Before I began my classic book project, I had only read a handful of classics (I must have skipped a lot of English classes!). Somehow it feels like the right time in my life to be discovering them. I love the classics not only because they are amazing, engaging stories, but because I believe they are part of our collective knowledge of human experience. Even if we have never read a famous classic book, we still know something about it. I am fascinated by the way classic books intersect with popular culture and can affect people born generations after they were written. How are they adapted, interpreted, turned into music or art? Social media only intensifies the experience.
Of all the classic books I have read, the following are my Top 5 (so far):
Anne of Green Gables – A sweet, simple story that reminds me to enjoy the simple things in life. To love and accept my children, not change them.
Frankenstein – Stunning, powerful story about man vs. nature.
Jane Eyre – I didn’t want the guy to get the girl, but I love the girl and Charlotte Brontë”s sprawling, poetic writing.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – I admire Sherlock Holmes for his gifts and eccentricities, but my biggest crush is on our narrator Dr. John Watson (who looks like Jude Law in my head).
Emma – I have only read Emma and Mansfield Park, but I have watched Sense and Sensibility (1995) more times than I can count. When I finally read Jane Austen’s book will it blow Emma out of the water?
The best part about reading classic books is having an amazing community to share my reading joys and pains. I joined The Classics Club once I started blogging and have been encouraged and supported from the start. I highly recommend the club to any blogger who enjoys reading the classics.
All year I haven’t strayed from reading classic books (not even to read parenting books to see what’s the latest thing to panic about) and there are hundreds of classic books not on my list to be read, so I probably won’t venture too far from this path for awhile. Although Game of Thrones is very tempting …