It goes without saying that I am a book nerd to the extreme. Not only am I constantly lost between the pages of a book, I have a (mostly inactive) book blog and and English degree to show it 😛 Even though I pride myself on believing that I have read many great classics, the truth is there are more esteemed classics that I haven’t read than those that I have. It’s actually kind of ridiculous. The funny thing about the situation is that all of the classics I have read, I’ve really enjoyed. Well, that is for the most part (no more Dickens for this gal please).
In 2017 one of my bookish goals is to read more of the beautiful classics I have sitting on my shelf. I am currently trying to read one classic a month, so that by the end of the year I will have at least twelve knocked off the list. I will also admit to you now (apparently it’s confession time) that I drafted this post in January. I am clearing dropping the ball on maintaining this blog. That being said, I’ve already read three classics (The A.B.C. Murders, Wuthering Heights, and The Little Prince) and I am currently reading Little Women. For this post, I’ve narrowed it down to the five classics that I am currently most excited to get to, and those that it may shock you to learn I haven’t read. So here it is folks – five classics that I really want to read and probably should have read by now.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
I know what you’re thinking, CeeCee, didn’t you just say that you’ve already read Wuthering Heights? Yes, I have, but I’ve decided to still kick off this list with the famous Brontë classic. To be fair, I wasn’t reading this when I started writing this post (like I said, it took me a long time to actually publish this) and I have since finished the book 😛 However, I still want to have this book on the list because it was quite the accomplishment for me. I’ve been wanting to read Wuthering Heights ever since I was in high school. More confessions: My class studied this in grade 12, however, at the time I think I only read about half of it. I don’t remember why. Maybe there were other things I wanted to be reading, maybe I was busy with school and work. No matter the excuse, at the time I survived on Sparknotes and class discussions. Fast forward five years later, I decided to try to read Wuthering Heights again, but I definitely didn’t pick the right time. Trust me, exam season of your final semester of university is not the time to pick up 19th century literature for fun. I ended up putting it down yet again, but as of February 2017, I have finished it! I don’t know why it has been such a challenge, because I love Gothic literature and Jane Eyre by Brontë sister, Charlotte, is one of my favourite books. Admittedly, I still love Jane Eyre more, but I’m so glad that 2017 is the year that I was able to check off another Brontë sister’s work!
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Peter Pan was always my favourite story as a kid. The ability to fly and the prospect of never growing up? Sounded perfect to me! Although I’ve seen film adaptations of the famous story too many times to count, I’ve never actually read J.M. Barrie’s novel. I want to correct that this year and finally read what I consider to be one of my favourite childhood classics! It will definitely be interesting to read this as an adult because it can be analyzed in so many different ways. It definitely has the potential to be a novel I study with future classes.
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
I have to admit, I am surprised that I enjoy the work of John Steinbeck as much as I do. I am not much of a country girl, and a story in the desolate American South or West wouldn’t normally appeal to me. Add on the fact that the synopses of his books don’t exactly sound like a thrill ride, and you’ll see why I’m surprised that he may be up there on my list of favourite classic authors. I loved both Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath. I don’t know if it’s the writing style, the stories, or the characters, but these are some of my favourite classics. This is why I wanted to add East of Eden to my classics TBR. I’ve heard this one praised just as much, if not more than Grapes of Wrath, and it is described as being one of the greatest family sagas in American literurate. Why not give it a go then, eh?
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Are you ready for the cringiest fact of them all? I (very ashamedly) have never read a Jane Austen novel. I KNOW. I’m very good at faking that I’ve read Jane Austen because I love her stories and have seen so many adaptations, however, I’ve never physically read a book. It is the worst. I cannot believe I’ve let this go on as long as it has. But it ends this year! Why not start with the popular Pride and Prejudice you may ask? Well, I’m extremely familiar with that story and I honestly think the best way to sit down and enjoy your first Austen is to go in not really knowing anything. Sense and Sensibility is another one of Austen’s most well-loved novels, and I know very little about it. This is why I want to knock Sense and Sensibility off my list this year. Well, that reason, and also so I can stop feeling like such a phony 😛
1984 by George Orwell
To end off this list, let’s discuss the classic that is sweeping the world because of its disturbing relevance. It’s no secret that sales of 1984 have sky-rocketed since the beginning of Trump’s administration, and I will be the first to tell you that it scares me. Why not jump back and read a dystopian that seems eerily relevant? Hopefully it will do the opposite of scare me and give me comfort that people can recognize the error of their ways by reading dystopian fiction that highlights how oppressive and dangerous certain notions are. That is the hope of these speculative fiction writers, right? Anyway, enough rambling. I would really like to read 1984 because of the relevancy. And it saddens me to say that a book like 1984 can be called relevant in modern society.
And that’s it! Those are the classics that I want to finally read in the year 2017. It will be interesting to see which of these I read. I mean it’s 5 books, can’t be that hard right? 😛 Let me know if I am alone in my shame of not reading popular classics or if you are endeavoring to also widen your reading experience. Wish me luck!
To find these books on Goodreads:
Wuthering Heights – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6185.Wuthering_Heights?from_search=true
Sense and Sensibility – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14935.Sense_and_Sensibility?from_search=true