Must-read: 5 Classic Books Everyone Should Read
I’m one of those people who takes those ‘Classic Book List Challenges’ on Facebook way too seriously. (One day I WILL beat my grandmother.) I love the classics. They're classics for a reason. The iconic characters and plot-lines changed literary history. Personally, Anne of Green Gables and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes are in my ‘Top Three Favourite Book Series of All Time’. (Harry Potter is the third.) Not only do I have tremendous respect for a well structured yet poetic sentence, but I'm amazed by the extraordinary female writers. Women who defied stereotypes, and became published – and paid! – authors.
These are 5 classic books (slash series) everyone should read – if you haven't, then add to your reading list immediately!
1. Pride and Prejudice, 1813
By Jane Austen
Austen created classic plot-lines that we still see on our screens today (hello, Bridget Jones’ Diary!). She created strong female characters and stories that criticised female dependence on marriage. Yet, at the same time, she showed how women were often head of the household. Pride and Prejudice’s main character, Lizzie, is quick-witted, intelligent and refuses to conform or succumb to pressure. It’s filled with hilarious characters, brilliant one liners and - most importantly - love.
(If the book isn’t your style, but you're an epic romance lover, then you need to watch it ‒ but it MUST be the BBC mini-series version.)
2. Anne of Green Gables (series), 1908
By L M Montgomery
L M Montgomery had a hard life. It often makes me sad, but I’m grateful for it because she created Anne (with an E). Words can’t express how much I love Anne of Green Gables. I’ve read all nine books approximately six times and I’ve no doubt I’ll read them again. Despite writing close to 60 years after Austen, this is still a woman who went against the norm. She painted women as intelligent, strong-minded, and strong-willed, and ignored cultural stereotypes. Anne is a character you cannot help but love. (After you’ve read it, but only after, you could indulge yourself with the Netflix series Anne with an E.)
3. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (series), 1892
By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
There are so many Sherlock Holmes movie and TV spin-offs for a reason: there is no other character like Sherlock Holmes. Another series I’ve read many times. The beauty of it is that you can, because you never remember all the intricacies and details of the stories. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle invented the 'detective' crime story. He is the king of mystery. You can’t call yourself a true mystery lover until you’ve read The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. You’ll no doubt go on to read the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes too. (I recommend you do!)
4. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 1884
By Mark Twain
Mark Twain was hilarious, witty and deeply critical of society. His humour and cleverness lives on through his stories. Huckleberry "Huck" Finn is a loveable embodiment of that. Cheeky, yet somehow innocent, making him endearing and naughty at the same time. His understanding and descriptions of the world around him mock the South's deep-rooted racism in a way only Mark Twain could. It was highly criticised - as all good work is - solidifying its place as a true classic.
5. Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland, 1865
By Lewis Carroll
Wouldn’t you have loved to been inside Lewis Carroll’s head? This was fantasy before the genre existed (I’m not actually sure that's true, but it sounds true). Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland is colourful, exciting and has the ability to take you to another world. What more could you ask of a book?