Ahh, classic lit. Those thick, long, complicated books with the tiniest print possible. If you’re like me, I like cracking them open to appear like I’m the type of person who enjoys classic lit. But you know I’m really forcing myself to read it.
I really want to love reading classics! It’s just that sometimes, my eyes are reading the words but my brain isn’t comprehending. Those old authors, they really liked to show off their vocabulary. And ramble a bit.
HOWEVER, I know that reading classics has a ton of positives. For one, they really do expand your vocabulary. It’s scientifically proven you become more intelligent, scientifically and emotionally. You’re all-around more cultured. Your writing quality improves. You get to say things like, “Oh yeah, I totally I read that book,” which is fun and impressive. Plus, you can make a ton of awesome literary references that AP lit teachers and college professors would love you for. And, probably the most important point here, the smell of old books is heavenly.
To be fair, I have read a few classics, like The Great Gatsby, Slaughterhouse-5, Fahrenheit 451, Diary of Anne Frank, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Macbeth, To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, Animal Farm, Things Fall Apart… and maybe a couple more I can’t remember. But I really want to read a lot more. Plus, a lot of these were required reading for school.
We’ll see how long it takes… because let’s be real here, reading a classic book takes 20 times longer than reading a modern one. Maybe one or two I’ll absolutely fall in love with and they’ll change my life. Who knows, right? Okay, here we go!
1. MOBY-DICK BY HERMAN NELVILLE
I know that the first sentence of this book is: “Call me Ishmeal.” I know Moby-Dick is the name of a whale, and the whale symbolizes something really deep. That’s pretty much it.
2. THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY BY OSCAR WILDE
I’ve heard really really good things about The Picture of Dorian Gray! I don’t really know much about this one either, but I know Oscar Wilde was a pretty cool dude.
3. THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA BY ERNEST HEMINGWAY
I love Hemingway and his style of writing. I’ve only read short stories by him so far, but honestly, this book is so thin it could almost be a short story. I’m excited for this one!
4. THE CALL OF THE WILD BY JACK LONDON
My mom recommended this one to me, and I know it’s about a wolf, but that’s it.
5. THE HANDMAID’S TALE BY MARGARET ATWOOD
Okay, I’m really excited for this one and have heard really good things! The Handmaid’s Tale is set in a dystopian future where women have no rights – they can’t learn to read or write, I think all the women sleep in the same place but don’t quote me on that, and their only job is to get pregnant. Also, fun fact, apparently a Hulu TV show of this is coming out.
6. CATCHER IN THE RYE BY J. D. SALINGER
I know that this is about a teenage boy. At first I thought it was about a group of teenage boys living on an island, but I think I’m thinking of another classic. ANYWAY, this is a super famous one, I’ve heard good stuff about it, and I’m excited for it.
7. LOLITA BY VLADIMIR NABOKOV
Okay, this one I actually know what I’m talking about because I started reading it recently!! It’s about this creepy man who has a thing for younger girls, and falls in love with a girl named Lolita. So far it’s been pretty good. I’ve been slow with keeping up with it, and have stopped to read a couple YA books, but I like it so far.
8. THE SOUND AND THE FURY BY WILLIAM FAULKNER
I know nothing about this book, except that the title was pulled from a soliloquy from Shakespeare’s Macbeth that I had to memorize: “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Thank you, thank you!
9. LORD OF THE FLIES BY WILLIAM GOLDING
Ooh, I think THIS is the one about the teenage boys on an island. Well, I’ve heard that this one is amazing.
10. GREAT EXPECTATIONS BY CHARLES DICKENS
Fun fact, I tried to read this book in third grade. (Like I said, I wanted to seem like I could read classic lit at age eight. Um.) But I think I’ll give it another try. Also, I think the ending was spoiled for me. But I’m pretty sure it’s about a poor kid named Pip that befriends a rich woman.
11. HEART OF DARKNESS BY JOSEPH CONRAD
I know this book takes place in a jungle. Not gonna lie, I 100% bought Heart of Darkness because it was referenced in one of my favorite books ever. No shame.
And there you have it!! I know I’m not going to love every single book, but I’ll learn a lot and hopefully I’ll really connect with one. I’ll probably do another review post once I’ve read them all!
Have you read any of these / have any other fav classics? Let me know in the comment section! 🙂