When I was younger, my parents constantly badgered my sister and me to read classics. At the time, I preferred to read books like The Baby-sitters Club and Percy Jackson, so only occasionally did I pick up a classic book. And, okay, Anne of Green Gables was somewhat interesting, but I just found realistic fiction featuring ~modern day kids like me~ a lot more appealing.
Fast forward several years and as I’ve come to learn about the Lost Generation writers in my U.S. History class and more recently, as I’ve been binge-watching TEDEd’s “Why Should You Read…” series, I’ve come to realize that these books have interesting histories behind them that’d I want to explore.
Luckily, I live by the (admittedly trite) expression “better late than never,” so motivated by the regret of not listening to my parents earlier and by the realization that iBooks offers these classics for free, I give you my (non-exhaustive) list of classics that I’d like to read:
1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
A “romance” novel. This used to be a sophomore English book at my school, but they decided to take it out of the curriculum one year so I never read it.
2. Emma by Jane Austen
A TEDEd video about Jane Austen talked about how in books like Emma, “by telling the story in [the heroine’s] perspective, Austen tricks the viewer into believing their heroine knows best.” This use of perspective is intriguing and I’ve always wanted to be able to write stories playing with this tool, so I can’t wait to read how Austen does this.
3. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
I actually initially had Wuthering Heights on this list, and when I went on Goodreads to get a general sense of the book, I found it really interesting that the characters were hated across the board, whether you enjoyed or detested the book. However, one of the reviews referred to Gone with the Wind regarding when speaking to this controversial-protagonist style, and since GWTW emphasizes its historical context more (it’s set in the Civil War era), it was just more appealing to me. I’ll probably pick up Wuthering Heights eventually, but as of now, I’m going with GWTW.
4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I’d like to finally see what all the fuss about one “Mr. Darcy” is about.
5. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
I used to always confuse this book with Pride and Prejudice so I look forward to finally learning to distinguish the two. Jokes aside, this book seems really interesting in the way it addresses two extremes vs a balance.
6. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
The Lost Generation!!! The ’20s!!!
7. Anne of Green Gables (series) by L.M. Montgomery
I’ve read and loved the first book (it was one of the first classics I owned), and I want to try reading the entire series this time. I actually got the rest of the series several, several years ago at (I believe) a garage sale, but I never got around to reading them.
Also I really loved the Netflix show Anne with an E–all the more reason to finally finish this book series.
8. The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
This book was recommended by my U.S. history teacher!
9. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
This book isn’t on iBooks for free, but from the reviews on Goodreads, it seems very philosophical, psychological, and generally reflective, which I love in a novel.
10. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Growing up, I watched Little Women (1994) countless times and fell in love with the story. However, I never actually read the book.
If you have any other recommendations, please comment them below! 🙂