Friday, February 13, 2009

What about the Classics?

First, a few more books to add to my list...*sheepish grin*

1. The Lost Prince by Frances Hodgson Burnett
2. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
3. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Sczieska
4. Bloomability by Sharon Creech
5. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen


So what about the classics? Why don't I have a bazillion of those listed? I remember reading somewhere that "classics are books that everyone wants to have read but no one wants to read." Hm. Why is that?

I remember when I was younger, I heard that War and Peace was the longest, possibly hardest novel to read. Accordingly, I checked out the only version I could find at the library, the 1,000+ page ABRIDGED version. Yeah. Well...I found that, although it was a slow read, the story was great, if you could keep all the characters straight in your head. I tried Dostoyevsky's The Idiot over Christmas one year but lost interest once I couldn't keep the million characters in order...I do love the concept of Russian novels and story-telling...but my (supposed) ADD keeps getting in the way. Perhaps that is why I love children's fiction so much - it's easy to keep me occupied!

So that is just to say that, while I enjoy some classics...I mostly stick to what I'm good at reading. That's why you probably won't find an entry where I will praise a book of instructions about how to build something. BORING! At least to me.

Hence: Why are classics that we want to have read? Maybe because we want to impress people - "I've read this many classics!" or maybe we wish we'd read them when we were younger when we had time to read or...maybe because reading something that large with so many characters is intimidating! There are some classics that are less trouble and I offer you the following:

a list of classics that I HAVE enjoyed, and they are here for you to peruse at your leisure.

1. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
4. Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
5. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. Persuasion by Jane Austen
7. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
8. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
9.Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
10. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
11. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
12. Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss
13. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
14. Alice in Wonderland & Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
15. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
16. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
17. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
18. The Sea Wolf by Jack London
19. Knights of the Round Table by Howard Pyle
20. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
21. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

Whew...I didn't realize I'd read so many! (only 21...but that's more than I thought!)

There are about 10 more that I read that I DIDN'T enjoy but I don't want to waste your time by listing them...most of the time, I don't like a story if it has a really tragic ending...I hated Tale of Two Cities for a long time but I love Dickens so...I forgave him the ending.

Let me know what you've read, liked/disliked - I look forward to dialogging with you!

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