You’ve all seen those lists, right? The ones that tell you how important and educated you are based on which of the “classics” you have read. I’ll be honest, I’ve read a few (being an English major helps), but there are more that I haven’t read. I definitely own my fair share of “classics”, but I have yet to check them off on my “read” list, probably due to the fact that I keep re-reading my favourites, or because Sophie Kinsella keeps releasing new titles (I’m a sucker for Kinsella). Today I am sharing my top five favourite fiction classics. Coincidentally, these are all written by women as well (as are most of the books on my shelf).
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. As a Canadian girl, I have to love Anne, right? But really, regardless of my citizenship, Anne (with an “e”) is impossible to dislike. She’s spunky, she speaks her mind, plus she has pals like her “bosom friend” Diana and the boy every Canadian girl loves, Gilbert Blythe.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I remember the first time I read this, I was fifteen and had to read it for my English class. I read it in just a few days and loved it. Even though I really did love it, I’ll be honest, the real reason I read it so quickly is because I was grounded that week, and had nothing else to do. But, there’s a reason this is always on high school curriculums, it is such an amazing, inspiring read. I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel (finally, after so many years!), which comes out in July!
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I’m not sure if I’ve shared my love of P & P with you before, but suffice it to say, I love this novel. By far my favourite book, I have read this so many times, listened to it on tape, watched every movie version, and even read the parody, Pride & Prejudice and Zombies (which I actually found quite amusing). It is a truth universally acknowledged that this should be in everyone’s library.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. This is the book that I would always recommend to parents trying to find books for their teenagers (I always tried to steer them clear of the vampires and werewolves). The first I read this, I was seventeen or eighteen and I took it to the beach one day. I wanted a book that made me look smart, but relatable and something I would enjoy. I’m not joking. I had visions of a cute nerdy Seth Cohen type walking up to me and telling me he loved it too. Unfortunately, I didn’t find my Seth Cohen that day (he came a few years later), but I did find a new literary best friend: Francie Nolan (and I’m still really bummed that Christopher doesn’t like the name Nolan for a future boy).
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The first time I read Little Women, I was eight. I’ve read it many times since and love it more each time. My sister and I used to watch the film versions — especially the 1995 version and reenact parts, like when Marmee comes home and taps her snow-covered shoes against the door at the beginning (but June Alyson is the best Jo hands down).
Have you read any of these? What books are on your list of favourite classics?