Unless you’ve developed your “reader chops” growing up with the Classics, the very mention of this far ranging genre may cause your eyes to glaze over. We’ve all been tortured with the obligatory book report on Moby Dickor Lord of the Flies. Sigh. I sometimes wonder if this academic approach discourages rather than encourages a love of reading.
I was one of the lucky kids who grew up with an appreciation of the awesomeness to be found in great works of literature. Raised in a knowledge desert on the outskirts of a military base in nowhere America, I took every opportunity to visit my little local library. Devouring everything I could get my anxious hands on, I developed a love for classic tales of adventure, sacrifice and unrequited love.
No movie, Netflix short or TV series can compare to a story written about a certain time and place in history by someone who actually experienced it.
Beloved Books I Discovered in My Youth
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
No Time for Sergeants by Mac Hyman (The movie is hilarious too.)
Books That Make You Think
The Sun Also Rises, The Old Man and The Sea or pretty much anything by Ernest Hemingway
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (I know what you’re thinking! The Woman in White is covered in a future post.)
Books for The Adventurous
Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
Books That Rip Your Heart Out
Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
The Four Feathers by A.E.W. Mason
I’ve just scratched the surface of this amazing genre. Many other novels and short stories hold a special place among these favorites, but I had to end the list somewhere. Did I miss your favorite? Let me know in the comments section. I’m always looking for book suggestions.
Here is the Goodreads.com list of popular classics. How many have you read?
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