This week’s topic asks for our ten favorite “classics,” which obviously can be defined a number of different ways. When I think of a classic, what comes to my mind are: (1) books you’d be assigned to read in school, (2) books that have won awards and/or acclaim, and (3) books that have become an integral part of the culture. Of course, that’s not a comprehensive definition — heck, it’s not even MY comprehensive definition — but it’s a start! So here, in no particular order, are ten of my all-time favorite classics:
1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen — Honestly, I’m tempted to fill slots 1-6 with Austen novels, but instead I’ll just mention this one, my absolute favorite book of all time!
2. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster — This is another of my very favorite books. I love Forster’s writing style, and it’s really interesting to see how Lucy grows throughout the course of the novel.
3. Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespeare — Beatrice and Benedick! Oh my heart.
4. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien — This is undoubtedly one of the most influential fantasy novels of all time, and it creates such a vivid picture of another world. There’s a tiny part of me that believes this book is true.
5. The Princess Bride by William Goldman — The movie is, of course, amazing, but I think the book doesn’t get enough love! It gives so much more information about Inigo’s and Fezzick’s backgrounds, and it’s much more satirical than the movie. Also: Zoo of Death!
6. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell — I sort of feel like I’m cheating, since this is basically another variation on P&P, but with more labor strikes. I love how both Margaret and John are so stubborn in holding onto their beliefs, yet they are ultimately able to see each other’s points of view.
7. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy — I don’t know if this really deserves to be called a classic, since the writing style is (in my opinion) clearly inferior to most of the other books on this list. But it’s still one of my favorite books, and the plot has definitely made its mark on popular culture. If it can be spoofed by Looney Tunes, it’s a classic, dammit!
8. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare — This won the Newbery in 1959, so I think it can legitimately be called a children’s classic. It was also my very favorite book before I discovered P&P, and it still holds a special place in my heart.
9. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley — The ending gives me chills.
10. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky — I actually found this enormous Russian novel to be a real page-turner! There’s so much about philosophy and religion and the meaning of life packed in here; I think it’s a book that everyone should read once in his/her lifetime.
17 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Classics”
Love seeing Shakespeare on your list!! 🙂
I mean, it doesn’t get more classic than that, right? 🙂
You mentioned a ton of great titles on your list here–LOTR, P&P, A Room With a View, etc. I think I have The Scarlet Pimpernel sitting on my eReader, but I’d have to double-check 🙂 Great list!
The Scarlet Pimpernel! Read it! You could even read it this month for Bastille Day! Not to pressure you or anything. 😉
Such great books on your list!! I love Shakespeare!!
Top Ten Tuesday
Thanks! Me too, the comedies especially.
I find classics quite daunting at times. Brave New World is on my list this week too. 🙂
Brave New World is really good, in my opinion; it definitely makes you think. And yes, I’m frequently daunted by classics too — especially the long ones!
So one of my favorite professors in undergrad just raved about Brothers Karamazov! It has been on my list ever since. But it is just so big, it kind of intimidates me lol.
Jennifer @ A Librarian’s Library–My TTT!
I know what you mean about the length being intimidating…it’s why I still haven’t attempted Moby Dick or War and Peace. But I definitely think The Brothers Karamazov is well worth reading if/when you have the time to devote to it!
Pride and Prejudice & North and South are among my favorites. Fantastic list!
Sooo good. Although apparently I’m addicted to the whole “hate each other, then love each other” plot — it applies to Much Ado as well!
Great list! I definitely count Newbery winners as classics. And The Princess Bride…
Haha, I do think The Princess Bride is a stretch…but the movie is 100% a classic, so I guess I’m extrapolating!
Sadly, I haven’t read many of these, but I read P&P last summer and it was SO GOOD! Man, I loved it. Listening to Emma this summer.
Yay! Austen is my absolute favorite, so I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying her! I hope you like Emma! And if you do, you should check out the “Emma Approved” web series, which is a modernized version of the story! http://www.emmaapproved.com