Guest Post: Classics | Weaving Pages: Guest Post: Classics

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Guest Post: Classics

Hello there, friends of Weaving Pages! I am not Rita, as I’m sure you’ll note. I’m Nicole from Infusions of Wit from an Everyday Girl (aka booklovingfool). I offered to do a guest post on the delight of my soul while Rita is on hiatus. Ready? Here we go.

Somedays it’s hard for a completely devoted bibliophile like me to live in this world. This is a world that often values contemporary and YA fiction more than it values classics. And it breaks my heart. I so admire people like Hank Green and Bernie Su and the BBC network for reaching out and continuing to show the world that classics are classic for a reason. I have a particular fondness for 18th century literature, it brings me to life. Given my particular love and my strongest desire that everyone should love them as I do, I thought I’d give you my top 5 classic books to read and why.

  1. Persuasion by Jane Austen. When reaching for an Austen book, most people go immediately for Pride and Prejudice and that’s not wrong, or bad. However, Persuasion is my favorite because it’s about two older people in Jane Austen’s era (Anne Elliot is in her late 20s) and it is a novel that wrenches your heart out. Anne and Frederick Wentworth were engaged to be married when they were younger, but her family persuades her that it’s not a good idea and she breaks it off. It becomes the regret of her life and when he pops up eight years later she isn’t sure what to think or how to’s dramatic and beautiful. The language can be a bit hard to understand, but once you get into it, it’s hard to pull out.
  2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. A LOT of people will recommend this book. I know it’s a bit cliche, but people love it for a reason. Jane Eyre is one of the most passionate, emotional heroines in literary history. She sticks to her convictions and but it torments her because she feels everything so deeply. Her story digs into your soul, so unless you’re soulless, you’ll enjoy it.
  3. The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas. This is a tale of friendship, of love, of ridiculousness and betrayal. It is a comedy, a tragedy, and inexplicable. Dumas blends a good amount of sarcastic wit into his novel and it is the seasoning that makes the perfect book. My favorite part of this book is the end; it is surprising and made me laugh out loud. Many moments made me laugh out loud. So sit down with a beer and start it. Or if you’re under 21, a large glass of grape juice. That works too.
  4. Vanity Fair by William Thackeray. This book is depressing, but vibrant and never boring. Becky Sharp is a heroine that you want to see succeed, so it grieves you when she never seems to make a right move. Thackeray was brilliant in contrasting his main selfish heroine with her down-to-earth, good (though sometimes foolish) best friend. There are no perfect people in this book; they all make grievous errors. However, that’s what makes it real. I couldn’t put this book down. It was like watching a train wreck. I know that doesn’t seem like a good recommendation, but it’s one of my favorites because it’s such a good story. 
  5. Last, but most certainly not least, The Odyssey by Homer. This is one giant poem (if you get the right version) and is a great adventure story. My copy is from the late 1800s and I value it more than just about all my other books combined. Odysseus is a fantastic hero and he’s so romantic! Refuses to stop trying to get home to his wife. I mean, seriously. Swoon. My favorite part is the end, when they are reunited. He basically slaughters a lot of people so that he can be with her. And by then they’re old. It’s a great epic.

So those are my five, but if none of those whets your appetite try to find a classic that appeals to you. If you love sci-fi, try Dune by Frank Herbert. If you prefer witty plays, try Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. If you’re a huge YA fan and don’t want to try to read the more traditional classics, try The Brothers Grimm fairytales, or Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (it’s trippy though, be warned). There are classic in every genre, so go back to the roots and try reading a few. You might be surprised by what you find.

Thank you Nicole, for writing this awesome post!

rita xo

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