Top Ten Tuesdays: Classic Novels

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

[Frankenstein]




1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. The mother of modern science fiction. Shelley published this ground-breaking novel when she was only 21! Can you believe that? It’s one of the most acclaimed books ever published and has never been out of print. There’s a reason why.






[Pride and Prejudice]




2. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. We all know the story. The prejudice Mr. Darcy meets prideful Elizabeth Bennett and her sister goes eloping with distrustful Mr. Wickham all the while Lizzie wounds people with her rapier wit. It has all the makings of a wonderful romance any man or woman would love.





[On the Moors]




3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. Overcast sky, gloomy glares, and shadowy dispositions all rolled up in scandalous actions and a love more jaded than anyone from proper society would deign to read. What more could you want from a Gothic romance?






[The Great Gatsby]


4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It’s party time at Gatsby’s! Though this party may or may not end up with someone dead in a pool by the end of the night, it’s definitely worth going to!




[Dante's Inferno]

5. The Divine Comedy (Inferno) by Dante Alighieri. If you are well versed in the classics, your next read should by Dante’s Inferno. It is an allegory and riddled with layers and layers of literary references. It’s beautiful in its writing and content. I advise buying the translation by Stanley Lombardo —it’s the easiest to understand and the richest translation.


[1984]


6. 1984 by George Orwell. Though this was not the first dystopia written (that goes to Brave New World by Aldous Huxley written in 1931), this is a beautiful representation of what life could be like if information was kept from the masses. This —as well as Brave New World —is a read that you should definitely buy and leave time to chew on. 



[Jane Eyre]






7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Another dark and shadowed Gothic novel set in the drafty rooms and corridors of Thornfield Hall. The telling, much like the spookiness of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, is completely different yet just as enticing. Be ready to read it with the light on.








[Thorin and His Mountain]






8. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. The father of modern fantasy. Personally, his books (including The Hobbit) are very near and dear to my heart because I grew up hearing and reading them from a very young age.This is a story that has strong themes of good versus evil, while still giving a mystery to the adventures that beset the young hobbits. Even if you don’t like fantasy, you should read these, because his work is riddled with golden nuggets of wisdom and strength.






[Oedipus Rex]


9. Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. Oedipus Rex is the epitome of Greek tragedy, and rightfully so, despite its sadness and the fact that Oedipus just can’t seem to get a break, you should read it. Oddly enough, it’s one of my favorite Greek tragedies along with its sister play Antigone and Aristophanes’ comedy, Lysistrata.





[Hamlet is the Best]










10. Hamlet by Shakespeare. Obviously, it can’t be a Top Ten Classics List without something Shakespeare. Though, I can name a dozen other plays of his you should read, this is the one that you should read the most in my opinion. Its story is mirrored and referenced not only in other pieces of literature but in real life conversation —and most people aren’t even aware of it. Check it out and you might just be glad of it.

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