Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Classics that I want to read.

Lately I've been itching to read more classics. I haven't actually read any recently, because I've been working through a stack of library books. (I think this possibly the first time that I've read every single book that I checked out before they were due back!)
I'll admit that sometimes it's hard for me to get through classics. But most of the time they pleasantly surprise me. After all, most of my favorite books are classics: Pride and Prejudice, the Chronicles of Narnia, Jane Eyre, Persuasion, To Kill a Mockingbird, Emma, etc.
Going through my shelves, I realized that I own quite a few classics that I want to read. By the way, in this post, I'm referring to classics from the 1800s and "modern classics" from the 1900s. Here's a peek at them!

-Under the Lilacs and Eight Cousins, by Louisa May Alcott. The only Alcott book I've read so far is Little Women, but I really enjoyed it so I'm always hoping to read more from her! The only reason why I own these two in particular is because they were old, pretty editions that I came across in a thrift store. :)

-The Three Musketeers, by Alexandre Dumas. Yeah, not too sure about this one. :) I don't really have a lot of experience with this story...I've only seen the 1948 adaptation, and I pretty much only saw it for Gene Kelly. (I love him.) It was okay. I'm getting the 2011 adaptation/loosely based film through Netflix this week, so we'll see how it is. (Matthew Macfadyen! *ahem*) Anyway, I got this copy at a used bookstore several years ago, so maybe I'll read it eventually.

-A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. I want to like Dickens. I love the BBC adaptations of his books (Bleak House and Little Dorrit in particular). But so far I've only read one of his novels: Bleak House. It was good, but oh so long and overwhelming. I want to read more of his books, but seriously...so many pages. I'm a wimp.

-Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I love Sherlock (BBC Sherlock and the 80s-90s adaptations), but I've only read a couple of the original stories. I own this edition that includes 37 of the short stories and one of the novels (The Hound of the Baskervilles), and I'd like to read them all!

-The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I need to read this now! I love reading about this era, and this book is so tiny that I feel really silly admitting that I haven't it yet!

-Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell. I've read Cranford and North and South and really enjoyed them both, and I love all three of these BBC mini-series. This book is just so big! (This seems to be a recurring theme with classics.)

-Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons. I've seen the film and liked it okay, but I felt like I was missing out on a lot. I've heard that the book is absolutely hilarious, so I'm excited to read it.

-The Adventures of Robin Hood, by Roger Lancelyn Green. This is one of the prettiest books that I own. That's mostly why I bought it. :) But I want to read it! Love the 1938 film, and I want to see the newer film and the BBC series sometime.

-Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo. This book is so long and intimidating. The fact that my edition is split into two volumes (with tiny print) doesn't help matters...

-A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway. I have a love-hate relationship with Hemingway. I feel a connection to him since I've visited his lovely former home in Key West. (And if I was going to live in a warm, tropical-ish environment, that house would be my dream home.) I love his writing style and how he can make me want to read about things I have no interest in (The Old Man and the Sea!). But in the case of To Have and Have Not, he wrote a depressing, heartless tale that included too much profanity and other content issues for my taste. I have these two beautiful old editions that I'd like to read, to give him another chance. :)

-The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. I've heard lots of good things about this one!

-I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith. This book sounds so good and I've been wanting to read it for the longest time now.

-The Inimitable Jeeves, by P.G. Wodehouse. I've heard that the Jeeves books are hilarious, and this seemed like a good place to start! The gorgeous cover didn't hurt, either. :)

And now for a few children's classics:

-A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L'Engle. Technically, I'm 99% sure that I read this book in elementary school, but I don't remember anything about it. I want to read the whole series.

-The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain. Goodness, I absolutely love these editions. Is this a sequel to Tom Sawyer? If so, I guess I need to read that one first. :)

-The Anne of Green Gables series, by L.M. Montgomery. Don't hate me for this, but I've only read the first book in this series! I don't know what's wrong with me. :) I do own the first four, plus another related book, and I plan on reading the entire series this year.

-Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan, by E.B. White. I may have read these in elementary school, but I'm not sure. I love Charlotte's Web, so I want to read them.

Also, I forgot to include it in the pictures, but I also want to read The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne...I was given a really beautiful edition of that one. Others I forgot: Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell and Goodbye, Mr. Chips, by James Hilton.

And here are a few classics that I want to read that I don't actually own, in no particular order:

-1984, by George Orwell
-Tess of the D'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy
-Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh
-The Blue Castle, by L.M. Montgomery
-Lark Rise to Candleford, by Flora Thompson
-A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway
-Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier
-An Old-Fashioned Girl, by Lousia May Alcott
-How Green Was My Valley, by Richard Llewellyn
-Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
-East of Eden, by John Steinbeck

Whew. I've got a lot of reading to do. :)

Do you like reading classics? What are some of your favorites, or some that you'd like to read?


  1. I'm reading "Shirly" right now. : )

    1. Is that by Charlotte Bronte? I should have added more of the Bronte sisters' books to this list...but I guess I'm a little afraid to after how much I was disappointed with Wuthering Heights. :)

  2. I LOVE "I capture the castle." I have read it several times and I totally relate to Cassandra, I really want to read Cold Comfort Farms. The Anne of Green Gables series is my favorite. I think I am part of a small group of people who are more smitten with Gilbert then Mr. Darcy. :) The Scarlet Pimpernel is fantastic and so are the follow up books. They are riveting and the BBC adaptation from the 90s is pretty good.

    1. I think I Capture the Castle will be one of the first books on this list that I read. :) From my little experience so far, Gilbert seems like a great character! And after I read The Scarlet Pimpernel, I'll definitely have to check out the BBC adaptation...

  3. If you end up liking the Anne of Green Gables series also try Montgomery's Emily of New Moon trilogy. If you like the Scarlet Pimpernel try others of the series. The Elusive Pimpernel was better than the original and El Dorado was better than both (so read in the that order). My sister likes the prequels, but I have not yet read those.
    I read Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom (the sequel), but our library doesn't seem to have Under the Lilacs . . . or else somebody hasn't returned it!
    I spent December 2012 working my way through Les Mis, but I still cannot seem to conquer Dickens. I read Tale of Two Cities for school ages ago and the very short Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist somewhat recently, but I am on my second go (as of I began it for the second time in the summer and am thinking of picking it up again) of Great Expectations.

    1. I've heard good things about the Emily of New Moon series! And I didn't realize that Eight Cousins had a sequel...I'll take note of that in case I love the first one. :) Reading Les Mis sounds like quite an accomplishment to me, but I definitely understand struggling through Dickens. :)

  4. Huck Finn isn't completely a sequel to Tom Sawyer but it might be best to read Tom Sawyer first.

  5. Prepare yourself for a long comment, because... books. :D

    Under the Lilacs is my least favorite of Alcott's works (possibly because I've only read it once – since I didn't love it – and I've read every other book of hers at least twice), but I love Eight Cousins (and the sequel, Rose in Bloom).

    I haven't read The Three Musketeers either, but I really enjoyed The Count of Monte Cristo when I finally read it a few months ago. It ended up being one of my favorites from all of last year.

    Dickens and I have a very complicated relationship - I end up liking all of his books that I read, but they just take so long to get moving! I'm actually reading Bleak House right now and I think that it's finally starting to pick up. :D I loved A Tale of Two Cities, and liked Great Expectations, but I think that Our Mutual Friend is my favorite (so far).

    I adore Sherlock Holmes. All of the short stories are great and I've read most of the novels, but I think there are a few that I've missed. I should remedy that!

    I really liked The Great Gatsby for Fitzgerald's writing – it's beautiful. I picked up a few more of his books at a library sale that are on my to-read list now. :D

    I've read Wives and Daughters, but not North and South. :D I want to though, because I think (if I HAD to pick...) that I like the mini-series of N&S best out of the three.

    Cold Comfort Farm is one of the many books languishing on my Amazon wish list (which also functions as a to-read list of sorts). I've heard so many good things about it!

    Robin Hood has been one of my favorite characters ever since watching the Disney movie, which inspired an attempt to read Howard Pyle's version of the story even though I was only six or seven. :D Since then, I've re-read the book, watched the 30's film, the 50's television series, and the BBC show, but I haven't read this version yet.

    Les Miserables is intimidating! I own it too, and even got more than 100 pages through once, but gave up. That tome is certainly a commitment! Maybe someday... :D

    I've never read anything by Hemingway, but I'd like to. I feel like I need to read at least one book of his, because... well, I guess because he's a “Classic American Author”. Therefore, I must give it a try. :D

    I LOVE the Scarlet Pimpernel! It's so good. One of my friends growing up raved about it, so I gave it a try, but didn't get very far because I didn't like it (I must have been out of my mind!). That still bothers me, because I picked it up again a few years later and it became one of my absolute favorites (along with the sequels).

    I just bought I Capture the Castle after hearing yet another glowing recommendation, so I'm excited to read this one too! Now it sits in my ridiculous pile of to-be-reads...

    My siblings and I love the Jeeves and Wooster TV series. It's hilarious. I own a couple of books from the series, but haven't read them yet. Agh. Thinking about all of these unread books makes me simultaneously disappointed in myself and excited for future. :D

    I want to read the Wrinkle in Time books too!

    My mom read Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn aloud to us in school, and I remember loving them and acting out their adventures with my brother.

    I don't even know how many times I've read the Anne of Green Gables series. Some volumes of mine are definitely more worn and well-loved than others, but as a whole they're some of my all-time favorites.

    Stuart Little and Trumpet of the Swan bring back so many great memories. I think that along with the Little House books, they were some of the first books that my Mom read to me and my brother when we started homeschooling. I still love them!

    I also own copies of The Scarlet Letter, Black Beauty, and Goodbye, Mr. Chips, but haven't read them yet either.

    (Apparently this is comment is too long *hangs head in embarrassment*, so I'm going to finish in a separate one. Sorry!)

    1. The Count of Monte Cristo...another huge book! :) I'll have to check out Our Mutual Friend- that's the second mention I've heard of it lately. I definitely love the North & South mini-series best out of the three Gaskell ones. Wives and Daughters is actually my least favorite of the three, but I still enjoy it. Well, when you do read Hemingway, don't start with To Have and Have Not. :) The Old Man and the Sea was surprisingly good. I didn't expect to enjoy a book completely about an old fisherman! :) But it's a super-short, quick read and it gives you a good taste of what Hemingway's writing is like.

  6. Out of your last list (of unowned classics) I've read: 1984 (a couple of weeks ago, actually. It was good, but sort of disturbing, so it's hard to say that I “liked” it), Harriet the Spy (I read this several times growing up... and now I want to again!), The Blue Castle (I LOVED this one), Rebecca (another fairly recent read that I thought was fantastic), and An Old-Fashioned Girl (another fave). All the others – with the exception of A Moveable Feast – are ones I would like to read too.

    I know that this may already be the most long-winded blog comment in history (and I do apologize, really!), but here are a few classics on my to-read list – ones that you haven't already mentioned, and that I can think of off the top of head. :) Brideshead Revisited, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (shameful that I haven't already read it, I know), Frankenstein, Crime and Punishment, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (which I think would count as a classic, right?).

    This was a great post idea, Kristin! Seeing pictures of other peoples books and hearing about what they're reading or wanting to read is inspiring and automatically puts a smile on my face. :D

    1. I've only made it completely through LOTR once...one of my goals this year is to reread it. :) Oh- Brideshead Revisited! I've heard good things about that one, too.

      I absolutely love long comments! And I love talking about books with others, too. :)

    2. Oh, good. I had hoped that my comment wouldn't come off as too obnoxious. :) I just started rambling about each book, and couldn't stop!

  7. So many pretty books I can't handle it!

    I definitely recommend the Anne series, it's an all-time favorite of mine. Also, The Adventures of Robin Hood is just wonderful. I, too, got it mostly because of it's gorgeous cover, but the book inside is gorgeous too :)

    Les Miserables, Wives and Daughters, and A Tale of Two Cities are on my Classic TBR for this year too. I'm also planning on reading Bleak House - I've been putting it off because of it's insane length!

    I really enjoyed reading this post!

    1. It's good to know that Robin Hood is more than just a pretty cover! :) I enjoyed Bleak House...I'm not sure why I picked that massive book as my first Dickens. Probably because I had just fell in love with the BBC mini-series and I stumbled across a copy at the thrift store. :) It took me about a month to read it, but it was good!

  8. I LOVE The Scarlet Pimpernel (though having read my blog for a while, you can probably guess that). :) The entire Anne series is also fantastic (LMM's Emily trilogy is also a sentimental favorite of mine). And YAY SHERLOCK! :)

    1. I hear so many good things about The Scarlet Pimpernel! :) I definitely need to read more of L.M. Montgomery's books...I don't know why I haven't done so yet.

  9. You should totally try Wives and Daughters. The only big drawback in my mind was that it is unfinished, but I actually liked its unfinished ending better than North and South's ending. Elizabeth Gaskell's characterization is amazing! You actually feel like you know the characters. Overall, I liked Wives and Daughters even better than North and South. I listened to the audiobook version on Librivox by Elizabeth Klett. I loved her accents and listening to an audiobook helped me to "absorb" the entire book!


    1. Yes, that's probably one of the reasons that I've put off reading it for so long- the fact that it's unfinished. But that's interesting that you like it better than North and South! :) I hope to read Wives and Daughters soon.

  10. Jane Eyre is one of my all time favorites. And I loved visiting Hemingway's home in Key West also...

    Catcher in the Rye is an excellent "classic" as is anything by Mark Twain....

    Great list!

    1. The Hemingway House was probably my favorite part of Key West! Even though I'd only read two of his books, I felt such a connection to him, seeing the place where he lived and wrote. :)

      Thank you! And thanks for the recommendations. :)

  11. Hi Kristin!

    This is Victoria, from Hope Writer blog. I have just loved looking through your blog! So many of those books sound amazing - what an awesome reading list!

    I just wanted you to know that I have tagged you over at my blog. I've had such fun talking with you, and some other new bloggers that I've never met before, through the Literary Heroine Blog Party! I hope you enjoy the tag! The link is below:


    1. Thank you! :) It has been really nice to meet new bloggers through the blog party!


Please feel free to leave a comment, I love to read them! :) I reply to each one, so be sure to check back, especially if you asked a question.