A while back I asked readers what made a book a classic. The consensus seemed to be that the book was timeless, usually it challenged societal norms, and that these issues were still present today. What do you think makes a book a CLASSIC?
I actually like reading classic literature. I didn't mind being assigned most the books were assigned in high school. Did I read them all? No, but that was just because of the mere amount of books assigned and other classwork. I've been trying to make progress on the classics for the past couple of years. Thanks to audio books I get through a few more while also keeping up with all the books for review.
|English: John Steinbeck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Two of my top favorite American authors are John Steinbeck and Mark Twain.
I loved reading The Grapes of Wrath. When I think "great American novel", this is the first book I think of. There is so much commentary on society of the time, wrapped around memorable characters. Steinbeck's writing is very accessible, too. It is plain language, yet very descriptive. Even now, thinking about the novel I see scenes as if I watched a movie, but I don't remember ever seeing a movie addition of this book.
It is a little harder to narrow down my favorite Mark Twain novels. I read a bunch of them the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college because I volunteered at my local library and that shelf happened to be close to the desk. I would say it would be a toss up between A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court or The Prince and the Pauper.
I think a lot of people are a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. I think this is when I fell in love with Roaring 20s when I read this book. It is almost like the American version of Downton Abbey.
And to wrap up my favorite American Classics, I enjoy Willa Cather (O Pioneers!), Edith Wharton (Ethan Fromme), and John Knowles (A Separate Peace).
While I do love American Classics, there are a few British, and even one French, authors who I enjoyed reading.
I've read A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens more times than I can remember. After reading the iconic opening lines - "It was the best of times, it was the worst of the times" - I usually then skip to the carriage being pulled over and the message being delivered. That's when the story really begins.
Probably the first book of translated literature I read (or at least realized was a translation) was Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. It is a book I would like to read again as it has been more than 20 years since I read it.
What are your favorite classics?
Donna Huber: founder & publisher. Donna is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour. She reads most genres (NO horror or erotica), but her favorite books are psychological thrillers and stories that highlight the survival of the human spirit against unbelievable circumstances.
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