuesday has a special topic, and this Tuesday is Top Ten Favorite Classic Books / Classics I Want to Read.
Whenever someone mentions “classic,” my brain immediately jumps to British classics. It’s my love, my passion, my one true academic piece of nerdom. But sometimes this person means “classic” like Greek and Roman plays or epic poems, or classic world literature, or American literature. I’ve played a game since high school to see how long I can go without having to read Hemingway, Vonnegut, Kerouac, Red Badge of Courage, The Things They Carried, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye…you know, Good Solid American Classics.
Favorite Classic Books
Jane Eyre because really, if you haven’t figured this out by now…wow.
Northanger Abbey is my absolute favorite Austen. Early YA right there!
Wuthering Heights not for the love story (because we can all admit it’s…odd), but for the passion, the class clash, the discrimination, all the topics used to discuss in literature courses. SO MUCH STUFF is in here, and it’s golden.
Dante’s Inferno, mostly because my AP Lit teacher would point out all the fart jokes and other inappropriate humor. He taught us that, no matter how high brow or difficult the language can be, one can still find something humorous in the writing.
Shakespeare’s Macbeth, as it’s another interesting study in human character (like Wuthering Heights).
Classics I Want to Read
Emma, even though I know what happens. There’s something intriguing about Austen loving the public’s least favorite heroine.
Les Misérables because it sounds so enriching.
Little Dorrit has always fascinated me. It seems relatively short for Dickens, but just as wonderfully creepy.
As You Like It, mostly because it’s one of the least talked-about Sheakespeare plays. I like going in blind!
Villette, because as autobiographical as Jane Eyre began, this is Brontë’s true autobiographical story (with a changed ending, of course).
What are some of your favorite classics? What classics would you like to read? Have you read any of these, listed above?
18 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Classic Books & TBRs”
Live Life, Love Lipstick
Interestingly enough, when I think of classics it reminds me of school! :-). We actually read most of the books you listed for GCSE and A-Level English Lit and Lang. I hated it then, but now I find the classics enjoyable x
That’s so interesting! Normally American schools read American classics heavily, but mine was odd and almost never assigned them for reading. I’m glad, because I thoroughly enjoy British classics. By the time I went to university, the professors never bothered with American classics, assuming we’d all read them. Ha.
Live Life, Love Lipstick
It is interesting how different countries teach literature classes, mind you with all the constant changes in schools now it is probably all so different 🙂 x
I read most of my classics in high school and at the university, I think, partly because they were required reading and partly because I felt the need to have a solid base for studying English Lit. My favourite English classics are Austen’s novels, but also Vanity Fair, The Scarlet Letter, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. But I also really enjoyed Crime and Punishment and Madame Bovary, for example.
I haven’t read Inferno yet (or anything from the Divine Comedy), though I’d like to – but it just seems so intimidating!
My take on children’s classics: http://ofdragonsandhearts.com/2014/07/top-ten-tuesday-childrens-classics/
I’ve read those too, except Crime and Punishment. I should add that!
Inferno is wonderful. I think most people are intimidated by the Divine Comedy because it’s in epic verse — don’t be. Take it slowly, read it like prose and not like a poem. You’ll find the humor and wit!
Thanks for stopping by!
Emily @ Books & Cleverness
Great list! I LOVE Jane Eyre – it’s possibly one of my favorite books of all time. Northanger Abbey and Wuthering Heights are on my TBR, too! And I haven’t seen anyone but you and I with Villette on our TTT list as of yet! I can’t wait to read it! 🙂
Did you see the guest post with Lindsey from Bring My Books we did last week? Here’s hers and here’s mine — all on Jane Eyre! (Apologies if you HAVE already seen it. We lost track of all the bloggers!)
You’ll enjoy WH and NA if you liked JE. Gothic literature, one focusing on the state of what defines humanity and love, the other a satire of Gothic literature. Love love love them.
Emily @ Books & Cleverness
No I didn’t! Thank you so much for sharing!
Macbeth is actually one of the few plays enjoyed reading in school (it was always such a traumatic thing to analyze Shakespeare’s work, especially his comedies! 😀 ) But Macbeth really is an interesting study in human character!
Les Miserables is on my wish list, too, but I’m kind of creeped out by the number of pages in the book! But then, on the other hand, I saw the musical and I’m just too excited about it to ignore the book 😀 Great picks!
There’s this discourse with Shakespeare’s plays, about whether or not it should be analyzed and read in schools — the point of contention: READING. The plays are meant to be performed, read aloud. The analyzation changes with the performance and the performers. That’s what I think teachers and students struggle with most: reading a PLAY when it should be watched and learned from that way. I’ve yet to see Macbeth, but I did see RSC perform Romeo & Juliet and Midsummer Night’s Dream, and those performances totally changed my views on the plays!
Oh gosh, Les Mis is a TOME! Hahaha. Agreed, saw the musical and it’s just…something so beautiful could only come from something so vast. Excited!
Agreed! I haven’t seen that many Shakespeare productions yet but it defnitely helped for a better understanding of his plays!
Generally, I think that the comedy in Shakespeare’s plays is often quite cruel (and so are the questions on English literature A-Level exam papers on Shakespeare’s works) which is why I often struggle to enjoy reading his comedy plays. I love seeing them on stage, though 🙂
You’re right! His comedies can be quite cruel! I don’t think it has much to do with the change in history, either (like, “imagine seeing this when he wrote it, you’d find it enjoyable!” UMMM…no, not really…). Makes you wonder why they were called comedies…
Maybe we have to be male to think they’re funny?
Grasping straws, here.
Great list! I love Jane Eyre too! I also need to read Emma. And Pride and Prejudice. I have only read two of her books, but I loved them
I want to read Emma so bad but I don’t have the time. I’ve got sub a nice copy of it too.
Have you been watching Emma Approved on YouTube? It’s a great modern adaptation of Emma!
I haven’t heard of it but I’ll look into it. Thanks!
Jane Eyre was one of my picks too! Pride and Prejudice is my favourite Austen, but I do like Northanger Abbey as well. Haha, Wuthering Heights made it onto my top 5 least favourite classics! I really just could not stand any of the characters in that one.
Hahaha, I know what you’re talking about with WH. I think it’s my favorite for all the topics you’d discuss in a literature class. In no way do I like the characters and their very first world predicaments. BUT…it’s quite quotable, and like I said, worthy of discussion. #nerd