Classic Curiosity Project

Posted June 27, 2014 by Bonnie in Classic Curiosity, Reading Challenges / 13 Comments

I may have read thousands of books in my life, yet classics are for the most part absent from that list. No, I haven’t read Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility or Mansfield Park. I haven’t read Frankenstein. Or Dracula. I haven’t read (anything) Brontë, Wells, Verne, Dumas, Hardy, Wilde, Tolstoy or Hugo. You name it I’m likely to have not read it. I started picking up a few classics here and there in recent years: Animal Farm, Lolita, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Metamorphosis, Bell Jar and they are all among my most favorite books now.

Classics aren’t always easy reads. They take much more time and energy than the typical books I read that I can breeze through but they have interested me and left me curious about all the ones I’ve been missing out on. So, Classic Literature, at least how I decide to define it, is my new book project. Better late than never, no?

This is a list of some classics that I’ve come up with that are on my sooner rather than later list. They’re a combination of big name titles and various short ones that will hopefully get me started right. Short classics sure are few and far between though! (Don’t even get me started with The Count of Monte Cristo. I’ve been told it’s fabulous but let me get through the Game of Thrones series before endeavoring on another massive book. haha)

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë {Purchase}
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë {Purchase}
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen {Purchase}
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley {Purchase}
Dracula by Bram Stoker {Purchase}
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley {Purchase}
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens {Purchase}
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells {Purchase}
The Pearl by John Steinbeck {Purchase}
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie {Purchase}

On top of the ones I haven’t read at all, there are also those select few that I read ages ago, mostly in school, that I recall enjoying and I’d love to re-read just to see if they’re just as fabulous as I remember.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee {Purchase}
1984 by George Orwell {Purchase}
Beowulf by Unknown {Purchase}
Lord of the Flies by William Golding {Purchase}
The Odyssey by Homer {Purchase}
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott {Purchase}
Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis {Purchase}
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain {Purchase}
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson {Purchase}
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien {Purchase}

With a massive list to go off of, where do you even start? I suppose just one book at a time. 🙂 What are some of your favorite classics? Do you have any recommendations on good books to start with? Am I missing any books you think belongs on this list? Let me know!



13 responses to “Classic Curiosity Project

  1. This is hard! Most of the recs that instantly came to mind were surprisingly written in the early 80s. They’re definitely “classics,” but not in the same sense as the others you mentioned. My suggestion is One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It’s quite long and there are tons of characters, but it’s a great read.

    • I think I would still consider that a classic as well. I consider John Fowles to be classic and I know a lot of people typically wouldn’t. One Hundred Years is on my list though! As well as Love in the time of Cholera. I recently read my first by Marquez, Memories of my Melancholy Whores, and really enjoyed it. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. I love reading classics – I majored in English Lit, so that helped. But I agree they’re harder to read – longer, slower, more difficult to understand. I haven’t really read any since I started blogging, which is unfortunate.
    I do recommend all of Austen’s novels (most especially Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice), as well as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Gone with the Wind is great as well. And I definitely agree that you should read some Marquez. 🙂
    I just bought a copy of Little Women (I’ve only read the abridged version, so I’m planning on getting to that this summer).
    I wish you luck with these, Bonnie! I’m sure you’ll end up with many more books to love.
    Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books recently posted…Review: Pointe by Brandy ColbertMy Profile

    • Those are all on my list! Gone with the Wind definitely although the size is super daunting. I don’t know much about the story though (haven’t even seen the movie) so that’ll be fun going into blind. I think I read the abridged version of Little Women I was younger so definitely want to get around to the full length version.
      Bonnie recently posted…Bookish Bingo – Summer 2014My Profile

  3. I absolutely love *Jane Eyre* and *Frankenstein.* Given, both of these took me about a hundred pages to decide that I was enjoying what I was reading. However Christie’s *And Then There Were None* was great from the get-go. It hooked me right from the beginning. Also, I really love and enjoy Dickens, however I think *Great Expectations* or *Oliver Twist* might be a little bit more of an approachable starting point with him. But, that’s just my opinion. 🙂
    Sara B. recently posted…{Comic Book Review} Lumberjanes #1My Profile

    • I’m really excited for Frankenstein. I have an excellent sounding audiobook copy of it that I’m eager to get to. 🙂 I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about And Then There Were None. I just need to take the plunge and pick it up. The only reason I picked Tale of Two Cities for Dickens was because I also picked up an audiobook copy of it recently and have found I do a lot better with classics on audio than in print. I’ll keep that in mind though if I have issues with it. 🙂
      Bonnie recently posted…Bookish Bingo – Summer 2014My Profile

  4. Wow, there are so many to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. I’d second the opinion that you can’t go wrong with Austen or Jane Eyre. I’m not a fan of Wuthering Heights, but I know a lot of people love it. I really loved A Tale of Two Cities when I read it in high school. It takes some effort to get into, but well worth it! I also love Brave New World, and think Dracula is a must-read for anyone who reads modern vampire stories. And I’d love to re-read a bunch of the book on your re-read list! Good luck!
    Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies recently posted…The Monday Agenda 6/30/2014My Profile

    • I want to read Dracula for that sole reason. I think it’s important to have read the origins of the stories that everyone has built theirs on. Same goes for Brave New World in a way. Dystopian fiction these days have developed off of the older classics, Brave New World, 1984, etc. I want to be able to say I’ve read the ‘originals’ as well. Thanks, Lisa!
      Bonnie recently posted…Bookish Bingo – Summer 2014My Profile

  5. I love your list of classics to re-read. I’ve started what I’ve called my “Required Re-Reading Project” in which I re-read books I read for school — some that I really enjoyed, but mostly ones I didn’t like because I think they probably were not nearly as bad as I thought they were when I was 16. My first book for the project was a 2-star upped to a 4-star when I gave it a second chance. Three others I’ve read (but not reviewed yet) also got bumped up significantly. I’m convinced the fact that I get to choose to read them this time around makes a huge difference (in addition to a lot more years of reading experience under my belt!) & I’m really loving re-discovering the classics this way 🙂
    Christine @Buckling Bookshelves recently posted…Books + Movies: NoahMy Profile

    • That’s a fabulous idea. I listed a few to re-read but honestly those are the only ones I recall reading. I’m sure I read more but can’t really remember. They obviously left a major impression on me. lol Good luck with your re-reads!
      Bonnie recently posted…Bookish Bingo – Summer 2014My Profile

  6. Tristam Summers

    As a creator of Classic Audiobooks I would absolutely recommend the Classics – If you haven’t read The Three Musketeers it really has everything – romance, action, mystery, intrigue, honour and espionage – villains to hate and heroes to love. If you, or any of your keen followers would like to review it I am willing to make it happen. Best of luck with working your way through your list and I apologise (not so humbly) if I’ve added one more to it.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.