Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Top 10 Tuesday - Classic Books - Arianna

Top Ten Tuesday from "The Broke and the Bookish"

Yay, my first contribution to "Top Ten Tuesday" from The Broke and Bookish! Amber has gotten me all into them.  

I'll start with my Favorites.  The question is always, first, what IS a "classic"? I wasn't even sure when I was thinking of favorite books; I selected those which I thought were widely considered to have stood the test of time (to some extent, at least) and have been beloved by many.  (What I find most interesting is how there are always, always lovers AND haters of every book!)  I don't know whether these all count as "classic" - and I have many OTHER favorite books, too, of course.  So this is just the list I came up with first, in no particular order:

  1. The Count of Monte Cristo
    Alexandre Dumas

  2. A Confederacy of Dunces
    John Kennedy O'Toole

  3. The Outsiders
    S.E. Hinton
  4. Great Expectations
    Charles Dickens
  5. The Merchant of Venice
    William Shakespeare
  6. Candide
    Francois Voltaire
  7. Atlas Shrugged & The Fountainhead
    Ayn Rand
  8. Swann's Way
    Marcel Proust
  9. Mildred Pierce
    James M. Cain
    (Wait wait...they made a series out of this?! When?)
  10. The Brothers Karamazov
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I also love how books can be favorites based entirely on when you read them; the converse is also true, so a book I might love now or did love once might not be a favorite at another time.  That stuff absolutely fascinates me.

Now, though, on to my To-Reads!  I based this list off of this list, created by readers on GoodReads.  I figured that was a good place to be reminded of all the classics I hadn't yet read, and that a general concensus on "classic" would probably be my best bet.  I was shocked by how many I'd already read!  But here, again in no particular order, are a few I've yet to get to:

  1. Anna Karenina / War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy)
    I think Tolstoy is one of the few Big Authors that I haven’t yet read anything from.  I’ve started Anna!  But I’ve yet to finish it, as promising as its beginning was.
  2. Ulysses (James Joyce)
    I keep wanting to crack this one’s cover, but I just cannot bring myself to.  I’m too scared!  I will never stop wanting to try, though.
  3. East of Eden (John Steinbeck) I still remember flying to Florida just before New Year's Eve, 2003-04, and meeting a guy on the place who was reading this. He loved it. I've had it in my to-read pile ever since....
  4. The Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank)
    I know, I know.  I haven’t read this one?!  But we were never assigned it in high school, and then I just never read it afterwards, I guess because it was such a high school institution.  I’ve always wanted to, though, and even more so since The Fault in Our Stars.  I just didn’t want to admit I hadn’t.  Now that you all know, though, I can finally rid myself of the need to hide my shame, and read it!  I can’t wait.
  5. Oliver Twist (Charles Dickens) I began reading this in the summer of 2001, when I was living in France. I still have my copy in French. I still have *every* intent of reading it in French. For no other reason than that I own that copy...and I'd like to think I can still read French that well!
  6. Madame Bovary (Gustave Flaubert) / The Phantom of the Opera (Gaston Leroux) I grouped these two totally different classics together because I want to read them in French, too. After all, it's what they were written in.
  7. The Color Purple (Alice Walker) Just one I've always wanted to read.
  8. Rebecca (Daphne Du Maurier) Ditto, especially since we watched the movie in my arts summer camp back in 1998.
  9. The Time Machine (HG Wells) A sci-fi classic, that I really should read since they filmed the beginning of the most recent remake at my college. I had friends who I can still spot in the opening scenes!
  10. Mrs. Dalloway (Virginia Woolf) Not much to say about this one. Woolf is a strong female writer who I ought to read more of.

Others that almost made my list: Lonesome Dove (McMurtry), Walden (Thoreau), Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez), In Cold Blood (Capote), And Then There Were None (Christie), The Mill on the Floss (Eliot).

Happy reading! Whatever your favorites may be.

NB: Please note that clicking any of the above links and making a purchase will help support Shelf Notes, if you are so inclined!


  1. Sadly, I haven't read any of these books! I'm so bad when it comes to classics.

    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  2. I was the same! I had to actively get moving on reading classics, and I'm REALLY glad I did - they are classics for a reason, that's for sure! I'd definitely recommend checking a few out if you ever get a chance.

    Also - I LOVE the look & feel of your blog!! Particularly your rating lightning bolts! ;)


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