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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Top 10 Must Read Classics

There are hundreds of classics, and it can be hard to chose which ones to read.  Some can be a struggle.  Some what you question you life?  Others make you wonder how they possibly became a classic.  Here’s my personal list of ten classic you should take the time out to read.  (Disclaimer: I have not read all  of the classics. That would be nearly impossible.  This list is collected from a small sample size.

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
A real classic.  But probably not for you if you happen to be male.  From my brief foray into Austin discussions, I’ve learned that most guys do not like Jane Austin’s novels.  However, once you get a real feel for the writing style and voice, it’s so easy to read through and get into the novel.  If you like the Victorian era and romance, you will like Jane Austin.

2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
I’ve also heard some mixed reviews on this one, by both girls and guys.  I have to say though, it’s one of my absolute favorites.  The writing is so rich and linguistic–and you can pull some real heartfelt quotes that talk about undying love and passion.  It’s not your typical love story, but it will definitely get you thinking.

3. One Thousand and One Nights (Also known as Arabian Nights)
If you like history, especially Middle Eastern history, this is one that you’ll enjoy.  It tell rich tales from the Islamic Golden age.  I haven’t been able to read all one thousand and one stories.  I can’t even find a book that has all of the stories in it.  But I’ve gotten through a good chunk, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

4. 1984 by George Orwell
This is a dystopian novel that marks as a warning to the future if we don’t change our course.  It could arguably be one of the great firsts of the dystopian genre.  Many nay-sayers like to quote 1984 when talking about the demise of our present day society.  But don’t let that get you down–it’s a great read with a lot of knowledge to offer.

5. A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
Not don’t go arguing about you were forced to read Romeo and Juliet in high school, and how that has forever ruined the word of Shakespeare for you.  A Midsummer Night’s Dream is light, airy, and full of great jokes.  If you can’t get a firm grasp on Shakespeare-era speech and writing, get your hands on a copy that has a side-by-side translation into modern day English.  That way you can pick out all the penis jokes that Shakespeare likes to throw around.

6. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
 You may have had to read this one in high school, but you probably still liked it, or at least didn’t detest it.  If you have read it before, I would suggest picking it up again and rereading it.  You may see new things that you missed the first time through.  It’s definitely a classic for a reason.  Though it may have very obvious symbolism and foreshadowing, it’s still a good primer into reading the classics.

7. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I have heard much love for Fahrenheit 451.  Lot’s of people are jumping on the bandwagon and reading the book, myself included.  If you haven’t done so yet, I would suggest giving it a try. 
Another dystopian novel, which will again appeal to both girls and guys.  This is an American society where books are banned, and the “firemen” burn any that are found”.

8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Is this considered to recent to be considered a classic?  I don’t think so.  It’s a historical book that revolves around World War II and the Nazi Regime.  Books are burned in piles, and you have a little girl you steals book.  Hence, the book thief.  It’s heartbreaking to read.  I will warn you, it can be a little slow at times.  But it’s well worth the read.

9. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
If you want to bawl your eyes out and feel your heart breaking in your chest, then this is the book for you.  Told from the view of a mentally retarded man who gains intelligence, you learn about the friendship between one man and a mouse.  Of course everything goes horribly wrong and nothing in the world will ever be right again.  

10. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Such as absurd book.  It really makes no sense, in the long run.  But that’s not the point.  The point is that the world is coming to an end, and the dolphins are the only ones that can save us.  Want to understand all the references that your pretentious friend thinks are funny to spout off.  Then read this book! And then refrain from using references in front of people who don’t really care what you’re talking about.