I’ve been reading/listening to classic literature, including Mark Twain, Ray Bradbury, Louisa May Alcott, H.G. Wells, and many others, for a long time now! And although this is a writing blog, I decided to post this list of my favorite classics. These books have stood the test of time and are great pieces of work that writers can not only enjoy reading, but also can learn from. I will spoil the surprise now. My very favorite classics are The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Sherlock Holmes. The only problem was I couldn’t pick between the three to choose an official number one! I left them out of the running so I wouldn’t have to pick. 🙂 Here are the first five of my list:
10. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
“The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!”
This was Austen’s first published novel and the first novel by her I read. I’m not much for romance, but this was really very good. Though the book didn’t have epic battles, swords, or actually much action at all (what I usually like), the story kept me interested as I was caught up in the social lives of the young Miss Dashwoods.
9. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
“I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen”
One of the things I remember most about this book was how many CDs the audio version had. It was either 18 or 19, and every one of those disks was worth it. Throughout the book, I felt as if I, too, were part of the March household, watching the four girls grow up into women. Out of all the girls, my favorite was definitely Jo. Being a beginning author myself, it was neat to watch her work on her novel and to struggle to be published.
8. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
“Because when you are imagining, you might as well imagine something worth while.”
This was one that I’ve enjoyed since I was younger. Anne, the orphan adopted by Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, was so imaginative and had some of the best lines ever written. One of the great things was watching how both Anne and Marilla changed. Anne brought Marilla up into the clouds a bit, and Marilla brought Anne down to the ground. I loved the adventures she had as she grew up on Prince Edward Island.
7. The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
“Thou hast the same hair, the same eyes, the same voice and manner, the same form and stature, the same face and countenance that I bear.”
This was one of my favorite stories by Mark Twain. He was so skillful in working in the real historical facts of Edward VI’s life with the fictional situation he created of the boy prince and the poor boy switching places. Mark Twain was a master of irony and observation, and this book was no exception.
6. 20,000 Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne
“The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy.”
Jules Verne is one of my favorite “classic” authors. The two books I’ve read of his I’ve adored. Captain Nemo was my favorite character in the novel. I loved how he was shrouded in mystery and that even at the end of the novel you still weren’t sure who Nemo was.
5. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
“I see that it is by no means useless to travel, if a man wants to see something new.”
The book that no one could make into a good movie! I have seen several versions, and none of them (though the Jackie Chan version was entertaining), was even close to the book. While the movies were terrible, the book was fantastic. From saving an Indian Princess to losing his manservant to a company of jugglers to being attacked by Native Americans in the Midwest, the book is chock-full of the adventures of Englishman Phileas Fogg as he travels around the world in 80 days.
On Thursday, I’ll post part 2! What are your favorite classics and why? Thanks for reading!