Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Classics You Shouldn't Be Intimidated By

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! Since I shuffled a bunch of December topics, here's the freebie I was supposed to do like two weeks ago! Since today is Christmas and some of you may have gotten gift cards, and next week is New Years and some of you may be resolving to "read more classics" (a resolution I made for years before I actually started reading them), here are ten that aren't nearly as intimidating as you might think!

Emma: If you've seen Clueless, you know the basic gist of Emma. A wealthy, pretty, smart young woman decides to play matchmaker for a less fortunate friend, and experiences her own romantic complications. It's a great way to get introduced to Austen's sharp satire and wit.

Anna Karenina: Yes, it's super duper long. And yes, there are some boring parts about farming in rural Russia. But this book has a love rhombus that rivals any in a modern-day YA book and tells an absolutely fantastic story.

Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A modern feminist audience will recognize the slut-shaming, madonna/whore complex, and double standards that Thomas Hardy presents as the nonsense they are.

Great Expectations: Dickens was paid by the word, and it shows in all his work. But this, for me, is his best, and once you read it you'll recognize it as the source for a lot of other literature. It is funny and smart and full of incredible characters.

The Picture of Dorian Grey: This story about the rot that can fester beneath a perfectly curated facade and how people often mistake visual appeal for moral goodness is definitely relevant to our time.

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn: Anyone who was a bookish child will likely recognize themselves in Francie Nolan, and her journey towards maturity is a deeply affecting one.

Jane Eyre: I'm not big into Gothic lit, so I avoided this one for a long time, but it turns out it's an amazing story about a young woman determined to make her way in the world despite many obstacles...and there is a truly WTF plot point that's fun to talk about!

1984: There's a reason this one gets referenced all the time lately...in a world where "alternate facts" are trumpeted, this has very real lessons for us all.

Vanity Fair: This book is lengthy and there are some boring-ish bits, but Becky Sharp's scheming her way up the social ladder is entertaining. The OG scammer.

The Age of Innocence: This is truly A+ drama about super rich people in Old New York having romantical problems.


  1. I totally agree with Jane Eyre - a great story and very readable.

    1. I thought it was going to be boring, but it was super!

  2. This is a great list. Lots of my favorites are on here, especially Jane Eyre, Emma, and Tess of the D'Urbervilles

  3. I *still* haven't read Emma. Maybe in 2019? But I've read most of the others (Anna Karenina twice!) and I really want to re-read Great Expectation. I love Dickens. I know he's super-wordy, but all the extra extraneous stuff is where he put the humor :)

    1. I will admit it took me two tries to get through Emma...I tried when I was about 24 and got about fifty pages in and it just didn't click with me. But then I tried it again a couple years later and I just flew through it! And all of these are on my re-read list!