This week’s Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish is: Top Ten Books I’d Give To Readers Who Have Never Read X (examples: New Adult novels, historical fiction, a certain author, books about a certain topic, etc).
I decided to go with classics since so many people don’t even bother to read them anymore and I saw a really great post yesterday on Kate’s Bookshelf about reading classics in the fall so here is what I think you should start with when the leaves start to turn.
1) Moby Dick by Herman Melville – Why? Because there are so many hidden themes and underlying political tones, inspiration from many other sources, really a fantastic book about more than just a guy chasing a whale.
2) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – Why? Because Austen is an amazing writer and if you get a copy with footnotes, you will understand what most of the book means and that will leave you free to read it again after and really enjoy the love story.
3) Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman – Why? Because he writes poems about sex, love, being true to yourself, pride in the United States, and just life in general.
4) Walden by Henry David Thoreau – Why? Because connecting with nature is something that not many people do anymore and there are some important lessons that Thoreau can teach you about appreciation of life if you let him.
5) Oedipus Rex by Sophocles – Why? Because I’m sick of people not knowing what an “Oedipal Complex” is and this is a relatively short, and disturbing play about fate and finding out who you are. Also, Oedipus is adopted so I’m sure that’s relatable to more people than you realize.
6) The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton – Why? Because this is one of the most heart-breaking but realistic love stories I have ever read. Two people who want to be together but never can be, loyalty, family lines, and societal pressures all combine to create a trainwreck of happiness and tears.
7) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – Why? Because I’m stick of people thinking that the monster’s name is Frankenstein (thanks for ruining that Hollywood). And because it’s actually a really great story of a brilliant man and his monster that is actually much better than anything Hollywood could come up with.
8) Dracula by Bram Stoker – Why? Because people need a real snap back to the inspiration of Edward Cullen and the other vampires before they became so common place in society and how they were created. (Don’t worry, it’s still a love story.)
9) Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Why? Because everyone has read “The Tell-Tale Heart” (which is amazing in its own right) but few people have read this version of an unreliable narrator and how murder can really impact a man’s psyche.
10) The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales by the Grimm Brothers – Why? Because Disney has given us unrealistic expectations for long enough. If you want to read something a little more disturbing and real but don’t want to read Stephen King, then the Grimm Brothers are for you.