October 12, 2006

Favorite Classics

I know. I know. Enough already with the classics! I've written 11 posts/reviews focusing on classic literature and was ready to move on, but the book blogging community seems to be fixated on the subject. Over at A Reader's Journal, Booklogged is planning a Classic Challenge to start in January. Go here for more details. New challenges keep popping up everywhere I turn. I'm going to pass on Booklogged's, but I've begun to squirrel away some tomes for Bookfool's Chunkster Challenge (also beginning in the New Year). Below is a list of my favorite classics. If you're like me and love lists, you can go here for more titles. Or, you can check back here next week for a list of the classics I dislike the most. That should generate some chatter. ;)

***UPDATE*** Not sure how I forgot all about Kate Chopin's The Awakening, but I did. That is until Lisa mentioned it here. Good luck to everyone who participates in Booklogged's challenge!

1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

2. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

4. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

5. A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich

6. Giants in the Earth by O.E. Rolvaag

7. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

8. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

9. My Antonia by Willa Cather

10. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

11. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

12. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

13. Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya


O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy


  1. I'm glad you continued with the "Classics" theme. It's encouraging. Thanks for the great list and link!

  2. Anonymous7:23 AM

    Of your top 13, I have not read A Lantern in Her Hand, so think I'll put that on my list. Your first 3 are particular favorites for good feelings!

  3. Anonymous8:40 AM

    Yay - thanks for the lists - I've read quite a few, but need some for Booklogged's challenge. I've got a few lined up that will double for both the Classic Challenge and the Chunkster Challenge, but I need some shorter Classics too.

  4. Anonymous9:32 AM

    Eek! I've only read two on your list (although I have almost no recollection of one of them) and one on your extras list. Again, eek!

  5. You can't talk classics too much for me, Lesley! I've trotted over to join Booklogged's 2007 Classic Challenge and have already posted my choices. It's going to be a stretch, considering my packed schedule, but I'm going for it!

  6. Me again, to comment on your list!

    I've read and loved Mockingbird, My Antonia, The Age of Innocence and Jane Eyre. I read The Bell Jar so long ago I can't even remember it. Aside from these I haven't read the others on your main list.

    All the Dickens I've read would have to make my favorites list, as would the Woolf and William Faulkner. Ditto the works of the Brontes and Wharton, even their minor stuff. But to actually make up a list, that I haven't done in a long time and I always find that so difficult.

    Those are my disjointed thoughts on the matter.

  7. Anonymous4:06 PM

    Great list, Lesley, thanks so much for posting it - thank you for reminding me that I've been wanting to read "Their Eyes Were Watching God", also, I love anything by Charles Dickens -literally grew up on him with Oliver Twist and David Copperfield firm favorites, ofcourse, as an adult, "Great Expectations" and "A Tale of Two Cities" are more appealing. OK, now I am really pumped for the classics challenge! :)

  8. You're quite welcome, Joy.

    Jenclair, I had never even heard of A Lantern in Her Hand until we moved to Nebraska in '92. I think one of the reasons I so enjoyed it was due to the newness of topography & landscape (moving here from San Diego) and how I could envision where Aldrich's story took place. I think I remember even sharing some of the same thoughts and feelings as her main character in her struggles with the extreme climate (both in summer and winter!). I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    Suzi - stick with me. I'm quite the list-maker. ;) Hope you find some good titles for your challenges.

    Sassymonkey - which two (or three, actually) have you read? I'm nosey.

    Lisa - Yay! I'm sure Booklogged is happy to have another joining in on her challenge. Ack! Faulkner. I tried him in high school (gee, wonder how I got out of actually reading As I Lay Dying??)but haven't ventured back in almost 30 years! These are my disjointed comments back attcha. ;)

  9. I LOVE ANNA KARENINA! I've read it about four times, each one with great, great joy. It's hard to beat a Russian classic in my mind.

  10. Okay, here's my LIST of the ones you've listed.
    To Kill A Mockingbird
    The Good Earth
    Jane Eyre

    I tried The Bell Jar, but gagged right off the bat. Maybe it wasn't the right time.

    You can see why I need a classics challenge!

  11. Lotus, one of my all-time favorite passages comes from Their Eyes Were Watching God. Hmmm, I should read something else by Hurston. I'm excited about the classic challenge even though I'm sitting it out. I'll be anxious to see what people read and love (or hate).

    Bellezza, I read Anna Karenina and Dr. Zhivago in the same year. If AK weren't so darned bit, I'd read it again. I'm impressed you've read it four times!! Wow!

    Booklogged, I have this strange fascination with Sylvia Plath and really only recently (after watching Sylvia). I really like Gwyneth Paltrow and I wonder if I would have been as interested had someone else played Plath.

  12. I wish Blogger would allow the person posting a comment to go back in and correct a typo! I guess I'd better start previewing my comments. That should have read, "If AK weren't so darned big..."

  13. I've been going through a phase where I'm reading a lot of classics. Somehow, I just feel inadequate as a reader when I realize that I haven't read a certain classic. Over the last few months, I was almost in a panic. "I'm 25 and I haven't read 'The Great Gatsby'! I haven't read James Joyce! I haven't read Franz Kafka!" And on and on. But for the time being, I've gotten my fill of the books I'm "supposed" to read; I'm going to come back to this century and start up on some contemporary literature. And when I grow tired of the newer books, I'll go back to the older ones.

  14. Thanks for stopping by, Brandon. Hmmm, I've never read Joyce or Kafka and I know there are many others that have passed me by. Maybe I'll get to them next year, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. Especially not Moby Dick!


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