Top Ten Classics I Want To Read

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list is either Top Ten Favourite Classics or Top Ten Classics I Want To Read. I had to pick the top ten classics I want to read, as I am AWFUL at reading classics. I don’t know what it is about them, I just haven’t read as many as I feel like I should have done.

Some are more modern classics than others, but here is my selection in no particular order:

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David CopperfieldCharles Dickens–  I do like reading Charles Dickens, but this one is has escaped me many times.

Tess Of The D’UrbervillesThomas Hardy– My sister really likes this book. I’m intrigued…

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I Capture The CastleDodie Smith– I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this book. I need to read it!

The Virgin SuicidesJeffrey Eugenides– This book is another one I’ve heard many things about, but I’m yet to read.

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Vanity FairWilliam Makepeace Thackeray– I’m not sure if I’ll ever get around to this book, as the size of it really puts me off. But maybe I can be persuaded to read it?

1984George Orwell– I have been meaning to read this book for such a long time now.

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Brave New WorldAldous Huxley– Another book that I’ve been meaning to read for ages (there are just too many books 😉 ). I really hope to get to this at some point.

Of Mice and MenJohn Steinbeck– I remember another class at school reading this and wishing it was my class! Hopefully, I can read this book soon.

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Wuthering HeightsEmily Bronte– I know a lot of people love this book, so I’m slightly intimidated to read it.

A Streetcar Named DesireTennessee Williams – My sister absolutely adores this book. It makes me want to read it!

Have you read any of these classics? Which would you recommend? Which would you stay away from? Please feel free to leave a link to your Top Ten post and I’ll come and check it out!

 

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The Great Gatsby

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How did I get it?:
I downloaded it free for my Kindle.

Synopsis:

In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write “something new–something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned.” That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald’s finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author’s generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald’s–and his country’s–most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. Gatsby’s rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.

It’s also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby’s quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means–and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. “Her voice is full of money,” Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel’s more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy’s patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout.

Thoughts:

I have been meaning to read The Great Gatsby for some time now, so I’m glad I was inspired to read it recently. It’s not a long read, or hard to read so it was perfect to slot in between reads! I thought it was an enjoyable enough read, but I didn’t feel blown away by it. I think it’s because it was so short, I didn’t really have time to get invested in the story like I enjoy doing. Others feel like it’s the perfect length, so don’t feel put off by me not feeling like it was long enough!

I thought the narrator of the story, Nick Carraway was an intriguing narrator. He comes into contact with Gatbsy as he is his neighbour and is invited to one of Gatsby’s social gatherings. It doesn’t take long for everything to kick off.

Although this is a short read, it is full of depth and interesting insights into the human condition. I thought F.Scott Fitzgerald’s writing was beautiful and truly believe that this is a classic well worth checking out.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

Lysistrata- Back To The Classics 2013

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This is the third book I have read in the Back To The Classics challenge 2013. You can read more about the challenge HERE. Check out my review of the 19th Century Classic HERE and the 20th Century Classic HERE.

For the Pre-18th or 17th Century Challenge I picked Lysistrata as I’ve heard a lot about it but never read it.

Synopsis:

Aristophanes’s “Lysistrata” is one of the great comedies from classical antiquity. Central to the work is the vow by the women of Greece to withhold sex from their husbands until they end the brutal war between Athens and Sparta. A hilarious and decisively anti-war comedic drama, “Lysistrata” stands as one of the great works from the classical age of drama.

Thoughts:

As mentioned, I’d heard about this book before I read it. It’s definitely way, way, before its time. The story involves a decision that Greek women make, to withhold sex from their lovers until the men write a peace treaty and put an end to the wars. It’s a short, easy read. I was surprised at how funny it was. It seems that the Greek can do comedy just as well as tragedy. Despite the play veering more towards the comedy, there were serious issues tackled by Aristophanes such as War and Power. Lysistrata as a main character is interesting and the other characters are wonderfully witty. It is incredibly crude so don’t be surprised by that! It’s not something that I’d read again but I enjoyed it for what it was!

Rebecca: Back To The Classics Challenge 2013

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This is the second book I have read in the Back To The Classics challenge 2013. You can read more about the challenge HERE. Check out my review of the 19th Century Classic HERE.

Synopsis:

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .

Working as a lady’s companion, the heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Life begins to look very bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. She accepts, but whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to the ominous and brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding Mrs Danvers . . .

Not since Jane Eyre has a heroine faced such difficulty with the Other Woman. An international bestseller that has never gone out of print, Rebecca is the haunting story of a young girl consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity.

Thoughts:

Unlike my last book in this challenge, I have read Rebecca before. I absolutely loved it so I decided to read it again for the 20th Century Classic option.

Rebecca is a novel that many avid readers feel like they should read. I agree with them. I think it’s a book that everyone that enjoys reading should at least attempt. Like the previous time I read Rebecca I thought it was a bit slow to start, but suddenly I was gripped by the book and didn’t want to put it down. Rebecca is a book that stays with you, long after you have finished.

The characters are fabulous it’s hard to pinpoint who I enjoyed more. If I had to pick I’d choose either Rebecca or the creepy Mrs Danvers. It may be weird to admit to liking such a creepy character but her obsession for Rebecca was fascinating. I think without such a strange character Rebecca wouldn’t have been such a good read. Mrs Danvers had such a strong attachment to Rebecca and seemed to make things difficult for the new Mrs de Maurier, because she simply didn’t match up to what she had known and loved. Maxim was a strange character to get on with. His moods often changed but I think it becomes clear towards the end of the book why he is the way he is.

Daphne Du Maurier’s writing is incredibly descriptive. We see the world through Mrs de Winters eyes and learn about the environment and the darker side of the story as she begins to develop and mature as a person. Mrs de Winter is incredibly immature and eager to please. She goes from being quite a weak (and sometimes annoying in her eager to please mode) character to growing up fast and developing a back bone.

I particularly enjoyed all of the plot twists in the story. The novel felt somewhat Gothic which is intriguing but it also felt like a mystery. It’s definitely a gripping story, making the reader think about how much a person can affect a families lives even when they are no longer around.

Rebecca is a story that I believe any avid reader could enjoy, no matter what genre they prefer. It’s incredibly easy to read, the writing is simple, but the plot is intriguing and complex. Yet, there’s enough drama to make you want to carry on reading even though there’s a lot going on. I loved it!

Reading next:
Geek Girl- Holly Smale

Sense and Sensibility: Back to Classics Challenge 2013

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This is the first in the Back to Classics challenge that I’m taking on this year. For the 19th Century Classic I picked Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.

Synopsis:

Two sisters of opposing temperaments but who share the pangs of tragic love provide the subjects for Sense and Sensibility. Elinor, practical and conventional, is the epitome of sense; Marianne, emotional and sentimental, the embodiment of sensibility. To each comes the sorrow of unhappy love: Elinor desires a man who is promised to another while Marianne loses her heart to a scoundrel who jilts her. Their mutual suffering brings a closer understanding between the two sisters–and true love finally triumphs when sense gives way to sensibility and sensibility gives way to sense.

Thoughts:

I think I should admit that this is the first Jane Austen book I have read. I’ve wanted to read more classics for a long time now, so this challenge was the perfect starting point.

Sense and Sensibility was published in 1811 and was Jane Austen’s debut. The story follows the lives of the two older Dashwood sisters Elinor and Marianne. The sisters, as mentioned in the synopsis, are completely different to one another. Elinor, the elder of the two, is refined, Marianne is more uninhibited and doesn’t really care what people think of her. Of course, gentlemen are highly involved in the story and the sisters encounter many dramas along the way.

Sense and Sensibility isn’t a very complex novel. Jane Austen clearly commentates on the way people were and what was expected of high class females in 19th Century England. I found the beginning incredibly slow, but once I had got into it more I began to enjoy it. I found the character of Marianne to be completely over the top but Jane still made the character believable. Jane’s observations of human nature are still relevant today. Sense and Sensibility is an easy enough read, but for me, it’s not a memorable book at all.

Reading next:
Magic Under Glass- Jaclyn Dolamore