This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie—and we’ll be talking about our favorite classic works of fiction. We’re both avid readers of classics, so this was a fun list to come up with.
Thanks as always to That Arts Reader Girl for hosting Top Ten Tuesday!
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
I know, I know, I always put this one down. But that’s only because it’s just that good.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
When I first read this in high school, I found it so dark that I nearly dropped it on many occasions. But I picked it up again in college and fell in love with it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still dark. But there’s something in the darkness that I think almost anyone can identify with.
Play It as It Lays by Joan Didion
There’s a sort of dread that follows the reader and protagonist. At least that’s what I felt when I first read it years ago. Upon a second reading, there are, of course, more nuanced versions of that initial dread, capturing the zeitgeist of America during the 1960s.
Villette by Charlotte Bronte
Captivating story about an incredibly strong female protagonist who takes great risks to make a place for herself in the world during a time when women were supposed to simply settle into whatever roles the whims of the world decided.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
This one is on so many “greatest novels” lists. But it is a fantastic story, worth just about every page (of which there are over 900 in case you’re wondering).
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
In my opinion, this is the ultimate story of adventure and revenge. I don’t usually like revenge plots, but this one is so intricate and filled with colorful characters that it’s impossible not to love it. If you do read it, make sure you read the unabridged version!
Johnny Got his Gun by Dalton Trumbo
This anti-war novel puts you in the mind of a hospitalized soldier whose only connection to the world is his sense of touch. It’s terrifying and makes you feel claustrophobic, but it’s a great read.
Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
I will always prefer this story to Huckleberry Finn. There’s something about Tom’s childhood adventures that is just a joy to read.
1984 by George Orwell
I was lucky enough to read this one before it was assigned in English class—it was one of my first exposures to dystopian fiction, and I was captivated. It holds up just as well on every reread.
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
This one was actually never assigned to me in school. I remember reading it in the summer and understanding Holden Caulfield so well—then revisiting it years later and finding him unbearable, though it didn’t keep me from enjoying the book.