Happy Saturday, y’all! I am excited to share a new Saturday Book List with y’all today.
I’ve been thinking lately that I have several friends that are so impressed that I read classic novels for fun. Certainly, reading War and Peace for fun is not for everyone (I wouldn’t call it a consistently fun experience for me). But I do think there are more classics that anyone can read than we think.
So today I am sharing 8 classics to read if you aspire to read more classics.
These are all books I have read that I chose for a variety of reasons. First, they are shorter than others so you can feel confident that you’d finish them. Then, they have more action paced plots rather than long passages of philosophical, political, or military discussions. And most of these are fairly well known so perhaps you’ll be familiar with the basics of these stories. Enjoy!
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen // A classic among classics, I think any list of classics should include something by Jane Austen. This story is so well known, I hope it will feel familiar to read, even if it’s your first time. I always think of Kathleen Kelly “getting lost in the language” of this book; I feel the same way!
Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie // This is a fascinating children’s novel that may surprise you. Disney did not follow the original tale exactly. There is so much to think about in terms of characterization, Neverland, and Wendy’s role in saving the boys–including Peter– from themselves.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens // I think Dickens can be a bit intimidating, so this is a great place to start. This is one of the most well known Christmas stories. And you’ve probably seen an adaptation or two. Reading the story is magical, especially at Christmastime.
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery // I’ve raved about Anne over and over. There are so many reasons to love this book! It gives us a classic, lovable protagonist, the setting is idyllic, and we can all relate to Anne’s hilarious misadventures. If you’re feeling up for more, I recommend the full Anne series!
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley // For something a bit darker, this short novel is fascinating. When I read it for the first time a few years ago, I was surprised that Frankenstein is in fact the scientist rather than the monster. The roles of creation and destruction as well as the power of life are compelling themes in this novel.
Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne // I really enjoyed this classic adventure story first published in French. It’s fun to follow the worldwide journey of Phileas Fogg and company especially because it happened so long ago!
Bonus reads if you’re ready for more:
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott // I adore this classic about four sisters during the American Civil War. It is quite a bit longer than I expected the first time I read it. So keep that in mind.
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky // This remains my favorite classic Russian novel. I always enjoy it more than I anticipate. Hoping to reread it this year. That being said, Russian literature can be difficult to get into because there is often a large amount of philosophy as well as the main plot lines. But if you’re up for a challenge, this is a great one to start with!
What classics do you think are great for aspiring classics readers?