Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Classics


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I'm a week late with this particular topic, but since I don't have any real blogging confessions (this week's actual prompt), I decided to bend the rules. Most of you already know how much I love classics, so it was no easy task coming up with just ten favorites. After much agony, here are the novels that made my final cut:


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Elizabeth Bennet. Mr. Darcy. No matter how often I reread, I love it every time. 



East of Eden by John Steinbeck
An all-time favorite... and let me put in a plug for Travels with Charley, too.



The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
I've loved every one of her novels I've read, but am including this because it is the most well known.


Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
This is probably my favorite novel - ever. But I'm old enough to question whether anything published in 1987 really qualifies as a classic.



The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton
I think Undine Spragg is one of literature's most memorable characters.


.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë 
Anne is definitely underrated. This is my favorite Brontë novel to date.



The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I first read this in high school, and it just gets better with every reread.



Howards End by E.M. Forster
I loved this book. It's near the top of my "classics to be reread" list.



North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Who knew Mrs. Gaskell was so awesome? I read this with a group of bloggers a couple of summers ago and want to read everything else she's written . The miniseries is pretty great, too.



The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
I've loved every Henry James novel I've read and definitely want to reread this one day. Note: I've not read his later works (you know, the ones with those convoluted sentences that are an entire paragraph unto themselves) so this proclamation could easily change.


And here I am at ten. No Eudora Welty, Wilkie Collins. Willa Cather, Emile Zola,  Ernest Hemingway, or Charles Dickens. No Forsyte Saga, Count of Monte Cristo, or Tess of the d'Urbervilles.  This really is an impossible task.

Be forewarned, I'll be pre-empting another TTT soon to list classics at the top of my TBR list.

What are your favorite classics?








30 comments:

  1. I like the way Stegner writes. I've never been disappointed by his work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane - I hope to read The Spectator Bird soon.

      Delete
  2. I didn't get to posting my list last week... Maybe I will post it late as well! Pride & Prejudice would have topped my list, too... And Wharton & Forster would certainly have been included.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leila - Please do... would love to see your favorites!

      Delete
  3. I'm embarrassed to admit I've only read 2 of those books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy - Nothing to be embarrassed about... I think I enjoy classics more than "normal" people ;-)

      Delete
  4. Great list. I've read a few but I see so many I want to read. Howard's End is on my list as is Portrait of a Lady. I'm quite sure I've never read any of Anne Bronte's work so I will have to look for Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I often find the underrated authors are the ones I end up enjoying the most! The Good Earth is one that I always forget about. I loved it when I read and and should definitely reread it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katherine - I just read Tenant last year and loved it... people never talk much about Anne, but I was very impressed!

      Delete
  5. Maybe I'll have to rethink Howards End. It didn't do anything for me and has put me off reading any of Forster's other works. I NEED to get back to East of Eden. Some big things had just happened (that Cathy!!! evil evil) but I had to put it down for book club books. The Good Earth is another that I really should read soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trish - East of Eden is very readable, but so long. It's been a decade since I read Howards End and a reread is definitely in order!

      Delete
  6. Outstanding list that resonates with me for the most part. I never think of The Good Earth as something I should read, but that is clearly not the case. I've not read Portrait of a Lady, but I intend to hit James hard soon--I'm doing a reread of The Wings of the Dove this fall to get me going. The Custom of the Country is on its way to me, and I really need/want to reread Howard's End (been maybe 30 years since I read it!).

    Aren't these Top Ten lists fun? I never tire of them :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JaneGS - As much as I love Henry James, I've never read his later novels and will admit tot being intimidated by them! I remember it took a little while to get into the style of Portrait of a Lady, but once I did, I raced through it. Have wanted to reread it for some time...

      Delete
  7. I found your list inspirational. I'm not sure that's the right word but, the list made me excited about checking my library for some of these titles. In particular, I requested Howard's End and The Custom of the Country. I've only recently discovered Wallace Stegner with Angle of Repose. I'll try Crossing to Safety after I finish Angle. Thanks for the suggestions JoAnn. I look forward to your second list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margot - I'm so glad! I plan to reread Howards End for The Classics Club, and I don't know if a character has ever remained as vivid in my mind as Undine from CotC. Stegner is a treasure.

      Delete
  8. I always forget about Crossing to Safety but that was a good one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ti - I just love Stegner's writing!

      Delete
  9. Excellent choices, JoAnn. I haven't read all of these and really must add some to my long-term list. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Catherine - I really love the classics, but have been spending so much time on the latest titles lately... Sigh.

      Delete
  10. My favorite book on your list is Howards End. I am so glad you included it. I have read it many times. And I have North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell on my nightstand. You have motivated me to read it now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sunday - I am long overdue for a reread of Howards End. You are in for a treat with North and South!

      Delete
  11. JoAnn,
    I enjoyed reading about your list so much. Some surprises that made me sit up and take notice. I'm so glad you think Anne Bronte hasn't been enough appreciated. I own this as a Penguin, and will read it, with you in mind.

    I think what I liked about your list is that after reading your blog for several years, I begin to have the idea (or the illusion) that I know you just the littlest bit. Then to read your favorite classics adds an entirely new dimension. I'm also interested in the Edith Wharton title, which I've never even heard of! So much fun.! Thanks for this post,
    Judith

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judith - Yes, I definitely think Anne doesn't get the notice she deserves. Hope to read her Agnes Grey before too much longer.

      Isn't it funny how we get to know other readers through their blogs? I've been lucky to meet a few bloggers in real life and every time it was like picking up a conversation with an old friend.

      The Custom of the Country is not one of Wharton's better known novels, but I think it has her most memorable character. Once you meet Undine, you will never forget her!

      Delete
  12. I loved East of Eden (and Travels with Charley), as well as The Good Earth. You might enjoy O.E. Rolvaag's Giants in the Earth. I thought it was wonderful when I read it for a Great Plains Lit. course. My Antonia by Willa Cather is very good, but O' Pioneers and Death Comes for the Archbishop might be my favorites of hers. I loved The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. I'm sure there are more, but I'm too lazy to go look at my shelves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Les - I've considered reading Giants in the Earth, but have never had a recommendation or review from a trusted source. Will add it to my list now. O! Pioneers is my favorite Cather to date, but Death Comes for the Archbishop is waiting on the shelf. After putting this list together, I want to spent a couple of months reading nothing but classics. Wonder if I can convince myself to to that this fall...

      Delete
  13. I'm hanging my head in shame with the number of these that I have yet to read! I really need to get back to my classics!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa - I've only read a couple of classics this year and feel the same way!

      Delete
  14. Such an awesome list! Ok, so you're the second person to suggest Crossing to Safety and I already had it on my list after reading The End of Your Life Book Club. I obviously need to read it. I'm also thinking I need to put together a North and South readalong next year. I really liked Cranford and I've been wanting to read more of her work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melissa - Crossing to Safety is excellent! Stegner's writing is so beautiful, it's no wonder the book is loved by so many readers. I think you would love North and South. That was another one of my read/listen combinations - Juliet Stevenson's narration, as always, added to the experience. Cranford is waiting on my shelf.

      Delete
  15. I've read and loved a few on this list! I'd not heard of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall so I might have to check that out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stacy - I learned of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall from other bloggers... probably not a mainstream title, but an absolute gem.

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails