This week's theme is: Favorite Classic Books. Now, classic is a subjective term in literature and can span quite a large selection. So for this list I'm going to list my favorite classics published before 1900.
Here ya go:
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (published 1882)
- I read this book while living in Vienna and quickly fell in love with it. It must have been fate that I chose to read it when I did because during the holidays that year, the Vienna Opera House put on a ballet of the book. Score! It was phenomenal.
- This is one of those strange books where you absolutely loathe ALL of the characters, but find the book fantastic. Such a great read.
- A hefty piece to get through, but completely worth it by the time you're finished. The story of Jean Valjean, Cosette, and Fantine is one that shouldn't be missed. The new film was actually quite good...aside from Russell Crowe...
- Sacrilege...but I kind of love Elizabeth Gaskell more than Jane Austen. This book is amazing. Seriously, if you haven't read it yet, read it NOW! And then go watch the BBC version starring Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe.
- Poor Oliver! I loved this books so much and felt terrible for Oliver and all the other children in the Poor House. I really liked that there were humorous aspects and historically accurate descriptions of the social times. It's a beautiful, though at times rushed, book.
- This is pretty self-explanatory in my opinion. Austen is a literary force to be reckoned with and her first book is, perhaps, her best. It has spawned several film versions and inspired much fan fiction/spin-offs. If you've never read the story of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, you've been living under a very heavy rock!
- I've read a lot of Shakespeare, but this is probably my favorite for several reasons. The madness, backstabbing, murder, ghosts, etc all appeal to me. And it's got some of the best monologues!
- If you've never read any of Chaucer's tales, then you're missing out. They're raucous, hilarious, sentimental, raunchy, and awesome! This book has inspired a lot of other writers and even films...hello, A Knight's Tale!
- Though the most famous and widely read translation of this story is by Seamus Heaney and was published in 2001, it is originally from the above time period so I'm counting it. Also, it's an epic poem and not a book, but that's nit-picking! Though this is required reading in a lot of educational settings, I promise that it is an excellent tale and worth your time.
- If you're looking for something macabre, off-putting, putrid, and beautifully written, definitely check out Baudelaire's collection of poetry. It's so good!
Also, look for next week's Top Ten: Blogging Confessions