Here is a list of the Top Ten Classics I grew up reading. To me they are considered “Classics” and I am sure that most of them are on an official “Classics” list too.
1. Pride and Prejudice-Jane Austen- I can’t even begin to explain how much I love this book. I own various copies of it, and have watched all the adaptations (yes…even the crappy ones)…and pretty much read it at least once a year.
2. Dracula– Bram Stoker- There’s just something about Vampires…and this was the book that started my vampire obsession when I was just a little pre-teen.
3. Anne of Green Gables (The Entire series)-L.M. Montgomery- Filled with the beautiful countryside of Prince Edward Island, the imaginative and feisty red headed Anne and all her glorious adventures. I love Anne so much, that I proceeded to read the entire series that follows her into adulthood.
4. Little Women– Louisa May Alcott- Of all the sisters I loved Jo the best with her independent soul and creative whimsy, but all her sisters were special in their own way.
5. Emma– Jane Austen- Charming, flawed, but lovely Emma and her matchmaking mischief. Sometimes you want to smack sense into her, but in the end you know she means well and just has some growing up to do.
6. The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairytales– Grimm- I read these over and over and over again throughout my childhood and into my adulthood (though I see them now in a very different light and see how really “dark” many of the stories are).
7. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe– C.S. Lewis- Completely enchanting and marvelous tale, that made me want to check the inside of all wardrobes in every house I ever spent time in as a child.
8. The Picture of Dorian Gray– Oscar Wilde- This book fascinated me, because it showed a very interesting look into the human pysche with plenty of points of discussion regarding right from wrong, what we are willing to give up to have our heart’s desires. As well as not judging or assuming to know a person by the face they show on the outside.
9. Sense and Sensibility– Jane Austen- Yes, another Jane Austen book, but how can you blame me? After all I would probably put all her books on this list because I love them all, but I limited myself to just three. 🙂 My favorite character in this one is Marianne Dashwood, because I see so much of myself in her, especially my younger self. She leaps before she looks, she wears her heart of her sleeve, she is an absolute romantic and of course she also pays the consequence for not listening to her more sensible sister Elinor Dashwood (been there, and done that). A book about more than just balls and finding husbands (that’s how things were back then). I think Sense and Sensibility teaches a great deal about being a good sister/friend, learning to listen/have patience, but also when to throw caution to the wind.
10. The Awakening– Kate Chopin- Last but not least a book that truly made me question many things in my young life when I first read it at 17. Coming from a very “classic” and “conservative” family background of what was socially expected of me (marriage to a man, bringing up a family, instead of following my dreams, my goals, my desires) this book made me see that it was okay to not want those things, though it would probably not be easily accepted by those around me. At the time I was engaged to be married to a much older man, and that was the future I had planned out for me. This book was a critical point in helping me question what I wanted out of life. I’m lucky because most of society these days are okay with the choices I made (even if my family was not at the time), but that is not a luxury women had in Victorian times or even just a few years ago. It’s not even a luxury that women have in many countries in the present day. Though written long ago, there are still critical issues that we still deal with today in this book, such as equal rights for all women and gender crisis.
What are some of your favorite Classics? How do you define “Classic”?