Lists, Reviews

Reading the Classics: A Top Ten List

Classics have gotten a bit of a bad reputation (feel free to hum “I don’t give a damn about my bad reputation…”). They are often referred to as boring, stuffy, and hard to understand. This can be true, for me it’s  books like Ulysses and Moby Dick. The first I find hard to understand (still superior to my experience reading Pynchon) and the second I find to be quite possibly the best sleep aid I’ve ever used.  So without further rambling on my part, here are ten classics that I would recommend (as hosted by The Broke and the Bookish).

Classics 2

10. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. But only the one narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch. Obviously.

09. A Separate Peace by John Knowles. Boarding schools, I always wanted to go to one.

08. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy O’Toole. Every time someone I like tells me they hate this book, I will admit to pausing and thinking “…and how are we friends?”.

07. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. This is, far and away, my favorite classic. I don’t even know how many times I’ve listed this one, I’m sure I’d be embarrassed if I knew.

06. The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis. Whoever says classics are boring hasn’t read The Monk. This has everything, and I mean every single thing.

05. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious. Scandal in small town New Hampshire. Writing this book ruined the author’s life, but it’s quite a fun read. This one really stretches the limit of the term ‘classic’, but I do have a soft spot for New Hampshire.

04. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. The classic science gone awry story.

03. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. Everyone goes on (and on, if you consider school curriculum) about 1984 and Brave New World, I feel like We should get a little acknowledgement too.

02. East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I feel like The Grapes of Wrath gets all the glory, but East of Eden is a more enjoyable book from my perspective.

01. Sanctuary by William Faulkner. You’ll never look at a corncob the same again. Promise.

What classics do you recommend?

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