Before anyone goes judging or shaking their head at my novice attempt at trying to recommend Classics books, please may it be noted, that I am no literature student who can quote Shakespeare or God knows which century Greek/Latin at the top of my head.
Wait, I can!
Carpe Diem people! Carpe Diem!!
So, coming back, I thought I’d do a beginner’s guide to reading Classics coming from a Non-Lit student who just was curious about the “charm” these dead authors exuded through words.
And although, I have done many blunders (like reading Two Tolstoy’s in a year, never do that! trust me, your mind won’t be able to take it), I thought why not compile a list of Classics that you can start with.
Without, having to open up the dictionary every few sentences or so!
Jokes apart, if there is one benefit of reading Classics, it would be the improved vocabulary.
Overtime your language skills get refined to such a point, you could be wearing those rounded spectacles, with messed up hair and say the word “pertinent” and voila!
Nothing… you’ll be still you! (pray? Accept my sincerest apologies for raising the merits of Classics).
So, where to begin?
George Orwell was an English Author of the last century who basically brought Dystopia to the limelight, way before Veronica Roth or Suzanna Collins, scared people and divided them up into factions and tributes.
Animal Farm, is the most cleverest political satire (I guess that is what it will be called) to be written on any of the “-isms” aka capitalism, communism, socialism and so on and on.
Isn’t that long either, just a mere 112 pages.
I have zero clue on how you pronounce this name, but my oh my, this story (although marketed as a Children’s book) is so close and dear to my heart. If you’re running low on hope, imagination, creativity, loyalty or love, give this a read.
It’ll remind you of the child you have, who got subdued among the turmoil of this world somehow.
Also, 100 pages or so in length, and to read my review, click here.
Joined the Little Women pretty late in life, but a great discovery nonetheless. This story of 4 sisters and their next door neighbor Laurie, is honestly packed with great life lessons. Each of them have their own path to follow, ambitions to achieve, and dreams to fulfill.
This isn’t as short as the previous two mentioned above, but this is a great introduction into American Classics.
My review is here, and if you didn’t know there is movie coming this year with Meryl Streep Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, and Timothee Chalamet.
If there ever was a story that made you rethink your concepts on youth, beauty, vanity, immortality, and corruption of the soul, it has to be this. I’ll be honest, I was left feeling a bit terrified when I finished this book.
It isn’t labeled as a thriller but has all the elements of suspense and dramatics.
Oscar Wilde, will leave you juggling right from wrong, and wrong from right with this short story, and trust me you will be reflecting on them a lot!
Either you’ll be grossed out by reading of a man’s transformation to a giant insect, or you’ll get the underlying theme of isolation and alienation which leads to a unique writing style the author is famous for: “kakfaesque”
Read it, be terrified by it, relate to it (because you will) and see how the book leaves you feeling.
For now, this is all. I know I could have recommended Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, or even Villette by Charlotte Bronte as well. But honestly, those books can see a bit daunting to start with.
These 5 books may not be a great introduction to the genre of Classics but they will help set the tone of language and writing style that is often common among books of the 19th and 20th century.
Lastly, always remember to have fun with your readings, and don’t miss out on the experience of it, and if you find them difficult a dictionary or google is your best friend.
I hope this was helpful.