Lists, Reviews

Vintage & Modern Reading Companions: A Top Ten List

Vintage and modern.

Vintage and modern go together like “insert your favorite pair here”. It’s a lovely home décor style (see Schoolhouse Electric) and it makes for well-rounded interests in regards to books, movies, music, etc.

I’d like to think of myself as an eclectic reader. I read a little bit of everything, even romance, though I’m loath to admit it (everyone needs to know things work out sometimes, even if it’s only fictionally, although I do wish the billionaire-virgin trope would die a fiery death). Anyway. A large portion of my reading overall has been dedicated to classics, although I don’t read classics as often anymore for a couple of reasons. The first reason being that I’ve read most of the ones that interest me (although there are always more) the second reason being that I sometimes feel like I’m drowning under review obligations (entirely my own fault, mind you). The purpose of this week’s list is to pair classic (vintage) novels with complementary modern novels (as hosted by The Broke and The Bookish). I am going for a more thematic match than a modern retelling.

Some things just BELONG together. Like Rocky and Adrian.

Some things just BELONG together. Like Rocky and Adrian.

Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier and Bag of Bones by Stephen King. Haunted love stories.

A Separate Peace by John Knowles and The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Boarding schools (well, college) and guilt. More importantly, two of my favorites.

Moby Dick; or, The Whale by Herman Melville and Green Shadows, White Whale by Ray Bradbury. The first one always acted as a wonderful sleep aid and the second one made me laugh out loud. However, they are relevant to each other and both worth reading..

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray and American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. Sociopathy in society.

The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy and Everyman by Philip Roth. We all die, even when we don’t want to.

The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham and The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh. The Painted Veil is another favorite of mine, The Fever Tree is a slightly different South African version.

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare and Private Lives by Noel Coward. This is a case of older and old, but I LOVE Much Ado About Nothing and I find Private Lives quite funny as well.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. Surreal worlds just below the surface of things.

Dracula by Bram Stoker and The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I am doing something I’m not fond of doing here, I’m cheating. I haven’t actually read The Historian yet (but do know what it’s about). I’m hoping to fit it in next month.

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. I read one over a decade ago and one a couple of months ago. I remember thinking they would pair well together at the time, or at the very least, that the latter was reminiscent of the former. I’m very helpful, I know…

So what would you pair together?

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