The Broke and the Bookish is all about the classics, the ones we love or the ones we really want to read. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit that by and large classics and I are not good buddies. There are a few I really, really love, but many, at best, seem to not have made that big of an impression on me. I don't hate them, but I don't really go that much out my way to read them anymore, either. Nonetheless, I do have a few major favorites and a few that, despite my ambivalence toward classics, I do one day intend to read.
First, a few favorites.
1. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck - I read this one for 9th grade Honors' English. It's so good, in a sad, tragic kind of way.
2. East of Eden by John Steinbeck - For so many years, when charged to pick a classic from a list for school reading, I picked duds. Perhaps it was because I was always looking for a rationally sized book. Surprisingly, when I departed from my usual method of picking a short book, and picked this chunkster, I read it faster and loved it far more than the shorter books I was always choosing. Sadly, I don't really remember much of the book itself, but it has such a warm glow in my memory that I would almost certainly read it again.
(Now, tell me you weren't expecting The Grapes of Wrath to be #3. No, I'm not quite that predictable.)
3. The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene - Something about this story really spoke to me, even in high school. A very flawed priest is fleeing the authorities who are hunting down all the priests in Mexico, and really, he's not a great guy, but there's something about him that's sympathetic. I wanted him to find redemption before the end of the line, and it's good, it's really good.
4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith - I read this one when I was way young and I loved it. I'd love to revisit it as an adult.
5. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - So far, I'm not much of a Dickens
fan, but when Christmas comes around, I always think of re-reading this
Then, a few I aspire to read.
1. On the Beach by Nevil Shute - Because Pied Piper was so good, and that's not even the author's most famous book.
2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - Because I do love a good Russian classic, but War and Peace is still a little too daunting.
3. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas - Because this is one I consistently hear is good from all kinds of people.
4. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque - Because I read its much lesser known "sequel," and I'm forever raving about that, so certainly I need to read this one!
5. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Mostly because of the first sentence. Is that shallow? I guess it's better than saying "because of the cover." ;-)
What are your thoughts on the classics? Are there any I simply must read that will surely give me a greater appreciation for them?