"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Monday, March 12, 2018

TTT: Books that surprised me

Top Ten Tuesday: Classic Books that pleasantly surprised me...in other words, I liked them better than I thought I would.

One has to admit that most classic novels are considered "classic" because they stand the test of time and, I would add, it is unlikely that a book would stand that test if no one liked them. Here are some classic books which just blew me away and I actually recommend them all.

1. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins--- this is an early mystery. Collins wrote this book in installments which were published in the newspaper. Because of this, each chapter ends on a cliffhanger of sorts. I was very invested in this story. Originally published in 1859.

2. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton--- set during the Golden Age in New York when society people were more afraid of scandal than of disease. Published in 1921. It won the Pulitzer Prize that year.

3. Persuasion by Jane Austen--- everyone knows about her most popular book, Pride and Prejudice, so I choose to mention this one, the last novel that Austen wrote. I love this peek at family life of the upper class in the early 1800s. It was published in 1817.

4. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh---set during the time between the first and second world wars. It is the story of the Marchmains family and the world that is disappearing for them. It gives the reader a lot to digest. Published in 1945.

5. Lolita by Vladimer Nababov---the topic---INCEST--- is so depraved, yet this book is such a beautifully written book, the most beautiful I've ever read. Published in 1955.

6. 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez---The extraordinary story of the Buendia family. This book is brilliant and is the quintessential book defining magical realism. I am not embarrassed to admit I read the Shmoop page as I listened to the audiobook. Published in 1967.

7. The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnon Rawlings--- a delightful and insightful coming-of-age tale set in Florida after the Civil War. In the opening Jody is a young boy who wants a pet, at the end we see a boy who is starting to view the world through adult eyes. Another Pulitzer Prize winner published in 1938.

8. A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'Connor---I don't usually think of myself as a short story reader, but I really liked this collection of stories and have found myself thinking about them over and over again. First published in 1953.

9. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya--- this is another coming-of-age tale told through mythic legacy of Tony's family, guided by Ultima with a touch of magic. Another book that I read alongside Shmoop, but got so much out of it. Published in 1972.

10. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston---Janie Crawford is a black woman in the 1930s. This book is about her quest for idenity through three husbands and several relocations. An enlightening peek at life in the South in the 30s. It is written in vernacular so it is perfect audiobook selection. Published in 1937.




I hope I encouraged you, through this post, to read a classic book in 2018.


23 comments:

  1. I've been wanting to watch the film adaptation of The Women in White, but I haven't gotten around to it. Someday. Also, another book I would like to give a chance is Persuasion. An author has told me she thinks its Austen's best. :)

    Appreciate you visiting Finding Wonderland, Anne.

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  2. I have read a few of these books and I can see why you enjoy them. :-)

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  3. Persuasion actually sounds like the most interesting Austen book to me, even though P & P and others are maybe more popular. I haven't read Austen but if I did I might start with that one. the age of Innocence is another one I think would be really interesting.

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  4. I've had a copy of Lolita for a while but I still haven't picked it up yet because the subject is a really touchy one for me. Hopefully I'll enjoy it when I do pick it up!

    - louise ☆

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  5. I agree, classics are classics bc people love them so ... not entirely my cup of tea though! I do see a couple of titles I haven't looked into before, so thank you for introducing me to something new!

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  6. I big resounding YES to your entire list. I’d love to reread Their Eyes Were Watching God one day soon.

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  7. Gabriel Garcia Marquez has such a mesmerizing writing style. I`ve loved both "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and "Love in the Time of Cholera".

    Carmen`s Reading Corner

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  8. I’ve read so many of these, including Bless Me and Yearling and Brideshead. I plan to read fifty classics in the next five years. Classics always surprise me, and usually in a very positive way.

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  9. I've read There Eyes Were Watching God - I bet it would be great on audio. :)

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  10. The Woman in White and The Age of Innocence are on my tbr! I've been meaning to read them for a while. Here is my Top Ten Tuesday.

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  11. Amazing list! I have to admit that I am too bad in reading classics but here are a few of them which are definitely on my TBR, like Lolita and Persuasion :)

    My TTT: http://flippingthruthepages.com/2018/03/ten-books-with-strong-social-messages-that-impacted-me/

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  12. Ashley has read many of these, but I've only read Lolita and Persuasion. I never thought of Lolita as being about incest since he was her step-father, not her biological dad. Hmmm.

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  13. Nice list of classics! I didn't really like Lolita, but Their Eyes Were Watching God is fabulous.

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  14. I'm glad you liked these books better than you thought you would. I only thought Persuasion was so so. I did like Captain Wentworth's letter, though.

    My TTT

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  15. I will be adding some of the books you've listed to my ever growing reading wishlist!!

    Here's a link to my TTT post for this week: https://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2018/03/top-ten-tuesday-books-that-surprised-me.html

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  16. I want to read Lolita, but this was a nice list!!
    https://justmeandmyblogreviews.blogspot.com/2018/03/all-event-tour-host-for-audio-blitz-of.html

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    1. I was intimidated by Lolita's topic but the writing is so spectacular it is worth it.

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  17. I do think Persuasion deserves a little more love than it gets. Great list!

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    1. In a lot of ways I like it better that P & P. I think I've read it and reread it more often, too.

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  18. I loved the first three! Excellent choices.

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  19. Great list! This is the 2nd time this week I've heard someone rave about Their Eyes Were Watching God - I'll have to read it!

    I read The Yearling in 7th grade and sobbed my eyes out (and loved it, of course).

    I have to admit that I have avoided Lolita because of the subject matter, but maybe I should consider it.

    I didn't love The Age of Innocence, but I'm not often a fan of period dramas like that nor novels that focus on the wealthy class back then, so maybe that's why. I was also not a huge fan of the only Jane Austen book I've read, Emma, but I have heard many people say Persuasion is their favorite, so maybe it's worth a try.

    Thanks for opening my eyes!

    Sue

    Book By Book

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    1. The Yearling was disturbing, too. All the killing of predator animals. I had to tell myself that it was written before the world knew better.

      Emma is a tough read from Austen. First it is LONG. Second it is the only book where the protagonist is rich and often snooty. thirdly I don't think people of today can really relate to "problems" Emma encounters in the book. I ended up really liking Alexander McCall Smith's retelling of Emma. In a lot of ways it is classic AMS. Often very funny.

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  20. I completely agree with you on Lolita. I did not expect to love that story as much as I did -- Jeremy Irons does a fantastic narration of it as well.

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