8/01/2013

Reading the Classics

I've always been a reader. I remember at a very young age just sitting and reading and looking at books. Before I could even read I remember paging through Dr. Suess's Sleep Book over and over again. The illustrations in that book are just wonderful! Another favorite of mine was Christina Katerina and the Box which was a gift from my Kindergarten teacher.  

What's even better is I get to read these great books to my children now. 

I read the Mandi series when I was a preteen. Then I devoured almost every single Nancy Drew book. Which at the time I think reached to 110 or so? Oh my goodness; loved those. As I got a little older, my mom introduced me to the author, Victoria Holt. I think I read around 20 or so of her novels before I finished high school.

In high school there was the mandatory reading of course, but since I was homeschooled and we used ACE, the books were a little different than what you'd find in the public high school.

One that was required was The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. That book will change your life. We also had to read Swiss Family Robinson and I couldn't put it down. I can not wait to read that to my kiddos!

There was never a time when I wasn't reading a book as a child. Of course, I love to read, but I think I also used it as a sort of escapism. It's wonderful to get lost in the world of books, isn't it?

There was a short period of time after I moved out of my parents home that I really didn't do much reading. It's kind of sad. I was more into partying in those days. But that's for another post.

As an adult, my love of reading has grown. I didn't read much non-fiction as a child (do other children?) but now I'd say I read about 70% non-fiction and 30% fiction. 

The funny thing is during all of my years of reading growing up, I hadn't really read any classics. It was never required in school and I was a bit sheltered so a lot of them I never even knew existed. I did read To Kill a Mockingbird in my early 20's and I think that was my first "classic." That is a classic, right?

So one of my reading goals lately has been to read some of "The Classics." I read Wuthering Heights a few months ago and "UGH" is all I have to say. I fell in love with the movie and I usually like darker stories, but the book was way too dark and depressing. There's absolutely nothing to like about Heathcliff. At first you feel sorry for him, but his cruelty is relentless so by the end of the book, you kind of hate him. At least, I did. I plowed through it and finished it. I had to take breaks from it though, so I didn't go into a deep depression.


I digress. 

Here's a list of classics that I'd like to read in the next year or so. I'm not giving myself a strict time limit because let's face it--I'll have three young children soon and I will be reading other books too.

~ Great Expectations by Charles Dickens - This is next on my list. Husband and I are watching the new version right now and are loving it. I've seen a few other versions and so far, this one is my favorite.
~ All of Jane Austen's novels starting with Persuasion. It's such a beautiful story. *sigh*
~ A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
~ David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
~ Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
~ Anne of Green Gables/Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery - One of my favorite movies and I haven't even read the books!
~ The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins - My dad bought me this for my birthday and apparently it's the first great mystery novel ever written? Can't wait to start it!
~ Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
~ Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
~ Paradise Lost by John Milton (actually, I think this *may* have been required in high school and either I didn't read it, or it didn't leave an impression..hmm..)
~ The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
~ Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - I've seen several (all?) versions of the movie and this is one of my favorite stories. I'm sure (hope!) the book won't disappoint!
~ North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
~ A Wrinkle in Time (and the rest of the series) by Madeline L'Engle
~ The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (can you even believe I haven't read these?!)
~ The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald
~ Watership Down by Richard Adams


Tell me--what am I missing? Anything I should skip?

You can check out the other books on my To Read list on Goodreads. What's on your To Read list?  

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