My Six Most-Recommended Classic Books (in no particular order)!
When I say my six most-recommended classic books, what I really mean are my six favorite classic books. These are books that stuck with me, long after I turned the final page.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Is there anyone who doesn't have this book on their favorite classics list? I don't know a single person who dislikes this book. I read Pride and Prejudice my senior year of high school, and once you can adjust to the florid writing style and the chatty characters, it actually reads like modern day rom-com. It's both intellectually stimulating and entertaining.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
If you've been following my blog for a while, you know how much I love this book. It's a deeply complex story about a deeply broken, multi-generation family. To further complicate the plot, Bronte’s framing technique—consisting of first and second-hand accounts from several characters’ perspectives—gives the book an urban legend atmosphere.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
I think I've mentioned this one, too. Oscar Wilde, in general, is a fantastic writer--a master of dialogue that carries its weight. His writing is both accessible and philosophical (there were definitely some parts of this book that went over my head). As with Austen, reading this book will make you feel smart, so I didn't mind at all. I also like it because it's a morality story--it's a cautionary tale about glorifying beauty.
Tenant of Wildfell Hall
This is the underrated book of the Bronte canon--I've even read it twice (once for pleasure and once in college)! Definitely a cut above her first novel, Agnes Grey, Anne Bronte really delivers on this one. Her writing style is the most accessible of the three Bronte sisters, but she still manages to cover controversial issues, especially for the nineteenth century. Some of them include alcoholism, single motherhood, gender equality, and abusive relationships. It's not a light read, but it sure is a valuable one. And compared to Charlotte's Jane Eyre, it sure does have a brave ending.
I've also read this book more than once--three times, to be exact. Ponyboy's voice has this magnetic pull to it. The characters are so charming and edgy and unflinchingly human. The most profound thing about this book? It made me cry. I remember it vividly--listening to the last couple chapters on audible at the gym.
Yeah. I was crying at the gym.
The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald
Following trends of the previous books I've listed, The Great Gatsby is a morality story. It's extravagant. It's fabulous. It's evocative. And it doesn't include many likable characters (if any). Lastly, Fitzgerald's writing has a way of making you feel smart. It's intelligent and fluid without being inaccessible, even to twenty-first century readers.
What do you think? Agree, disagree, or agree to disagree about my favorite classics?