Top 5: Favorite Classic Novels
I have an English degree, which basically means I spent most of college reading books, discussing books, and writing papers about books, and I graduated with a degree that is not easy to get a job with. But, I loved it and needless to say, I read a lot of classics in college. I still try to read a few classics a year because I enjoy them and to stretch myself a little more as a reader. So here is my list of top five favorites.
No. 1: Little Women by Louisa May Allcott
Little Women is very much a sentimental favorite for me. From the time I was around 10 until I was 25 or so, I would read it every year around Christmas. It's the story of four sisters growing up. The book spans their childhoods into adulthood. They share adventures, heartache, growth, and loss. This book makes me laugh and cry.
It's been a few years since I have read Little Women, but I plan to re-read it this December in anticipation of the new film adaptation coming out. I can't wait to curl up with it in front of our fireplace this winter.
No. 2: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The first time I read this one, I felt very proud of finishing it because it is loooong, almost 1,000 pages. But, it's not boring and well worth reading. There is war and romance, death and birth. Scarlett O'Hara is such an interesting character. This novel is always described as sweeping because it is. Not only does Mitchell write about the changes that take place in the characters' lives, but also the changes the United States go through after the Civil War.
No. 3: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This book is on most greatest classic lists and for good reason. It really is fantastic. It is a sentimental favorite for me because it was one of my mom's favorite books. I had never read it, but then after she passed away, I knew I needed to. I quickly realized why she loved it so much. Writing the main character, Scout, as a child, makes the extremely difficult subject matter so much easier to read about.
No. 4: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
If I was forced to pick my favorite novel-reading genre, I think I would choose magical realism. And this book is a beautiful, breath-taking example. One Hundred Years of Solitude follows a Columbian family through multi-generations beginning with the founder of the town of Macondo. Garcia Marquez makes the ordinary seem magical and the magical seem mundane.
No. 5: The Garden of Eden by Ernest Hemingway
I thought I would shake things up a bit with my last pick. Ernest Hemingway is mostly known for masculine war/hunting novels and that is so not my thing, but I've always thought his writing is beautiful. I admire the sparse, simplicity of his writing. The Garden of Eden is one of his lesser known novels and was in fact, published posthumously.
It is the story of a couple that take an extended honeymoon on the French Riviera, but it is so much more than that. The beautiful setting is the perfect backdrop to a novel that underneath is about two people trying to figure out who they are and how they fit together.
And those are my top 5. If you would like to expand your reading, try one of these out. And let me know if you enjoyed it.