Top Ten Tuesday: Classics I’d Recommend

Top Ten Tuesday,the weekly meme hosted by The BrokeandBookish,is this week asking us to list 10 books to people who have never read a specific genre.Given that I read mainly classics,I’ll list 10 different ones to 10 different types of readers.

1.For those who think classics are boring: The Picture of Dorian by Oscar Wilde. This book is perfect.It is a compendious novel filled with Wilde’s trademark wittiness and which is excellently written; the language is light and splendid,while Wilde’s mastery of the plot is evident throughout the story.This little gem is the proof that classics are not always books which contain boring,dull and exhausting texts.

2.For the cynics: The Trial by Franz Kafka In this well-known classic,Kafka denounces the doings of those ever so powerful organizations and companies which make the common man their puppet.After reading this book,it will grow on you and open your eyes on the myriad of ways in which the layman is cornered and taken control of.

3.For those who wish to have goosebumps: Lord of the Flies by William Golding The language of this book is so descriptive and flowery that we have no difficulty imagining the different scenes taking place on the island.Therefore as from the middle of the book and onwards,when things get heated up,readers are shocked,horrified and find themselves silently praying for one character! The climax of the book is exceptional – the way Golding gets to it is strikingly intelligent and the words of that particular scene,although absurd and horrifying,make perfect sense and provide great food for thought.

4.For those who want another outlook on life: The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan KunderaKundera’s well-known masterpiece is a very strange book that comprises some very disturbing (?) scenes.However it also makes us see life in a totally different way with Kundera’s multiple credos which are as perplexing as enlightening.

5.For those seeking mesmerizing poetry: The Great Gatsby by F.Scott FitzgeraldI really love the plot because it has the charm and efficiency of a typical American play set in the 60s,which I’m fond of.But above everything is Fitzgerald’s writing style which turns the book into sheer poetry.Indeed everything,even the dullest and most ordinary things,suddenly becomes magical and beautiful.Every word is a joy to read.I wonder if we will ever see an author so inclined to poetry again.

6.For those who want to read a contemporary classic: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy The Booker Prize in 1997.Even if it was written at the end of the last century,it is already being accepted in the canon of classics.Following its coronation as the Booker,it was a best-seller,but shortly after sank into anonymity.That’s why you maybe haven’t heard much about it.It often becomes the favourite of those who like it,as was the case with me.Roy’s writing is touching and very poetic,and the liberty she takes with her writing style is what makes this book so peculiar.The plot is also original and heartbreaking.

7.For those who want an adventure: Peter Pan by J.M Barrie An absolute delight to read.From the colloquial and teasing tone of the narrative voice,you could tell that J.M Barrie was totally immersed in this world he was writing for children.As is seldom seen in children literature,’Peter Pan’ comprises as many funny scenes as it does sad scenes.Also Peter is not your usual boring hero.He is very innocently mischievous,which makes our adventure with him at the Neverland all the more memorable.I read one chapter per night and,for a very short while,I became a kid again.

8.For those who want a heart-warming read: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeAn absolute fan-favourite.It is heart-warming in the sense that it is funny,sad,and filled with a myriad of moral lessons.On top of that it is very simply written.You will be a changed person once you’ve finished reading it.I’m never quick to judge a person ever since I read this book.Life changing.

9.For those who want to read something very simple: Animal Farm by George OrwellOrwell’s classic allegorical novel is so simply written that its readers can be as young as 8-10.But let not the simple language plot and language deceive you,for underneath both lies Orwell’s genius.It is highly allegorical and even the most seemingly-trivial object is an allegorical allusion to the Bolchevik Revolution and Stalin’s rise to power.

10.For those who want be overwhelmed from start to end: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy This book is beauty and art incarnated.The translation was very light,compared to that of Dostoevsky’s Crime&Punishment,and I was indeed overwhelmed from the first page to the last.I savoured every word and sometimes I would find myself reading the same paragraph twice so that no ounce of beauty emanating from these words would escape me.In this book,Russia is divinely beautiful,the characters are depicted with so much psychological intensity and the literary techniques employed are impressive and unexpected.Also the fact that the cast of characters is wide means that we follow the lives of many people,intermittently switching from one setting to another; I was never bored with that book and always read it with much interest.If you want to read this wonderful novel,buy the Maudes’s translation. (The Maudes were friends with Tolstoy – they even played Tennis with him – and worked closely together in regard to the translation of his books).


25 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Classics I’d Recommend”

  1. Excellent list! The first time I learned to recognize imagery and symbolism in a text was while reading The Lord of the Flies. My 8th grade teacher walked us through the process of recognizing imagery, etc. Prior to that, I couldn’t write an analytical paper for the life of me. After reading Lord of the Flies, I picked up A Tale of Two Cities from the same teacher’s classroom. I remember how unbelievably challenging it was for me to read, but I loved the challenge and the experience of reading classics. The next summer, I read nothing but classics (Animal Farm, Jane Eyre, Great Expectations, etc.). I was also introduced to poetry in 8th grade. I remember being surprised by how much I was liking the poetry anthology project we were assigned before school started. Reading classics can be an amazing experience, but people need to be introduced to them through books that they will enjoy.

    1. ”Reading classics can be an amazing experience, but people need to be introduced to them through books that they will enjoy.”

      Ahh you’ve put it so well! That’s really true! I often see people saying that classics do not entice them,all because they are not enticed by such authors as Dickens,Hardy or Bronte.They ignore that there are classics from different periods and that they can as well pick books from Marquez,Kafka,Orwell or Hemingway!

      You live in a great country! Mine doesn’t have much literary culture.For instance bookshops in my country do not have Peter Pan or The Picture of Dorian Gray! And not many people know about books like,among many others, Lord of the Flies,A Tale of Two Cities or Crime&Punishment! That’s why I own a blog and buy all my books from abroad!

      As always thanks for commenting! 🙂

  2. I suggest A Room With A View for those who are looking to break out of the stifling confines of societal expectations.
    Great list–I very much enjoyed this.

    1. Yet another book from E.M Forster!
      I will read it for sure; it’s already in my wish-list! I want to read this one.I was not disappointed with Passage to India and I’m much looking forward to reading Forster’s other book.The more so after I saw the good ratings it got on goodreads!

      And as always thanks for commenting! I’m glad you enjoyed this list! 😉

  3. Great list and some superb recommendations! I’ve lately seen The God of Small Things in a lot of bookstores, so I might pick it up like you suggested 🙂

    1. Given the books you’ve read and liked lately,I think you will enjoy it!

      Although I feel this way,I cannot guarantee that you’ll like it – no person read the same book.But even so,it is a novel that is definitely worth your while as it really is like no other!

      As always thanks for commenting! I’m very glad you liked the list! 🙂

    1. Thank you for commenting! 😀

      I’m glad you liked this list of mine and share the same opinion as I! 🙂

      I’ve included the books which I think are easy to get into,even for someone new to classics!

  4. A very interesting list and quite eclectic. I really need to re-read The Lord of the Flies —- I hated it in high school but now that I have an idea of what Golding was trying to say, I’m sure that I’d enjoy it much more.

    Now you’ve made me want to read The Trial. It’s definitely going on my 2nd Classics Club list.

    I have really enjoyed Maude’s translation of Tolstoy, whereas the Pevear-Volokhonsky translations seem to kill much of the grandeur and intricacy in his novels.

    Now, off to add some of your list books to my TBR pile!

    1. Oh definitely,you should read Lord of the Flies! If you can get it in Folio edition,then go ahead! The illustrations are from Sam Weber and they are mind-blowing,like everything he does! Just google and you’ll see! 😉
      Of course the Folio edition also has a great cover and is neatly and beautifully printed.

      And yep,you should read The Trial also! It’s a great read that is still as greatly relevant as it was long ago!
      And I agree with you regarding Tolstoy’s books’ translation!

      By the way,I commented today on one your posts (I mentioned,among others, Machiavelli’s The Prince and Camus’s The Stranger).I forgot to include the name of my blog,so I’m letting you know that it was me! 😉

      1. Soon you’re going to have me buying only Folio Editions! I found some in a used bookstore across the border and I’ve been eyeing them for awhile now.

        I can’t find your comment. Do you think it got “eaten”? In any case, please leave it again if it disappeared because I’d really like to hear your thoughts!

    1. Oh you’re welcome!
      I’m glad it evoked such feelings in you!!
      As always thanks for your interest and for the time you took to comment! 🙂

    1. Haha! The image is from Sam Weber! You can check him out.His other illustrations are equally mind-blowing!!
      He also did some images for Fahrenheit 451!

      Ah,you should read Peter Pan! It’s definitely a must-read,same as Alice in Wonderland.
      The book is cheap and pretty small.I think the best way to read it is to go through one chapter per night! 🙂

  5. I love this list! I now have many more books to add to my reading list, and I’m so very glad you included my all-time favourite To Kill a Mockingbird

    1. And I’m glad you like it! 😀
      Haha,how could I ever forget To Kill a Mockingbird; it gave me so much pleasure and valuable lessons,just as it did so many others!
      As always thanks for commenting and reading! 🙂

  6. Great recommendations, and I love how you specified what kind of reader/interest each would attract! I haven’t read The Trial yet, but it sounds like something I would love. 🙂

    1. I’m glad you like the list!! 🙂
      Yep! Definitely you should read the Trial! It’s rather weird and can be quite dark and heavy at times,but it definitely opens your eyes on a myriad of things!

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