Friday, January 29, 2016

Recommending: Classics! A List Of The Best (And The Worst!)

Since I posted a review of "Treasure Island" yesterday, I thought it might be fun to give you a list of recommendations featuring my favorite classics ranked from "This book. I like it. Another!" to "aljsakdkjffjfjsjfhjaskal". And since I will be telling you about the ones I love, I also want to tell you which ones, in my opinion, are not worth the effort. So without further ado, here are some great classics that I highly recommend!

10. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. While this book may be at the bottom of my list, it is still a good read for fans of historical fiction. I remember reading this and thinking the whole time, "Dang, this Huck Finn kid is intelligent!" He got himself into a lot of scrapes, but a lot of times managed to get out of them by using his brains rather than relying on sheer luck. He was practical and yet creative in these situations. I really liked his independence, and I loved his childlike narrative. I thought it was interesting how he didn't really understand some of the issues going on around him, but we the readers understood full well what was happening. But really though, the main reason why this book made it on the list is because the kid is crazy smart. You're just not expecting that when you open the book. I would recommend reading "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" before picking up this one, because the two of them have a unique friendship that plays an important part in both books.  

9. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. If you're a fan of the Disney movie, then you will no doubt love this! Other than the fact that it's packed with adventure and has talking animals, I think that it's a refreshing and original story that anyone of any age could enjoy. And also, Sher-Kahn is a fantastic villain, and a scene stealer.

8. A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare. I love it when poems rhyme. I can't stand the ones that don't. Even though this poem has some spots like that, I think that the writing is brilliant. The story is your typical she likes him, he likes her trope, and it all blows up into a chaotic frenzy by the end. But the character of Robin (Puck) Goodfellow instantly captured my heart from his very first speech. He is without a doubt one of the most fascinating and beloved characters in all of literature (he's even made appearances in a few popular Young Adult novels). You will grow to love him, I'm sure of it. 

7. The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe. I bought a nice bind up of all his writings from Barnes and Noble, so I don't know if his stories are sold separately or not (they probably are). I would suggest starting with any of these: "The Raven", "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The cask of Amontillado", "Annabel Lee", "The Pit and The Pendulum", "The Fall of The House of Usher", and my personal favorite "The Masque of Red Death". Definitely give this book a try if you're attracted to sad, dark things :)

6. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. *sigh* Gilbert Blythe. Oh how my heart beats for you! Okay, so this is definitely a chick lit. But this book really can do no wrong. The writing, the setting, the romance, the humor, the heartbreak, the characters that make a home in your heart, and the tears of happiness shed by a perfect ending all make this piece of classic literature one that will endure for many decades to come.

5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Yes, it is very similar to "Anne of Green Gables", but something about this one really stands out in my mind. The story of the March Family is one that you can invest into and revisit anytime you want. It's a great story about love and the bond between sisters. The character of Jo March has lived on in the minds of readers as being one of the best complex characters to date. And Laurie isn't a bad reason to read this either ;)

4. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. If you read my review, you'll know that I love this book because it's chocked full of adventure! I felt like I was a character in the story, and let me tell ya, any book that can make you feel like that deserves a shot.

3. Beowulf by Anonymous. First off, nobody knows who the author is or exactly when it was written (they're guessing somewhere around 1000 A.D). Secondly, it's actually a poem (though it doesn't feel that way). I was forced to read this in school, and I groaned and carried on about doing it. But I'm so glad I sucked it up and did because this deserves way more credit than what it gets. Yes, the movie was weird, and the show isn't great, but don't let that influence your judgement of this book! I won't say much else because I do plan to review this one in the future.  

2. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. Oh. My. Gosh. Words cannot BEGIN to describe my feels. Tom Sawyer is a sneaky, manipulative, lazy, no good, lying, trouble-making little snot, but somehow you wind up loving him. I was rooting for him ever since the whitewashed fence scene. Whether he was on the run from Injun Joe, or trying to get Becky Thatcher to notice him, I was hoping my little guy would get a happy ending. Review to come.

1. Hamlet by William Shakespeare. It's my favorite for a reason. If you think I won't write a ten page review of it, then you've got another thing coming.

Now, it's time to mention the absolute worst! Don't read them. Please don't.

The Pearl by John Steinbeck. I was forced to read it in school. But in my defense, all the classes hated it. I remember it being slow. And I remember the main characters becoming obsessed with the pearl to the point of acting like savages. Yeah, it just wasn't good.

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. UGH. Hate. Hate. Hate. I even tried to watch the movie...still hate it. I guess it's too much on the morbid side for me. Not that it was gory or anything, just too realistically dark. (As opposed to Poe's fantasy-dark)

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. This one actually made me sad. I adore the story of "Peter Pan" and I wanted so badly to love the book, but it fell flat for me. Peter's and Wendy's relationship was nothing like I've always seen it be. I didn't even feel a connection between the two of them. In other words, dull and no chemistry.  

There you have it! So sorry it's on the long side! I tried shortening it. Guess I just have a lot to say :) Happy reading, everyone!

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